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007 JAMES BOND RETURNS TO ICELAND
Copyright 2002 Business Wire

[ March 12th 2002 ]

A James Bond film, part of longest-running and most successful franchise in cinema history, celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, will return to Iceland this spring to shoot on location. Eon Productions, based at Pinewood Studios in the U.K., have selected remote locations in Iceland to shoot scenes for the 20th 007 film.

The new, as yet untitled film will shoot in a variety of locations featuring frozen glacial lakes, wintry vistas, and waterfalls. Technical support will be provided by Saga Film Productions of Reykjavik, which estimates a crew of 40-50 technicians will work for four weeks on the project.

The last Bond film produced on this island-nation between the U.S. and Europe was A View to a Kill, shot in 1983 on the Glacier Lagoon in southern Iceland. "We're thrilled to film part of the movie in Iceland, which perfectly matches what we needed in the script - a cold, exotic location that looks out-of-this-world. This promises to be one of the greatest Bond films ever," said Eon producer Michael G. Wilson.

Eon is the latest production company attracted by Iceland's scenery and its new reimbursement program that reduces by 12 percent domestic production costs, including out-of-pocket expenses originating in Iceland, and all salaries and sub-contractor payments taxable in the country.

"When you consider Iceland's incredible natural scenery, attractive population, and strong work ethic, and combine it with a 12 percent rebate program, the country ranks right up there as one of the most desirable shooting locations in the world," said Magnus Bjarnason, the New York-based Trade Commissioner for Iceland in North America. "This is clearly one of the world's favorite film series. The government of Iceland is thrilled that its rebate policy is attracting increased production in the country."

Additional filming will take place over at least ten of Pinewood Studios' 19 stages - including the world famous Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage. Filming of the newest adventure, produced by the successful Michael G. Wilson/ Barbara Broccoli team and directed by Lee Tamahori, started on January 14 and sees Pierce Brosnan continuing his record-breaking run as secret agent 007 (his fourth Bond mission), alongside Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike as the female leads.

Producers are also attracted to Iceland because of its proximity to Europe and the U.S. East Coast - Reykjavik is only 2-1/2-hours from London and five hours from New York. Jon Thor Hannesson, president and CEO of Saga Film, adds, "In Iceland, you don't have to go far to get to a remote location. There's a lot available including very exotic landscapes within a few hours of Reykjavik, a lively small city with great restaurants, bars, and discos."

In the Paramount Pictures action adventure, Tomb Raider, based upon video-game heroine Lara Croft, the natural wonders of Iceland stand-in for Siberia. Recent U.S. commercials shot in Iceland include spots for Cadillac, Coca-Cola, Ford Explorer, Jeep Cherokee, and MasterCard. Films shot on location in the country include Hal Hartley's latest film, No Such Thing, executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola and Fridrik Thor Fridriksson; and Judge Dredd, 2nd Unit.

To qualify for the 12 percent reimbursement, film producers just need to establish an Icelandic limited liability company, which can be 100 percent owned by foreign corporations or individuals, to handle production in Iceland. The films can be in any language and it's not necessary to hire an Icelandic cast, although the rebate is based upon money spent within the country. Once these basic requirements are met, applying for the rebate is a relatively simple process.

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