Two major problems faced the "Moonraker" pre-production team in Brazil a year before the film was set to make its world premiere...

Moonraker Plans Brazil Filming

6th February 2011

Back on July 20th, 1978, almost a year before the film would open in cinemas around the world, the production team on "Moonraker" had two major problems with their plans to shoot on location in Brazil: lack of water and lack of government support...

Much of James Bond's next multi-million-dollar spy movie will take place in Brazil - if nature and the Brazilian government decide to cooperate. One of the main scenes in Brazil, says English director Lewis Gilbert, would be at Iguaza Falls on the Brazil-Paraguay border.

But a severe drought in southern Brazil has left the normally spectacular falls a barren cliff with only a tiny stream of water.

Right: Some of the boat chase special effects were ultimately completed in Florida, USA.


Gilbert, whose last James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me," grossed, he claims, more than $100 million, says filming of the Brazilian part of "Moonraker" will begin in January and that by that time, he hopes summer rains will have filled the Parana River with water again. The other problem the production company is facing is Brazilian bureaucracy. The scripts of all movies filmed in Brazil must be approved in advance by the government. So far, the "Moonraker" script is languishing on some bureaucrat's desk in Brasilia.

"I don't think we'll have any real problem with the Brazilians," Gilbert says. "This is the most fantastic advertising that Brazil could have." He said that Brazilian authorities apparently are concerned that foreign movie producers might show the seamier side of Brazilian life. "But they don't have to worry because we only show the beautiful part," Gilbert says. "James Bond is a creature of luxury and he doesn't hang around in favelas." Favelas are Brazilian slums. Gilbert says tourism in Egypt jumped tremendously after "The Spy Who Loved Me," much of which was filmed there.

Other scenes from "Moonraker" will be filmed in Paris, Venice, San Francisco and Guatemala. THe movie will have little in common with the Ian Fleming novel of the same name, Gilbert says, except for Bond, to be played by Roger Moore, beautiful girls and the villain, Khugo (sic) Drax. As for plot, Gilbert would only say it will deal with space, noting the whole concept of space has changed since Fleming wrote the book.

Carnival scenes from Rio's famous pre-Lenten celebration were filmed earlier this year. "We'll use them for backdrops and re-create our own carnival for Bond," Gilbert says. The famous Bond escapades are a "top secret" but Gilbert promises they will "top anything up to now." Cost of the production will be considerably more than the $15 million the previous Bond movie cost, Gilbert says. It will be Gilbert's third Bond movie and his 31st film.

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