1. 'Quantum of Solace' Production Heading Back To Siena

    By Devin Zydel on 2008-03-17
    Picture: Daniel Craig

    Daniel Craig is James Bond in Quantum of Solace

    WARNING: Major plot spoilers

    Way back in August of last year, news broke on the main page that some early filming for Daniel Craig’s second James Bond film (then-titled Bond 22) had taken place at the Tuscan town of Siena, Italy.

    At the time, the filming took place during the bi-annual Palio di Siena horse race that is to be included as part of a major action sequence in Quantum of Solace.

    As reported then: the sequence sees 007 pursuing one of the film’s villains down narrow cobbled streets, then across the town’s rooftops and through its medieval aqueducts as the horses charge around the Piazza del Campo. The town’s bottini, a tangled network of underground tunnels, are also featured.

    Daniel Craig attends the Palio di Siena in August 2007

    Daniel Craig attends
    the Palio di Siena in August 2007

    Since then, several updates about a follow-up to the Siena filming have been published recently in the La Nazione newspaper.

    Preparations for the rooftop filming began on 11 February and are expected to last until early April. According to line producer Guido Cerasuolo of Mestiere Cinema, the Venitian production firm that previously worked on Casino Royale, scenes will also be shot in the marble Fantiscritti and Canalgrande quarries, located in the Tuscan city of Carrara. ‘We agree with the mayor, we will begin shooting in April,’ said Cerasuolo.

    A seperate article (click here to read) also shed some light on what to expect in the opening scenes of Quantum of Solace:

    The film is expected to open at Lago di Garda (as reported earlier by CBn), the largest and deepest lake in Italy. The sequence will reportedly quickly move into a mountain road chase set against the backdrop of the Apuan Alps, with 007 being pursued by the police. In addition to the special effects, jumps, skids and spins, a ‘helicopter escape’ was also briefly mentioned.

    A follow-up article posted at revealed that it is the film’s villains who send the police after Bond in this opening sequence.

    Daniel Craig at the Palio di Siena in August 2007 Daniel Craig at the Palio di Siena in August 2007 Daniel Craig at the Palio di Siena in August 2007
    Daniel Craig at the Palio di Siena in August 2007

    Indicating that the film’s chase has now moved from Lago di Garda to the quarries at Carrara, the report states that Bond makes his way through the Canalgrande and Fantiscritti quarries, while still being pursued by the police. After eventually shaking off the police, Bond is expected to emerge out of the Miseglia (a frazione, or subdivision in Carrara) tunnel and eventually arrives in Siena.

    An article from the February 2008 edition of Il Tirreno also revealed details on the action sequence:

    Calling the filming in Miseglia, an ‘extraordinary event’ for the city, the report notes that a Bond production crew of roughly 200 people is expected to arrive on 25 April. Filming will then take place between the Passo del Vestito and Altagnana (with the chase culminating on the Piazza del Campo) from 2 to 9 May. Filming at the Fantiscritti location will follow on the 10th to the 12th.

    Furthermore, Corriere di Siena recently published additional details about the portion of the chase sequence that will take place on foot.

    Palio di Siena

    Palio di Siena

    A second unit for the film and four stuntmen have been preparing for a section of the sequence that will involve a modified bus. Expected to begin at Siena’s Saint George Church, Bond will reportedly emerge from the building and jump onto a bus driving at breakneck speed against traffic and heading towards one of the city’s bridges.

    Lastly, the La Nazione newspaper reported on 15 March on the extensive construction currently going on to prepare for the 007 filming.

    In addition, after more than 1500 auditions for roles as extras, 300 people in Siena have already been cast.

    Quantum of Solace art director Mike Stalion said: ‘This area is wonderful, it’s ideal for the most fantastic [sequence in the newest Bond film.] About 10 minutes of incredible acrobatics on the rooftops and balconies, it’ll be a memorable scene.’

    Daniel Craig is expected to arrive for filming in April.

    We’ll keep you updated as more details on this major action sequence are revealed.

    Stay tuned to the CBn main page for the most up-to-date and complete coverage of Quantum of Solace.