IVER HEATH, England – In the dim light of a small and deserted square, the flicker of a neon bar sign exposes the silhouette of a man in a suit. Suddenly, an explosion lights up the screen to reveal Daniel Craig, back with a license to kill one last time.
This was just a glimpse of the latest James Bond installment “No Time To Die” that EFE was shown during a tour of the famous Pinewood Studios.
Amid the giant cranes and green screens, you could be mistaken for thinking you had just stepped foot on the streets of Havana. But this is just outside London and, of course, it is raining outside.
“Filming in Cuba was complicated, especially when you have to deal with American financing, so we had to recreate the country in Jamaica and here (Pinewood),” producer Michael J. Wilson told journalists who had come to visit the set.
The movie, which has a budget of around $250 million, has been filmed in several countries around the world, including Jamaica, Norway, Italy, Scotland and England.
“We knew we wanted to go to Jamaica because it was where Ian Fleming wrote the novels. We always say Jamaica is Bond’s spiritual home, so it was a must,” said Barbara Broccoli, another of the film’s producers who has been working on the Bond franchise since she was just 17.
Pinewood, which is located in Buckinghamshire, some 27 kilometers outside of London, has been setting the scene for the Bond universe for decades.
The 007 set was constructed in 1976 for “The Spy Who Loved Me,” and nowadays the brains behind the movie series have 18,000 square meters to play with, spread across a series of industrial buildings, each one a mini Bond world in itself.
“Michael went to Cuba and took photos of his favorite places. Then, we selected the best photos and that’s how we created this stage,” art director Chris Lowe said, showing some of his snapshots from the Caribbean island.
“There’s 300 people working in the construction team, so we need to have everything prepared beforehand to avoid surprises and to be able to adapt to any unexpected changes,” he added.
Over in Costume, designer Suttirat Larlarb revealed some tidbits about the garments worn by Bond’s stars, such as the fact that they needed 33 tuxedos for 007 or that the coat Moneypenny (played by Naomie Harris) wears is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.
The list of vehicles used for the film would leave any motorhead speechless. A fleet of 14 cars will feature in the movie, including 10 Aston Martins (only two of which are the genuine thing).
“No Time To Die” will undoubtedly satisfy keen followers of the Bond saga, but it will also come with a pinch of nostalgia as Craig bids farewell to a character he has embodied since Casino Royale in 2006.
“In this film, Daniel Craig reaches his character arc, especially on the emotional side. He has completed the cycle of his five films and we think it has been a very satisfying conclusion,” Broccoli said.
“I think the fact that it was his last film, has pushed us one step further to make this the best film ever,” she added, notably emotional about the coming to an end of one of the most popular Bonds.
The identity of Craig’s successor has been a mystery ever since it was confirmed this would be his last run as 007. Whoever comes next will have some big shoes to fill.