The first unit filmed predominantly in Venice during June, before heading back to 007's spiritual home of Pinewood Studios and the UK. MI6 rounds up all the latest goings on from the set...

Casino Royale Production Diary #9
9th July 2006

The first unit filmed predominantly in Venice during June, wrapping up foreign location work before heading back to 007's spiritual home of Pinewood Studios and the UK. MI6 rounds up all the latest goings on from the set.

Italy Wrap
Shooting in Italy wrapped at the end of May, with the final shots taking place on the banks Lake Como. Some scenes were filmed at Villa La Gaeta Di San Siro, where the location was being used to double for a clinic where Bond is recovering from his ordeal with Le Chiffre, as in Ian Fleming's original novel.

Whilst recovering in the gardens of the clinic, Bond sports a powder-blue dressing gown and is visited by Vesper wearing a classical green dress. Filming continued in the gardens, at Villa Balbianello di Lenn, and on the Lario river for 'romantic' scenes until Friday 2nd June.

Above: Villa Balbianello on Lake Como

2nd Unit Prepares For High-Octane Action
Back on Wednesday 31st May, second unit crew headed to Dunsfold Park aerodrome in Surrey, UK to set up some spectacular action sequences that take place at Miami Airport, which will be doubled by the English airstrip in the film, along with shots already in the can from Prague International Airport earlier in the year. An Airbus was filmed landing on Saturday 3rd June, with mock palm tress and fake "MIA" signs simulating the American airport. The second unit spent the bulk of June preparing the aerodrome for action set-pieces.

Above: Eva Green and Daniel Craig pose for a photoshoot in Venice.

From Venice, With Love
Meanwhile, in Venice, Daniel Craig and Eva Green arrived to shoot romantic scenes as well as chase sequences through the streets and canals in the city. On June 3rd, both posed for a photoshoot that attracted worldwide media attention. For the first time, the new 007 and Bond Girl were pictured together. Eva wore a flowing red dress while Daniel donned a blue polo shirt and light-weight sports jacket. Venice has featured twice before in the Bond series: at the beginning and end of "From Russia With Love" for Kronsteen's chess match and Bond and Tatiana's confrontation with Rosa Klebb, and in "Moonraker" when Bond investigates a glass maker and chases through the canals in a gondola. This time though, for "Casino Royale", the action is going back to the classical roots of Bond, so do not expect any hovercraft emerging from the canals or double-taking pigeons.

Daniel Craig as James Bond was seen running through the streets in Saint Mark's square and San Marco in the Italian Adriatic city of Venice on June 5th and 6th, filming a chase sequence that will take place in the third act of the movie. Four-hundred extras were coordinated near a fake bank had been constructed under "Procuratie Nuove" (Houses of the Procurators) with dummy ATMs that looked so real they fooled passing tourists. International banking is key to the plot of the film, with MI6 trying to put a stop to a terrorist network moving money around the world.

Above: Eva Green as Vesper Lynd and joined Craig to shoot scenes on a yacht near the Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice on June 7th.

On Thursday 8th June, paparazzi caught shots showing Eva Green on location in Venice, Italy, in costume as Vesper Lynd. The scene being shot takes place at the end of the movie, just prior to a major climatic action sequence. Local press covered the action with photos of Green in a stunning red dress carrying a silver briefcase through the city. Starting in Campo San Barnaba, Green was snapped walking from the bridge to the Campo and then along along a Calle, and down to the Toletta bookstore.

The next day, Green shot some more scenes in the streets with her briefcase, and then the meeting between Bond and Vesper was re-shot in San Marco. Elsewhere, extras were called upon to look on in astonishment as an imaginary building collapsed and water in the canal boiled. A gun battle was shot around the Academy of Music building "Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello" with Mr White's goons, and some minor shots were filmed in the Mercato area.

A Villain's Views
Actor Mads Mikkelsen, who plays villain Le Chiffre in the forthcoming film, said in a recent interview that he is more than happy to be taking on one of cinema’s most-hated roles.

