Friday, April 04, 2008

The Protester at the 007 James Bond Film Set

source: BBC News

CHILE - A local politician has been arrested after driving onto the Chilean set of the latest Bond film Quantum of Solace to protest against the filming. Carlos Lopez briefly interrupted the shooting in the town of Baquedano, 995 miles north of Chile capital Santiago. According to local media, he objected to its producers using his community to film scenes ostensibly set in Bolivia.

A spokeswoman for Bond producers Eon said it was "a small incident that took no more than five minutes to clear up". She also disputed the description of Mr Lopez as "mayor" of the Sierra Gorda municipality, saying she understood he had been suspended five months ago.

According to Anne Bennett, Eon's director of marketing, Mr Lopez nearly ran over a local policeman on Tuesday as he drove through a cordon around the train station being used for the filming. He pulled up in his saloon car between the camera and a vehicle in which Bond actor Daniel Craig and co-star Olga Kurylenko were seated. Mr Lopez was immediately arrested for trespassing and detained briefly before being released. It is understood he will appear in court later on Wednesday.

Mr Lopez had previously pledged to disrupt the filming, claiming the Bond producers had failed to obtain his permission to shoot in the municipality of Sierra Gorda. Ms Bennett called the allegation "totally incorrect". She also denied reports that the Bond producers had previously offered Mr Lopez compensation.

Sierra Gorda is part of the Antofagasta region, which Bolivia lost to Chile in the 1879-1883 war between the neighbouring countries. Relations between the South American republics have been strained ever since. Ms Bennett, however, said it was commonplace for scenes set in one country to be shot in another.

Filming in Chile comes to an end on Wednesday, with the main unit returning to Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire next week. The production will then move to Italy and Austria, with principal photography set to end at the beginning of June.

Quantum of Solace, named after an Ian Fleming short story, is released in the UK on 31 October. It is the 22nd official Bond film and the second to star Craig, after 2006's Casino Royale. Its is scheduled for release in November this year.