Explosion of 007 Stage during 'No Time To Die' shoot caused by 'miscalculation'

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Nomi (Lashana Lynch) is ready for action in Cuba in No Time To Die. (Credit: Nicola Dove. © 2019 Danjaq, LLC AND MGM.)

Production designer Mark Tildesley says a “miscalculation” was responsible for the explosion that tore the roof and walls off the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios and injured a crew member during the production of No Time To Die.

On 4 June, 2019 the official James Bond social media accounts revealed a “controlled explosion” had caused damage to the exterior of the iconic soundstage and one crew member outside the stage sustained a minor injury.

Talking on a Media and Film Masterclass with Media and Film Studies LPSB on YouTube, Tildesley revealed that the huge stage played home to a tiny set that was housed inside a concrete water tank.

A pyrotechnic explosion used to blow up the set “ricocheted off the concrete walls of the tank, driving the force of the blast north, which would then take the roof of the Bond Stage apart”.

“There were some miscalculations,” he explains. “The roof blew up, and the sides... the tops of it blew out. It wasn’t a huge explosion. Anyway, we had to quickly mend the Bond Stage.”

Read more: Bond 25’s troubled timeline

Elsewhere in the video, Tildesley shared a brief insight into Danny Boyle’s vision for Bond 25 before the director quit the film. The production designer says he was in the process of building a 350ft rocket on the 007 Stage at Pinewood and a Russian gulag “in the mountains in Canada, when it all came to a standstill.”

British designer Mark Tildesley, left, with director Danny Boyle after the London Critics' Circle Theatre Awards, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

Tildesley was tasked with bringing the Trainspotting director’s vision to life while Boyle was working on the new 007 film from May 2018 until August 2018. Boyle departed the project citing “creative differences”.

Boyle’s script, written by John Hodge, was dropped at the same time, with producers reverting back to a screenplay by longstanding Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

Cary Joji Fukunaga was hired in September, and he has contributed to the Purvis and Wade script along with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Scott Z Burns. However, it seems that pre-production on Boyle’s vision for the film got quite far along the tracks before the producers pulled the plug.

Tildesley, a long time Boyle collaborator since 2002’s 28 Days Later, stayed with the film, completing work on No Time To Die alongside Fukunaga.

He adds that they have taken influences from all the previous Bond films for the film.

No Time To Die comes to cinemas on 12 November.