007 Casino Royale - video powered by Metacafe
Casino Royale is the 21st James Bond film produced by EON Productions and the first to star Daniel Craig as British Secret Service agent James Bond. Based on the 1953 novel Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, it was adapted by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis and directed by Martin Campbell, director of the 1995 Bond film, GoldenEye.
This film marks the third screen adaptation of Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, which was previously produced as a 1954 television episode and a 1967 film spoof. However, the 2006 release will be the only official EON Productions adaptation of Fleming's novel. Casino Royale is the first official Bond film to be co-produced by Columbia Pictures, which had produced and originally distributed the 1967 non-canonical film version; this is the result of the 2005 Sony/Comcast consortium's acquisition of MGM, parent company of Bond film series rights co-owner United Artists.
Casino Royale is a reboot of the franchise in the same light as Batman Begins. After obtaining his 00-number and his licence to kill, James Bond sets out on his first mission which takes him to Madagascar to spy on a potential terrorist. Soon after, Bond is pulled into a game of high-stakes poker in Montenegro with Le Chiffre, who provides a global money-laundering service to many terrorist organisations.
In the novel, the villain Le Chiffre goes to the Casino Royale located in the fictional town of Royale-les-Eaux in northern France in an attempt to recover SMERSH's money he lost in a bad investment. There, however, he was prevented from obtaining this goal by James Bond who beat and bankrupted him in a series of games in baccarat. Due to Le Chiffre's inability to pay back the money he had lost, he was subsequently killed by SMERSH.
Although the film deviates from time to time from the source, their plots are similar. In the film, the villain Le Chiffre is a treasurer for terrorists and similar to the novel has lost his client's money, although not purely because of a bad investment, but because of Bond's intervention in a terrorist plot that makes the investment go bad. Because of this, Le Chiffre goes to the Casino Royale in Montenegro where he attempts to win back the money he lost. The centerpiece card game was changed from Chemin de Fer (Baccarat) to no-limit Texas hold 'em poker.
The writers, as well as Michael G. Wilson and Martin Campbell, have confirmed that a good portion of the film (the latter half) will be a faithful adaptation of Fleming's novel including the infamous violent torture scene.
Spoilers end here.
Being a reboot of the franchise, the film shows James Bond starting out as an agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). The director Martin Campbell states:
"In the new film, Bond is essentially starting out in his career, and has just recently become part of the double-O section. The idea is to put a bit of the dash back in Bond. By the end of the movie, the character will have been forged into the wiser, harder Bond we know."
Indeed the pre-title sequence will involve Bond undertaking a mission in which he earns his stripes in the double-O section. According to Fleming, Bond obtained his double-O number by completing two tasks. The first, an assassination of a Japanese cipher expert on the thirty-sixth floor of the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The second, an assassination of a Norwegian who became a double agent and betrayed two British agents. In the film, Bond kills an MI6 Section Chief and his contact in Pakistan for selling secrets. The entire sequence is shot in black and white and is actually followed, untraditionally, by the gun barrel sequence and then the title sequence in which the viewer witnesses an ID badge being stamped "007."
While the film shows James Bond's origins in the 00 Section (which had never before been established), it is still considered the 21st entry in the established Bond series as opposed to the beginning of a new one - thus, making the film a modern day prequel to a series that began in 1962.
In this new time-line several elements of the Bond franchise have been adjusted, and now contradict the established continuity from earlier films. Examples of this include Judi Dench's reprisal of her role as M, who in the Brosnan Bond films was established as a successor to an earlier male M; however, in Casino Royale, she will be the first M by whom Bond is employed. Bond will also receive his famed Aston Martin DB5 in Casino Royale, first seen in Goldfinger. Publicity shots have also shown Bond wielding a Walther P99, a gun he first adopted in Tomorrow Never Dies, though the iconic Walther PPK of previous films is used in the first part of the film. Felix Leiter, Bond's long time CIA friend, whom Bond had previously first met (although he had heard of him) in Dr. No and had been maimed in his last appearance in Licence to Kill, will be introduced for the first time in Casino Royale, as in the book. Although Leiter has been portrayed by a wide variety of Caucasian actors throughout the series, this is only the second Bond film in which he will be played by an African-American actor (Jeffrey Wright; Bernie Casey previously played Leiter in the film, Never Say Never Again, an officially licensed film that was not produced by Eon Productions and is, thus, not part of the series continuity).
