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Indian Railways want Daniel Craig as brand ambassador for Bond 23 permissions

01-Sep-2011 • Skyfall

Indian railway minister Dinesh Trivedi has taken a personal initiative to sort out the impasse surrounding the final shooting permissions that the 23rd James Bond film requires to secure all of the locations they plan to film. With the I&B Ministry green-lighting the film to shoot in the country, the final piece of the puzzle is Indian Railways, as the Bond 23 crew need to find suitable track to shoot stunt sequences without affecting the busy lines and risking public safety.

What could they possibly want in return? How about Daniel Craig becoming the brand ambassador of Indian Railways?

On Monday afternoon, Trivedi met with India Take One Productions, who are working for EON Productions on Bond 23 in the country. Parvesh Sahni, the line producer, told the Times of India, "It all happened after Calcutta Times brought it to the notice of the railway minister. On Monday afternoon, he took time out for me and we discussed the possibilities of blocking the tracks in Ahmedabad and Goa for Craig to shoot the stunt sequences. The response has been very positive. The minister told us he is a huge James Bond fan and would certainly not want this movie to shift its shooting location from India to South Africa."

Trivedi said, "My brief to my department is that we should try to facilitate the shooting without compromising on certain issues." Indian Railways promises help for Bond shoot

Speaking about the shooting of Bond in India, Trivedi said, "I don't understand why people would not want to help when they can. The maximum time any department can take to decide on whether a permission can be granted or not is a week. All it took was a mail from the film unit and I responded immediately. I had a meeting with the unit and told them that I have three conditions. I can't compromise on the safety, security and punctuality issues. Firstly, I have to look into the safety of the train and the people concerned. Secondly, I don't wish to inconvenience the common people. Thirdly, I can't compromise on the image of India in front of the world. I was shown a dummy that had a photo of many people riding on the roof of a train. Now, that's no longer the truth in India because it would mean there are many ticketless travellers. I wouldn't want such depiction in the film because that isn't true. The unit has agreed to it too. I have been told that it will take a week to see if things can be worked out."

Trivedi has also broached the topic of getting James Bond to be the brand ambassador of the Indian Railways. "I would want Daniel Craig to be the brand ambassador of Indian Railways. It could be just one line where he does the endorsement. He might just stand in front of an engine and talk about the Indian Railways."

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