We previously heard about the local Indian government and railway ministries being reluctant to allow EON Productions to shoot Bond 23 in their country this winter and the back-up plan was always to move production to South Africa if an agreement couldn't be reached. Now it's confirmed the Plan B is moving ahead with India Take One Productions confirming to The Times of India (via MI6-HQ) newspaper over the weekend that an official EON note dated Thursday 22nd December had ruled out plans to film in India. Pravesh Sahni says; "Bond will not be coming to India," However India Railways, widely believed to be the last hold-up on Bond 23 access in India, told the same newspaper via their executive director Chandralekha Mukherjee;
"We'd given them all the permissions. They wanted to shoot in the Sabarmati yard and had asked to shoot on two gauges - broad gauge and meter gauge - and they wanted these for seven-hour stretches every day for seven days in a row, and we'd agreed. All had been worked out. They also wanted to shoot between Mumbai and Goa on the hero train, and wanted a special shot where a motorcycle from a bridge would jump on to a train, and the coach on which he'd jump needed to be re-enforced, and we agreed." "The matter was finalised by September 13. But a week later, we were informed that after an international discussion, the production team decided not to shoot in India. We've been very cooperative with them. We had ourselves hoped that the movie would be shot here," she confirmed.Certainly one or two plot details to be garnered from the above though in truth we were already aware of the 738km Konkan Railway along and it's stunning scenery that it was hoped would house some particularly memorable moments; So instead it will be South Africa that will house much of Bond 23, with also a stint in Istanbul and Pinewood Studios in the UK. Production will begin in the winter for an October 2012 release in the UK! Expectations are really high for this next instalment and it would seem that Bond 23 is shaping up to be an exciting prospect which we know has a title but EON are waiting for their usual press conference before they will unveil. With an a-list director on board (Sam Mendes), Craig well established in the lead role, Javier Bardem looking likely as the villain with Ralph Fiennes in a major role (could he be Blofeld?) and a welcome return for classic characters (Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny leading to the hope that Q might be back) things are shaping up very nicely indeed.