Bond 25: locations

One of the biggest unanswered questions is also a simple one: where will Bond 25 be filmed? The producers, Barbara Broccoli and M.G. Wilson, have been rather coy about announcing the next locations to be seen in Bond 25, but not without giving us a few hints along the way. In some instances, they’ve outright said where a place deemed suitable. In others, however, loose lips and unexplained country visits have instead been making the headlines.
Abu Dhabi. When you think about the UAE’s capital you see a city full of skyscrapers engulfed by the sand dunes of the desert on one side and touching the crystal-clear blue water on the other. This is where Andrew Noakes went in December 2016. Most people have probably never heard of him, so they’d be surprised to hear that he was the associate producer for CR and QoS, and additionally the co-producer for Craig’s last two films as well. (His connection with the franchise actually goes all the way back to Licence To Kill.) Anyhow, he visited the F1 track, the ‘new’ Louvre, and also flew over the aforementioned desert. It was a location scouting trip made public (by a small news website), although it was never talked about by the producers personally. Noakes’ relation to the Bond films is undeniably solid, thus we can assume that he’ll also be working on Bond 25. The question is if this trip was intended to scout B25 locations or EON’s new thriller “The Rhythm Section”, which comes out next year. If Abu Dhabi doesn’t appear in that then there’s a big chance that Bond will travel to it next. Noakes wouldn’t have gone there for no reason.
Moving on, one place Barbara Broccoli actually mentioned shooting a (future) Bond film is Ireland. She said it recently during an interview regarding her new thriller: “Ireland plays many different things in this movie. It shows you how versatile it is, that it can be many different places. We love being here, we love the Irish crew… [..] Let’s see, maybe we’ll try and get Bond here at some point. I must say, having experienced, it I would love to come back.” She seems very enthusiastic about the country and looking at the history of the franchise, the producers prefer using successful locations over and over. A parallel would be Jamaica, where they also love filming because of the competent English-speaking movie crews. So with Ireland’s breathtaking landscapes and bountiful infrastructure for making high-budget films, there’s a good chance we might see it used as a Bond 25 filming location – even if they only shoot inside the studio.
Another possible location to shoot Bond 25 is Dubrovnik, Croatia. It was first reported by MI6 HQ in February this year, when the city’s mayor admitted to being in “advanced stage of negotiations” with the producers. Dubrovnik is a small coastal town and is perhaps most famous for its walls, turrets and towers, which completely surround it. It also boasts a small fortress and a cable car system. It’s important to know that Croatia has a lot of incentives to get studios to film on location and also use their Croatian movie crews. It’s similar to Mexico’s strategy of handing out a gigantic bonus. We all know that the producers took the offer last time, so why should this be any different… Fast forward to September and a Croatian news outlet stated that negotiations were still underway, but that Daniel Craig was going to be filming there early 2018 anyway. This is very unlikely though, because there have been no official announcements for the director, cast, or even the distributor yet. Without those things, there is no chance that they’d film so early, considering that the film comes out late 2019 as well. But the important part of the statement is about the ongoing negotiations; the producers must really want to go to Croatia if they haven’t given up yet.
Out of these three possible locations, Croatia seems the most likely because it’s very photogenic, has great incentives, and the producers have been continuously negotiating for 6 months already. Of course, there are many other places that Bond 25 will shoot at that we don’t yet know about. We’ll need to wait until Autumn 2018 to get an exact answer to that.

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