"We're going to have to make that decision again," Wilson toldScreenDaily. "London is the most expensive city in the world right now. To bring talent here and put them up here for long periods of timeand the cost of doing business here is a factor. Whether the new taxincentives will balance that out or not is something we still have tocalculate."
The news that the Bond team is again wavering about setting up shop inthe UK is bound to provoke alarm in the local film industry, whereBond is seen as a flagship. The decision (announced in the summer of2005) to shoot large parts of the most recent Bond film Casino Royaleat the Barrandov Studios in Prague caused dismay in Britain.
Bond 21, which has been hailed by critics as a successful reinvention of the franchise, opens in the UK and elsewhere this week.Many had hoped that the new UK film tax incentives - considered to beespecially attractive to bigger budgeted films - would ensurethat Bond opted for Pinewood.
However, Wilson has joined thegrowing band of critics questioning certain aspects of the incentives. "The biggest problem for us is the notion that the spend is in whereyou film rather than where you actually spend," he stated. "If we build a prop hereand ship it overseas to film, all that is bad spend, which seemsludicrous because it could cost us $1m to make, say, five cars -and yet ship them overseas and shoot them for a week and it is allconsidered bad spend."
Asked whether he was happy with the assistance given to him by theBritish authorities, the Bond producer gave an equivocal response: "TheFilm Minister position is a stepping stone for junior ministers tostart to get into Government," he said.
"It's hard to find anyone whois there for more than a year. That's just the way it is. It's arevolving door. It's hard to find a consistent policy. It's hard to getto talk to people there and to make a lasting impression."Bond 22's release date has now been put back to November 2008 (it hadoriginally been earmarked for a May 2008 release.) Wilson and Broccoliare yet to appoint a director following the withdrawal of Roger Michellfrom the project earlier this year.
Wilson has dismissed speculation(rife on the internet) that Tom Stoppard will be working on thescreenplay with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
However, the producers haven't discounted the possibility that Martin Campbell (who has beenreceiving plaudits for his work on Casino Royale) may be persuaded totake up the directorial reins again. "He (Campbell) is taking a holidayfor a few months - we'll see what he feels like when he gets back."