21. March 2007

Barrandov Studios says it has met with representatives of MGM, Columbia Pictures and Eon Productions to discuss hosting the 22nd James Bond film in Prague. Barrandov Studio Tomas Zelazko told the Czech daily Hospodarske noviny that no decision on the shooting location had been made yet, but that the producers had been "very satisfied" with their experience shooting Casino Royale in Prague. But the Czech Republic still offers filmmakers no tax incentives. At the beginning of the year, the UK introduced a new tax credit, available to films spending 25% of their budget in the UK. The tax credit should go some way toward recovering productions like Casino Royale that have been lured abroad. Filming on Bond 22 should begin early next year with a planned premiere of Nov 7, 2008. Zelazko said a decision on filming locations could be made "at any time". Screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are reportedly working out a script based on Ian Fleming's short stories The Hildebrand Rarity, The Property Of A Lady, Risico and 007 In New York. Daniel Craig is expected to reprise his role as James Bond. Earlier this month, Casino Royale and GoldenEye director Martin Campbell told USA Today that he would not rule out returning to the director's chair for Bond 22. "I would just say I'd never say never," he told the US daily. Prague-based production company Stillking Films, which served as a co-producer on Casino Royale, also confirmed that it had been in contact with the producers. A study by Olsberg SPI released in 2005 recommended the Czech government introduce a 12.5% tax break for film production, but politicians have not implemented the recommendation. Despite the lack of incentives, the Czech Republic has an established record of successful shoots. Already this year has hosted StudioCanal's sci-fi thriller Babylon AD and has been confirmed as a location for The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Universal's Wanted. Neither MGM or Columbia were willing to comment last night.