James Bond behind the scenes: How were James Bond locations chosen for 007’s adventures?
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James Bond has been everywhere from fighting in the tundra against the elements to sunning himself on a tropical island. Wherever he is based, he always finds the more gorgeous woman to aid him on his adventures, which often take him even further round the world. But how were the vast and exciting filming locations for the Bond franchise chosen?
James Bond has seemingly travelled more than any other character in the world.
Despite being a very English gentleman who is expected to fight for Queen and Country, he certainly has a way of finding the most exotic locations in which to do this.
Each of his adventures was based on the books, meaning the locations could be as far-flung as his author, Ian Fleming, decided they should be.
With that being said, however, some of the adventures which take place closer to home are relocated for the sake of the movies.
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Take, for example, From Russia with Love, the 1963 movie starring Sir Sean Connery.
This movie was mainly shot in Istanbul, Turkey, as per the novel, as well as at Pinewood Studios where the Orient Express was created, also like in the book.
However, the film was also shot a little in Scotland, Switzerland, and ended with a gondola sequence in Venice, none of which appear in the original text.
Moonraker, the 1979 Sir Roger Moore movie, saw filming take place in London, France, the USA, Italy, Brazil, Russia and ‘outer space,’ though these moments were filmed on studio soundstages.
However, Moonraker is famously Ian’s only Bond novel to take place solely in the UK, meaning these locations are pretty far away from the truth.
When it comes to later movies, these are often amalgamations of books and stories from Ian, meaning there is not always an official book from which they are derived.
For example, Skyfall was particularly written without being based on a book, and producers disputed claims it was based on the continuation novel by Jeffrey Deaver, Carte Blanche.
This movie included some similar areas to From Russia With Love, with Turkey and Scotland, as well as London, becoming key filming locations, as well as the island of Macau, and aerial shots of China gave the movie an even further global appeal.
According to one Bond girl, Jane Seymour, there was a pretty good way for producers to choose where 007 would be fighting next – on the nicest travel destinations.
Speaking to Cinemablend, the Live and Let Die star said of her time working in the Bond franchise with Sir Roger: “I used to ask Roger, I said, ‘Look, how do you decide where you’re going to do the next, what the next Bond film is going to be?’
“Because they were running out of books, of course. He said, ‘Oh, we get together and decide where we want to have our next vacation, and then we write a story around it.’
“I went, ‘Ok, well that makes sense.’ … They chose locations first, and then decided on the script that would fit it.
“They don’t do that now, not under Barbara’s watch; but back in the day, it was Harry Saltzman and Cubby, that’s what they did.”
While modern industry standards have deemed this impossible, it seems some of Bond’s early around-the-world escapades make far more sense.
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