|James Bond actors||Sean Connery|
Barry Nelson (unofficial)
David Niven (unofficial)
|Directed by||Terence Young|
Peter R. Hunt
|Produced by||Albert R. Broccoli|
Michael G. Wilson
|Novel by||Ian Fleming|
|Music by||Monty Norman|
The James Bond film series are film adaptations inspired by Ian Fleming's novels about the real-life MI6 agent James Bond (codename 007). The franchise remains as one of the longest continually running film series in history, having been in ongoing production from 1962 to 2010 with a six-year hiatus between 1989 and 1995. In that time EON Productions has produced 22 films, at an average of about one every two years, usually produced at Pinewood Studios.
- 1 About the films
- 2 Development
- 3 Duran Duran
- 4 Film list
- 5 James Bond song list
About the films[edit | edit source]
The films have grossed just over US$ 5 billion at the worldwide box office, being the second most-successful film series ever. In addition, there are two independent productions and an American television adaptation of the first novel. Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman co-produced the EON films until 1975, when Broccoli became the sole producer. Since 1995, Broccoli's daughter Barbara and stepson Michael G. Wilson have co-produced them. Six actors have portrayed 007 in the official EON series so far (not counting stunt doubles, authorised video game voiceovers, etc.)
Broccoli's (and until 1975, Saltzman's) family company, Danjaq, has held ownership of the James Bond film series through EON, and maintained co-ownership with United Artists since the mid-1970s. From the release of Dr. No (1962) up to For Your Eyes Only (1981), the films were distributed solely by UA. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought UA in 1981, MGM/UA Entertainment Co. was formed and distributed the films until 1995. MGM solely distributed three films from 1997 to 2002 after UA retired as a mainstream studio. From 2006 to present MGM and Columbia Pictures co-distribute the franchise, as Columbia's parent company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, (in a consortium including Sony, Comcast, TPG Capital, L.P. and Providence Equity Partners) bought MGM in 2005.
Development[edit | edit source]
First Bond film[edit | edit source]
Previous attempts to adapt the James Bond novels resulted in a 1954 television episode of Climax!, based on the first novel, Casino Royale, and starring American actor Barry Nelson as "Jimmy Bond". Ian Fleming desired to go one step further and approached Alexander Korda to make a film adaptation of either Live and Let Die or Moonraker, but Korda was not interested. On 1 October 1959, it was announced that Fleming would write an original film script featuring Bond for producer Kevin McClory. Jack Whittingham also worked on the script. However, Alfred Hitchcock and Richard Burton turned down roles as director and star respectively. McClory was unable to secure the financing for the film, and the deal fell through. Fleming used the story for his novel Thunderball (1961).
In 1959, producer Albert R. Broccoli expressed interest in adapting the Bond novels, but his colleague Irving Allen was unenthusiastic. In 1961, Broccoli, now partnered with Harry Saltzman, purchased the film rights to all the Bond novels (except Casino Royale) from Fleming. However, numerous Hollywood film studios did not want to fund the films, finding it "too British" or "too blatantly sexual". The producers wanted US$1 million to either adapt Thunderball or Dr. No, and reached a deal with United Artists in July 1961. The two producers set up EON Productions and began production of Dr. No.
Sean Connery (1962–1967)[edit | edit source]
A contest was set up to 'find James Bond', and six finalists were chosen and screen-tested by Broccoli, Saltzman, and Fleming. The winner of the contest was a 28-year-old model named Peter Anthony, who, according to Broccoli, had a Gregory Peck quality, but proved unable to cope with the role. The producers turned to Sean Connery, who ended up playing Bond for five consecutive films (and more subsequently). According to one story, Connery had been suggested by Polish director Ben Fisz, a friend of Saltzman. Saltzman viewed Connery in On the Fiddle (also called "Operation Snafu"), the actor's eleventh film. By other accounts, Broccoli first saw Connery in a screening of Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959). Connery had worked as a milkman, truck driver, bricklayer, coffin polisher, and life guard, among other jobs, before getting a break as a dancer in the chorus line of South Pacific in 1950.
