MI6 reports on the Australian premiere of Casino Royale, where Daniel Craig, Caterina Murino and director Martin Campbell wowed the crowds in Sydney...

Casino Royale Australian Premiere
6th December 2006

The Casino Royale roadshow hit Sydney, Australia on Monday 4th December 2006 for the last major premiere event for the 21st James Bond film. In attendance were Daniel Craig and his girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell, Italian actress Caterina Murino (Solange), and director Martin Campbell.

Above: Caterina Murino, Daniel Craig and Martin Campbell pose by the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The first port of call was the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a photocall. Craig, Murino and Campbell all posed under the famous landmark for a gaggle of photographers.

An estimated 800 fans lined Market Street to greet Daniel Craig and the other cast and crew members as they strode the red carpet to Sydney's State Theatre. The event caused gridlock and blocked traffic in the city when Craig crisscrossed the street to sign countless autographs and photograph himself with fans.

Above: Crowds line Market Street outside Sydney's State Theatre

Director Martin Campbell explained to the press how the film rests with the franchise, "It's not a reinvention, it's just a rebooting in a way. It's just going back to Ian Fleming's book, going back to its roots."

So how does Craig's interpretation of 007 compare to Brosnan in Campbell's first Bond outing "GoldenEye"? "They both work very well as their respective Bonds - they're two totally different Bonds. I don't think Pierce could have played at Casino Royale the same way that I don't think Daniel could have played GoldenEye. I think they both fit with their time and Daniel's time is now."

Craig was buoyant about the film's success, "It's just beyond expectations, you hope for good critics, that's always a thing for an actor, what you really like, but the fact that the numbers are good and everything's going really well makes it a great success."

"I had a chance to totally rediscover James Bond, work him out," he said. "He's a little bit more human, but that's because he has to fall in love. You see other sides of him."

Above: Caterina Murino arrives for the premiere, Daniel Craig and girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell pose for the photographers.

Italian actress Caterina Murino smoldered on the red carpet in a beige and black Dolce and Gabbana gown and strappy red stilettos. But the latest Bond girl was not feeling too sexy when she first heard she had landed the role. "I was making an Italian movie and I was dressed up like a man and it was very, very strange for me to be a Bond girl," she said. Murino also pointed out Craig's swimming trunks scene, "I always thought that Bond movies were more guys' movies ... and for the first time I think also women can enjoy to watch Daniel Craig come out of the water, not only women in a bikini," she said.

With writing for the 22nd James Bond film under way, Craig didn't dismiss bringing the blockbuster franchise to Australia for filming. "There is always a chance," the 38-year-old said on the red carpet. We could go anywhere, that's the fabulous thing about Bond. Certainly, if it gets written into the script I would be here (Australia)."

"Casino Royale" opens nationwide in Australia and New Zealand from Thursday 7th December 2006.

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