* James Bond - Daniel Craig
* Vesper Lynd - Eva Green
* Le Chiffre - Mads Mikkelsen
* M - Judi Dench
* Solange - Caterina Murino
* Felix Leiter - Jeffrey Wright
* Rene Mathis - Giancarlo Giannini
* Valenka - Ivana Miličević
* Alex Dimitrios - Simon Abkarian
* Steven Obanno - Isaach De Bankolé
* Carlos - Claudio Santamaria
* Mr. White - Jesper Christensen
* Villiers - Tobias Menzies
* Kratt - Clemens Schick
* Leo - Emmanuel Avena
* Carter - Joseph Millson
* Mollaka - Sebastien Foucan
* Mendel - Ludger Pistor
* Dryden - Malcolm Sinclair
* Fisher - Daud Shah
* Tomelli - Urbano Barberini
* Gallardo - Charlie Levi Leroy
* Fukutu - Tom So
* Infante - ADE
* Kaminofski - Lazar Ristovski
* Madame Wu - Tsai Chin
* Grafin Manstein (Heiress) - Veruschka
* Dealer (Salon Privée) - Daniel Andreas
* Tournament Director - Carlos Leal
* John Bliss - Con O'Neil
* Gettler - Richard Sammel
* Schultz - Jürgen Tarrach
* Club Receptionist - Christina Cole
An official announcement of many of the international members of the cast for Casino Royale, listed above, was made by MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment on February 16, 2006, following a press conference announcing the new Le Chiffre the day before. The remainder of the main cast was revealed upon the unveiling of the official website on May 19, 2006.
It has also been announced that the movie features cameo roles by British entrepreneur Richard Branson and American hotel tycoon Jerry Inzerillo.
* Produced by: Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Anthony Waye, Callum McDougall
* Directed by: Martin Campbell
* Novel by: Ian Fleming
* Screenplay by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Paul Haggis
* Score composed by: David Arnold
* Edited by: Stuart Baird
* Production design by: Peter Lamont
* Director of Photography: Phil Meheux
Highlighted by a flurry of unconfirmed reports from a variety of different sources, the quest for the actor to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond attracted a great deal of high-profile media attention after rumours began to surface in the Autumn of 2004 that Pierce Brosnan would not be re-signing with EON Productions to play agent 007 in Casino Royale. Brosnan confirmed this on October 14, 2004, stating "It's absolutely over," and that he considered himself "fired" from the role. A spokesperson for EON Productions issued a statement on April 17, 2005 that it would "definitely not be Pierce Brosnan." Despite this and numerous public denials that he would return, various media continued to report that Brosnan was still in contention for the role. Throughout 2004 and 2005, an endless stream of potential new Bonds — both unknowns and established Hollywood actors — were rumoured and even announced by some media. Some of the popular names mentioned to be in actual consideration by EON Productions, a list at one point claimed by Michael G. Wilson to be over 200 names long, were:
* Christian Bale
* Eric Bana
* Orlando Bloom
* Gerard Butler
* Henry Cavill
* Daniel Craig
* Jack Davenport
* Colin Farrell
* Ralph Fiennes
* Rupert Friend
* Ioan Gruffudd
* Hugh Jackman
* Jude Law
* Ewan McGregor
* Julian McMahon
* Alex O'Loughlin
* Clive Owen
* Adrian Paul
* James Purefoy
* Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
* Colin Salmon
* Dougray Scott
* Ewan Stewart
* Karl Urban
* Goran Višnjić
* Dominic West
* Sam Worthington
Names in bold indicate actors who confirmed that they auditioned for the role.
