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Fake stunts banished as Bond keeps it real in Casino Royale

15-Mar-2006 • Casino Royale

The makers of the new James Bond film admitted yesterday that they relied too heavily on computer-generated images for the spectacular stunts in their last two 007 movies - reports The Times.

Daniel Craig, making his debut as Bond on location in the Bahamas, told The Times that for Casino Royale they are going back to the old-fashioned way of making action thrillers and restoring the risk.

He said: “It’s the wow factor. You want the audience to be short of breath. The audience gets it when they’re for real.” When audiences knew that the stunts were real and that people had put their lives in danger, it added a frisson that computer-generated imagery (CGI) could not achieve, he added.

Casino Royale, the 21st Bond film, tells the story of how the British secret agent got his licence to kill, his first 007 mission and his battle against the evil Le Chiffre, banker to the world’s terrorist organisations.

Craig, chosen from more than 200 hopefuls after a two-year search, is the sixth Bond, after Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.

His craggy looks reflect an attempt by the producers to return to the darker, more violent Bond of the original novel who was inspired by the writer Ian Fleming’s experience in British Naval Intelligence in the Second World War.

Craig is doing many of the stunts himself and puts himself through a rigorous, two-hour session with a trainer after each day’s shoot. He said: “It’s incredibly physical. I’m getting kicks and bruises.” He did not, though, as reported, lose two front teeth in a fight. A cap just came loose. Yesterday he filmed a spectacular chase through the alleyways of a specially built shanty town.

Next week the chase continues across a building site. He will run over narrow steel girders that hover precariously. Admittedly, Craig will be attached to a cable and a stuntman will take over when he has to leap from one enormous, moving crane to another. But it is the insurers who control what Bond can and can’t do, not M.

Gary Powell, stunt co-ordinator on his fourth Bond film, said that audiences were “getting bored” by CGI — used extensively in The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day — because they knew that there was no real danger.

Chris Corbould, the special effects supervisor, said: “I don’t think we got it quite right.”

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