[Update: Indian Railways officials have demanded changes to the Bond train sequence. Go HERE for details.]
India is apparently trying to lure a big-budget Hollywood movie into shooting within its boarders - namely director Sam Mendes' new installment of the James Bond franchise, which is still going by the tentative title of Bond 23 until a more fitting subtitle can be found for 007's 23rd cinematic adventure.
The Times of India recently did a report on some logistical hurdles that are currently standing in the way of Mendes' Bond film shooting in the far eastern country, and in detailing that report, ToI also revealed a big action sequence set piece that has been planned for the film.
Here's what we know so far about Bond 23: not a whole lot. Mendes is directing and Daniel Craig will be back as Bond, with Dame Judi Dench returning as Bond's boss, "M."
Beyond that there have been rumors of varying degrees of believability, with some of the most likely speculation pointing to a female supporting role being snagged by actress Naomie Harris (possibly playing Moneypenny), and Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem possibly playing a mastermind villain and ruthless hitman villain, respectively.
Will the new Bond film attempt to tie-off the storyline about the clandestine and villainous Quantum Organization, which started with Casino Royale and (sort of) continued in Quantum of Solace? Or is it going to transition into a new Bond adventure? These questions have yet to be answered.
One thing we do know today: there will be trains involved. Check out the report from The Times of India regarding the particular sequence that could be potentially shot in India, as told by Pravesh Sahni of Take One Productions:
"This could be one of the biggest Hollywood movies shot in our country. Trains are the backbone of the film. We'll pay for the shooting and also mention Indian Railways in the credit line. The shooting was supposed to happen in October-November. Now, we've postponed it to January-February. For the past three months, we've been trying to get things in order. The film has Daniel Craig doing stunts on a freight train. While the Indian Railways has given us permission to shoot, I need to meet someone and explain how important it is for us to block two tracks for eight hours a day over five to six days. For the past 15 days, I've been trying to get someone to hear me out. South African authorities are waiting to provide everything that is required to support this movie. If we can't get this cooperation from India, the film will no longer be shot here."
While there's not much to go on there, this description does leave room for a lot of fun speculation. If the story of Bond 23 does still revolve around Quantum, it's conceivable that the evil cabal could meet on high-speed trains, as they did in an opera house audience during Quantum of Solace. It's also possible that trains could be turned into dangerous weapons (see: Unstoppable), which Bond must then disarm. Or, this train sequence could be just one of many chase sequences that come with a Bond film. The only thing worth really noting is Sahni's claim that "Trains are the backbone of the film." Your guess is as good as any as to how exactly that backbone will function.
It's highly unlikely, but it would be interesting to see the globe-trotting Bond movies contained to more limited setting for once (like on a train or several trains). It'd be tricky to pull off while still giving fans that James Bond-brand experience they know and love - but it would be interesting, is all I'm saying.
We'll know more soon as Bond 23 starts production this fall in order to meet its November 9, 2012 release date.