Bond prepares to Die Another Day

Preview by Jack Foley

JAMES Bond returns for his 20th outing in November in the eagerly-anticipated Die Another Day - a release which marks the 40th anniversary of the spy franchise.

Pierce Brosnan returns as the suave superhero, this time trying to thwart the dastardly plans of Rick (The Fast and the Furious) Yune’s General Zao to reunite North and South Korea, while also trying to do battle against Toby Stephens’ Gustav Graves and his huge, sun-mimicking, Earth-threatening satellite.

This being a Bond movie, of course, it is the stunts and set pieces which are already getting tongues wagging and director Lee (Once Were Warriors) Tamahori promises not to disappoint. The obligatory OTT pre-credits sequence is said to feature a mad hovercraft chase across the Korean border, while other highlights include the capture and imprisonment of 007, plus the mouth-watering prospect of a car chase involving Bond’s Aston Martin across the ice.

The Bond girls come in the shapely form of Halle Berry (as a sultry, bikini-clad CIA agent), and Miranda Frost, as a sword-wielding female foil, while the theme is being supplied by Madonna, who is said to cameo in the film. John Cleese returns as Q (taking over from the late Desmond Llewellyn), Dame Judi Dench is back as MI6 chief M, and Michael (Reservoir Dogs) Madsen takes on the role of Falco, the American equivalent of M (and a possible series regular).

Tamahori says he is intent on delivering some of the best and most spectacular stunts in the Bond series so far (there is also a chase across the surf, apparently), while the film is said to contain a fair number of in-jokes at Bond’s own expense.

Needless to say, advance word is sizzling at the moment - and it would need to be given that Die Another Day will do Box Office battle with the likes of Harry Potter and the second Lord of the Rings. So will James cut it this time around - ‘but of course he will’, we reckon.

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