Of note, Eric Bana, Clive Owen, Hugh Jackman, and Daniel Craig were at one point confirmed to have been signed or to have been offered the role by various news outlets. More than any other candidate, Clive Owen had been a staying name while the search was continuing, likely due to his previous 1998 film, Croupier and his role in BMW's short film series The Hire, where in both he played a Bond-like character. Rumours surrounding Owen intensified in early 2005 after he was awarded a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his 2004 film, Closer. However, there were unconfirmed rumours that Owen had turned down the role to avoid typecasting. By July 2005, the list of names was down to a mere four, popularly known as "the final four," according to the tabloid, The Sunday Mirror. It was claimed that the shortlist had been whittled down to Henry Cavill (22), Alex O'Lachlan (28), Ewan Stewart (47) and Goran Višnjić (32). The list was premature and by September 2005 during a press junket for The Legend of Zorro, Martin Campbell claimed the list to have consisted of 8-10 names. As early as April 2005 rumours began to swirl around Layer Cake star Daniel Craig. In May, Craig stated that MGM had assured him that he had the job, likewise Matthew Vaughn told reporters that MGM offered him the opportunity to direct, but for both EON Productions hadn't approached them. Later Craig claimed that the producers offered him the role, but when he requested to read the script first, they didn't have one for him to read so he turned it down. By August 2005, the 37-year-old Daniel Craig was still considered by many to be in the running and by some insiders, EON Production's preferred choice. On October 11, the Daily Mail confirmed that Daniel Craig had been signed for the role; however, no official confirmation was made until October 14, 2005 during a news conference held by EON Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The conference was held at noon in London at HMS President, a Royal Naval Reserve station at St Katharine Docks, on the banks of the River Thames downstream of Tower Bridge. Daniel Craig will mark the first time that 007 is portrayed by an actor under the age of 40 since 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Craig turned 38 during filming of Casino Royale. Craig is also the first Bond to be younger than the film series, having been born in 1968, between the releases of You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
The revelation by Martin Campbell that Casino Royale would be a reboot of the series and confirmation from screenwriters Robert Wade and Paul Haggis that Bond would be roughly 28-32 years of age, aided confusion in the media. Many believed that favourites such as Clive Owen and Hugh Jackman were automatically out of the running due to their ages. However, concurrent with rumours of "younger Bonds", older actors including Pierce Brosnan were continually being named in the media as still in contention for the role. Younger actors have been approached in the past, including George Lazenby who was only 29 when he donned the tuxedo in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Prior to Lazenby getting the part, Timothy Dalton, who later played the role in 1987 was offered the role to replace Sean Connery while in his early 20s; however, Dalton didn't accept because he considered himself too young. Rumours for a younger Bond heightened with the release of SilverFin, a James Bond novel written by Charlie Higson in which Bond is a thirteen year-old boy attending Eton College; there were erroneous media reports suggesting a "Young Bond" series was planned, possibly in lieu of an adult Bond 21; 29-year-old actor Orlando Bloom was frequently linked with the part, even though the Young Bond of Higson's books is a teenager.
To a lesser extent, many other factors increased confusion in the media. Since Bond's film debut in 1962, James Bond had been portrayed as a Caucasian British or Irish male. With this search, however, there essentially wasn't any criteria as far as the media was concerned. Most notably, Colin Salmon, a black actor best known for playing Charles Robinson in three previous James Bond films was considered to be in the running and was actually endorsed by Pierce Brosnan. Another actor, Goran Višnjić of ER fame, was claimed to be in "the final four", although Višnjić was Croatian by birth.
In response to Daniel Craig’s casting, a group of Pierce Brosnan fans opposed to Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond created a petition calling for the return of Brosnan to the role of James Bond. Initially, these opponents to Daniel Craig's casting as Bond threatened to boycott Casino Royale, going so far as to set up a website urging others to boycott the film as well.
