Location shooting for the 22nd James Bond film looks destined to take place in Austria as negotiations to use the floating opera stage near completion...

Bond 22 Pre-Production Diary (20)
13th December 2007

As MI6 first reported, the production crew of the upcoming Bond 22 movie have considered Austria as a shooting location since August. Local news confirms today that shooting arrangements have been finalised for for the 22nd James Bond film.

A casting session for around 2000 extras will be held in Bregenz in mid-January. Although there is no contractual agreement in place yet, the tight shooting schedule is reportedly behind the move to make arrangements. The extras will make up an "audience" for a performance of the opera "Tosca" - which will act as a backdrop to action involving 007.

Above: The impressive set for the production of Tosca on the floating stage in Bregenz, Austria

Leonhard Gmür, the manager of Swiss production company Unicorn, told reporters he is bust preparing filming for Vorarlberg, which includes casting extras and making accommodation arrangements for cast and crew. Gmür and Unicorn has previous experience working for Eon Productions with "Goldeneye" (1995) and "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997).

Gmür stressed that shooting arrangements had not been finalised yet due to ongoing negotiations with the team behind "Tosca" and the Bregenz Festival because they have to consent to the use of the stage and its design and direction. Axel Renner, spokesman for the festival, said talks were in full swing, and the timetable is not yet at risk.

The opera stage "Seebühne Bregenzer" is currently scheduled to host James Bond in late April with filming to take place at night. A short driving sequence (presumable in the recently confirmed Aston Martin DBS) will take place in the old town of Feldkirch.


Above: The city of Bregenz in the Voralberg region of Austria.

Bond 22 In Austria - A Brief History
Austria first hit the Bond 22 newswires in August, when MI6 reported that the production team had visited the city of Bregenz to take in a rehearsal performance of "Tosca" a unique Opera stage which floats on the water (known as the "Seebühne"). The stage is a key tourist attraction of the region, and due to the expensive sets used in the productions, each opera is featured for two consecutive years. The production team also visited the Festival Opera House in the city during the trip.

Above: The central 'eye' rotates in the stage backdrop (left),
the 7000-strong audience watches from inclined seating (right)

A month later, location scouting took place again in Voralberg, the westernmost state of Austria. Though it is the nation's second smallest state in terms of area (Vienna is the smallest), Voralberg borders Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Bregenz is the capital of the Voralberg region, which also is one of the five cities (the other four are: Dornbirn, Hohenems, Feldkirch and Bludenz). Production representatives were also interested in the modern architecture around the Rhine Valley region Ländle. Location scouting also took in the art gallery in Bregenz, the area of Bodensee around Lake Constance, and the nearby Friedrichshafen airport across the border in Germany, and then between the cities of Dornbirn and Friedrichshafen.

On November 23rd, location scouts flew in to Friedrichshafen airport and moved to the Old Town of Feldkirch in the Voralberg region. Press reports that the production team ignored the Christmas market that had just been put in place for the holidays, instead focusing on the historic buildings and arcades. A day later, members of the production team were in the nearby town of Bregenz to develop negotiations. Agreements to film the floating opera stage that currently hosts "Tosca" were ongoing.

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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 3rd 2008 at 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 16th 2006.