BAKU (Reuters)– James Bond is set to save the world again and this time 007 will be fighting power-hungry criminals in an oil-rich former Soviet republic.
Britain’s best known secret agent will face a new enemy – a group of international gangsters plotting to dominate the oil industry–Amanda Schofield of the film company Eon Productions said on Tuesday in Baku–capital of Azerbaijan and one of the world’s oldest – and newest – oil boomtowns.
She said Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea oil riches–first developed a century ago and now on the verge of a new post-Soviet boom–made it the best place to set the action–although she gave no further insight into the story-line.
"Baku was chosen because oil is important to the story of the film," Schofield said.
Eon Productions–which has produced 16 of the 18 Bond films made to date–tested shots late last year at a caviar processing plant near Baku and a 1940s Soviet oil platform out in the Caspian.
She said the sprawling offshore causeways and rusting–windswept platforms would give Bond a great opportunity to do what he does best – chase villains and seduce women.
Irish actor Pierce Brosnan–who took up Bond’s 007 "Licensed to Kill” mantle in the last two films–will again portray the slick spy created by author Ian Fleming.
"If you want the film to be beautiful then you go to Paris–if you want nature you shoot in the Amazon–but if its oil you want then you come to Azerbaijan,” said Ali Hoomani–general manager of local film company Azerbaijan International Cinema.
The new story could echo Baku’s everyday life.
Since independence from Moscow in 1991–Texan oil men have been competing with Russia’s–Britons and Turks for billion-dollar contracts to develop Azerbaijan’s oil.