Onlookers were left shaken and very much stirred on Monday as Daniel Craig prepared to shoot his first scenes as James Bond in the Italian town of Matera.
The 51-year old actor, who returns in new film No Time To Die, sported a cream two-piece suit by designer Brunello Cucinelli while making his way onto the exterior set, where he was joined by the forthcoming film’s director, Cary Joji Fukunaga.
Filming got underway in the southern Italian town, built upon a steep rocky outcrop, in August, with the production’s second unit using stunt doubles and drivers to shoot thrilling chase scenes around its historic, winding streets.
Here he comes: Onlookers were left shaken and very much stirred on Monday as Daniel Craig prepared to shoot his first scenes as James Bond in the Italian town of Matera
But Craig was on hand to film his own scenes as the week got underway, and his presence created an inevitable buzz among locals.
The actor was surrounded as he teamed up with director Fukunaga for the first time since completing his scenes in London, with many fans keen to document his arrival by taking photos.
His presence came on what appeared to be a busy day for the American filmmaker, who looked intense as he earnestly talked through the day’s schedule with his production team.
Looking good: The actor, who returns in new film No Time To Die, sported a cream two-piece suit by designer Brunello Cucinelli while making his way onto the exterior set
Over here! Craig was on hand to film his own scenes as the week got underway, and his presence created an inevitable buzz among locals
With a wide-brimmed hat keeping him cool, Fukunaga eventually pulled away from his team before idling on set of stone steps, where he appeared to mull over their next move.
Craig and Fukunaga have been joined in Italy by leading lady Léa Seydoux – who returns as love interest Madeleine Swann – although the French actress was not present as filming continued on Monday.
Instead, they were joined by Bond’s legendary Aston Martin, with the car driven by a stuntman as it was filmed made its way through a purpose built tunnel.
There it is: The iconic Aston Martin was also seen on Monday. The car has featured prominently in many of the scenes shot around Matera over recent weeks
Make way: The car, a vintage DB5, was filmed as it made its way through a purpose built tunnel
The car, a vintage DB5, has been a prominent feature since the production landed in Italy, with the Aston Martin either being pursued, or finding itself in hot pursuit of other vehicles throughout many of the new film’s latest scenes.
No Time To Die is co-written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge who was brought on board to sprinkle her magic on the script for the 25th movie in the film franchise based on Ian Fleming’s hit novels.
The film had previously been been given the working title Shatterhand, however the title has since been changed to match Bond’s more iconic film titles.
Main man: Director Cary Fukunaga looked focused as he made his way across the busy set on Monday
Plenty to talk about: It appeared to be a busy day for the American filmmaker, who looked intense as he earnestly talked through the day’s schedule with his production team
Face to face: The director engaged in an earnest chat with another member of his film crew on Monday
Thinking time: With a wide-brimmed hat keeping him cool, Fukunaga eventually pulled away from his team before idling on set of stone steps, where he appeared to mull over their next move
Back to work: Italy is the latest in a string of exotic locations to be used in the new film
Production finally kicked off in April of this year, though it had already been delayed by several months following the departure of original director Danny Boyle.
The film, which also stars Naomie Harris, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw, sees Rami Malek take on the role of an as-yet-untitled villain.
But it has suffered a turbulent production process in recent months after Craig suffered a nasty ankle while filming a separate chase sequence in Jamaica, the spiritual home of Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Thrilled: Members of the production team grinned as they watched another scene get underway
What do you think? They were seen chatting among themselves after watching the scene play out from a stone balcony
looking good: The crew looked delighted with the film’s progress on Monday
The actor underwent an operation followed by two weeks of rehabilitation in May, causing major delays to the long awaited production.
The official Twitter account for Bond 25 released a statement concerning his injuries at the time, writing: ‘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’.
Trouble: No Time To Die has suffered a turbulent production process in recent months after Craig suffered a nasty ankle while filming a separate chase sequence in Jamaica, the spiritual home of Bond creator Ian Fleming
Full steam ahead: But the film is back in full flow, with no disruptions reported during shoots across London and Italy over recent weeks
The British star was said to have flown to New York City for treatment, but was thought to be ‘furious’ that he injured himself after months of gruelling preparation for the role.
Meanwhile over at the UK’s Pinewood Studios three explosions went off on set after a stunt went wrong during filming last month.
Health and Safety officials arrived on the set of the beleaguered movie after an explosion ripped a hole in a sound stage and injured a member of the crew.
The official Twitter account for the 007 franchise confirmed the blasts, with a post saying: ‘During the filming of a controlled explosion on the set of Bond 25 today at Pinewood Studios, damage was caused to the exterior of the 007 Stage.
‘There were no injuries on set, however one crew member outside the stage has sustained a minor injury.’
What’s next? Fukunaga checked out one of Matera’s rooftops while plotting his next scene
Coming soon: No Time To Die will also feature shoots in Norway, Jamaica and the UK and will be released in Britain in April 2020
Filming for the movie began in April, four years after previous Bond film, the much maligned Spectre, was released.
Yet it has been claimed the screenplay for the film is being endlessly re-written by a committee consisting of director Fukunaga, Waller-Bridge and leading man Craig.
‘She’s writing a re-write of a re-write,’ a source told the Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye of Waller-Bridge’s recent involvement in the project.
‘Daniel’s writing. Cary’s writing. The crew reckon they’re working on a well-polished s**t show.
‘They have an outline of plot, but dialogue is all last-minute. It’s not the way to make a movie. I would imagine they’ll sort it out in the cutting room. That’s where most movies get made anyway. But you’d think the Bond lot would be more together.’
They’re back: (L-R) Cary Fukunaga , Léa Seydoux and actor Daniel Craig reunited for a photocall in Italy before filming commenced on Monday
Bond is well-travelled in Italy, having had scenes over the years in Venice, Rome, Siena, by Lakes Como and Garda, in the mountains of Cortina D’Ampezzo and on the Sardinian coast, but this is the first time the secret agent has headed to the far south.
Some 400 jobs are expected to be created through production.
His distinctive Aston Martin has also featured in Goldfinger, Thunderball and GoldenEye and has been a staple feature in the Bond series since 1964.
The film has also featured shoots in Norway, Jamaica and the UK.
No Time To Die is scheduled for release on April 3 2020 in the United Kingdom and April 8 2020 in the United States.