James Bond 24 'Spectre' Release Date, Cast, Rumors & News: Mexico Offered Sony $20M in Tax Breaks for List of Demands, Including No Mexican Villain
More than 100,000 people have been killed in Mexico since 2006 in the country's brutal drug war, which continues to perpetuate gross gang- and drug-based violence and corruption. However, while it is critical that the country invest capital into curtailing the failed war on drugs, Mexican officials decided to allocate $20 million to MGM and Sony to help clean up the country's tarnished image.
A new report published by TaxAnalysts.com revealed that MGM and Sony producers received up to $20 million in tax incentive in order to depict positive aspects of Mexico in the latest James Bond film, titled "Spectre." In return, Mexican demanded changes to the movie's script and cast that would present the country in a positive light in wake of recent acts of violence that has sparked international outrage, reports The Telegraph.
Included in Mexico's list of demands was the request that the villain be played by a non-Mexican actor, for the assassination target to be changed from the mayor of Mexico City to be an international official and that Mexican police were replaced by a "special force." In addition, officials also requested that a "known Mexican actress" be casted to play the "Bond girl." According to the Los Angeles Times, Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman of the hit "Miss Bala" was announced as "Bond girl" Estrella.
Initially, Mexico was supposed to be featured only in the first few minutes of the movie. However the Mexican government was willing to give Sony $14 million in exchange for those changes. An additional $6 million offered to producers to replace a cage fighting scene with footage of Mexico's popular Day of the Dead holiday and highlighting Mexico City's "modern" skyline.
The report also states that then-Sony Chair Amy Pascal advised the filmmakers to "add whatever travelogue footage we need in Mexico to get the extra money."
According to Taxanalysts, information from the report about "Spectre," which is due out this year, was fetched from leaked documents at Sony hacked by North Korea.