M's chief of staff Bill Tanner will return to the
series in "Quantum of Solace", plus a round-up of
plot detail and shooting news from Pinewood Studios...
Production Diary (7)
26th January 2008
Although Moneypenny and Q will not return following their absence
in "Casino Royale", one of James Bond's long-standing allies
will appear in "Quantum
of Solace". British actor Rory
play Bill Tanner, M's chief of staff at MI6. Tanner and M were
recently captured filming at The Barbican in London (seen below).
Tanner, a character from
the literary series by Ian Fleming, has been played in
earlier films by three actors. The character first appeared
uncredited in "The
Man With The Golden Gun" played by
Michael Goodliffe. In 1980, when Bernard
Lee had been struck down
and was unable to film "For
Your Eyes Only", producers
split all of M's dialogue
between Q, the Minister
of Defence (played
Keen) and Bill Tanner (James
Villiers) as a mark of respect. Tanner had been a regular
character in Fleming's novels,
acting as M's chief of staff. It would be James Villiers'
only appearance in the series as M was
recast in the follow-up film "Octopussy".
When Pierce Brosnan took up the role for
Tanner reappeared at MI6 along with a new M played
by Dame Judi Dench. This time around, Michael Kitchen took
up the role opposite 'the
Queen of numbers'. It was planned for Tanner to
return in the next film, "Tomorrow
Never Dies", but
Kitchen was unavailable to reprise his role. It was quickly
rewritten as a new character, MI6 aide Charles
played by Colin Salmon. Both Tanner and Robinson returned
for Brosnan's third film, "The
World Is Not Enough",
once again played by Kitchen and Salmon respectively. For
Brosnan's final outing, "Die
Another Day", only
Robinson would return
and the character of Tanner once
again disappeared from the series.
Above: Rory Kinnear plays Bill Tanner in "Quantum of Solace",
M's chief of staff at MI6. Scenes were shot at The Barbican
in London on January 4th 2008.
In "Quantum of Solace", Tanner's office is adjacent
to M's and is separated by a wall of glass that can be 'frosted'
for privacy at the touch of a button. For the latest film, an
impressive two-story set has been built at Pinewood Studios featuring
ultra-modern decor, steel-grey furniture, marble floors and frosted
glass doors. It has been outfitted with impressive attention
to detail, from the real desks and computers down to the chrome
coffee pots and weekly newsmagazines laid out on a waiting-room
table. The iconic MI6 building on the River Thames did not feature
Royale", with M's scenes played out at her apartment. This time
be introduced to her house.
Above: Under fire, Daniel Craig makes a leap from a balcony
in the Siena art gallery to a rope
Elsewhere at Pinewood, amongst the various sprawling
sets, is a cavernous interior of the
art gallery in the Italian city of Siena. It is here that Bond
has an explosive fight scene, as revealed in some early footage
released by the studio, according to a BBC report.
Although Craig will perform most of the action himself, Ben Cooke
returns from "Casino Royale"
as his lead stunt double. Several statues - some eight metres
tall - stand around the gallery set,
in clear plastic - presumably to protect them from the pyrotechnics.
One snippet from the action scenes, where Bond leaps from a window
on to a rope hanging from vast black-and-white marble pillars,
seen in the B-roll
Producer Michael G. Wilson has let slip that
the new film will open with a big car chase in the streets of
Siena. As MI6 reported last
year, some location filming has already
taken place in Siena. At Pinewood, a complex of underground
tunnels - the Siena cisterns - have been recreated to an amazing
of detail. Another Siena-based set is a subterranean MI6 safe-house
with a deep-water well, a crypt with massive stone
columns, and huge wooden beams.
Above: Daniel Craig watches the
action from the Palace Of Elci in a balcony overlooking
the "Madonna dell'Assunta
Palio di Siena" horse race, where the "Quantum
of Solace" crew shot location footage on August 16th
Filming has already taken place on a set of
a luxurious hotel suite in Pinewood. The 'honeymoon' suite will
be featured in a high-end hotel in Bolivia in the film. Bond
will be looked after by Fields (played by Gemma Arterton),
an MI6 agent based at the British Consulate in Bolivia.
Wilson also mentioned to reporters that an ambitious
free-fall sequence involving motion-control cameras will be featured.
The new Bond girl Olga Kurylenko is currently in body flight
training for the aerial scenes.
Filming, which began January
3rd, is taking place on five sound stages, including the
vast "007" stage, rebuilt after
it was gutted
by fire in 2006. There are about 500 cast and crew
working on the film at Pinewood, 10 to 12 hours a day,
a week. "We have a crew that's all worked together,
all know each other," said Wilson. "It's a good
atmosphere." He added that the visual style created
by production designer Dennis Gassner and director Marc
Forster was "a postmodern look at modernism".
Above: Bond's luxury 'honeymoon' suite in Bolivia
Once cast and crew move on to shoot in more
glamorous locales - including Austria's Lake Constance, Lake
Garda in northern Italy, Panama, Chile and Peru - the sets will
be dismantled and new ones constructed for a fresh round of filming
on their return. Shooting will wrap in June.