Eventually, the owner of the anti-Craig website withdrew altogether. Since then, a separate group of fans with negative opinions about Casino Royale created a different website, continuing the criticism of Daniel Craig that the first site began. This website, like its predecessor, claims to be the "Home of the Casino Royale Boycott" and is currently active.
The subject of his looks are often the most debated, as Fleming described Bond as being dark-haired. It may be worth noting that Roger Moore also sported a lighter sandy coloured hair in his first two Bond films, though unlike several of the actors before him, Craig does have the facial structure and blue eyes described by Ian Fleming.
Many news sources made false reports about Daniel Craig after his casting. One of the biggest claims was that Craig could not apparently drive a manual car, however Craig holds an unrestricted licence in the United Kingdom where it is a requirement to take the test in a manual car for such a licence. It was also claimed that Bond would not be wearing a dinner jacket, or tuxedo, in the film - which now is obviously not the case.
Another report stated that during a fight scene, Craig had two teeth knocked out. Craig and the producers later told the media independantly that it was a crown that came loose and was replaced within ten minutes by a local dentist. Other reports stated that Craig had heat rash, and that he was even afraid of the water, another published quotes from previous interviews where Daniel Craig states he is afraid of guns. All of these rumours and reports were later denied by Barbara Broccoli in an interview with Variety.
Additionally, many actors and actresses, who have either worked with Craig in past films or have been featured in previous Bond films, have come out in support of Craig as a good choice for Bond. This list includes four of the previous James Bond actors: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, as well as role candidate Clive Owen.
In a recent interview with "The Globe and Mail" Pierce Brosnan was asked "What do you think of the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, and will you be watching Casino Royale?", he replied "I'm looking forward to it like we're all looking forward to it. Daniel Craig is a great actor and he's going to do a fantastic job".
After Daniel Craig was announced as James Bond the media turned their attention to casting of the lead Bond girl, Vesper Lynd, exacerbated by the fact filming began without the role having been cast. Casting director Debbie McWilliams has acknowledged that Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron were "strongly considered" for the role. Tabloids reported that both turned the role down, although McWilliams never confirmed they were offered the part. McWilliams also said that Cécile de France auditioned for the role, but her English "wasn't up to scratch." Audrey Tautou was also considered, but ultimately not chosen because of her role in The Da Vinci Code that was released in May 2006. Eva Green was finally announced as having been cast on February 16, 2006.
Likewise with the search for James Bond, many actresses were named in the media as possible contenders or going so far as to have been confirmed in the media as being signed to the role. The first occurred in January 2006 when the Daily Mail identified Rose Byrne as Vesper, claiming an official announcement would be made soon. When no announcement was made, The Sun tabloid later claimed Thandie Newton had been signed, though she later denied this. Many other actresses had been connected to the role in the media including Sienna Miller (Daniel Craig's co-star in the 2004 film Layer Cake), Naomi Watts, Rachel McAdams, Scarlett Johansson, Rachael Stirling (Diana Rigg's daughter), and Vera Farmiga.
Casino Royale is said to take James Bond "back to his roots" in a film that would be similar to From Russia with Love where the focus was on character and plot rather than high-tech gadgets and visual effects, two issues that were most criticised in The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Additionally, EON has admitted that they relied too heavily on CGI effects and are planning to accomplish the stunts in Casino Royale "the old fashioned way." The move towards more action, bigger special effects, and CGI in recent Bond films was in part due to a need to compete at the time with big-budget action films that dominated the 1990s box office. However, the success of less grandiose action films such as The Bourne Identity in the last few years has suggested the time may be right for the Bond series to scale back as it did during the Roger Moore era with For Your Eyes Only, which followed special effects extravaganzas such as Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me. This is an acknowledged gamble for the series, as many previous "real world" Bond films such as On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Licence to Kill, although they became fan favourites, underperformed at the box office when compared to the more lavish series entries.
