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Casino Royale (2006) - Illustrated Reference
Casino Royale was directed by Martin Campbell and premiered on 14th November 2006. Starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright and Judi Dench. Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Paul Haggis. Music by David Arnold. Theme sung by Chris Cornell. 144mins.
Promoted to Double-O status after two kills, James Bond is sent by M to Montenegro to enter a poker tournament at the Casino Royale. His mission to stop terrorist financier Le Chiffre from winning the tournament. To complicate matters Bond falls for Vesper Lynd, the beautiful treasury agent assigned to provide the money for the game.
After the major success of Die Another Day (2002) no one would have suspected that it would be Pierce Brosnan’s last Bond movie. But a few years later an announcement was made that the producers were on the lookout for another actor to play 007. One rumour was that Brosnan was getting old, he turned 50 in 2003, another that he was asking for a $30m paycheck for the next one.
Vesper Lynd: It doesn't bother you? Killing all those people?
James Bond: Well I wouldn't be very good at my job if it did.
Daniel Craig (1968-) / James Bond
Born in Cheshire, England, Daniel Craig was the first Bond actor to be born after the release of Dr. No (1962). Producer Barbara Broccoli wanted to test Craig for the role after seeing him in the movies Munich (2005) and Layer Cake (2004).
Craig has also appreared in - The Power of One (1992), Elizabeth (1998), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Road to Perdition (2002), The Invasion (2007), The Golden Compass (2007), Quantum of Solace (2008), Defiance (2008), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Adventures of Tintin (2011), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and Skyfall (2012).
Eva Green (1980-) / Vesper Lynd
Vesper Lynd is the beautiful treasury agent assigned to aid Bond and provide the money for the game. Bond falls in love with Vesper and predictably it all ends in tears. Born in Paris, France,
Eva Green's films include - The Dreamers (2003), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Golden Compass (2007) and Dark Shadows (2012).
Mads Mikkelsen (1965-) / Le Chiffre
Le Chiffre has a damaged left eye which causes him to weep blood. Le Chiffre provides banking services for the worlds terrorists, he also employs terrorists to manipulate stock values.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Mads Mikkelsen's films include - Valhalla Rising (2009), Clash of the Titans (2010), The Three Musketeers (2011) and A Royal Affair (2012).
Giancarlo Giannini (1942-) / Rene Mathis
Rene Mathis is Bond’s contact in Montenegro. The character also appears in Quantum of Solace.
Born in Liguria, Italy, Giancarlo Giannini was Oscar nominated Best Actor for Seven Beauties (1975), his films include - New York Stories (1989), A Walk in the Clouds (1995), Mimic (1997),Hannibal (2001), Darkness (2002), Man on Fire (2004) and Quantum of Solace (2008).
Jeffrey Wright (1965-) / Felix Leiter
Born in Washington DC, Jeffrey Wright is the 8th actor to play Felix Leiter. His films include - Presumed Innocent (1990), Ride with the Devil (1999), Shaft (2000), Ali (2001), Syriana (2005), The Invasion (2007), W (2008 as Colin Powell), Quantum of Solace (2008 as Felix Leiter), Source Code (2011) and The Ides of March (2011).
Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel “Casino Royale” (1953) was filmed twice before, first in 1954 as an episode of the TV anthology series Climax. James Bond was played by Barry Nelson and Peter Lorre played Le Chiffre.
In 1967 the novel was turned into an expensive spy spoof. Casino Royale starred David Niven as Sir James Bond, Le Chiffre was played by Orson Welles and Ursula Andress played Vesper Lynd. It also starred Peter Sellers, Deborah Kerr and Woody Allen. Five directors worked on the film.
Bartender: Shaken or stirred?
Bond: Do I look like I give a damn?
Other actors considered for the role of 007 for Casino Royale (2006) include Clive Owen, Julian McMahon, Gerard Butler, Goran Visnjic, Rupert Friend, Dominic West and Sam Worthington.
Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron and Audrey Tautou were considered for the role of Vesper Lynd.
One of the most memorable sequences in the film is the chase at the beginning featuring Bond running after Mollaka, played by Sebastian Foucan an expert in the activities of Free Running and Parkour, a form of running gymnastics using various obstacles as a challenge.
