With one stunt performer already dead after a mishap with a planned explosion last month, producers of The Expendables 2 are in hot water again after a contracting crew hired by the production got fined by the Bulgarian EPA for disturbing a batcave. Not THE batcave, mind you, A batcave, specifically, the Devetashka Cave in Bulgaria, a landmark preserved since prehistoric times and a haven for endangered bats, where reportedly, the contractor unlawfully removed shrubs and small trees from the entrance to the cave. WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE BATS?!
It’s funny, because I always imagined the Bulgarian EPA as a fat lady with a faint mustache who hits you with her purse when you mistreat a plow horse.
The size of the fine is yet to be determined and will be in the 500-5,000 BG Leva range ($343-$3,440). Despite obtaining necessary permits for the elaborate shoot that involves building sets — including a bridge to the cave — the production is raising concerns among local environmentalists who fear that it may permanently damage the habitat that houses some 40 endangered species as well as one of the top three bat colonies in Europe. To avoid disturbing the bats, the producers have promised to refrain from explosions, car chases and fires in close proximity to the cave.
As for the movie’s producers, I hear they are taking the environmental concerns seriously and met today with representatives of local environmental organizations. Word is that the sequel has gotten their blessing to start filming at the cave and the shoot is not expected to harm the bat colony living inside. [Deadline]
Did anyone else imagine the writer winking and rubbing her cash fingers together when you read “taking environmental concerns seriously” a second ago? Because call me cynical, but to me it should raise some serious concerns if your production’s getting fined by a country whose asbestos factories probably run on coal. Ha, remember when people called the entertainment industry “Hollywood” because people shot movies there? This is just sad to read. Chuck Norris is supposed to beat up people who go to poor villages and kill their stuntmen and scare off their pet bats.