MI6 rounds up the latest rumours circling the 22nd James Bond film, including new locations in Italy and the Aston Martin DBS...

Bond 22 Pre-Production Diary (7)
19th August 2007

For Your Eyes Only - The following report contains rumours surrounding the 22nd James Bond film from various sources around the globe. MI6 rounds up the latest whispers...

Italy Impresses Scouts
The production team have been scouting further locations to shoot in Italy following their filming of the Palio di Siena horse race which will feature as the background to a thrilling sequence which will see Bond chasing the villain through tunnels, alleys and on rooftops in the village.

According to Italian sources, principal photography is being organised for Basilicata, a region in southern Italy. Locations selected include the town of Craco (Matera) which features an impressive road to Maratea Superiore, the San Biagio di Maratea and the Statua del Redentore (Christ Statue).

The road climbs Monte San Biagio in a series of hairpin curves and several of the tight switchbacks are supported by concrete stilts. Matera was recently used by Mel Gibson for his 2004 epic "The Passion of the Christ".


Above: Daniel Craig observing the filming in Siena that took place on Thursday 16th August.

Left: The road to Maratea Superiore, the Basilica of San Biagio
Right: The Statua del Redentore (Christ Statue)

The production team has also scoped out the the top of the dam at Montecotugno di Senise. An announcement of the locations is expected at the Lucania Film Festival. Bond 22 is shaping up to be a European adventure, as MI6 reported last month that location shooting could also take in an impressive Opera set in Austria and a ski sequence.

Angelina Rumours Reheated
When MGM officials reportedly visited Matera in Italy to conclude filming agreements this week, local news outlets touted that Angelina Jolie was in the frame again. This is despite the actress shooting "Wanted" in Chicago, and having a full 2008 slate. Put this down as wild speculation on the part of the Italian press. Last year, Eon Productions casting director Debbie McWilliams admitted that Angelina Jolie was a top candidate for a Bond Girl role (presumably Vesper Lynd) in Casino Royale. Jolie reportedly turned down the role due to her pregnancy.



Aston Martin DBS
When Ford announced they had sold Aston Martin, the company did not release many details of the deal. Many industry watchers assumed Ford had sold off 100% of its interests, but this is not the case. It transpires that Ford did receive a cool $931 million as part of the deal, but also kept a $77 million stake (or 15% share) in Aston Martin. Ford will still have the exclusive rights for vehicle product placement in the 22nd film due to their $100m three-picture deal which began with "Die Another Day" in 2002.

Above: The new production Aston Martin DBS

Earlier in the year, Jaguar was tipped as the likely replacement that Q-branch would equip 007 with in Bond 22. Now that Ford is considering selling 100% of Jaguar, the story has another twist... Readers following the filming in Siena will have noticed the Italian press mention Bond's Aston Martin featuring in a planned chase sequence - although this could have been a hangover from an early script draft. But a worker at the Aston Martin plant building the new production DBS tipped MI6 that Daniel Craig visited the site recently and added that the car will return in Bond 22, with some 'traditional' gadgets this time around.

In Brief...
Bond co-producer Michael G. Wilson was spotted on a London to Los Angeles Virgin Atlantic flight on Monday reading a copy of Ian Fleming's seventh 007 novel - Goldfinger.