"It’s like being a soccer fan and somebody else comes and plays and you hate him for the first couple of minutes. Then you start loving him."

"Working with Daniel was great. He’s a great actor and he’s going to be a very strong Bond. He’s definitely my favourite 007. This Bond is strong in his mind. You believe in him, you believe he can kill people with his little finger and he’s got this beautiful English accent. He’s perfect."

On the subject of his character and how the film is shaping up, Mikkelsen added, "I think it’s slightly different from the other Bond films, it’s a bit more realistic. Le Chiffre is not trying to conquer the world, or invent something that’ll make him King of the world. He’s just like everybody else in the world because he’s trying to get rich. And that makes him a better villain."

Right: Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre.


Production Update
Setting the record straight, James Bond composer David Arnold confirmed that recent rumours that Goldfrapp would be writing the theme song to Casino Royale were false. Arnold told BBC Music 6, "The Goldfrapp thing came about I believe as a Bond fan made up a fan art poster and put it on the net. He listed on the credits music by Goldfrapp as that was a band he would like to see doing it, and a French website decided that it was real so published a story.The internet is really quite amazing." He confirmed that he has already started work on the song with the official artist, and that their identity would be revealed soon

MI6 has learned that "Casino Royale" will be released simultaneously on DVD, PlayStation Portable (PSP) UMD and Sony's new high-definition format Blu-Ray on 22nd May 2007. Sources say that it is unlikely that the film will appear on the rival HD-DVD format. UK fans can pre-order the Casino Royale DVD from Amazon now, although no price of official shipping date is specified.

The Bahamas estate recently bought by golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els is to play a role in the new James Bond film Casino Royale. Secluded Albany House in New Providence, became one of the first locations to be used for several scenes of the new film, where Bond discovers a body and is flown out by helicopter with MI6 aide Villiers. Jason Callender, a director of the development company, says, "We are excited to showcase the property in the upcoming movie, and participate in an event which will again bring international acclaim to islands of the Bahamas."

Veteran British actor John Cleese reportedly hit out at producers recently, insisting his sudden "dumping" from the series was rude. Cleese, who played gadget master Q in "Die Another Day", had desperately hoped to reprise the much-loved role. Cleese said, "Q doesn't appear in Casino Royale but it would have been nice if the producers had the courtesy to telephone me."

Fans will soon be able to get behind the wheel of their very own Bond car. Aston Martin plans to start producing the DBS, the car that will star in the forthcoming film Casino Royale. About 300 will be made and production will begin next summer. Aston Martin says the car will contain elements of the DB9 road car and its DBR race car. It will cost between £150,000 and £170,000 - considerably more than the £107,000 price of the DB9 coupé. Ulrich Bez, chief executive of Aston Martin, said the car would be launched at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January or at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The DBS will share the DB9’s V12 engine but exact details of the specification and performance are being kept under wraps until the launch. “We originally developed the DBS for us rather than for Bond but the timing was right for Bond to use the car,” said Bez.

Above: 007's latest wheels - the Aston Martin DBS

The new moody Casino Royale Double-Sided Advance poster is now available courtesy of Movie Market UK and USA. The 69x104 cm / 27x41 inch poster features Daniel Craig sat at a casino table resting his hand on a gun. Unlike the GoldenEye teaser poster, fans are treated to a full shot of the new James Bond.
Buy Now - MI6 USA price $24.99
Buy Now - MI6 UK price £14.99

Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon Productions) and directed by Martin Campbell, CASINO ROYALE is scheduled for release November 17, 2006. Principal photography started on January 30th 2006, with locations in the UK, Czech Republic (Prague), Italy, and the Bahamas. It will be British actor Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond. He is the sixth actor to play the 007 role in the franchise.

The film also stars Judi Dench, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian, Tobias Menzies, Ivana Milicevic, Clemens Schik, Ludger Pistor, Claudio Santamaria and Isaach de Bankole.

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