Broccoli and Fleming were cool on Connery, but accepted him after rejecting Richard Johnson, James Mason, Rex Harrison, David Niven, Trevor Howard, Patrick McGoohan, and Broccoli's friend Cary Grant. As Broccoli later said, "I wanted a ballsy guy…Put a bit of veneer over that tough Scottish hide and you've got Fleming's Bond instead of all the mincing poofs we had applying for the job". (Ironically, the rejected David Niven would play an aging Bond in the 1967 parody of Casino Royale in just that mincing way.) Already balding, Connery wore a toupee in all his Bond films. Connery stated that "the character is not really me, after all". Ian Fleming, after seeing the preview screening of the first film, Dr. No, told his research assistant, "Dreadful. Simply dreadful." Dr. No received mixed reviews, some quite hostile, and even received a rebuke by the Vatican. Fleming eventually warmed up to Connery sufficiently to establish a Scottish ancestry for Bond in the late novels.
The role of Dr. No went to Joseph Wiseman, who had played a similar character in a The Twilight Zone episode One More Pallbearer, after Noel Coward, Christopher Lee, and Max von Sydow were suggested. (Both Lee and Sydow played Bond villains later.) With just two weeks to go before filming, the part of the first principal Bond girl, Honey Ryder, had yet to be cast. Director Young had seen a picture of Swiss-born actress Ursula Andress, then wife of John Derek, when visiting Darryl F. Zanuck over at Fox, and he borrowed the photo and showed it to the producers, who quickly approved the deal.
On the next film, From Russia with Love, the producers doubled the budget, and shot locales in Europe, which had turned out to be the more profitable market for Dr. No. Much of the team from the first film returne The film was the first to feature the pre-title sequence and the first to feature Desmond Llewelyn as Major Boothroyd, now called the Equipment Officer, who finally becomes Q in the third film. Llewelyn appears in a total of seventeen Bond films, the most for any actor playing the same role. The final confrontation between Bond and assassin Donald Grant (Robert Shaw) takes place on the Orient Express and Bond owes his life to Major Boothroyd's deadly attaché case. It is also the second and last film to feature the role of Sylvia Trench, who was supposed to continue through the series as Bond's somewhat regular bed partner between assignments. The violence of the second film was decidedly pumped up from the previous film, with more than double the homicides.
Adding to the appeal of mounting the picture, From Russia with Love was also cited by President John F. Kennedy as one of his ten favourite books. It was likely the last film Kennedy saw before his death. Some critics still resisted the Bond allure on the second Connery film, branding From Russia with Love "a movie made for kicks", but audiences loved it and some critics raved, such as Bosley Crowther who proclaimed "Don't Miss It!".It is the first of the series to have virtually all the elements that appear throughout the series.
For the next film, Goldfinger, Guy Hamilton took over as director from Terence Young, putting more humour into Bond's character and more double entendres on the table. For the important role of Pussy Galore, Honor Blackman was lured away from her role on the Avengers television series, which later offered up Diana Rigg as well. For Auric Goldfinger, Theodore Bikel was considered but the role went to Gert Fröbe, a well-known actor in Europe, whose heavy accent required that his voice be dubbed.
Goldfinger is the most noted Bond film by popular culture. The use of a menacing laser, newly invented just years before and not widely known to the public, was a cutting edge demonstration of real technology, and a set-up to perhaps one of the most memorable lines of the Bond films: BOND: Do you expect me to talk? GOLDFINGER: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die! The premiere in the UK created a near riot. In America, it became the fastest-grossing film ever to date. It was the first Bond film to win an Oscar (category: Best Effects, Sound Effects). Ian Fleming died before getting to see the film.
By 1961, the Fleming Thunderball novel had become the biggest hit in the Bond novel series and was the project that re-attracted Cubby Broccoli to consider producing Bond projects in 1961 — most rights to which Harry Salzman held, for he had acquired an option to the most of the Bond movie rights — with the notable exception for Thunderball, which was turned into a script in that year which became the center of a legal dispute between screenwriters and Fleming. Consequently the production of the fourth Bond film by EON, Thunderball, was delayed by those legal disputes between writers. In a court case, McClory sued Fleming, because Fleming had used Thunderball's story and characters without permission. He won the film rights to Thunderball, so when Broccoli and Saltzman made Thunderball, it was a co-production with McClory. Part of the deal they made ensured McClory was unable to make Thunderball into a film for ten years.
Apart from Connery, the principal parts were hotly contested. For the lead Bond girl, Domino, a slew of top female actresses were considered including Raquel Welch, Julie Christie, and Faye Dunaway but the role went to former Miss France Claudine Auger. Always with an eye toward European audiences, the producers gave the part of supervillain Emilio Largo to popular Italian actor Adolfo Celi. Connery was eager to start but admitted in a pre-production interview that "My only grumble about the Bond films is that they don't tax one as an actor. All one needs is the constitution of a rugby player to get through 18 weeks of swimming, slugging, and necking…I'd like to see someone else tackle Bond."
