James Bond’s date with Mumbai is confirmed. And although 007 will give Delhi a miss, Daniel Craig will film some sequences for his upcoming movie in Hyderabad and Bangalore too.
“We’ve finalised Ahmedabad, Goa and Mumbai as the shooting locations,” confirms Pravesh Sahni, line producer of the film. “Most of Bond’s sequences in India will be shot around trains. But exact spots are yet to be fixed.” Sources, however, reveal that Sabarmati railway yard, the scenic Dudhsagar waterfalls and a stretch on the Mumbai-Konkan railway line are among the preferred spots. Apparently, a team has already visited the Sabarmati yard for a recce. Sahni adds, “Things are moving in a positive direction and I must say that the Railway Ministry has been very helpful. They are also keen that Bond movie is shot in India,” he says.
Earlier reports suggested that the shooting might shift to South Africa because of permission trouble with railways. What’s still believed to be the sticking point is that the chosen railway lines will be locked for seven to eight hours daily for a week. This would require train schedules to be reworked.
“Yes, it won’t be easy to divert passenger as well as freight trains for a few days. So details are being worked out. By the end of the week, we will have a clearer picture,” says Sahni. It’s believed that the line production company in India. Take One Productions, has submitted a final list of two locations each in Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Goa. The makers, on their part, are eagerly looking for a spot near a sea, river or a big water body since the film shows James Bond jumping into it from the train top. An elaborate car chase sequence for the $150 million film is expected to be shot around the Sabarmati in Gujarat.
When contacted, Stephanie Wenborn, spokeswoman for London-based EON Productions, producer of Bond films, stated that they “haven’t finalised the locations yet.” As to reports of Bond moving to South Africa, “Nothing is confirmed yet,” adds Stephanie.
Spots in Mumbai too are yet to be decided. But Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Crawford Market, Mohammad Ali Road and some parts of south Mumbai are in the running for Bond’s outing. Director Sam Mendes, on his part, apparently made a hushed visit to Mumbai along with production designer Terry Bamber in mid-April for the film’s recce. The film is set to open in late 2012.
Delhi markets? Not at all!
It was reported that places in Delhi like streets of Daryaganj, Sarojini Nagar market and Ansari Road will see Daniel Craig showing his prowess. Besides, locations such as beaches of Goa were also reported to have been finalised. But Pravesh Sahni of India Take One Productions, the Bond film’s line-production in India, isn’t amused. “First of all, we won’t be shooting in Delhi or its markets. Plus, media reports are suggesting a lot of things, but no locations are absolutely locked on yet,” says Sahni.