James Bond had a rather pleasant mission this week – welcoming Prince Charles to the set of “Bond 25.”
The Prince of Wales got a personal tour of Pinewood Studios as he visited the set of the upcoming 25th installment of the suave spy franchise, where he met with 007 actor Daniel Craig as well as Ralph Fiennes, who plays the irascible M.
Clarence House confirmed Charles’ visit in a tweet that read: “The Prince of Wales today toured the James Bond set at @PinewoodStudios, the home of the new film #Bond25. Actors Daniel Craig and Ralph Fiennes, who plays ‘M’ in the films, gave HRH a peek inside his character’s office.”
The 70-year-old royal — who is married to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and is father to Prince William and Prince Harry – also met with actresses Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch, as he watched scenes being filmed.
“The cars are the interesting thing here, much more interesting,” Charles teased.
Pinewood Studios also confirmed the visit when it quoted the first tweet from Clarence House, and said it was “delighted” to have welcomed the royal to the set of the hotly anticipated movie. The title is rumored to be “Shatterhand,” an allusion to super-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
The visit from Prince Charles comes just days after Daniel Craig returned to filming after injuring his ankle and having to undergo “minor” surgery and two weeks of rehab when he slipped while shooting a running scene for the action blockbuster on location in Jamaica.
The Hollywood hunk was reportedly flown to the US after the fall so he could be examined by the same surgeon who has treated Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.
The official Twitter account for Bond 25 released a statement at the time reading: “Daniel Craig will be undergoing minor ankle surgery resulting from an injury sustained during filming in Jamaica. Production will continue whilst Craig is rehabilitating for two weeks post-surgery. The film remains on track for the same release date in April 2020.”
- Aston Martin’s twin-turbo V-6 hybrid Valhalla will star in new Bond film, alongside the Vantage and DB5. Photo: Handout
It’s not the first time Craig was injured during his role as Bond. According to USA Today, Craig lost two teeth shooting a stunt for 2006’s Casino Royale, had a fingertip cut off during 2008’s Quantum of Solace, and hurt his knee in a fight scene for 2015’s Spectre.
Meanwhile, co-star Rami Malek quashed tabloid rumors that Craig’s injury would throw a wrench into filming their scenes together.
Responding to questions at a recent New York press conference, and quoted in website MI6, Malek said: “We’ve already filmed in Norway for a week. That’s where I got to work with [director] Cary Fukunaga and our incredible cinematographer, Linus Sandgren. They are a great team. So far, so good. So far, so great.
“But the thing is, Daniel was injured, so they are shooting what they can. I talked to Cary yesterday and the schedule has been altered. I know that. But with a franchise like this, I think they have it together. They have it figured out by now.”
Malek also expressed feeling the pressure of being a Bond villain in the franchise’s 25th epic film, citing his experience in Bohemian Rhapsody, which earned him an Oscar.
“I feel a substantial weight on my shoulders,” Malek said. “I mean, Bond is something that we all grow up with. The one thing I have going for me is I played one beloved Brit in Freddie Mercury and I pulled that off, so I feel like I can possibly have a shot at playing the villain in a Bond film.”
Co-star Naomie Harris, who plays Miss Moneypenny, told Entertainment Weekly that Craig’s spirits were reportedly high, and he might continue on in pain.
- Bond 25 is the final film for 007 actor Daniel Craig. File photo
“He’s such a trooper and such a strong guy that I think even if he was still in pain, he would just chug along and make sure that we complete it on schedule,” she said.
In other Bond news, Aston Martin released photos of the new twin-turbo-V-6 hybrid Valhalla, which arrived on set at Pinewood this week, ready for filming. The £1.5 million (US$1.9 million) hypercar, of which only 500 will ever be built, will star alongside two iconic Bond vehicles, the Aston Martin DB5 and V8 Vantage.
Earlier this month, a controlled explosion on the set of the film injured a crew member and damaged a stage. According to reports, a triple blast hit the set after a stunt went wrong, taking off part of a roof and several wall panels.
Director Fukunaga also took the reins after the original director Danny Boyle parted ways over creative differences.
According to Variety, Fukunaga told fans that Craig, who plays the super spy as a hard-drinking bruiser, was his favorite Bond. “I want to make sure that this run of films … have a really great next chapter and just keep upping the ante so whoever is next has a harder job,” said Fukunaga.