Spy Thriller Cameras Roll

By Linda JONES
St. Petersburg Press

The name's Bond, James Bond. That most British of secret agents is on a mission to St Petersburg.

Filming on the latest 007 thriller, "GoldenEye," has begun at Elstree studios in England and the action is set to shift to Russia's second city.

Raven-haired Pierce Brosnan, best known for his sparkling blue eyes -- which he showed off as American TV detective Remington Steele -- is filling the famous Church's brogues last worn by English actor Timothy Dalton.

Leading ladies in the 32 million pound ($48 million) production are newcomers Famke Janssen -- as a "luscious post-Soviet assassin" and Izabella Scorupco.

Producers say the action will take place in London, Moscow, Paris and St Petersburg.

They have sparked a storm of controversy in England by stating the new Bond movie will be more "politically correct" than earlier episodes.

According to a spokeswoman the traditional baddie epitomized as a "Cold War Russkie" has been usurped by a "bad individual."

And there have been a few slight hiccups which have delayed the start of filming. It was originally due to start last autumn but cameras only started rolling last week.

Film crews are expected to arrive in St Petersburg in the spring.

It is the second vote of confidence in the city by Anglo-American movie makers in six months.

Last year Michael Caine and Jason Connery, son of the most revered Bond actor, Sean, completed "Bullet To Beijing" -- set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this year -- and "Midnight in St Petersburg."

City bars are understood to be already stocking up on the suave agent's favorite tipple -- dry Martini (shaken not stirred, of course.)