One major exclusion from the film will be the absence of Q and Miss Moneypenny. They were not included in the screenplay, which will make this only the second Bond film without Q and the first without Moneypenny. Thus a new Moneypenny will not be cast for this film following Samantha Bond's retirement from the role. Likewise, John Cleese will not be making a return as Q. In October 2005 producer Michael G. Wilson stated that Moneypenny's and Q's omission was due to the characters not appearing in the novel; Moneypenny, however, was in the novel and had one line of dialogue, although Major Boothroyd, which the films transformed into the character Q, did not appear until several books later.
Casino Royale is the first Bond film to take its title from an Ian Fleming novel or short story since 1987's The Living Daylights and the first to be directly based on any of Fleming's writings since 1989's Licence to Kill. It will also be the first Bond film since The Living Daylights not to be adapted as a novelisation. Instead a film tie-in edition of Fleming's original novel has been announced for UK publication on October 31, 2006.
Although the film is primarily based on the novel Casino Royale, the name of one character, Solange, was the name of a Bond girl in Ian Fleming's short story "007 in New York", which is currently included in the collection Octopussy and the Living Daylights. It is believed the name derives from that story, however, the name is also mentioned (unrelated to the girl in "007 in New York") in the short story "From a View to a Kill" which is included in the For Your Eyes Only collection.
Principal photography for Casino Royale commenced on January 30, 2006 and concluded on July 21, 2006. The film was primarily shot at Barrandov Studios in Prague, with additional location shooting in the Czech Republic, The Bahamas, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Production returned to its traditional home of Pinewood Studios to complete the shooting schedule where it is currently in post-production.
Initially, Michael G. Wilson confirmed that Casino Royale would be filmed and or take place in Prague and South Africa. However, following problems for EON Productions in securing film locations in South Africa, the producers had to reconsider their options. On September 13, 2005 CommanderBond.net reported that Martin Campbell (director) and Phil Meheux (director of photography) were scouting Paradise Island in the Bahamas as a possible location for the film. On October 6, 2005 Martin Campbell confirmed that Casino Royale would film in the Bahamas and "maybe Italy." In addition to the extensive location filming, studio work was done at the Barrandov Studios in Prague and at Pinewood Studios in England, where the film used several stages as well as the paddock tank and the historic Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage. Further shooting in the UK was scheduled for Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, the cricket pavilion at Eton College and the Millbrook Vehicle Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.
After principal photography had commenced in Prague on January 30, 2006, the production moved to the Bahamas. Several locations around New Providence were used for filming during February and March, largely on Paradise Island and in the southern Coral Harbour area. The latter of these locales was used to double for scenes set in Madagascar, with an abandoned Royal Bahamian Air Force base being a particularly important location for the production. Additional scenes took place at Albany House - an estate recently acquired by golfers Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.
The crew returned to the Czech Republic in April, and continued there, filming in Prague, Planá and Loket, before completing in the town of Karlovy Vary in May. A disused spa, formerly known as the Kaiserbad, in Karlovy Vary was used as the exterior of the Casino Royale, with the Grandhotel Pupp serving as the "Hotel Splendide" where Bond stays during his time in Montenegro.
The main Italian location alluded to by Campbell is Venice, where the majority of the film's ending will be set. Other scenes in the latter half of the film were filmed in late May and early June at the Villa del Balbianello on the shores of Lake Como. Further exterior shooting for the movie took place at properties such as the Villa la Gaeta, near the lakeside town of Menaggio.
On July 30, 2006 a fire broke out at the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage at Pinewood. The damage was significant, but had no effect on the release of Casino Royale as the sets were in the process of being taken down. The incident occurred one week after filming of Casino Royale had been completed. On 11 August, Pinewood Studios confirmed that no attempt would be made to salvage the remains of the stage, which would be demolished. A couple of months afterwards, it was announced that the 007 Stage would be rebuilt.
