But there were two hiccups that derailed this plan, beginning with the fact that The Fantastic Voyage threatened the perfect symmetry of setting the film in ’65.
“There was a discrepancy of what year [Fantastic Voyage] came out,” Wright tells us, “and something said 1965 was when it was made and premiered, but 1966 was the main release.” So move the film’s setting to ’66, right? Well, there came a bigger obstacle for the change when Wright showed a rough cut of the trailer—complete with the Thunderball easter egg—to filmmaking pals Quentin Tarantino and Jordan Peele.
“I’d shown the trailer to a couple friends of mine, Quentin Tarantino and Jordan Peele,” Wright says, “and both of them said the same thing. ‘Oh, man I love that shot with the Thunderball poster.’ So I called the VFX person and said, ‘Hey, guys, change it back to Thunderball. Change of plan, get rid of Fantastic Voyage!”
The choice seems right for the filmmaker though, especially since the Thunderball poster was one of the many real dressings that Wright and his team put up around the streets of Central London back in 2019.
“I think something people would be surprised about with the film is how much of the ‘60s period detail is really there,” says Wright, “because there’s some digital work in the distance where you’re painting out modern things, but Marcus Rowland, our amazing production designer, did redress significant parts of London streets in the center of London.”
He continues, “There’s a shot in one of the dream sequences where Matt Smith and Anya Taylor-Joy are driving up the middle of Soho in his car and turn a corner, and the camera cranes from Frith Street to Bateman Street, so it goes through three streets in Soho with one shot, and we’re shooting that in the summer in the center of London in Soho, which is a very busy district, and there are some points when you’re shooting a shot like that and you’re thinking, ‘I don’t know if we can pull this off. How are we going to keep the modern world at bay?’ So when it does come together and you get the take, it’s a good feeling.”
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