A Ridley Scott-Related Fire Forced A James Bond Set To Be Rebuilt

There are plenty of movies about curses, but can a movie studio itself be cursed? It's something to consider when you look at the history of the historic Pinewood Studios' 007 Stage. The soundstage has been home to several James Bond movies, as well as plenty of others, including "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," "The Da Vinci Code," and "Mamma Mia!"

But the stage's history suggests something nefarious might be lurking just behind its facades and moveable walls. Since its opening in 1976, two major incidents have befallen the studio, each one strange enough to warrant its own whodunit sequence.

They say a movie can stick with you long after you watch it. That's certainly the case with Ridley Scott movies. Films like "Alien" and "Blade Runner" left audiences horrified or with more questions than answers. But in the case of the first accident at the 007 Stage, it's not necessarily the movie, but rather, what was left behind that made a lasting impact.

Ridley Scott indirectly burned the 007 Stage to the ground

Per the Pinewood Group, the 007 Stage was designed in 1976 by production designer Ken Adams for the Liparus supertanker scene from the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me." The soundstage came with a whopping $1.8 million price tag and was meant to be a permanent studio home for Bond films and available to rent out for other film projects.

In the book "Collection Editions James Bond," author Damien Buckland discusses the incident involving Ridley Scott's 1985 film, "Legend," and how it led to the stage's destruction. The incident delayed the production of a James Bond film. Buckland writes:

"Production of 'A View to a Kill' began on the 23rd of June, 1984, in Iceland, where the second unit filmed the pre-title sequence. A week later, several leftover canisters of petrol used during the filming of Ridley Scott's 'Legend' caused Pinewood Studios' 007 Stage to burn to the ground."

That wasn't the final act for the 007 Stage, however. Much like James Bond, the soundstage had no time to die, and it was rebuilt in 1985. It was dubbed the "Albert R. Broccoli's 007 Stage," named after the longtime James Bond producer. Unfortunately, like a great Bond villain, disaster would strike the studio again.

You only live twice ... or maybe longer

On July 30, 2006, Bond producers had a view to a kill once again, as a fire broke out at the studio. Production had just wrapped on "Casino Royale," and the Venetian square set was being taken apart when it is believed that gas canisters exploded inside the building. The roof of the soundstage collapsed, and the entire structure had to be razed and rebuilt.

Pinewood Studios constructed the third 007 Stage with some sophisticated Bond-like improvements. The new studio is nearly 60,000 square feet, the largest in Europe. It boasts a ramp into the water tank, enclosed stairways to the crane, aircraft hangar-style loading doors, and additional electrical power and insulation.

So, it's fair to say that the 007 Stage might be a little cursed. After all, two major explosions in 22 years cost Pinewood Studios a lot of time and money. But you could also say the soundstage continues to find new life with a facelift every now and again, just like the James Bond film franchise. Pinewood Studios is proving that diamonds are forever, and so is Albert R. Broccoli's 007 Stage.