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Bond coming? Only Trivedi can tell

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By SANJAY MANDAL
  • Published 27.08.11
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Calcutta, Aug. 26: Whether Daniel Craig will do his daring 007 stunts on the roofs of running trains and tracks in India will be decided by a Bond admirer in Rail Bhavan.

Dinesh Trivedi, the railway minister from Calcutta who confessed he likes watching 007 movies, will meet the film team that wants to shoot the next James Bond film in the country.

Where? The crew won’t spell it out, but the buzz is the shooting may be in Goa or near Ahmedabad.

The meeting with Trivedi is scheduled for Monday.

“I received a request from the unit members today and have called them for a meeting on Monday. I will be pro-active to sort out the problem,” Trivedi told The Telegraph from New Delhi.

“I’ll have to find out about the problems. It will be solved but I’ll ensure that passenger safety is not compromised,” he said. “We all love Bond movies and it’ll be good publicity for India and the Indian Railways,” the minister added.

Shooting for the Sam Mendes-directed Bond 23 — that is the working title for the film — could not take off as the railways held back permission for stunts on running trains, citing safety as a reason. A film unit source said the team at one time was planning to shift the location to South Africa.

Rail safety, though, was not the only problem that held back Bond’s second coming to the country. Bond 23 was on hold all of last year because of MGM’s financial troubles.

The only Bond film to be shot in India was Octopussy in 1982 with Roger Moore in the lead. Most of scenes shot in India were in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

A representative for the Bond 23 unit said the team was optimistic about the meeting with Trivedi. “The initial talks with the minister were satisfactory and he seemed keen to remove the bottlenecks,” he said. The shooting is now planned for January-February next year. “Once things are finalised, Daniel Craig would be in India for the shooting,” he revealed.

“We’ll be able to plan things once the ministry gives us the go-ahead. We expect things to get rolling by the middle of next week,” the representative said. After Trivedi’s intervention, things looked positive, he admitted.

Craig, though, would not be the first Bond to do train stunts. Roger Moore, in his first film as Bond, battled a one-armed goon called Tee Hee Johnson in Live and Let Die. The train sequence was shot in New Orleans.

But Indians don’t have to look to Bond to get an adrenaline rush from dare-devil acts on roofs of expresses. Shah Rukh Khan danced to Chaiyya Chaiyya (Dil Se), standing on the roof of a train.