Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What you'd expect from a Bond movie...

A PLUME of smoke billows from the set of the new James Bond film Casino Royale yesterday — as a £20 million blaze engulfs it in a real-life drama.

A chain of explosions ripped through Pinewood Studios, in Bucks, after a welder’s stray spark accidently set fire to plastic sheeting and ignited a cluster of gas canisters.

The blaze — visible from ten miles away — sent the roof caving in on Europe’s biggest movie set, destroying a replica of the Italian city of Venice built as a backdrop for actor Daniel Craig.

The set first burned down in 1984 after a gas cylinder exploded. That blaze destroyed a set built for The Spy Who Loved Me in 1976 and used in four subsequent 007 films. Rebuilding costs topped £1.5 million.

Fortunately, the devastation came two weeks AFTER Craig finished shooting Casino Royale, which is out in November. But the next Bond film, due to start in August 2007, will almost certainly be delayed. The insider said: “If this had happened a month ago it would have been a disaster.

Witness Toby Pawson, 19, from Surrey saw the blaze while on a helicopter ride. He said: “It looked amazingly dramatic, just as you’d expect from a Bond movie. There were huge jets of flame.”



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