The next 007 movie will be Casino Royale
A few things were formally announced with James Bond today..
1) Pierce Brosnan is out for good. There’s been a lot of ping-ponging about whether he was in or out, but this was the first time that EON (the people who make the 007 movies) have ever said anything about it, and they said he’s out. Plus there was an announcement on Brosnan’s site about it being over too, so he’s gone.
2) The director of the movie is Martin Campbell – who has already directed one 007 movie before, that being 1995’s Goldeneye.
3) The movie name will be Casino Royale. For years and years, Casino Royale was the one remaining movie that they never used from the old stable of Ian Fleming novels / short stories. The rights lied elsewhere, and a few years back when Sony was attempting to start their own chain of 007 movies based on some really ancient remake rights that belonged to Kevin McClory and the Casino Royale rights; that stuff was all settled in favor of EON, and EON gained legal and distribution rights to Casino Royale, as well as the other unofficial 007 movie “Never Say Never Again”.
Other James Bond Thoughts of mine:
This brings up the really obvious question, who will be the next 007? No one really knows for sure, and there’s a gajillion names being thrown around. Of the ones I’ve seen, I’d like either Ewan McGregor, or an actor who REALLY looks the part – Gerard Butler. When Pierce Brosnan took over in 1994, Timothy Dalton was still officially 007, as there was a 5 year break between License to Kill and Goldeneye. I remember when Dalton was announced as being out I was really annoyed – I did not want to like Brosnan, because I REALLY liked Dalton’s portrayal. But Brosnan grew on me, and I ended up really liking him – to the point where I thought Die Another Day was an awesome movie. I really loved it.
So we’re back to a new Bond with a story that should have been made ages ago. Granted, the real novel of Casino Royale is pretty minimalistic, as are a lot of the Fleming novels – if you’ve ever actually read any of them the spectacle that is a James Bond movie isn’t there. I’ll be real curious to see how much of the novel is on the screen. For example, the 1979 movie Moonraker had only the villian’s name from the novel (Hugo Drax), and that’s about IT. So the precendent is there for them to totally ignore the story and just use the name. However, I’ve been reading press saying that the producers want to take Bond back to the beginning to what made it good early on, so hopefully it won’t be butchered to death – although some editing is inevitable.
For no reason other than me wanting to talk about it, here’s some further background information on Never Say Never Again, Kevin McClory, and remakes…
Back when the original Ian Fleming novels were licensed, the only one that Broccoli and Saltzman (the original producers) couldn’t get was Thunderball. That was snapped up by Kevin McClory. As part of the deal for EON to make Thunderball, McClory got a co producer credit, and also had the rights for three remakes of Thunderball. Not much happened with that (Thunderball came out in 1965) until 1983 when McClory finally did a remake, that being Never Say Never Again. The NSNA Bond was Sean Connery, who by all acounts felt slighted by Cubby Broccoli over $ related to Bond. So I believe Connery did it to “stick it” to the official franchse (which did quite well that year with Octopussy). Anyway, some years later Sony attempted to start their own rival francise to EON based on their acquired rights to the old Casino Royale story, and the rights that McClory was working with them on for Thunderball. However, a court found in complete favor of EON, and as of that result, McClory was awarded $1 I think, and all legal rights to both Casino Royale and Thunderball’s remake rights went to EON, so they were in total control of the 007 franchise.
What’s interesting is that while the Never Say Never Again movie could include all the characters (James Bond, M, Q, Moneypenny, etc), the things that made BOnd “Bond” (like “Shaken Not Stirred, the 007 gunbarrel logo, the gunbarrel sequence with the white dots at the start of every movie, the theme song), couldn’t be used, so it kind of gave NSNA a way different feel.