Mexican officials have reportedly offered millions in tax incentives for Sony and MGM to shoot the next James Bond installment in Mexico.
A report posted on the American website Tax Analysts, shows emails of Mexico offering up to $20 million in tax incentives for filmmakers to change their script, cast “a known Mexican actress” and shoot Mexico in a positive light to combat the country’s negative image.
Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM’s motion picture group, wrote in a leaked email to the film’s producers, “You have done a great job in getting us the Mexican incentive. Let’s continue to pursue whatever avenues we have available to maximize this incentive.”
The original script included an assassin named Sciarra, who had his sights on the mayor of Mexico City, however, Mexican officials insisted that the villain “cannot be Mexican” and requested his target be changed to an international leader instead.
In exchange for their financial incentives, Mexican officials also reportedly demanded that Stephanie Sigman be given a Bond role, which seems to have been secured with the announcement last week. Sigman will be playing the character of Estrella.
The studio admits Mexico’s changes to the script went beyond what governments typically allow in film deals, however, they apparently allowed Mexico to “make casting decisions, dictate characters’ ethnicities, and even change the occupation of an unnamed character that never appears on-screen or figures into the story outside of the opening scene.”
In an email to the movie’s producer, Glickman said Mexican officials offered an additional $6 million in tax breaks for them to highlight Mexico City’s “modern aspects”.
Shooting for the latest installment of James Bond, which is being directed by Sam Mendes, is set to begin next week.