Location shooting for the 22nd James Bond film could
include an impressive Opera set in Austria, plus
and a changing of the guard in production design....
Bond 22 Pre-Production Diary (4)
23rd July 2007
If local media reports are correct, it would
appear that the Bond 22 production
crew will be heading to Austria for location shooting next year.
News reaches MI6 that director Marc
Forster, producer Barbara Broccoli and director of photography
Roberto Schaefer visited Bregenz in late June to scout a location
for a scene for
James Bond film.
Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost
federal state of Austria. The city is situated on the eastern
of Lake Constance, on a plateau falling in a series of terraces
to the lake at the foot of Pfänder mountain. As well as
its natural beauty, Bregenz also features a unique Opera stage
which floats on the water (known as the "Seebühne").
The stage is a key tourist attraction of the region, and due
to the expensive
in the productions,
each opera is featured for two consecutive years.
Above: The impressive set for the production of Tosca on the floating
stage in Bregenz, Austria
Reports state the Bond crew arrived during the
Bregenz Festival and witnessed the production of Tosca, which
is scheduled to
be hosted on the floating stage until late 2008, complete with
an enormous rotating eye and huge LED wall. Festival speaker Axel
Renner confirmed the crew attended and filmed a piano rehersal
of the Tosca production.
Altogether, eight representatives from the production
team were in attendance to determine whether the stage would
work as a
location in the film. The scene is rumoured to see James Bond
visiting a performance of Tosca and "intervening" in some manner.
If it makes the final shooting script, and using the real stage
and Opera with 7000 spectators proves suitable, three days of
shooting in spring next year have been penciled in. A decision
is expected to be made this autumn (fall). The production team
also visited the Festival Opera House in the city, and are currently
scouting locations for the film throughout Europe.
Above: The central 'eye' rotates in the
stage backdrop (left),
the 7000-strong audience watches
from inclined seating (right)
Tosca is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian
libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Victorien
Sardou's drama, La Tosca. The work premiered at the Teatro Costanzi
in Rome on January 14, 1900. One of the most dramatic of operas,
Tosca is, according to Opera America, the eighth most performed
opera in North America.
Writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who handed
over the Bond
22 first draft script to Paul
Haggis earlier this year, included
Body Worlds - another real-world tourist event - in the previous
film Casino Royale.
Production designer Peter
Lamont, who has been a crew member
on 18 James Bond films, will not be continuing with the 22nd
in the series - due to start shooting in December this year.
Lamont has only missed three Bond films in total – the
first two, Dr. No and From
Russia With Love were made before
he joined the team and he was absent from Tomorrow
Never Dies because he was already committed
to Titanic (for which he picked up an Oscar).
on the state of Bond 22 earlier in the year,
leading many to believe he was continuing his role, Lamont told
the audience of a James Bond celebration event at Pinewood Studios
this weekend that he will not be participating in the upcoming
film. He told the crowd that Dennis Gassner will be the production
designer for Daniel Craig's second outing as 007.
Above: Long-running crew
member Peter Lamont (pictured left on the set of Casino
Royale) hands the Production Design baton to Dennis
Gassner (right), who
was brought in by director Marc Forster to create his own
look for the film.
Fellow Oscar-winner Gassner has just completed The Golden Compass.
His other films as production designer include "Road to
Perdition", the Coen Brother's "O Brother, Where Art
Thou?" and "The Man Who Wasn't There". Gassner
is already familiar with Daniel Craig, as he has starred in both "Compass" and "Perdition".
Come Prepared For A Cold Reception
Another tidbit mentioned at the Pinewood event from Bond crew
members was that Bond 22 will feature a ski sequence. This will
not come as a shock for those who read earlier comments from
director Marc Forster that the Swiss
Alps were being considered as a location. With news of the location scouting in Austria,
it would appear that Daniel Craig will be taking part in some
winter sports within Europe during his second outing as 007.
Bond 'Czechs' Out
Although an official press release had
already stated that Bond 22 production would be based at
Pinewood and not Barrandov Studios in Prague, Variety
followed up with a report on the shift in location.
"Citing the lack of financial incentives in the country,
007 production company Eon has informed Prague’s
Barrandov it will not use the studios for the next movie
in the series, according to Barrandov head Vladimir Kuba."
Eon confirmed it is basing the Marc Forster-helmed pic,
which starts shooting in December, at the U.K.’s
Pinewood Studios but declined to comment on reasons or
on what other locales may also be in the package."
Kuba was told that the lack of Czech incentives killed
Barrandov’s chances, he said. The “Casino Royale” shoot,
based mainly in Prague, marked a high-water mark for foreign
production at Barrandov. Aside from Bond, the studio also
has lost the “Hellboy” franchise, worrying
According to a French
fan site, Sony Pictures France have confirmed
the French release date for the 22nd James Bond film will be
5th November 2008 - two days ahead of the previously
announced Sony Pictures (USA) date of 7th November 2008. Fans in the USA
and Canada will now be wondering if the 7th November date will
used for North America alone, with the
UK releasing slightly earlier too, as with Casino Royale.