After the breathtaking foot-chase and mid-air helicopter sequences shot in Mexico City earlier this year, set against the backdrop of the Dia del los Muertos (‘Day of the Dead’) festivities, James Bond is returning to the thriving metropolis for another all time high: a special Premiere.
In a press release issued by EON Productions, MGM and Sony Pictures on October 9, the producers of the new 007 movie said they ‘are delighted to announce that Mexico City will host the Premiere of the Americas for the 24th James Bond adventure SPECTRE on Monday, November 2′.
The press statement continued: ‘The Premiere of the Americas will follow the World Premiere in London and marks the first time that Mexico has hosted an international James Bond premiere. The date coincides with the colourful Day of the Dead festivities across Mexico in celebration of the film’s spectacular opening sequence set in Mexico City’.
EON Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli commented: ‘We owe our magnificent Day of the Dead opening squences, shot in Mexico City, to the expert craftsmanship of our wonderful British and Mexican crews. With 2015 being the Year of Mexico in the UK and the Year of the UK in Mexico, it is fitting that the Premiere of the Americas will take place in Mexico City’.
Following the UK Premiere and general release on October 26, SPECTRE will begin it rollout in North America and South America on November 6.
The Living Highlights
While some additional shots were filmed at Pinewood later on, much of the footage for the complex but amazing pre-credits for the 24th 007 movie was shot on location over the course of three weeks in March this year. It involved the use of a number of buildings and streets in the historic centre of Mexico City, including sequences at the Plaza Tolsa and the Plaza de la Constitucion. The production team employed some 2,500 local people on the movie and it is estimated that thousands of dollars were spent locally, bringing huge economic dividends to the City.
Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman was awarded the role of Estrella, who was joined by Bond star Daniel Craig for key sequences filmed in the City. Craig was also seen at one point climbing out of a hotel window and walking along a high-rise balcony, in a sequence shot at the Old Senate building.
The main aim of the Mexico City shooting, under the firm hand of director Sam Mendes, was to film a gritty chase sequence through the streets, set against the backdrop of the ‘Day of the Dead’ crowds who throng the area. 007 was filmed chasing the white-suited but very bloodied Marco Sciarra (played by Alessandro Cremona).
A huge amount of attention was given to assembling and co-ordinating the Day of the Dead extras and ensuring that the highly colourful and visually-striking costumes, together with some very large Catrina figures, were given full justice on screen. The various eery-looking skulls and skeletons associated with the Dia del los Muertos will undoubtedly add a suitably memorable air to the pre-credits, an opening sequence which Michael G. Wilson reckons is one of the ‘biggest opening sequences I think the Bond franchise has ever done’.
This foot-chase through the streets was followed by some truly spectacular stunt work involving a hand-to-hand fight in a helicopter flying low over the famous Zocalo square, and over other streets and buildings in the city centre.
SPECTRE marks the fourth time James Bond has been to Mexico and, indeed, Licence to Kill (1989) was shot almost entirely in Mexico City. Bond’s special links to Mexico therefore make it doubly appropriate that the latest entry in the franchise should kick-start its opening in the Americas with a red-carpet Premiere in Mexico City.
Did You Know?
Although it is called the ‘Day of the Dead’, in reality much of the activity associated with the festival usually takes place over the course of two nights in November, where one night involves families welcoming back children who have died, and the second night remembers adults who have passed away. This long-standing and nationwide tradition, which marks the return of lost souls to earth, can be traced back to the indigenous tribes of Mexico.