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Casino Royale (2006) - Illustrated Reference

Updated on October 1, 2016

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.

Daniel Craig with Judi Dench
Daniel Craig with Judi Dench
Eva Green
Eva Green
Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen
Giancarlo Giannini with Daniel Craig
Giancarlo Giannini with Daniel Craig
Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright

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.

Bond: Vodka-martini.
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)


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    • bingo spelpunt profile image


      5 years ago from Netherlands

      this movie is the best, can see it 20 times on a day, i only dont have time enough hehe :P lol

    • Steve Lensman profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Lensman 

      9 years ago from Manchester, England

      Just replace the o with an e and you're there Flora. :)

      That is interesting news, he was an excellent villain in No Country for Old Men, scary too with that haircut.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      Javier Bardom (I don't think I'm spelling that correctly) has just been announced as Bond villain.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      Steve-thanks for telling me about the option to watch Youtube full screen and how to click it. I'll do that from now on. I've seen the What's My line clip. Great guest he was. One of the panalists thought he might have been James Stewart.

    • Steve Lensman profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Lensman 

      9 years ago from Manchester, England

      Hi Flora, just to let you know there is a "Fullscreen" option on the youtube video screen, it's on the control bar at the bottom of the video on the right hand corner. Click on that and the picture should fill your screen, you can also up the video bit rate to a higher quality if the option is available.

      Btw being a Hitchcock fan you may like to know typing his name in the youtube search box will present you with many rare tv clips and shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and I can see a video of Hitch on the show What's My Line?

      I think I'll give Barry Nelson's Bond a youtube watch tonight. :)

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      Steve-I watched the live TV movie tonight. I love Peter Lorre. I have never seen a bad performance from him. live television fascinates me. The format may not allow for a lot of set changes and there is only one take for everything-sometimes a problem but not a single problem here.

      as for Barry Nelson, he gives a solid performance -not great and not bad. I have to say I do not understand why he never graduated to lead roles in A films. He had the talent and looks to do it. You cannot survive a live performance and keep the audience engaged and not be a good actor.

      It was odd watching a movie on Youtube. I know people say that with Youtube giving you the option of watching classic films and television, you do not need cable etc. but wow, what a small screen with plenty of distracting photos and white screen. Not a problem for I Love Lucy that is a comedy-but suspense-having the click next segment not fabulous.

      and being live TV in the 1950s, there is a happy ending for Valerie. Can't have the good guys lose.

      Thanks again for the link.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the Youtube link. I will check it out when it is dark outside.

    • Steve Lensman profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Lensman 

      9 years ago from Manchester, England

      Thanks for the review Rob. I suppose I should do a hub on the 1967 version too.

    • Robwrite profile image


      9 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      This was a very good revamp of a franchise, much better than other revamps I've seen recently (Star Trek, for instance). Daniel Craig seemed like a strange choice at first because he doesn't look the part (Blonde, not classically handsome) but he pulls it off very well. He has an intensity that Bond has been missing since Connery. (I note that, once again, the critics compared the new Bond to Connery, rather than to his immediate predecessor.)

      The running chase early on in this film is one of my all-time favorite Bond actions sequences. It was amazingly well done.

      I think Bond's renewed origin is missing his military service. Wasn't Bond always called "Commander" because of Navy service?

      Judy Dench is the only hold-over character from the old continuity, and I think she has a better on-screen chemestry with Craig than with Brosnan.

      Good film, much better than the 1967 "Casino Royale".

      Another fun hub.


    • Steve Lensman profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Lensman 

      9 years ago from Manchester, England

      Thank you Mentalist!

      Sadly we're coming to the end of Bond's illustrated adventures in Hubland. :(

      But I have another series of movie hubs planned post-Bond.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      9 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Daniel Craig,to me,portrayed more of someone who had a license to kill than the other actors even Connery making it a more intense affair.;)

      Another Dynamic And Intensely Professional Hub Steve.;)

    • Steve Lensman profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Lensman 

      9 years ago from Manchester, England

      I can't remember Flora, all I remember was the quality of the recording was pretty bad. I think the whole thing was filmed "Live" I might be wrong.

      Wait I've found it on youtube if you want to have a peek -

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      further note: I like how you say "so far..." :) I will see this eventually as long as I can get hold of the video of the earlier Bond. I think I'll skip Quantam of Solace, though. What was Barry Nelson like as Bond, do you remember?

    • Steve Lensman profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Lensman 

      9 years ago from Manchester, England

      Hello Flora, thanks for commenting. I thought the 1954 tv version of Casino Royale might be on youtube but I couldn't find it. I did see it many years ago, a friend had a video of the episode.

      What I liked about Daniel Craig, the least good looking of the Bond actors so far, is that he wasn't a know-it-all smooth-talking gent like previous Bonds. More a cold-blooded killer, to quote Ian Fleming Bond was "a blunt instrument in the hands of the government" but he was still human, Vesper's death affected him deeply.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      that should read *I'd* love Tarantino to do a spy film- I ran out of time to edit. I did see Craig in road to Perdition, which I saw more than once for Newman. I paid attention to Newman.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      Re: Barry Nelson-he died the same year that Lois Maxwell died. People always say that Sean Connery was the first Bond, which is, of course, incorrect, unless you say the first *big screen Bond*-which few people not old enough to remember Nelson's movie ever do. It is available and I would like to see it.

      As for this movie, I haven't seen it yet. as a personal note that is totally irrelevant to this being a Bond movie and my opinion only, I have to say that I have never cared for this Bond actor and I have *no* idea whether this is because I really don't like him, the film trailers I've seen him in are for films that are bad films in general giving him a bad surrounding for an otherwise good actor, that he is too close to my own age for me to be interested in him if he is not second or third generation Hollywood (this is maybe the most likely in my opinion), or just that I *really* want to see the Barry Nelson movie *first* and I know that the follow-up movie got bad reviews. The last possibility is quite probable as well.

      As far as this being a good film is concerned, movies that are based on books instead of trying to come up with a believable plot out of thin air are often strong films-because everything begins with the script. It is a pity that some movie makers have forgotten this.

      oh, and I've love Taranatino to do a spy film too.

    • Steve Lensman profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Lensman 

      9 years ago from Manchester, England

      Thanks Cogerson your comments appreciated always.

      Quantum of Solace was a letdown coming after this one, Daniel Craig was the best thing about it.

      Tarantino should invent his own spy hero and set it in the 50's or 60's. Uma Thurman as a femme fatale would be interesting.

    • Cogerson profile image


      9 years ago from Virginia

      Excellent hub on an excellent movie. In my top three of all the Bond movies....up there with Goldfinger, Live and Let Die and Casino Royale. Great villians, great action and storyline that was somewhat believable.

      I did not know Tarantino wanted to direct this movie, I like him but I am glad the Bond producers did not go down that road.

      I agree 100% with your following statement "In my opinion it is one of the very best Bond films". Great hub as usual....I think I am going to watch this tonight....voted up interesting and awesome.....too bad Quantum of Solace was as bad as this one was good.


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