Connery would later state that Thunderball was his personal favourite performance as Bond (though in later statements, he claims that his favourite is From Russia with Love). Thunderball was the most successful Bond film to date, based on total box office, earning nearly $US1 billion (inflation-adjusted to 2008 US dollars). It also inspired other spy films of the 1960s, including the "Harry Palmer" trilogy featuring Michael Caine, the "Derek Flint" series with James Coburn, the "Matt Helm" series with Dean Martin.
For the fifth Bond film with Connery, You Only Live Twice, Bond comes face-to-face for the first time with arch-nemesis Blofeld (played by Donald Pleasance) Number One in SPECTRE, the world's most powerful criminal organization. The title comes from a pseudo-haiku written by Fleming in the book, "You only live twice/Once when you're born/And once when you look death in the face." The Bond films are hugely popular in Japan and when the crew arrived for shooting, they were treated exuberantly. Connery, however, was somewhat resigned to the project, lacking the enthusiasm he sported for Thunderball. Glimpses of Japanese culture were progressive (again a smart bow to Asian audiences by the producers) and the martial arts and ninja sequences novel for the time.
You Only Live Twice is the very first James Bond film to jettison the plot premise of the Fleming source material, although the film retains the title, setting the plot entirely in Japan, the use of Blofeld as the main villain and a Bond girl named Kissy Suzuki — the backplot, plot and narrative were entirely screenwriter creations, and based in part on having already scouted locations such as Ninja castles and the volcanic mountains. This would be common during the Roger Moore era, but this is the only Connery film to do so this radically, as the series began to grow beyond Fleming, who soon passed away in any event.
After You Only Live Twice, and despite the posters boasting that "Sean Connery is James Bond", Connery announced that it was his last film as Bond. The producers had no desire to give up the series. He was then replaced by George Lazenby, who starred in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
George Lazenby (1969)[edit | edit source]
Australian model George Lazenby became the new 007 in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). Timothy Dalton, a later Bond, declined: he claimed he was too young for the role. Lazenby had little acting experience beyond a series of chocolate advertisements. His screen tests were satisfactory, and he was offered a contract for seven films. However, convinced by his agent that the secret agent would be archaic in the 1970s, Lazenby left the series after one film.
Lazenby's reviews were generally underwhelming. Many felt that he was physically convincing but looks foolish in his many loud costume changes and delivers his lines poorly.. The film also featured the only breaking of the "fourth wall" in the official EON-produced Bond series. (This also occurs in the unofficial film Never Say Never Again (1983) when Sean Connery winks to the audience). In the pre-credit teaser Lazenby cracks, in reference to Connery's Bond: "This never happened to the other fellow."
In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, a conscious attempt was made to establish continuity with previous Bond films by showing scenes from several previous Bond films during the title sequence. Furthermore, when Bond is packing up items in his office, several mementos of previous cases, such as the breathing device from Thunderball, are shown, while the score plays musical motifs from those previous films.
Sean Connery's return (1971)[edit | edit source]
After Lazenby turned down Diamonds Are Forever (1971), the producers decided to return to the formula of Goldfinger. Director Guy Hamilton returned, as well as the regular cast. John Gavin was offered the role of Bond and accepted, but the producers were simultaneously attempting to bring Sean Connery back to the role. To clinch the deal, Connery received a remarkable contract: a record US$1.25 million salary, plus 12.5 percent of the gross profits, and an additional US$145,000 per week overtime if filming extended beyond 18 weeks. Connery admitted, "I was really bribed back into it...But it served my purpose...Playing James Bond again is still enjoyable." The original idea was to bring back Auric Goldfinger for a sequel, but that was abandoned. In Fleming's novels, Bond attempts to get revenge for the death of his wife in On Her Majesty's Secret Service in You Only Live Twice. But since the latter had been filmed prior to the former, Blofeld (played by English actor Charles Gray) is put into the story of Diamonds Are Forever to give Bond an opportunity to give Blofeld his comeuppance. This results in expanding Fleming's "Blofeld trilogy" into a tetralogy. Connery returned to the role 12 years later in Never Say Never Again. For more see Non EON-series column below.
