Bond villain to get just deserts

Key scenes from ‘Quantum of Solace’ are being shot at the Martian-like landscape of Chile’s Atacama

THE MAKERS of the next James Bond movie have joined astronomers in plumping for the eerie Martian-like landscape of Chile’s Atacama desert, the European Southern Observatory has said.

Key scenes from ‘Quantum of Solace’ are being shot at Cerro Paranal, the 2,600-metre (8,450-feet) -high mountain that also hosts ESO’s Very Large Telescope, it said in a press release.

The VLT, featuring four giant 8.2-metre (26.65-feet) individual telescopes, is the world’s most advanced optical observatory, which exploits the Atacama’s extreme aridity and high altitude to gain best viewing condition.

To give astronomers rest from the low humidity and breath-stealing height, ESO has a hotel or ‘Residencia’ at base camp, where they can enjoy moist air and relax.

“The Residencia’s award-winning design, including an enclosed tropical garden and pool under a futuristic domed roof, gives its interior a feeling of open space within the protective walls - this is a true ‘haven in the desert’,” ESO said.

The building ‘is the perfect hide-out for Dominic Greene,’ the movie’s arch-villain, the press release quoted ‘Quantum of Solace’ producer Michael Wilson as saying. The film, 22nd in the Bond franchise, will be released in Britain on October 31, followed by international release on November 7.

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