Updated Sat. May. 10 2008 9:39 AM ET
Plagued with a slow, steady list of mysterious troubles, rumours of a James Bond jinx on the set of "Quantum of Solace" have been shaking up cyberspace faster than 007 could down a martini.
Of course, if a Bond curse came packaged in the shape of Halle Berry, aka "Jinx" in "Die Another Day," the cast and crew wouldn't mind. But a string of disasters, as the 22nd Bond film moves from one location to the next around the world, has people wondering if this jinx might mean big trouble.
Date: February 20, 2008
Location: Panama City
Manifestation: Bond crew members mugged
"Don't blame us for stealing from rich Hollywood gringos." That's probably the logic Panama City thugs who robbed an advance party of Bond crew members.
To combat these muggings and thefts of set equipment, "Quantum of Solace" producers asked a rival gang to protect the cast and crew. The move should have restored order, but instead it enraged the original crooks and escalated the incidence of petty thefts on set.
Fears on set rose to such a degree that local police were put on the case, vowing to shoot anyone on sight who hassled the filmmakers. But tensions escalated as people worried that the police would accidentally kill someone.
Bond 22's bad luck didn't stop there. Panama officials had hoped the film would boost the local economy. News of the thefts, and the bad press they brought to Panama City, only made officials furious with the Bond production.
Was a curse at work here? Anyway you look at it the small-time gangsters got away with murder. Bond 22 got off on the wrong foot.
Date: April 2, 2008
Location: Baquedano, Chile
Manifestation: one police man and the Mayor of Baquedano arrested
Mayor Carlos Lopez said he wasn't consulted by Bond producers who arrived in his city. So he jumped into his car, drove to the set, sped through a roped-off train station and nearly ran over a local policeman. Eventually Lopez stopped his car between the cameras, Daniel Craig and co-star Olga Kurylenko.
According to local media reports, Lopez objected to Bond producers using his community to film scenes ostensibly set in Bolivia. In fact, even before this "drive-thru" incident, Lopez had pledged to disrupt the filming because producers had failed to secure his permission.
As a result of his pesky protest, Lopez was arrested for trespassing. Did his angry bluster invoke some ancient curse? All that is certain is Lopez was tossed off set faster than Craig could cash his "Quantum of Solace" paycheque.
Ride with the Devil?
Date: April 20, 2008
Manifestation: James Bond's car drowned
Mamma mia! Burning up the scenery faster than Emperor Nero torched Rome, the Aston Martin used in "Quantum of Solace" plunged into a lake in northern Italy.
The iconic car swerved off the road and into Lake Garda as it was being delivered to the set in a rainstorm. One driver landed in a hospital, but recovered. The famed Bond wheels were splattered across Italian TV, with diehard fans watching the smashed, soggy remains as they were hoisted to safety.
The Bondmobile was built for speed, not catching perch.
Date: April 24
Location: Limone sul Garda, Italy
Manifestation: two stuntmen, one Alfa Romeo injured
If bad things come in threes, this car crash, the second on the "Quantum of Solace" set in four days, should have spiked the anxiety factor among cast and crew.
A stunt driver slammed an Alfa Romeo into a wall during a chase sequence on a curvy, two-lane lakeside road. Dotted with dark, twisting tunnels, a king-sized truck and Bond's Aston Martin, all the ingredients were there to make this collision a killer.
Flown by helicopter to a Verona hospital after the accident, one critically injured driver fought for his life. Another stuntman suffered lesser injuries. The Alfa Romeo? Toast. Was driver inexperience to blame? Maybe. With second unit filming suspended after the incident, ten to one rumours of a Bond curse left cast members shaken and stirred.
Date: May 4, 2008
Location: Dornbirn, Austria
Manifestation: Bond crew member stabbed
Creeping off the set, the Bond curse touched one 58-year-old technician working on the "Quantum of Solace." Most people wrap up a long hard day with a scotch. This unidentified fellow was stabbed by his domestic partner.
Attacked with a steak knife in his bedroom, this Bond crew member los enough blood to rival any "bad guy" slash-fest 007 could wield. But unlike Bond, this unlucky fellow took the ambulance, not the Aston Martin, to the hospital, probably humming these Bon Jovi words all the way there. "Cut through the heart and you're to blame/You give love a bad name."
Will she sing? No, no, no
Date: May 5, 2008
Location: London, England
Manifestation: Amy Winehouse axed
Boozy rants, drug-addled brawls, a rocky romance and troubles with the law...Tabloid favourite Amy Winehouse has had her share of troubles. Sadly to say the bad luck continues with Bond 22.
It should have been a pairing made in "Casino Royale" heaven. Winehouse's deep, smouldering voice. A new Bond theme song. The edgy combo would have killed at the box office.
But after Winehouse began working on the "Quantum of Solace" tune, music producer Mark Ronson told the world that they had both abandoned the project. "She's not ready to record music," he said. As Ronson put it, it would take "some miracle of science" to finish it.
Coincidence? Maybe. A big career loss for Winehouse? Definitely.