Roger Moore (1973–1985)[edit | edit source]
In early 1972, the search for Connery's replacement began. Jeremy Brett, Michael Billington, and Julian Glover (who would later play Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only) were considered for the next film in the series, Live and Let Die (1973), with the forty-five year old Roger Moore getting the nod.Moore would become the longest-serving Bond, spending twelve years in the role and making seven official films. Moore tried not to imitate either Sean Connery or his performance as Simon Templar in The Saint, and depicted Bond in a more light-hearted and comedic way. In sharp contrast to the way Lazenby was introduced, the first two Moore films actually avoided common Bond film motifs, having him smoke cigars instead of cigarettes, and drink a bourbon instead of a martini. One critic noted, "Roger Moore has none of the gravitas of Sean Connery…he does fit slickly into the director's presentation of Bond as a lethal comedian".
Moore's second film, The Man with the Golden Gun, was a box office disappointment, and Broccoli was determined not to be upstaged.
Roger Moore's third film, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), became a turning point for the series in two ways: it was the first film produced by Broccoli alone, as Harry Saltzman was forced to sell his half of the Bond film franchise in 1975 for twenty million pounds following huge debts; and also the first to include a completely original storyline, as Ian Fleming had given permission to use only the title of the novel.
Moore's fourth film, Moonraker, was the last Bond film to use the title of a Fleming novel until 2006's Casino Royale. The next two films, For Your Eyes Only and Octoxxxxy, used both of the titles of Bond short story anthologies and each incorporated material from multiple stories in those anthologies. The film Octoxxxxxy can be read as a sequel to Fleming's short story of the same name.
Moore showed interest in departing the series after 1981's For Your Eyes Only, and a string of younger actors, including James Brolin, Oliver Tobias, and Michael Billington, screen-tested for the part. However, EON eventually persuaded him to return in 1983's Octopussy, due to the non-EON Bond film, Never Say Never Again, being released in the same year. Because he was rather old for the required action and the demands of the character (Moore was 55 at the time), stunt doubles were employed often (over a hundred stuntmen in total), and only the close-ups are surely Moore. Moore would only regret his last film, A View to a Kill (1985), which was poorly received by critics.
In undertaking the challenge of creating his own version of Bond, Moore merged some of the characteristics of his role in his series The Saint with the Bond persona. Critics thought this Bond more of a charmer, more debonair, more calculating, and more casually lascivious in a somewhat detached but amused manner. He appears just as strong physically as Connery (at least in the early pictures), but not quite as graceful in action. Moore's adaptation applied more fantasy and humour than other Bonds. The series managed to stay afloat by adding contemporary material and new characters to shore up the dated Fleming plots.
Timothy Dalton (1987–1994)[edit | edit source]
Timothy Dalton had been considered to replace Sean Connery in 1968, but he walked away from his screen test feeling, at the age of 22, that he was too young for the role. 12 years later, Dalton was approached again to possibly replace Roger Moore in For Your Eyes Only but the producers did not have a script and he feared being asked to do a Spy Who Loved Me/Moonraker type of film which "Weren't my idea of Bond films." Dalton was the first actor to be offered The Living Daylights but initially had to turn it down as the original shooting date clashed with commitments on the film Brenda Starr. Pierce Brosnan was then cast, but when his cancelled television show Remington Steele was renewed in 1986, he was prevented from continuing. Several actors were screen-tested, including Sam Neill and Lewis Collins, before Dalton was offered a revised production date which he was able to accommodate, and no sooner than he wrapped shooting on Brenda Starr than Dalton found himself in the shoulder holster for The Living Daylights.
Best known for his stage and television roles and trained in the British Shakespearean tradition, Dalton's Bond differs noticeably from his predecessors. The Guardian remarked, "Dalton hasn't the natural authority of Connery nor the facile charm of Moore, but Lazenby he is not." The film returned to "realism" and a more credible plot, with less fantasy and gratuitous humour.
To save on production costs and taxes, Eon decided to shoot the next Bond film, Licence to Kill, in Mexico rather than at Pinewood Studios in the UK. The film's darker and more violent plot elicited calls for cuts by the British Board of Film Classification. Licence to Kill is the first Bond film by EON to not use the title of any Fleming novel or short story (although it uses material from the Fleming short story "The Hildebrand Rarity" and novel Live and Let Die). It and subsequent Bond films were novelised. Reviews for the film were mixed. With box office admissions close to that of The Man with the Golden Gun, the worst attended Bond film to date, some thought that replacing the basic style and elegance of a Bond film with "realism" was a mistake.