Bond drives a silver Aston Martin DBS V12. The scene where Bond swerves to avoid hitting Vesper resulting in the car rotating seven times before crashing to a stop has been entered in the Guinness Book of Records.
In the novel the game was Baccarat while in the film it was changed to a “Texas Hold’em” poker tournament.
Quentin Tarantino expressed interest in directing Casino Royale, but only with Pierce Brosnan as Bond, Uma Thurman as Vesper Lynd and the story set in the 1960’s. Director Martin Campbell also directed Brosnan’s first Bond movie Goldeneye (1995).
Bond: I've got a little itch, down there. Would you mind?
Le Chiffre: You really aren't going to tell me the password, are you?
Bond: [laughing] No.
The first Bond movie to use the title of an Ian Fleming story since The Living Daylights (1987). The first Bond movie in the series not to start with the famous gun barrel sequence.
The first Bond movie where James Bond dies… briefly, his heart stops beating after being poisoned by Le Chiffre… he is revived by Vesper.
The first Bond movie since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) in which the leading lady dies. In the novel Vesper dies after a sleeping pill overdose.
The first Bond movie not to end with a scene featuring Bond together with his leading lady, Quantum of Solace was the second.
The first Bond movie not to feature Miss Moneypenny, and Q is absent too. Moneypenny does get a mention of sorts, Vesper tells Bond “I’m the money.” and he replies “every penny of it”.
Casino Royale was nominated for nine British Academy Awards - Best British film, Actor, Screenplay, Music, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Visual Effects and winning for Sound. Daniel Craig is the first actor to receive a nomination for playing James Bond.
The theme song “You Know My Name” was sung by Chris Cornell, it reached #7 in the UK charts and peaked at #64 on the Billboard Pop 100. The first song since “All Time High” Octopussy (1983) not to feature the title of the film in the lyrics.
Composer David Arnold does not use the James Bond Theme until the very end of the film, when 007 says “Bond, James Bond” for the first time.
Casino Royale grossed an impressive $594m worldwide making it the highest grossing Bond film to date in unadjusted dollars. It earned $84m in it’s first weekend. The film was very well received from audiences and critics. In my opinion it is one of the best Bond films.
Bond would be back in Quantum of Solace (2008).
The Critics Wrote –
"A breathless, thrilling romp that will win over a whole new generation of fans. Easily the best Bond film since GoldenEye, it's 144 minutes of non-stop, end-to-end action that proves there's plenty of life in the world's longest-running movie franchise. But a word of warning - this is unlike any other Bond flick. Dark, gritty and surprisingly violent, the suave, smooth-talking secret agent of old is replaced by a steely-eyed killer with a dash of vulnerability. And new 007 Daniel Craig is simply brilliant, oozing the kind of edgy menace that recalls Sean Connery at his very best... The year's most eagerly anticipated film does not disappoint. You'll be shaken. You'll be stirred. Heck, you'll be blown away." (David Edwards, Mirror)
"Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery. He plays the gritty, tougher-than-nails secret agent novelist Ian Fleming meant the world to see. With his bulked-up frame, intense blue eyes and don’t-mess-with-me attitude, Craig makes Brosnan look a bit girlie in comparison... you can bet on Craig being a hit because when he sorts out his enemy at the end of the film — with his well-worn line “Bond — James Bond”, you just can’t help cheering." (The Sun)
"Craig is up there with the best - he combines Sean Connery's athleticism and cocksure swagger with Timothy Dalton's thrilling undercurrent of stone-cold cruelty." (The Times)
"Humour, once a Bond movie mainstay, is largely absent and, unless you're a poker fanatic, the key card game becomes boring. And, at 144 minutes, so does the film." (Morning Star)
"Flat-out one of the best Bonds ever." (Seattle Post)
"The script updates Ian Fleming's first Bond novel to a post-9/11 world and scales back the silliness that always seems to creep into the series; director Martin Campbell (The Mask of Zorro) contributes some superior action set pieces but keeps the camp and gadgetry to a minimum." (Chicago Reader)
"The latest James Bond vehicle finds the British spy leaner, meaner and a whole lot darker. Now played by an attractive bit of blond rough named Daniel Craig, Her Majesty’s favorite bad boy arrives on screens with the usual complement of cool toys, smooth rides and bosomy women. He shoots, he scores, in bed and out, taking down the bad and the beautiful as he strides purposefully into the 21st century." (New York Times)