Vehicles & gadgets
* Aston Martin DBS - Aston Martin confirmed that Bond will be driving the new Aston Martin DBS in Casino Royale. Daniel Craig personally visited the Aston Martin headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire on January 13 to view and test drive the car. The vehicle has no installed gadgets, although it does feature a medical kit complete with a defibrillator.
* Aston Martin DB5 - Bond's famed Aston Martin DB5, first featured in Goldfinger and later Thunderball, Goldeneye, and Tomorrow Never Dies, will also be in Casino Royale in addition to the new DBS model. Bond wins this car while in The Bahamas in a poker game between Bond and Dimitrios.
* Cartamundi - Official Supplier of the Casino Playing Cards & Chips used in the Casino of Montenegro
* Ford Mondeo - Ford have announced that their all new 2007 Ford Mondeo will be used by Bond in Casino Royale. The Mondeo's appearance in Casino Royale will be brief; Bond uses it to drive to a hotel shortly after arriving in The Bahamas, on the trail of a terrorist cell.
* Fiat W190 bulldozer - Made by Fiat's construction equipment division New Holland, Bond will drive this bulldozer in an action sequence taking place at a construction site while in Madagascar.
* Sony Ericsson M600 which has not been confirmed but Sony Ericsson will release a special edition James Bond K790 and K800 when the film is released.
* Fiat Ferroviaria/Alstom Pendolino CD 680 - In the movie trailer the Czech version of this tilting train is shown, however it will be used in a sequence that involves a train journey from Switzerland to Montenegro.
Casino Royale will premiere at Odeon Leicester Square in London on November 14, 2006 and will be released in the United Kingdom on November 16 and in the United States and Canada on November 17; however, Sony Pictures has announced that a number of European, Middle Eastern, and East Asian countries will receive the film earlier — on November 15 and November 16. Japan, Italy, Argentina, and several other countries will not get to see the film until early 2007.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced on July 26, 2006 that Chris Cornell, the Audioslave and former Soundgarden lead singer composed and would perform the title song "You Know My Name" for Casino Royale. Cornell collaborated with David Arnold who composed the film's score. Cornell was first reported to be writing and performing the song on July 20 by the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat. "You Know My Name" is the first theme song since 1983's Octopussy to use a different title than the film, and Cornell is the first male performer since a-ha (in 1987's The Living Daylights). It is only the fourth Bond theme (after the opening medley of Dr. No, the instrumental theme from On Her Majesty's Secret Service and "All Time High" from Octopussy) to make no reference to the title of the film. The soundtrack was completed early in the morning on October 11th. The soundtrack will be released on November 13th, 2006. "You Know My Name" is absent from the tracklisting.
Various names were reported in the media prior to the announcement, some reports going so far as to have the performers apparently claim they were working on the theme. This list includes Tina Turner who previously sang "GoldenEye" for the 1995 Bond film of the same name, and Tony Christie.
The Casino Royale title song "You Know My Name" by Chris Cornell will not be featured on the soundtrack.
Casino Royale's release on DVD has been reportedly scheduled for May 22, 2007 and will also be accompanied by releases on UMD and Sony's new Blu-ray high-definition format.
* In 2004, American Quentin Tarantino was said to have lobbied EON to let him do a "proper" film adaptation of Fleming's novel, based on a screenplay he had written that would have starred Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and Uma Thurman as Vesper Lynd. Ultimately, the company assigned the film to someone else, and Tarantino claims his pursuit ended when he learned that Brosnan would not be playing Bond. Tarantino's proposed version would have been set immediately after the death of Bond's wife Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. However, as Tarantino does not belong to the DGA, he is unable to work with Sony or MGM/UA, so many see this as a publicity stunt on Tarantino's part.
* Tsai Chin, who played the role of Ling in You Only Live Twice (1967) plays the role of Madame Wu in Casino Royale.
* Casino Royale is the first Bond film to have a video podcast of filming updates as part of its publicity campaign.
* Daniel Craig appeared in the TV movie Sharpe's Eagle which was directed by Martin Campbell.