In 1989, the same year of Dalton's second and last appearance, MGM/UA was sold to the Australian based broadcasting group Quintex, which wanted to merge the company with Pathé. Danjaq, the Swiss based parent company of EON, sued MGM/UA because the Bond back catalogue was being licensed to Pathé, who intended to broadcast the series on television in several countries worldwide without the approval of Danjaq. These legal disputes engendered a six-year hiatus in the series. Nonetheless, official pre-production of another film began in May 1990, for release in late 1991. Generic promotional materials for "Bond 17" were unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival at around the same time. A detailed story draft, widely available online and spread over 17 pages, was written by Alfonso Ruggiero Jr. and Michael G. Wilson. The 'Imagineering' division of Walt Disney Studios were also involved in the film's development at some point, specifically in the development of the high-tech robots prominent in that early treatment.
Owing to the legal disputes, the production of Dalton's third film was postponed several times. In an interview in 1993, Timothy Dalton said that Michael France was writing the story for the film, which was due to begin production in January or February 1994. It never began and in April 1994, Dalton resigned from the role.
Pierce Brosnan (1995–2004)[edit | edit source]
To replace Dalton, the producers cast Pierce Brosnan, whom they had met on the set of For Your Eyes Only when he came to visit his wife, Cassandra Harris (who had a small part as Countess Lisl von Schlaf), but had been prevented from taking over the role from Roger Moore in 1985 because of his contract for Remington Steele. By then, the world had changed drastically and Brosnan had gone through changes as well. Shortly after Remington Steele was cancelled in 1987, Brosnan's wife was diagnosed with cancer and he cared for her until she died in 1991. In the next three years he worked only occasionally, so by 1994 he was ready to take on the Bond role. He stated his hopes for remaking Bond: "I would like to see what is beneath the surface of this man, what drives him on, what makes him a killer. I think we will peel back the onion skin, as it were". He also relished the fact that Goldfinger was the first film he had ever seen and now he would get to play Bond, "Little did I think I would be playing the role someday."
Although little attention had been paid in the past to the Scottish background of Connery, Lazenby's Australian background, or the Welsh ancestry of Timothy Dalton, some British fans thought there was something odd about an Irishman playing Bond, and some referred to Pierce Brosnan as "James O'Bond".
The new Bond smokes cigars and he favours Italian-made suits. More importantly, Brosnan's GoldenEye was the first film of the series to be produced since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This cast doubt over whether Bond was still relevant in the modern world, as many of the previous films pitted him against Soviet adversaries. Gone is state-sponsored crime, now replaced by Russian mobs and gangsters. Another major change was casting Judi Dench as M, reflecting that MI5 (the UK Security Service) was now headed by a female, Dame Stella Rimington. Actress Samantha Bond was cast as Miss Moneypenny.
Some of the film industry felt that it would be "futile" to make a comeback for the Bond series, and that it was best left as "an icon of the past". However, when released, the film was viewed as a successful revivification that effectively adapted the series for the 1990s. The film had the highest admissions since Connery's You Only Live Twice. Tom Shone commented, "Brosnan shares none of Connery's virtues but has also been careful to avoid Moore's vices. It doesn't give him much room for maneuver, but then maneuvering in tight corners is the one thing Brosnan is quite good at." Another critic stated, "The film is located precisely on the cusp between fantasy and near reality. For the first time in a Bond film there is something that could be called emotion." And another, "Bond is back with a bang."
After the triumph of GoldenEye, there was pressure to recreate success in its follow-up, Tomorrow Never Dies, also at MGM. The studio had recently been sold to billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who wanted the release to coincide with their public stock offering, and the worldwide audience. Co-producer Michael G. Wilson said, "You realise that there's a huge audience and I guess you don't want to come out with a film that's going to somehow disappoint them." The rush to complete it meant the budget spiralled to around $US110 million. Most of the locales were in Asia. Breaking completely with Fleming, with no direct references to the novels, the plot is nevertheless reminiscent of The Spy Who Loved Me. The incorporation of stealth technology and cruise missiles makes the story somewhat up-to-date.
Brosnan portrayed Bond in two more films, The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002), and a video game, Everything or Nothing, before it was announced by EON that Brosnan was no longer required as the film series was about to be rebooted and the search for a new 007 (eventually Daniel Craig) was on. Though strong in its action scenes, production values, and acting, some critics found the final two Brosnan films to be too hyperkinetic with little time to savour the characters.
