James Bond star Daniel Craig is to open the London 2012 Olympic Games ceremony after a personal invitation from Queen Elizabeth II.
Article continues below ...
The Queen asked Craig into Buckingham Palace to film spectacular scenes as 007 for London’s sporting extravaganza.
In the film, he arrives by Royal Appointment to be told his latest mission is to launch the Games.
Her Majesty may even make a cameo appearance but the Palace is keeping details a secret.
A billion people watching on TV around the world will see Bond getting his instructions before he is taken by helicopter to parachute into the Olympic stadium in Stratford, East London.
Craig, 44, and a film crew headed by "Trainspotting" director Danny Boyle were given unprecedented access to the queen’s private rooms Tuesday.
They also shot helicopter and parachuting scenes.
Boyle, creative director of the opening ceremony, has chosen to make MI6 agent Bond a key part of the spectacle which will kick-start the Olympics.
The queen, who is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this year, had to personally sanction the move — which will give a glimpse inside the famous landmark.
A source on set said, "It’s a huge coup for BBC producers and Danny to be allowed into the Palace and have the Queen involved."
The source added, "They wanted the most iconic British film character inside the building most associated with London and with the monarch — and they got it. It will be a magical scene for all watching at home and inside the stadium on July 27. Working out the logistics of filming has taken months and hasn’t been easy — but it will be worth it in the end."
Crew members were given strict instructions not to tell any members of the public what they were filming. Cameras and cell phone were banned on the set. The film — to be fed into the opening ceremony — was given the name "The Arrival."
This year marks the 50th anniversary of British Bond movies.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said, "Buckingham Palace is involved in a number of filming projects during this special Jubilee year and we would not go into details of any particular project until nearer the time of transmission."