Michael G Wilson and newly announced Bond Girl Stephanie Sigman appeared before reporters in Mexico City as SPECTRE‘s first unit arrived to shoot the pre-title sequence.
The last week has seen the next Bond film under scrutiny for allegedly making script changes to secure up to $20 million in tax incentives from the Mexican government after emails between Sony executives the Bond producers were leaked in the Sony hack.
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Specifically, the (unnamed) Mexican authorities are supposed to have stipulated that Mayor of Mexico City be changed to a foreign diplomat; the Bond Girl role, Estrella, be given to a Mexican actress; the assassin Bond is pursuing (Sciarra) should not be Mexican; the Mexican police should be replaced by a special police force; aerial shots should show the modern side of Mexico City; and the chase should take place during the Day of the Dead celebrations (which take place between 31st October and 2nd November).
Wilson was naturally asked about this story, to which he responded:
“Everywhere we go we have incentives. Sometimes they’re tax incentives, sometimes they’re other kinds of incentives. In this particular case, we have private companies who have come together as a joint venture to support tourism in this country”
Talking about Sciarra and Estrella, he said:
There is nothing in the script that we hadn’t had before. The villain was always an Italian … we already shot that in Rome… We always had a Mexican actress playing this part.”
Given that Sciarra sounds Italian name it seems likely he was always going to be Italian and choosing a Mexican actress as a Bond Girl for these scenes is logical. The script changes mentioned don’t really seem all that significant anyway and the criticisms that Mexico was trying to buy a positive image overdone; why would any country want to cooperate with film-makers if it is going to be painted in a poor light?
Certainly Mexico has a huge image problem thanks to drug related violence and corruption, but there can be few who realistically think that highlighting Mexico City’s good points in SPECTRE will overturn its poor international standing.
Source: Hollywood Reporter