MI6 reports from Siena, Italy, where the final scenes for the pre-titles chase sequence were filmed at the Piazza del Campo with Daniel Craig...

Production Diary (33)
8th June 2008

Filming of the new James Bond film "Quantum of Solace" returned to the town of Siena in Italy in early April and later again in May, following initial background shots that were taken during the bi-annual Palio di Siena horse race back in August last year. This time around, principal cast members were present to shoot an action sequence that sees 007 chase down MI6 traitor Mr Slate.

The action starts after Mr White's interrogation at an MI6 safe house with a car chase along the banks of Lake Garda, to local marble quarries and then through the narrow winding streets of Siena. With the Aston Martin DBS in need of a good wash & wax, the chase moves on foot down the streets, over the roofs and through the 'bottini' underground aqueducts. Bond emerges from a fountain in the town square just as the famous Palio di Siena race is reaching its climax with the horses thundering around towards the finish line. With the street scenes completed in early April, the remaining shots filmed a couple of weeks ago centred on the Piazza del Campo.

Above: Mr Slate and James Bond between takes at the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy

The 007 crew took over Siena for filming between May 9th and May 23rd, with some streets and market square closed off to the public. The Piazza del Campo was closed off from May 14th to May 16th for a scene where Bond hunts Mr Slate on foot through the crowds. Hundreds of extras were drafted in to substitute a small section of the crowd from the race back in August. A small green screen was also used.

Above: Daniel Craig between takes at the Piazza del Campo, Siena.

The chase sequence was originally written to end at the Siena Duomo (cathedral), but this was later discarded as it was seen to be disrespectful to the location. Instead, 007 will emerge from the fountain in the Piazza del Campo just at the moment that the horse race ends. The network of underground tunnels ('bottini') were reconstructed in Pinewood as filming at the real location was not possible.

Top Row: Extras reconstitute a small section of the race crowd as captured back in August
Bottom Row: The Aston Martin DBS looks worse for wear after its trip through the quarry

The entire chase will form the pre-credits sequence to the movie and is expected to run for 15 minutes.

Above: A huge rig holds up a reflective sheet for lighting, whilst the square is closed to traffic

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Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon Productions), QUANTUM OF SOLACE was released in the UK on October 31st 2008 and is directed by Marc Forster. Principal photography started on January 3rd 2008 at Pinewood Studios and around the UK, and foreign locations including Italy, Panama, Chile, Peru and Austria. Paul Haggis completed the script based on a first draft screenplay developed by regular scribes Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, with later polish by Joshua Zetumer. The story is a direct continuation of the events of Casino Royale. 007 faces off against villains Mathieu Amalric (Dominic Greene), Anatole Taubman (Elvis) and Joaquin Cosío (General Medrano). Olga Kurylenko (Camille) and Gemma Arterton (MI6 Agent Fields) play the Bond Girls. Dame Judi Dench (M), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter) and Giancarlo Giannini (Mathis) reprise their roles as Bond's allies. It is British actor Daniel Craig’s second outing as James Bond, following his debut film Casino Royale released November 16th 2006.