From Bognor Regis with Love

The tabloid rumour mill on the new James Bond film is in full flow again. The Mirror reported earlier this week that there are budgetary constraints on Skyfall.

Apparently the Bond team are shooting in Bognor Regis after scrapping plans to head for six different exotic countries. Instead of filming in distant locations such as India, China and Bali, they are using various UK beaches for the next Bond film.

“Six different countries were selected but after several technical and financial problems, it was decided to scale back and just use Turkey as the sole foreign location,” a source said. ‘As well as Pinewood’s incredible facilities, the UK has some stunning beaches, particularly along the south coast near Bognor and parts of Wales.’


How Daniel Craig would look in his speedos on Bognor Regis beach


So it looks like Daniel Craig’s latest Bond film will now have to make do with the British seaside as a location. There is a lot riding on Skyfall. After the disappointment of Quantum of Solace, which failed to live up to the expectations created by Craig’s brilliant first outing Casino Royale, EON went out guns blazing, to hire Sam Mendes as director, and a star-studded cast including Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem.

But now, according to reports, budgetary constraints have meant that Skyfall can no longer afford to film in five of its planned six countries. Apparently now it’ll just be shot in Turkey, with Pinewood trying its best to replicate sets of other locations. But it doesn’t stop there. The budget cuts now mean that Skyfall will also be shot in Bognor Regis. A high-level source told the Mirror that “while Bognor is hardly the most exotic of locations, it is important for the franchise that they support British industry, and give something back.”

But maybe these budget constraints could be a positive thing for Skyfall. Judging by EON’s last Bond film, Quantum of Solace, when money was no object, and the film over-indulged with its excessive locations and action set-pieces, the results were plainly obvious – an incoherent, weak storyline, peppered with Bourne-style action scenes, and breakneck speed cuts from one location to another, leaving the audience dizzy and dissatisfied.

This time round, EON will have to be more careful, with both the location-hopping and action sequences, and this can only improve the film. These limitations will hopefully breed creativity. Quantum of Solace seriously lacked the quieter moments that Fleming often indulged in during the novels – Bond sitting on a hotel balcony gazing out to sea, enjoying scrambled eggs for breakfast, taking a cold shower, and this is what was missing from the last movie. It needed a few of these quieter Fleming moments to allow the audience to catch its breath, before the next tick-box-check-list action scene.

Also, one of Fleming’s best novels Moonraker, was set entirely in the UK, and that didn’t harm the storyline. Skyfall needs to strip back the style-over-substance approach, and focus instead on a down-to-earth espionage thriller, more along the lines of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Give me Bond pursuing a villain on foot through the busy streets of London, over a silly, meaningless, OTT speedboat action sequence, any day of the week.

From Bognor Regis with Love indeed!




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