Ahmedabad in north-western India has been selected
for key Bond 23 action sequences over its
better known rival locations Mumbai and Goa...
India Locations Selected
26th August 2011
The 23rd James
Bond film (AKA 'Bond 23') is scheduled to include
a car chase through the streets of Ahmedabad in north-west Indian
province of Gujurat, as well as the previously rumoured freight-train
stunts around the Sabarmati railway yard.
Director Sam Mendes and a core production
team reportedly visited Ahmedabad two months ago. The area
has been selected over two better-known rival locations:
Goa and Mumbai.
The decision follows
news earlier this week that filming permissions
for the train sequence along the coastal Konkan Railway
Pravesh Sahni of India Take One Productions,
which is handling the logistics of the Indian leg of the
Bond 23 shoot for EON Productions, told the Times
of India, "We preferred Ahmedabad over Goa and
Mumbai as for car chase sequence the roads were apt and
the Gujarat government promised to extend all support in
the first meeting itself."
"For permission to shoot an
action sequence on a train at Sabarmati railway yard we
union railways minister Dinesh Trivedi on Monday."
Above: Ahmedabad (highlighted) in
north-west India was selected over Mumbai
- the home of Bollywood, and the resort city of Goa.
Senior western railways officials at Ahmedabad confirmed to
the paper that a team from the production had come to Ahmedabad
twice in the last two months and visited the Sabarmati railway
Above: The Sabarmati
railway station in Ahmedabad.
India Take One Productions also confirmed that they have received
the green light to shoot the stunt sequence at the Sabarmati
railway yard, but permission to stop freight trains from using
the busy track for several hours a day on a five-day shoot was
taking time to finalise. The shoot had originally been planned
for October or November this year, but has now been shifted to
January or February 2012 in order for the railway ministry to
grant the neccessary permissions.
"We already have permission from Gujarat government to
shoot chase sequences on road and are hopeful that will get a
go-ahead will railways ministry as well. 'Bond 23' is an important
project for India which is attracting Hollywood filmmakers and
we are doing everything to put things in place," added Sahni.
Dinesh Trivedi, the railway minister from Calcutta
who confesses he is a Bond fan,
will meet the team on Monday. "I received a request
from the unit members today and have called them for a meeting
on Monday. I will be pro-active
to sort out the problem,” Trivedi told The
New Delhi. "I’ll have to find out about the problems.
It will be solved but I’ll ensure that passenger safety
is not compromised,” he said. “We all love Bond movies
and it’ll be good publicity for India and the Indian Railways,"
the minister added.
A production member who wished to remain anonymous
initial talks with the minister were satisfactory and he seemed
keen to remove the bottlenecks. We expect [formal production
planning] to get rolling by the middle of next week.".
intervention, things looked positive, he admitted.
Above: A freight train enters
the Sabarmati railway yard, where Bond 23 will be shooting
stunts if final permissions are granted on Monday.
MI6 understands that South Africa still
remains a shooting location regardless of whether the train sequence
is completed in India
as first planned. China is also still in consideration for other
sequences. The production will be based out of James Bond's traditional
home - Pinewood Studios - where filming on the sound stages is
scheduled to start in November. The production budget is rumoured
to be $135 million. The film, which will be Daniel
outing as 007, will open in the UK on 26th October 2012.