Following the success of GoldenEye, Kevin McClory also attempted to remake Thunderball again as Warhead 2000. Liam Neeson and Timothy Dalton were considered for 007, while Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were developing the film at Sony Pictures. MGM launched a $US25 million lawsuit against Sony, and McClory claimed a portion of the $US3 billion profits from the Bond series. Sony backed down after a prolonged lawsuit, and McClory gave up. In exchange, MGM paid $US10 million for the rights to Casino Royale, which had come into Sony's possession after its acquisition of the companies behind Climax! years before.
Daniel Craig (2006–present)[edit | edit source]
Pierce Brosnan had originally signed a deal for three films, with an option for a fourth, when he was cast in the role of James Bond. This was fulfilled with the production of Die Another Day in 2002. However, at this stage Brosnan was approaching his 50th birthday, and speculation began that the producers were seeking to replace him with a younger actor. Brosnan kept in mind that both aficionados and critics were unhappy with Roger Moore playing the role until he was 58, but he was receiving popular support from both critics and the franchise fanbase for a fifth instalment. For this reason, he remained enthusiastic about reprising his role. Throughout 2004, it was rumoured that negotiations had broken down between Brosnan and the producers to make way for a new and younger actor. This was denied by MGM and EON Productions. In July 2004, Brosnan announced that he was quitting the role, stating "Bond is another lifetime, behind me"; this is thought by some to be a failed negotiating ploy.
Casting involved a widespread search for a new actor to portray James Bond, despite Brosnan having proven to be a very popular Bond. Throughout 2004 and 2005, a whole legion of potential new actors to portray James Bond were speculated on by the media, ranging from established Hollywood actors, such as Eric Bana, Hugh Jackman, James Purefoy, Goran Višnjić, Julian McMahon, Gerard Butler, and Clive Owen, to many unknown actors from a number of different countries, including Sam Worthington, Alex O'Loughlin, and Rupert Friend. At one point producer Michael G. Wilson claimed there was a list of over 200 names being considered. English actor Colin Salmon, who had played the role of MI6 operative Charles Robinson in earlier Bond films alongside Pierce Brosnan, was also considered for the role and raised speculation that he might become the first black Bond. According to Martin Campbell, however, Henry Cavill was the only actor in serious contention for the role. But being only 22-years-old at the time, he was considered too young.
In May 2005, Daniel Craig announced that Sony & MGM and producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had assured him that he would get the role of Bond, but EON Productions at that point had not yet approached him. Later, Craig stated that the producers had indeed offered him the role, but he had declined until a script was available for him to read.
Bolstered by the success of Universal Pictures’ rival Jason Bourne franchise (as well as Warner Bros.’ reboot of the Batman franchise with Batman Begins), the decision was made at MGM and EON to "bring Bond back to his roots" by eliminating the increasingly silly gadgets and outlandish fantasy elements that had begun to define the series, and introducing a tougher, darker, and more realistic Bond that was more in line with the Bond of Ian Fleming's original novels than with any of his previous screen incarnations. Thus, the 21st Bond film, Casino Royale (2006), in addition to being the first film adaptation of a Fleming novel since 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun, was to be a reboot of the franchise, establishing a new timeline and narrative framework not meant to precede any previous film. This not only freed the Bond franchise from more than forty years of continuity, but allowed the film to show a less experienced and more vulnerable Bond. As with the previous introductions of new Bonds, the film provided the opportunity to remove production excesses and to get back to basics.
By August 2005, speculation was high that the then 37-year-old Daniel Craig was being seriously considered, although full casting for the role was not actually done until September. Then, on 14 October 2005, EON Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment confirmed to the public at a press conference in London that Daniel Craig, who would soon become one of the stars of Steven Spielberg's Munich, would be the sixth actor to portray James Bond. Significant controversy followed the decision, as it was doubted if the producers had made the right choice. Throughout the entire production period Internet campaigns such as danielcraigisnotbond.com expressed their dissatisfaction and threatened to boycott the film in protest. Craig, unlike previous actors, was not considered by the protesters to fit the tall, dark, handsome and charismatic image of Bond to which viewers had been accustomed. The Daily Mirror ran a front page news story critical of Craig, with the headline, The Name's Bland — James Bland. However, reviews for Casino Royale were favourable and the film became the highest grossing of the series. Roger Ebert commented, "Daniel Craig makes a superb Bond: leaner, more taciturn, less sex-obsessed, able to be hurt in body and soul, not giving a damn if his martini is shaken or stirred."
