'James Bond' returns to Istanbul on 50th anniversary

James Bond has once again returned to Istanbul for "Skyfall", the latest film in the longest running series that this year celebrates half a century of the legendary spy in action, its director said Sunday.

"We wanted to be here because it is the most magnificent place, it is an incredible city... I can't get enough of it," said director Sam Mendes, who spoke to the press in Istanbul after more than 100 days of shooting "Skyfall" in Turkey.

The 23rd film in the Bond series was shot on several locations in Turkey, between the southern province of Adana and the southwestern coastal town of Fethiye, as well as in the historical Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.

"Bond has had a close relationship with Istanbul... It has been 49 years to the day since they were last here.. Bond was last here," said Daniel Craig, who took over the Bond character in 2006 with "Casino Royal".

Barbara Broccoli, one of the producers, noted that Istanbul was chosen as the venue for "Skyfall" to mark the 50th anniversary of the legend in "the favorite city of Ian Flemming", the British author who invented "James Bond" in 1953.

Bond may even have a car chase scene on the very epitome of Istanbul, the Bosphorus bridge, Mendes said in response to a question, hinting that the city may continue to appear in forthcoming Bond movies.

The Bond series briefly featured Istanbul in 1999 for "The World is Not Enough", after Bond's first appearance in the city in 1963 for the second film of the series, "From Russia With Love".

"Skyfall" is expected to be released in late 2012.

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