Daniel Craig will help open the London Olympics later this year in character as James Bond, following a personal invitation from the Queen.
The Sun newspaper reports that Craig and opening ceremony artistic director Danny Boyle have shot a skit titled The Arrival in which 007 travels to Buckingham Palace to be informed that his latest mission is to launch the 2012 games. He is then taken by helicopter to the Olympic stadium in Stratford, east London, where he parachutes into the arena. Boyle and Craig were reportedly given unprecedented access to the palace and its private rooms last week after the Queen personally sanctioned the move. The short film will be shown during the BBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony.
A source told the Sun: “It’s a huge coup for BBC producers and Danny to be allowed into the palace and have the Queen involved. They wanted the most iconic British film character inside the building most associated with London and with the monarch – and they got it.
“It will be a magical scene for all watching at home and inside the stadium on 27 July. Working out the logistics of filming has taken months and hasn’t been easy – but it will be worth it in the end.”
The Queen is celebrating her diamond jubilee this year, while 2012 is also the 50th anniversary of the Bond films as produced by rights owners Eon. “Buckingham Palace is involved in a number of filming projects during this special jubilee year and we would not go into details of any particular project until nearer the time of transmission,” said a spokesman for the monarch.
Meanwhile, the Advertising Age website reports that Craig will be ditching his usual martini tipple for a beer in at least one scene of the new Bond film, Skyfall, following a deal with Heineken. Sam Mendes, Skyfall’s director, will also take charge of an advert starring Craig as a lager-drinking Bond. The story is dated 31 March on the Advertising Age site, so does not appear to be an April Fool.
Craig will be playing Bond for the third time in Skyfall, which is due out in October and follows 2006′s Casino Royale and 2008′s Quantum of Solace. Dame Judi Dench reprises her role as the suave spy’s boss, M, for the seventh time, with British actors Albert Finney and Ralph Fiennes in undisclosed parts. Javier Bardem will be one of the villains, while Ben Whishaw debuts in the role of gadget guru Q. Naomie Harris is playing a field agent named Eve and French actor Bérénice Marlohe is set to play an enigmatic Bond girl named Severine.
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