As production of Casino Royale reached its conclusion, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that pre-production work had already begun on the 22nd Bond film. After several months of speculation as to the release date, Wilson and Broccoli officially announced on 20 July 2006 that the follow-up film, Quantum of Solace, would be released on 2 May 2008 and that Craig had been signed to play Bond, with an option for a third film Quantum of Solace was eventually released on 31 October 2008 in the UK and 14 November 2008 in North America, changed from its original release date of 7 November 2008 after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was pushed back to summer 2009. Upon its opening in the UK, it grossed £4.9 million, breaking the record for the largest Friday opening (31 October 2008) in the UK. The film then broke the UK opening weekend record, taking £15.5 million in its first weekend, surpassing the previous record of £14.9 million held by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The film grossed $27 million on its opening day in 3,451 theatres in Canada and the United States. It was the #1 film for the weekend, with $US67.5 million and $US19,568 average per theatre. It was the highest-grossing opening weekend Bond film in the US and Canada, and tied with The Incredibles for the biggest November opening outside of the Harry Potter series.
Columbia Pictures co-financed and distributed Craig's first two films because they bought MGM in 2005. However, MGM chose to cease the distribution deal with Columbia following the success of Casino Royale (for which Columbia provided 75% of the budget). In the agreement, Columbia chose to finance one more Bond film, Quantum of Solace.
Duran Duran[edit | edit source]
- Duran Duran co-wrote and performed the 1985 movie theme "A View To A Kill".
- During The Summer Tour in 2009 the band played a medley of James Bond songs, which included a performance at the Edinburgh Castle Concert.
- John Taylor once went out with James Bond actress Janine Andrews, who appeared in the 1983 Octopussy movie.
Film list[edit | edit source]
|Title||Year||Bond actor||Director||Synopsis||Actual (Millions)||Adjusted (Millions)|
|Dr. No||1962||Sean Connery||Terence Young||James Bond traces a mysterious murder to a Chinese doctor living on a small Jamaican island who, working for SPECTRE, plans to disrupt American rocket launches.||59.6||1||419.35||8.44|
|From Russia with Love||1963||SPECTRE hires a seductive young female Russian agent to act as a fake defector in a plot to assassinate James Bond; Bond in turn uses her to get a Soviet decoding machine.||78.9||2||547.835||17.35|
|Goldfinger||1964||Guy Hamilton||Bond battles gold magnate Auric Goldfinger, who plans to irradiate the gold supply of Fort Knox making it worthless, increasing the value of Goldfinger's supply.||124.9||3||853.2||23.9|
|Thunderball||1965||Terence Young||Bond is sent by his boss to a health farm where he gets a valuable lead in his next mission: to track down the villain in a SPECTRE robbery of nuclear weapons.||141.2||9||955.27||37.9|
|You Only Live Twice||1967||Lewis Gilbert||After faking his own death, Bond investigates the hijacking of American and Russian spacecraft from orbit. Bond's cover includes a fake marriage to Kissy Suzuki.||111.6||9.5||716||61|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service||1969||George Lazenby||Peter R. Hunt||Removed from hunting Blofeld, Bond almost resigns, but Moneypenny alters his letter to a request for leave. He pursues Blofeld on his own. Incognito as Blofeld's hired genealogy expert, Bond discovers SPECTRE's plan for biochemical terror. Meanwhile, Bond falls in love with a crime lord's suicidal daughter.||82||8||518.2||41.5|
|Diamonds Are Forever||1971||Sean Connery||Guy Hamilton||Bond traces a diamond smuggling operation first to Holland and Las Vegas and then to a SPECTRE plot to build a satellite with laser beams capable of destroying weapons on the ground.||116||7.2||615.2||38.2|
|Live and Let Die||1973||Roger Moore||Bond fights voodoo priests and heroin smugglers in New York, New Orleans and San Monique in a film imitating the conventions of "blaxploitation" movies of the era.||161.8||7||801.7||38.7|
|The Man with the Golden Gun||1974||While trying to locate a missing solar expert, Bond is led to believe the world's top assassin is aiming for him. Bond soon learns that the expert's disappearance and the assassin's appearance are related.||97.6||7||442||31.7|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||1977||Lewis Gilbert||Bond teams up with a female Russian agent to locate two missing nuclear submarines; he winds up dealing with a man whose dream is an undersea empire.||185.4||14||669||50.5|
