A few weeks back we learned that the next James Bond movie - still tentatively titled Bond 23 - would involve a major action set piece involving 007 hopping trains along the Indian Railways transit system. Later we learned that said train sequence could in fact be the big opening set piece of the film, if Bond 23 is based on the novel Carte Blanche, as has been rumored.
However, it now seems that the sequence in question has been derailed into rewrite because of...freeloading train passengers?
Apparently that's the case, since Hindustantimes reports that Indian Railways officials had a problem with how the scene was initially depicted in the script by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan; specifically, the moment where Bond leaps off a motorcycle onto a moving train, the roof of which is loaded with freeloading passengers.
For those not in the know (like myself): apparently, people stowing away on train roofs is a major problem for Indian Railways, and the last thing they want is a James Bond movie giving any of the impressionable citizens of India any ideas - or depicting their transit system in an unfavorable light, no doubt.
Said Indian Railways Minister, Dinesh Trivedi:
"Rooftop travel is illegal in India and it cannot be encouraged...There are many trains in India and not all trains have people traveling on the rooftops,"
The minister also had other stipulations, like filming of the scene not disrupting any train passengers, and maybe an endorsement for Indian Railways from 007 himself, Daniel Craig, with the (hilarious) suggested tagline: "Indian Railways is as strong as James Bond." No word yet on if the filmmakers will acquiesce to the endorsement request - gotta love those foreign ad campaigns, though (see below):
All things considered, this seems like an easy fix for the Bond 23 filmmakers - just change "Bond leaps from motorcycle onto crowded train roof," to "Bond leaps from motorcycle onto empty train roof." Boom, done.
As for Bond 23 on the whole: we're still waiting to hear if Naomie Harris is playing Moneypenny, as well as whether Ralph Fiennes and/or Javier Bardem are playing the villain(s) in the film. Oh, and there's still the small matter of an official title, as well.
With a proposed released date of November 9, 2012, the details about Bond 23 will almost certainly be coming to light sooner, before later. Stay tuned.