MI6 looks back the the making of the 21st James Bond film, Casino Royale, from pre-production, casting, filming and beyond...

The Road To Royale
10th November 2006

 

The road to Casino Royale began in March 2004 when scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (“The World Is Not Enough” – 1999, “Die Another Day” – 2002) began work on the screenplay. According to the duo, at that time they were writing the film with Pierce Brosnan in mind. That would all change a couple of months later when tabloid rumours spread that Brosnan had not been asked back for a fifth film.

Behind the scenes, the task of casting a new 007 had begun. The title of the film and the return of “GoldenEye” (1995) helmer Martin Campbell was announced in February 2005, further hinting that the director was to usher another fresh face into 007’s tuxedo.

To bolster Bond’s return to his literary roots in an adaptation of Ian Fleming’s debut 007 novel, Academy-award winning screenwriter Paul Haggis (“Crash”, “Million Dollar Baby”) was brought in to polish the script and strengthen the relationships between the characters. Media coverage dubbed the production “Bond Begins” when Campbell revealed the film would show 007 earning his licence to kill at the beginning of his MI6 career.

With the Sony Pictures lead consortium taking over MGM in 2005, the casting of Daniel Craig as 007 was stalled as the producers were asked to widen their search before the studio would sign off on their selection. Over 200 actors were tested from around the world until - finally - on October 14th 2005, Daniel Craig was officially unveiled as the sixth actor to play 007.

  Daniel Craig is officially confirmed by Eon Productions as the sixth actor to play James Bond 007. Craig will star in the 21st film Casino Royale in 2006
Official: James Bond 007 #6 Is Daniel Craig
  Daniel Craig arrived by speedboat in London where he was named as the sixth official James Bond 007. MI6 reports from the press conference
Daniel Craig Press Conference

Principal photography for Casino Royale commenced on January 30th 2006 and began - for the first time in franchise’s history - without a villain or leading lady. Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron were both "strongly considered" for the role of Vesper before the casting net discovered French actress Eva Green.

Mads Mikkelsen had been selected to play villain Le Chiffre long before his work schedule had allowed him to commit to the role. The announcements were confirmed to the press, along with Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, on February 16th 2006, some two weeks since filming began.

Casino Royale was primarily shot at Barrandov Studios in Prague, with additional location shooting in the Czech Republic, The Bahamas, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Production returned to its traditional home of Pinewood Studios to complete the shooting schedule and post-production.

 

Essential Reading
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Bahamas Interviews (2)
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Casino Royale DVD
Casino Royale Soundtrack

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Filming wrapped July 21st 2006, with the film’s finale shot in Pinewood’s “007 Stage” – which would be destroyed by fire only days later when the Venice set was being dismantled.

  MI6 explores the possibilities of Casino Royale's concept and how it may be viewed in the annals of the Bond canon
Prequel, Reboot Or Retcon?
  Casino Royale director Martin Campbell was interviewed on Finnish television to discuss his work on the new James Bond film
Martin Campbell On Directing 007


Order Soundtrack CD (Amazon USA)
Order Soundtrack CD (Amazon UK)
 

Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon Productions) and directed by Martin Campbell, CASINO ROYALE is scheduled for release on November 16, 2006 in the UK.

Principal photography started on January 30th 2006, with locations in the UK, Czech Republic (Prague), Italy, and the Bahamas. It will be British actor Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond. He is the sixth actor to play the 007 role in the franchise.

The film also stars Judi Dench, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian, Tobias Menzies, Ivana Milicevic, Clemens Schik, Ludger Pistor, Claudio Santamaria and Isaach de Bankole.

Left: Soundtrack artwork courtesy Amazon Associates

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Daniel Craig and director Martin Campbell quiz each other about the making of Casino Royale
 

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