Clint Eastwood films The 15:17 to Paris in France

Clint Eastwood filmed scenes on location in the French capital for his true-life movie The 15:17 to Paris.

Clint Eastwood filmed scenes on location in the French capital for his true-life movie The 15:17 to Paris.

The film tells the story of three young American men – two with military backgrounds – who, while travelling in Europe in 2015, were integral to thwarting an attack launched by a lone gunman on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris.

Clint Eastwood films The 15:17 to Paris in France
The 1517 to Paris

Eastwood was intent on an authentic recreation of the events on the train, beginning by making the unusual move of casting the three Americans as themselves in the film.

The production team spent three weeks filming in Europe and secured permission to shoot scenes at Arras Station south of Calais in northern France, where the train was diverted when the gunman tried to stage his attack.

Eastwood chose to film on a real train, rather than build an elaborate set in a studio, as was the case for Kenneth Branagh’s recent adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and Jaume Collet-Serra’s action movie The Commuter.

Patrick Mignano is a long-term collaborator of Eastwood’s and was an associate producer on The 15:17 to Paris.

“We used the actual train for a full five days of filming,” Mignano tells KFTV. “Clint wanted to keep it real. He wanted to shoot on the train moving at speed instead of recreating it on a stage. That was one of the challenges that we faced – getting the real train.”

Mignano credits French location manager Olivier Martin with co-ordinating all the movie’s filming locations in Paris and elsewhere in the country.

“The people at [high-speed train operator] Thayls were very helpful and positive as the process moved forward,” says Mignano. “Some of their challenges were to try and get a full train dedicated to filming during the height of [the] summer tourist season for the five-day period. Then how to operate the train on tracks that have all the existing scheduled train traffic.”

The 1517 to Paris


Filming on a real train travelling at speed proved a challenge due to the confined spaces and narrow aisles. Tom Stern, the movie’s cinematographer and one of Eastwood’s regular collaborators, was able to utilise his experience of shooting in a sinking commercial airliner for the director’s 2016 film Sully.

“The train took a lot of logistics with regards to where to stage the crew and equipment on the train in relation to the filming areas,” says Mignano.

“Also, the logistics of feeding the crew of 80-plus people and anywhere from 40 to 125 extras was quite challenging. The ADs did an amazing job of sorting out the particulars and it worked out quite well.”

European filming included shooting footage at a selection of Parisian landmarks that the three protagonists had visited before the train incident that came to define their trip.

The 1517 to Paris

“We filmed in the Elysee Palace for the end sequences of the film where the three heroes are receiving their medals,” says Mignano.

“It was super-important to try and get as accurate as possible. This was no small feat. It took a lot of negotiations at the highest levels to finally make it happen. People don’t get to film there very often, if at all.”

The production team also doubled parts of the French capital for Berlin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Rome as they charted their characters’ real-life journey.

“The reason we did all that was of course to consolidate our filming as much as possible and not have to go to Germany to film all the additional locations,” says Mignano.

France has become a more viable filming location for international producers since its incentive support was boosted at the start of 2016. Production spending subsequently soared by more than €100m in the space of a year.

Many of the US locations for The 15:17 to Paris – and some of the European interior settings – were filmed in Atlanta, which is a production hub for American features and TV shows due to its studio infrastructure and generous incentive support.

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in France.

Images: Warner Bros

Clint Eastwood films The 15:17 to Paris in France
The 1517 to Paris

Clint Eastwood filmed scenes on location in the French capital for his true-life movie The 15:17 to Paris.

The film tells the story of three young American men – two with military backgrounds – who, while travelling in Europe in 2015, were integral to thwarting an attack launched by a lone gunman on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris.

Eastwood was intent on an authentic recreation of the events on the train, beginning by making the unusual move of casting the three Americans as themselves in the film.

The production team spent three weeks filming in Europe and secured permission to shoot scenes at Arras Station south of Calais in northern France, where the train was diverted when the gunman tried to stage his attack.

Eastwood chose to film on a real train, rather than build an elaborate set in a studio, as was the case for Kenneth Branagh’s recent adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and Jaume Collet-Serra’s action movie The Commuter.

Patrick Mignano is a long-term collaborator of Eastwood’s and was an associate producer on The 15:17 to Paris.

“We used the actual train for a full five days of filming,” Mignano tells KFTV. “Clint wanted to keep it real. He wanted to shoot on the train moving at speed instead of recreating it on a stage. That was one of the challenges that we faced – getting the real train.”

Mignano credits French location manager Olivier Martin with co-ordinating all the movie’s filming locations in Paris and elsewhere in the country.

“The people at [high-speed train operator] Thayls were very helpful and positive as the process moved forward,” says Mignano. “Some of their challenges were to try and get a full train dedicated to filming during the height of [the] summer tourist season for the five-day period. Then how to operate the train on tracks that have all the existing scheduled train traffic.”

The 1517 to Paris


Filming on a real train travelling at speed proved a challenge due to the confined spaces and narrow aisles. Tom Stern, the movie’s cinematographer and one of Eastwood’s regular collaborators, was able to utilise his experience of shooting in a sinking commercial airliner for the director’s 2016 film Sully.

“The train took a lot of logistics with regards to where to stage the crew and equipment on the train in relation to the filming areas,” says Mignano.

“Also, the logistics of feeding the crew of 80-plus people and anywhere from 40 to 125 extras was quite challenging. The ADs did an amazing job of sorting out the particulars and it worked out quite well.”

European filming included shooting footage at a selection of Parisian landmarks that the three protagonists had visited before the train incident that came to define their trip.

The 1517 to Paris

“We filmed in the Elysee Palace for the end sequences of the film where the three heroes are receiving their medals,” says Mignano.

“It was super-important to try and get as accurate as possible. This was no small feat. It took a lot of negotiations at the highest levels to finally make it happen. People don’t get to film there very often, if at all.”

The production team also doubled parts of the French capital for Berlin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Rome as they charted their characters’ real-life journey.

“The reason we did all that was of course to consolidate our filming as much as possible and not have to go to Germany to film all the additional locations,” says Mignano.

France has become a more viable filming location for international producers since its incentive support was boosted at the start of 2016. Production spending subsequently soared by more than €100m in the space of a year.

Many of the US locations for The 15:17 to Paris – and some of the European interior settings – were filmed in Atlanta, which is a production hub for American features and TV shows due to its studio infrastructure and generous incentive support.

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in France.

Images: Warner Bros

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