|'Insane' $300 million James Bond movie Spectre 'told to use fewer trains' Latest emails leaked in the Sony hacking attack show studio wanted to cut costs of what would be one of the most expensive films ever |
Lea Seydoux, Daniel Craig and Monica Bellucci Photo: Reuters
By Nick Allen, Los Angeles
4:10PM GMT 11 Dec 2014
The new James Bond film will be the superspy’s most expensive outing yet and studio chiefs wanted to cut costs by using fewer trains in a dramatic fight scene, according to leaked emails.
Correspondence released by hackers suggested the anticipated budget for Spectre was at one point well over $300 million (£190m), which would see it become one of the costliest movies ever made.
The emails have not been confirmed as genuine but are part of a vast tranche of information released online by Guardians of the Peace, a hacking group many experts believe is linked to North Korea.
It has been targeting Sony Pictures Entertainment for the last two weeks.
The latest emails were first reported by CNN which has been reviewing thousands of leaked documents. According to the email exchanges Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM Studios, wrote: “There are expectations we must meet for the audience.
“Still, we must find further cuts. This is not about ’nickel and diming’ the production.”
Suggested cuts included reducing the number of train carriages in a fight scene from four to three, and dropping a planned ending in the rain to save on special effects.
Other suggestions included shooting a night scene, when the characters are supposed to be in a villa in Rome, in London.
It was also estimated that $6 million could be saved by using more footage of Mexico, which is giving financial incentives to film there.
The film, which begins shooting this week, is being distributed by Sony. In one email Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Amy Pascal reportedly wrote: “It’s insane and you know with no script this movie is gonna go overbudget.”
According to the emails the movie’s producers refused to cut the number of trains or film the villa scene in London.
In a further leaked email exchange, Sony Pictures Entertainment executives joked about US President Barack Obama’s race, according to reports.
Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, reportedly asked top producer Scott Rudin what she should ask Mr Obama at a November 2013 fundraising breakfast.
Mr Rudin wrote: “Would he like to finance some movies.” Ms Pascal replied: “I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked Django?” Mr Rudin responded: “12 Years [a Slave].” The pair then named other films starring black actors.
Sony Pictures had not replied to requests for comment on the authenticity of the leaks at time of writing.