Story by: Jack Foley
CASINO Royale is to be updated and remade into the 21st Bond
film, it was confirmed this week (Friday, February 4, 2005).
Bond producers EON and MGM said that the film will be a new version
of the very first Ian Fleming book, which has already been turned
into an unofficial Bond movie, starring David Niven.
The news comes on the day former Bond star, Pierce Brosnan, officially
waved farewell to the franchise with a message of thanks to his
supporters relayed via his personal website.
The message reads: "I would like to thank all of you who
have supported me over the last year or so in regard to my playing
Bond. But everything comes to an end, and one must accept this
decision which cannot be dealt with in any other way but with
some kind of grace and knowledge that I did the job to the best
of my ability."
News of Casino Royale is likely to confuse 007 fans, however,
given that it was the film that both Brosnan and director, Quentin
Tarantino, said they wished to make next.
Both Brosnan and Tarantino said they thought the Bond franchise
needed to return to more plot-based stories, than special effects
driven adventures, only to be given the cold-shoulder by the makers.
Speaking at the Kill Bill 2
press conference, Tarantino said: "I would really love to
do a Bond film. But I would like to do Casino Royale, which hasn't
been filmed, other than that stupid version in the Sixties. It's
one of the best stories and the first film, so it's ironic that
it's never been done.
"My movie would be different
to Bond movies of late, but if the producers agreed to do it,
they really couldn't lose. And if I could do it my way, then I'd
love to have the opportunity."
The opportunity to do so has, however, been given to Goldeneye
director, Martin Campbell, who has until 2006 to get things right
- and find a star.
According to a statement from Martin G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
: "We are thrilled that Martin has accepted our offer to
direct Casino Royale. He is an extremely talented director and
we believe he will help take our films in a new and exciting direction."
It is thought that by returning to the source material, the Bond
franchise could be headed back to basics, building on the success
of recent spy movies such as The
Bourne Supremacy, which combined gritty action with taut storylines
in which characters never felt wasted.
Casino Royale sees Bond being given orders to kill a Russian
spy at a casino, only to become distracted by the attentions of
a deadly female spy.
The next problem for the producers, however, is casting the role.
With Brosnan now firmly out of the picture, the focus has returned
to bookies' favourites Dougray Scott and Clive Owen.
Scott is the out-and-out leader of the pack following reports
that several betting chains had closed the book on him - although
Owen remains in contention following his Golden
Globe win and Oscar nomination,
And now that a title and director is in place, don't bet against
the new identity of the world's greatest secret agent being revealed
Watch this space...