James Bond Movie ‘Spectre’ Shut Down D.F.’s Historic Center for a Week to Film Day of the Dead Scene

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Is it just me, or does every James Bond flick feature an obligatory high stakes chase scene through a frenetic folkloric ritual in some exotic locale?

Nah, it’s not just me. And in case you missed the chisme, the latest exotic locale on the docket for the long-running action franchise and Euro-colonialist wet dream is… Mexico! Yes, the Mexican government apparently paid eight figures for the team behind the upcoming Daniel Craig vehicle, Spectre, to shut down D.F.’s Centro Histórico for nearly a week, all to clock in less than 10 minutes of screen time on the streets of an implausibly flashy version of Mexico City.

So what folkloric backdrop can we look forward to as the British special agent brandishes his weapon and runs carelessly through throngs of revelers? Día de Muertos, of course. And with the Mexican government essentially paying the production for the privilege of taking over their capital city, why not go big? Like, real big.

As we can appreciate from this new behind-the-scenes video, Spectre’s production team did just that. Six months of preparation, individualized wardrobe and makeup for 1,500 extras, monumental handcrafted floats, and a riot of bold colors add up to a sumptuous visual feast heavily rooted in Mexican folklore and traditions.

Of course, I don’t think a Day of the Dead ceremony has ever looked anything near this produced, but if you’re going to shut down 6,500 small businesses to play with your cameras for a few days, you damn well better make it look pretty.