Shooting for Bond 22 starts this week in the
historic Tuscan hill town of Siena, Italy to capture
scenes of a traditional bi-annual horse race...
Bond 22 Pre-Production Diary (5)
13th August 2007
According to a report in The
Times, the 22nd
James Bond film (due out 7th November 2008) will reach its climax
in a chase against the background of the Palio, the centuries-old
and controversial bareback horse race
in the historic Tuscan hill town of Siena, Italy.
As the race is only held twice a year, cameras
are due to roll on Thursday 16th August, when the Palio will
be run. Whilst the plot is being kept under wraps, the town council
at Siena has given permission for a
climax in which James Bond chases the villain through the steep
streets and then pursues him across the rooftops and through
the underground medieval aqueducts, while the horses thunder
round the Campo, the main square. There is no indication that Bond
himself will be riding any horses during the film. Furthermore,
filming this week will focus on the race, with scenes
involving actors inserted later. There will be 14 cameras placed
at strategic positions around the arena but helicopters have
Above: The carroccio of Siena,
during the procession preceding the Palio of August
The Times reports that film-makers have
agreed to “strict conditions” obliging them to treat
the race with “full respect”, according to Il Giornale.
They are forbidden from showing any violence “involving
either people or animals” that may occur. It is this violence
that animal rights campaigners regular protest against, and activists
have seized on the disclosure of filming that would "
race that was a relic
of medieval brutality”. They say that 50 horses have been
killed since 1970, with many others injured. Eleonora di Giuseppe,
spokeswoman for the Italian Federation of Equestrian Sport, said
yesterday that using the Palio in a Bond film would glamorise
a race “in which horses are exposed to unacceptable risks”.
Above: Thousands of spectators,
coming from all the world, fill the Piazza del Campo
to capacity on the day of the Palio di Siena.
The Palio is held twice a year, on festivals
dedicated to the Virgin Mary – July 2, the Feast of the
Visitation, and August 16, the day after the Feast of the Assumption
the Italian August bank holiday. The brief and intense Palio,
run on packed sand in the Campo, is not a tourist attraction
but a fiercely cherished
part of the Sienese way of life dating back to the 11th century.
It is preceded by weeks of build-up and colourful pageantry,
with each horse representing one of the 17 contrade, or city
guilds. The Campo is always packed with
tens of thousands of spectators in an atmosphere bordering on
hysteria. In the morning the horses are blessed in their contrada’s
churches. The race runs for three laps of the Campo and the winner
is awarded a palio, a banner of painted silk.
Above: View of the
Piazza del Campo, where the Palio is run (left),
Banners of the Contrade sold before the beginning of the race (right)
Bond 22 is shaping up to be a European adventure,
as MI6 reported last month that location shooting could also
take in an impressive
Opera set in Austria and
a ski sequence. The majority
of filming will take place at Pinewood
Studios in the UK.
Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon
Productions), QUANTUM OF SOLACE was released in the
UK on October 31st 2008 and is directed by
Marc Forster. Principal photography started on January
Pinewood Studios and around the UK, and foreign locations
including Italy, Panama, Chile, Peru and Austria.
Paul Haggis completed the script based on a first draft
screenplay developed by regular scribes Neal Purvis & Robert
Wade, with later polish by Joshua Zetumer. The story
is a direct continuation of the events of Casino
Royale. 007 faces off against
villains Mathieu Amalric (Dominic Greene), Anatole
Taubman (Elvis) and Joaquin Cosío (General Medrano).
Olga Kurylenko (Camille) and Gemma Arterton (MI6 Agent
Fields) play the Bond Girls. Dame Judi Dench (M), Jeffrey
Wright (Felix Leiter) and Giancarlo Giannini (Mathis)
reprise their roles as Bond's allies. It is British
actor Daniel Craig’s second outing as James Bond,
following his debut film Casino Royale released November