Follow Us on Twitter

Casino Royale - Preview

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

Preview by Jack Foley

SO MUCH has been made of the decision to cast Daniel Craig as the new 007 that it’s easy to forget that very little is still known about the movie.

Yet now that the dust has begun to settle on the new blonde Bond and early footage suggests we’re in for a 007 treat, maybe now’s the time to kick back and begin looking forward to the prospect of a re-imagined franchise.

Casino Royale promises to offer a James Bond outing appropriate for its time. Aware that the franchise has been overtaken by the likes of The Bourne Supremacy and Mission: Impossible, producers Barbara Brocccoli and Michael Wilson have decided to go back to basics.

Gone are the notion of invisible cars, futuristic gadgets and unlikely super-villains, replaced instead by gritty human beings faced with realistic situations. Even Bond is rumoured to be more vulnerable (especially in his nether regions, but we’ll come to that).

It’s a risk but one that appears worth taking after the relative disappointment of Pierce Brosnan’s last outing, Die Another Day. According to various reports, this is a return to classic Bond that tells the story the producers have been waiting to tell – how Bond became Bond in the first place.

Hence, the film – much like the Ian Fleming book upon which it’s based – finds the secret agent on his maiden 00 mission, pitted against a terrorist financier named Le Chiffre (played by Danish actor, Mads Mikkelsen).

It will include a high stakes game of baccaret that plays a prominent part in the novel, as well as a renowned torture scene involving Bond’s genitals. But it will continue to deliver the type of action that fans have come to expect from the franchise, while returning to the essence of what made Bond the character he was in the first place.

Not that this means a return to the Sean Connery mode, for Craig maintains that his take on 007 is intended to be different from any one of his predecessors.

“I watched every single Bond movie three or four times, taking in everything I could about how the character had been portrayed in the past – then threw all that away once I started doing the role,” he defiantly proclaimed to US magazine Entertainment Weekly. “There’s no point in making this movie unless we took Bond to a place he’d never been before.”

That’s not to say that Bond will find himself in completely new territory – he’s still taking orders from M (Dame Judi Dench), driving an Aston Martin and turning on the charm with the ladies (in this case, Eva Green). But fans are being promised to expect a tougher side to the character that’s much less glib.

Casino Royale therefore looks set to become one of the most interesting Bond movies in ages and, from the look of its trailer alone, seems to have removed the concerns of many doubters (if only temporarily). We can’t wait.

Casino Royale opens in UK cinemas on November 17, 2006.

Visit our new Casino Royale photo gallery