Bond Set Destroyed By Fire; Brosnan Unlikely Culprit

by Jen Yamato | Monday, Jul. 31 2006

The London set of upcoming James Bond flick, "Casino Royale," was severely damaged in a fire Sunday that partially collapsed the roof of the storied Pinewood Shepperton Studios.

A Pinewood Studios soundstage had been standing in for Venice during the Bond shoot, which studio reps assured had already wrapped. Officials also confirmed that the sets were in the process of being removed at the time of the fire. Guess they won't be needing any re-shoots for those scenes...

Nobody was hurt in Sunday's fire, which local officials say took eight fire engines to put out. The cause of the blaze is being attributed to the explosion of "several cylinders of flammable gas," similar to the 1984 destruction of a set caused by exploding gas after the same soundstage was used to film Ridley Scott's "Legend."

Daniel Craig is the Blonde Bond in the upcoming "Casino Royale"

The particular set affected by Sunday's fire was first used to film the 1977 Bond film, "The Spy Who Loved Me," although the majority of 007 productions dating back to 1962's "Dr. No" had been shot in Pinewood's various other locations.

Pinewood has played host to a bevy of movie productions in its 70-year history, including many Hollywood action flicks. In addition to hosting the Bond movies, Pinewood's multiple-stage estate has attracted films like "Mission: Impossible," "Tomb Raider," and "Eyes Wide Shut," housed the Louvre set in "The Da Vinci Code" and the Fortress of Solitude from the first two "Superman" films. Most recently, the production of Neil Gaiman's "Stardust" had been shooting on Pinewood grounds.

Pinewood Studios also stood in for the Louvre in this year's "The Da Vinci Code"

In a statement released Monday, Pinewood reps confirmed that the Bond soundstage will "need to be demolished and rebuilt," but that the rest of its 41 stages would be open for business "by the end of today."

"Casino Royale" is set to open in the U.S. on November 17, and will be the first Bond role for controversial blonde Daniel Craig, replacing four-time 007 Pierce Brosnan.