×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Bond 25’ Gears Up for Shoot in Matera, in Southern Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

Casting for the new James Bond movie is still under way, but a prominent part is set to be played by the ancient southern Italian town of Matera, Variety has learned.

The town of 60,000 people will provide the setting for what is expected to become “Bond 25’s” prologue action sequence, similar to “Spectre’s” opening segment in Mexico City during Day of the Dead celebrations, insiders say. Preparations to accommodate an estimated 500 production people for the shoot, which is expected to take place in late July, are already underway. Matera’s prehistoric whitewashed caves also provided the backdrops for the Jerusalem set of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”

Italy has been featured frequently in the Bond franchise, most recently in “Spectre,” which boasted a high-speed chase along the river Tiber in Rome, among other scenes. The opening scene of “Quantum of Solace” started with a car chase along Lake Garda and then segued to Siena during the Palio horse race.

Line producer Enzo Sisti, who is handling the Italian leg of the “Bond 25” shoot, confirmed that a “big production is coming to Matera” but declined to confirm that it is the next, as-yet-untitled Bond outing. Eon Productions, which is producing “Bond 25” with MGM, did not respond to a request for comment.

Following Gibson’s 2004 “Passion,” Matera hosted portions of MGM’s “Ben Hur” and Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman.” The town is a Unesco World Heritage site and one of this year’s Capitals of Culture designated by the European Union.

“Bond 25” will be able to tap into Italy’s tax credits, which cover 30% of eligible production costs, with a €20 million ($22.7 million) cap, and provide immediate cash-back benefits as soon as cameras start rolling.

Daniel Craig returns as 007 in the new Bond installment, which will be directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. The film’s release date was recently changed from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Parasite

    Mexico’s Cinepolis Launching New Arthouse Distributor with ‘Parasite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico – There’s a new arthouse player in town. Cinepolis, one of the top exhibitors in the world, is launching a new arthouse film distribution unit in Mexico called Sala de Arte Distribucion. Focusing on auteur films that have premiered at leading film festivals worldwide, Sala de Arte launches in December with “Parasite,” Bong [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola's Slam on Marvel Films Fuels Debate Sparked by Martin Scorsese

    Disparaging remarks by Francis Ford Coppola have further inflamed the debate sparked by Martin Scorsese and his criticism of Marvel and other comic book films. At a press conference in Lyon, France, where he was being honored at the Lumiere festival, the “Godfather” director said he fully agreed with Scorsese’s assessment and went even further [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent and Elle

    China Box Office: Hollywood Sweeps Up With ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Gemini Man’

    The first Hollywood blockbusters to hit China after the country’s big National Day holiday have, as expected, swept away holdover patriotic titles that had previously ruled the box office. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” edged out another new release, “Gemini Man,” to lead the pack with a $22.5 million opening weekend. While Disney’s “Maleficent” arrived in [...]

  • Maleficent Mistress of Evil

    Korea Box Office: 'Maleficent 2' Debuts on Top, Deposes 'Joker'

    Given a Thursday opening, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted on top of the South Korean box office. The Walt Disney release earned $4.56 million from 612,000 admissions over four days. The fantasy adventure film accounted for 37% of total weekend box office in the country. “Joker” slipped to second after remaining on top for two [...]

  • Inside an Inox Leisure multiplex in

    India's Inox Multiplex Chain Reveals Ambitious Growth Plans

    Indian multiplex chain Inox Leisure has revealed ambitious plans to more than double its existing screen capacity of 600. The company is planning to add 900 more screens across the country over the next decade. “That’s the realistic answer, but my desire is to do it over the next five years,” Siddharth Jain, director, Inox [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content