Betrayed Bond finds "Solace" in Chile
Unflappable British agent 007 returns soon to our screens, but as a James Bond as we've never seen before, shaken and wounded by the betrayal of the love of his life.
Filming has already begun on
Quantum of Solace
with British actor Daniel Craig reprising the role he first took on in
, after a series of famous Bond actors such as Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan.
But in this film, James Bond, the agent created by British author Ian Fleming, is a different kind of animal to the suave, sophisticated, martini-sipping womanizer of earlier incarnations.
"He has lost the love of his life and the last thing he knows is that she was a double agent. She sold him out. The relationship that he was looking at was just a lie," Craig told reporters in this northern Chilean town, where some of the scenes of the movie are being filmed.
In the 2006
, Bond is seen at the beginning of his career before he received his "license to kill," and falls head-over-heels in love with Vesper Lynd, played by Eva Green, only to discover she's a double agent.
Vesper's betrayal and death shook Bond so badly that in the next installment of his adventures he needs to get to the truth in order to move on with his life, Craig said.
In true Bond style, the fast and furious action moves around the globe with scenes also taking place in Austria, Haiti and Italy, as Bond tracks down Dominic Greene, played by Mathieu Amalric, the evil leader of a criminal organization.
Greene is bent on laying his hand on the vast natural resources of Bolivia by supporting a coup d'etat in the unstable Latin American country.
The team began working on
Quantum of Solace
in Chile last week, after spending a month and a half working in Panama and the Mexican state of Baja California.
And of course no Bond would be complete without a lovely sidekick, this time in the shape of Ukrainian-born model and actress Olga Kurylenko, who plays the beautiful and feisty Camille.
In Chile, the action centers on the Cerro Paranal observatory, which Greene had chosen as headquarters for his operations.
"Look outside. This genuinely does not exist anywhere else on earth," Craig said, pointing out of the window.
The arrival of the film crew here has caused a wave of excitement in this normally quiet scientific community, located in the mountains 2,400 meters (7,870 feet) above sea level.
"This was a special week," said Frank Ruseler, administrator of Paranal, "We always receive visitors from the press, but this commotion is something new."
But the filming itself is taking place outside, far from the scientists and their telescopes considered to be the most powerful in the world.
"Last year, sometime around September or October, I received a letter with the letterhead of 007," recalled Tim de Zeeuw, director general of the science center. "At first I thought it was a joke."
The scientists have however laid down certain conditions: the filming has to end after dark to avoid interfering with the work of the observatory crew, which starts peering into the sky 20 minutes after sunset.
German director Marc Foster noted that he first saw the Paranal facilities on the Internet and thought the site was perfect for a duel between the villain and the distressed Bond.
"Locations are characters themselves," the director argued.
"If you have an action sequence you have to tell a story, because drama and action go hand in hand," he said. "And I think one inspires the other. If you don't have a story with the action, then the action is empty."
The maker of
The Kite Runner
said the desert itself "brings with it sort of isolation and loneliness, and I think that is what is going on within Bond, the psychological phase he is going through."
The landscapes of northern Chile are very similar to those of Bolivia, where, according to the script, a coup is being planned.
"I think what it is is looking at places that are potentially weak," Craig added. "Somewhere where there is a destabilized place that ... bad guys, whatever the nationality, can take advantage of."