James Bond likes his martini shaken, not stirred, on his perilous adventures. But even as Daniel Craig dodges bullets and overcomes obstacles in the new Bond film, Skyfall, the Hollywood star missed his date with India due to budget cuts.
Apparently, producers EON and Sony Pictures have had to slash their budget dramatically, resulting in them scrapping plans to shoot in six exotic countries including India and Bali. UK-based paper Daily Mirror also reports that instead of distant locations, they (makers) are using various UK beaches. Another UK paper Metro reports that Skyfall has suffered from a series of delays after film studio MGM filed for bankruptcy.
Although director Sam Mendes confirmed that the film is due to be shot in the UK, China and Turkey, reports suggest that makers have decided to scale back and use only Turkey as the main foreign location. It’s also believed that Skyfall will rely heavily on SFX, and locales recreated at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, UK.
Initially, the 23rd James Bond thriller was to be shot in Mumbai, Goa and Gujarat, besides featuring a few action sequences on Indian trains. Apparently, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and railways officials had already cleared all the permissions applied for by line producer India Take One Productions.
Ask Pravesh Sahni of the Indian production house if budget cuts forced Bond makers to pull out, and he says: "I don’t want to comment about the Bond film. Whatever happened is in the past. Now, we are looking towards the future and new films." When contacted, Steve Elzer, senior vice president (media relations) of Sony Pictures Entertainment "chose not to comment on rumours."
Interestingly, 1983’s Octopussy, which was the 13th film in the Bond franchise, saw a few scenes filmed in India. Starring Roger Moore as Bond, it had an action sequence filmed on, and under, an Indian train. Although makers haven’t yet commented on the current film’s budget, it’s estimated to be around $150 million, down from the $200 million spent on Quantum of Solace (2008).
Producer Michael Wilson, at a press conference, states that "Skyfall is in the same (price) range as the last film, and we really haven’t had to change anything in the script. We haven’t had to sacrifice anything."
Hollywood at home
Singularity: Roland Joffé’s upcoming Josh Hartnett-starrer has been extensively shot in Orchha in Madhya Pradesh.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: John Madden’s film was shot in and around Jaipur and follows the life of a group of British retirees in a home for the aged in India.
Life of Pi: Oscar-winning filmmaker Ang Lee shot his film in Pudducherry. It’s scheduled to release on December 21.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist: With Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland, Mira Nair shot the film in Delhi.
Marc Baschet’s Untitled Film: The producer of the Oscar-winning No Man's Land plans to shoot his political love story here
starting in November.