|Moonraker||1979||Bond investigates the mid-air hijacking of one of the Moonraker space shuttles. The shuttle's maker, Hugo Drax, is using his shuttle fleet to help in wiping out every human on Earth and re-populating it with a hand-picked racial rainbow of superior human pairs.||210.3||31||650||77.3|
|For Your Eyes Only||1981||John Glen||Bond's investigation of the murder of a marine archaeologist working for the British Secret Service leads him to a race against the Soviets for a submarine attack computer in a sunken ship.||195.3||28||474||68|
|Octopxxxy||1983||The murder of Agent 009 and a forgery of a Fabergé egg leads Bond to Kamal Khan and Octoxxxy, the leader of an all-female 'octopus cult'. Khan has betrayed Octopxxxy, who also owes Bond a favour for having helped her father long ago. They ally against Khan, who with General Orlov is plotting to "accidentally" detonate a nuclear device on a US air base in Germany, hoping NATO will disarm and the Soviets can take over Europe in record time.||187.5||27.5||404.7||75.5|
|A View to a Kill||1985||Bond investigates a high-tech firm, Zorin Industries, and uncovers a plot to corner the market on microchips by manufacturing an earthquake that would drown Silicon Valley (and all of Zorin's competition).||152.6||30||304.9||60|
|The Living Daylights||1987||Timothy Dalton||Bond deliberately misses when the Russian agent he must shoot turns out to be a civilian (and an attractive female cellist) who was asked to impersonate a (fictitious) spy. They investigate the fake defector for whom she was allegedly working, leading them to a weapons-for-drugs smuggling scheme.||191.2||40||363||76|
|Licence to Kill||1989||Bond resigns from the secret service to avenge the attempted murder of his CIA friend, Felix Leiter.||156.2||32||272.2||73.2|
|GoldenEye||1995||Pierce Brosnan||Martin Campbell||Bond fights to prevent an arms syndicate from using the GoldenEye satellite weapon against London to cause a global financial meltdown.||356.4||60||496.3||84.2|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||1997||Roger Spottiswoode||Bond investigates media mogul Elliot Carver, who aims to start a war between the UK and China so he can be guaranteed exclusive coverage for his new cable news channel.||339.5||110||459.8||145.9|
|The World Is Not Enough||1999||Michael Apted||Bond is asked to play bodyguard to an oil heiress whose father was murdered in MI6 headquarters. The heiress was once a captive of a terrorist who is slowly dying and cannot feel pain, but Bond soon learns the two still have a connection...and a plan.||361.7||135||501||173.4|
|Die Another Day||2002||Lee Tamahori||Bond is captured by North Koreans after he kills Colonel Moon. When released, his 00 status is revoked. Bond goes out on his own to discover who betrayed him, teaming up with a female American agent. Moon's henchmen have ties to a mysterious diamond dealer, Gustav Graves.||431.9||142||543.5||169.2|
|Casino Royale||2006||Daniel Craig||Martin Campbell||Bond, in his first assignment as a '00' agent, attempts to frustrate the schemes of terrorist financier Le Chiffre by defeating him at a high-stakes game of Texas hold 'em poker at Casino Royale in Montenegro.||596.4||102||632.5||138.4|
|Quantum of Solace||2008||Marc Forster||Bond goes after the Quantum organization behind Le Chiffre to get revenge for Vesper's death, while wondering what Vesper's final feelings towards him actually were. He uncovers an attempted coup in Bolivia motivated by the need to control the water supply.||586.1||230|
|Casino Royale (Climax! TV episode)||1954||Barry Nelson||William H. Brown, Jr.||American spy Jimmy Bond attempts to frustrate the schemes of Soviet agent Le Chiffre by defeating him at a high-stakes game of baccarat at an expensive French casino.||Not applicable||unknown|
|Casino Royale (parody)||1967||David Niven||Ken Hughes
|Sir James Bond 007 comes out of retirement to investigate the deaths of international spies. With the aid of Bond impersonators he battles the mysterious Dr. Noah and SMERSH.||$44.4||$12||$274.2||unknown|
|Never Say Never Again||1983||Sean Connery||Irvin Kershner||Remake of Thunderball, with added element of Bond coming out of retirement.||$160||$36||$331.4||unknown|
James Bond song list[edit | edit source]