Preparations are under way in Italy for more location filming for "Quantum of Solace". MI6 rounds up all the news from the region...

Production Diary (16)
17th March 2008

Back in August last year, cameras rolled for the first time on - what was then known as - Bond 22. The location was the Tuscan village of Siena, Italy, to capture the "Palio" biannual bareback horserace. Daniel Craig was also in attendance, although he merely observed and did not feature in the filming in any way. James Bond is on his way back, as the "Quantum of Solace" production units will soon be returning to Italy to film a series of chase scenes.

The town council at Siena gave permission for filming in which James Bond chases through the steep and narrow cobbled streets, across the rooftops and through the underground medieval aqueducts, while the horses thunder round the Campo, the main square. Bond himself will not be riding any horses during the film. The first round of filming back in August focused on the race, with scenes involving actors to be inserted later. One of the chase locations will be the 'bottini', a network of tunnels that run under the city and cannot be visited by the public without permission. The production team visited these locations to collect the necessary information to reconstruct the tunnels and alleys at Pinewood Studios.

Above: Daniel Craig watches the action from the Palace Of Elci in August

Earlier this week, the Siena edition of La Nazione newspaper reported on the preparations that are being made for the return of the location shooting - this time featuring the actors. Approximately 1500 people applied to become extras, with only 300 making the grade. Despite the casting being completed at the beginning of the month, the local production office is apparently inundated with requests. Some local streets have been closed off already to prepare for the filming.

Preparations began on February 11th, and since then four cranes have appeared towering over the Siena skyline. Construction has reportedly angered a few local residents due to the noise, but many are happy for 007 to be visiting. Areas of free parking have been set up for local residents inconvenienced by road the closures, and the municipality is said to be receiving more than 1 million Euros for the shoot. Art Director Mike Stalion said that the area is 'wonderful and is ideal for the fantastic scenes in the film'.

Above: The Tuscan town of Siena, Italy will play host to 007

As MI6 reported in January, the film will open "20 minutes" after the end of "Casino Royale" on the banks of Lake Garda. A car chase will ensue along the roads following the lake's shore and through the mountains. The action will be captured from April 15th to April 24th. Specific locations will include the roads around Forra that rise up to Tremosine, Gargnano and the stretch from Lake Garda to Limone a Riva.

Local press have revealed that the villains will set the police chasing after 007. The stunning 200 KPH car chase along the banks of Lake Garda will feature spectacular and reckless manoeuvres in a series of tunnels, culminating with a scene where a truck brings the action to an abrupt halt and huge explosion.

A second unit will film parts of the car chase at Malcesine from March 15th to March 21st, then move on to Limone to capture additional shots. The chase will move through the quarries near Carrara before Bond emerges out of a tunnel in Miseglia and in to Siena. The filming at Miseglia will take place on April 25th with a 200-strong crew expected.

Early in the adventure, roughly ten minutes of the film will be spent amongst the streets and rooftops of Siena in a thrilling chase sequence. Some buildings are having minor adjustments made to accommodate the action. Filming for these scenes will take place in early April (ending by April 13th) and the production will utilise a 'cable cam' to capture to action - the first time this equipment has been used on a feature film. Other location work during this period will also take in the marble quarries of Fantiscritti and Canalgrade near the city of Carrara.


Above: Action will be filmed along the shores of Lake Garda in Italy in late April.

Above: The resort town of Malcesine

Shooting will then move to Passo del Vestito and Altagnana on May 2nd for a week, with the chase culminating at the Piazza del Campe (where the Pailo horse race was featured) during the first three weeks of May. The chase on-foot will move through the buildings, rooftops and balconies in Siena. A small unit and four stuntmen are already preparing for the scenes which will include Bond jumping out of a window on to a fast moving bus (a specially modified bus is being built for the shot). The bus will reportedly be speeding against the flow of traffic towards a bridge.

Above: Local newspaper coverage of the construction taking place
in Siena to accommodate the Quantum of Solace filming