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'Spectre' producer denies money taken to show Mexico good

Los Angeles: Michael G Wilson, producer of 24th Bond film "Spectre" has refuted a report that Mexican officials demanded script changes in exchange for USD 20 million in filming incentives for the shoot in the country.

Spectre
Spectre. Pic/IANS

Wilson said he was puzzled by a recent report released on the website Taxanalysts.com, which says "Spectre" is receiving the money in exchange for script rewrites that aim to depict positive aspects of Mexico, said The Hollywood Reporter.

"Everywhere we go we have incentives. Sometimes they're tax incentives, sometimes they're other kinds of incentives. In this particular case, we have private companies who have come together as a joint venture to support tourism in this country," he told reporters in Mexico City.

The country is apparently battling a serious image problem due to an ongoing drug war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives since 2006.

Wilson declined to specify how much money "Spectre" received from the group, which includes a hotel chain.

The Taxanalysts report cites a hacked Sony memo in which Jonathan Glickman, head of MGM's motion picture group, Mentions script changes required to "maximise" a Mexican film "incentive."

The film stars Daniel Craig as James Bond and Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman. The website, specialising in tax news and analysis, said Mexico demanded that the production cast a Mexican actress as a Bond girl, which was recently announced.

Officials also reportedly requested that the Day of the Dead scene be replaced a cage match, and that an international ambassador should be the target of an assassination, rather than a Mexico City mayor.

Wilson insisted no scripts changes were made. "Spectre" is shooting in Rome, London, Austria and Morocco, but the producer says the most complicated shoot will take place in Mexico City, where a downtown chase scene involves 1,500 extras celebrating Day of the Dead.

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