Daniel Craig as James Bond
WARNING: Possible plot spoilers
Filming for Quantum of Solace has officially begun in Panama. According to a report from Mi Diario, a launch party was held at the National Theatre with stars Daniel Craig (along with girlfiend Satsuki Mitchell), Olga Kurylenko, Gemma Arterton, Giancarlo Giannini, Dame Judi Dench and director Marc Forster attending a dinner at the event.
Craig reportedly arrived in the country on 4 February and has been in preparations for shooting scenes at the decommissioned US Howard Air Force Base (turned over to Panama in 2000), located on the west side of the Panama Canal.
A report at DIAaDIA Online points out that Panama shooting officially began for Quantum of Solace on 7 February, while the 11th of this month will see the Bond production moving to the National Institute of Culture building, which is being transformed into the ‘Andean Grand Hotel.’ Featuring refurbished halls and stairs, the building will serve as the location for one of the main action sequences in the film where, according to local press, an assassination attempt is made on 007 while he is in one of the elevators.
Filming at the National Institute of Culture building is expected to go on until 13 February, with shooting planned to take place at a few other sites in the area, including the former colonial social club.
Other filming sites for Quantum of Solace include the Patio Rochet’ between 6:00pm and 6:00am on 14 and 15 February (as pointed out by CommanderBond.net earlier this month). A note published by the local press was signed by James Grant, the location manager in Panama, who apologised in advance for the ‘degree of disturbance’ that the shooting will likely cause.
Roads that will be closed due to filming include Calle 16 Oeste (located alongside the National Bank) in Santa Ana and 18 Sta. Ana. Filming is expected to be concluded by the 21st of the month.
As earlier reported by CBn, Panama was assumed to be doubling for another country in the film, and while the 007 producers wouldn’t comment further on exactly which one, local officials seemed fairly convinced it was Bolivia.
Now, further confirmation of this location detail has been provided at the Los Cuatro Tulipanes blog, where a James Bond fan notes of the current Bond production at the Old Town (also known as El Casco Antiguo and El Casco Viejo):
One conversation spilled the beans about the renovation process on Club Union, which I found out will be transformed into an Embassy. I hear the word “Boliva” tossed around a lot by these guys which makes me believe that our beloved Casco Viejo streets may not be featuring as themselves in the movie, but rather as the Latin American neighbor to the south.
The Cultural Institute (that’s what it’s called, right?) we have here, next to the famed Las Bovedas restaurant, is currently being given a facelift as well. They’ve affixed awnings to many of the windows, donning the words “Grand Andean Hotel”. The Andes, being the world’s largest mountain range, sit between Boliva and Peru which would make perfect sense for the Boliva lead I picked up.
Keep your eyes on the CommanderBond.net main page for all the latest news and complete coverage of Quantum of Solace.