The 21st James Bond film Casino Royale arrived in
China for the first time today, as the new 007 Daniel
Craig visited Beijing for the official premiere...
Casino Royale Chinese Premiere
29th January 2007
The 21st James Bond film Casino Royale arrived
in China for the first time today, as the new 007 Daniel Craig
visited Beijing for the official premiere - the penultimate launch
event for the film. The British actor along with Bond girl Eva
Green, producers Michael Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and director
Martin Campbell attended the premiere.
Craig arrives at the Beijing Capital Airport in
China on Sunday
that hundreds of screaming Chinese fans turned up on Monday to
see actor Daniel Craig at the premiere of the
first ever James Bond movie to be shown at theatres in China,
which is screening uncut and uncensored. "Ling ling qi" -
Chinese for 007 - has never before been officially released in
the world's most populous country,
and new James Bond Craig and leading lady Eva Green flew in especially
for the event.
Above: Daniel Craig and the cast and crew wave to the crowds
"It's been an ambition of mine to get here, and I wish
I had more time," a casually dressed Craig told reporters
while sipping coffee in a five-star hotel ahead of the premiere.
Craig chatted with fans and signed autographs at the cinema in
Beijing's fashionable Wangfujing shopping district which laid
out a red carpet welcome for him and Green, who plays Vesper
Lynd, a prickly official at the British Treasury.
Above: Daniel Craig, Eva Green and director Martin Campbell pose for the Chinese
Poor quality pirated DVD versions of "Casino Royale" have
been available on China's streets for weeks, costing a little
more than $1 and underlining the risk movie makers face in the
world's most populous country. "It hasn't premiered here
yet, but I think it's been seen here," Craig lamented. "Someone
tried to sell me a copy last night," he added. "I was
wearing a hat and glasses so they didn't recognise me. I understand
the reality of the situation and it saddens me, not just because
of the effect it has on the movie industry but because going
to the cinema is a great experience," said Craig, referring
to copyright piracy.
Craig greets fans on the red carpet
"You're missing out by watching a bad copy of a DVD with
no sound and bad picture quality. As far as I'm concerned cinema
is a collective experience and you get 50 percent more by going
to the cinema."
Executives expect the film - in which a moodier, more chiseled
Bond battles an evil banker to the world's terrorists - to be
the biggest grossing foreign movie ever in China, with receipts
seen exceeding 100 million yuan (6.6 million pounds). The film
is to be shown from 470 prints at more than 1,000 cinemas - also
the widest release ever for a foreign film in China. It will
be screened in all major Chinese cities and numerous smaller
towns, said distributor Sony Pictures. The cheapest tickets for
the film in Beijing will be 60 yuan (about $10), and it is scheduled
to run for a month.
Craig greets fans on the red carpet
The BBC reports that speaking at the premiere, held in the basement
of a Beijing shopping centre, Craig said it was a "good
thing" the film would be shown in the country "in its
Chinese news site reported that Daniel Craig "disappointed
some Chinese fans" as he walked up the red carpet. According
to the report, although Craig talked with foreign reporters
and shook hands with others lining the red carpet, a number
of fans were disappointed he didn't spend more time with them.
The fact the actor doesn't speak Chinese seemed to matter little
to his fans. "He disappointed me, I didn't get a greeting.
All he did was look left, center and right in the direction
of the cameras," Liu Tingting, a self-confessed Bond nut
who said she intends to see Casino Royale, which will be the
first Bond film she's seen in a movie theatre.
Above: Bond girl Eva Green wowed crowds at the Beijing premiere
Director Martin Campbell admitted he was unsure of the reaction
the film would get in China, but said he was pleased Chinese
would finally get a chance to see Bond up close. "After
21 films, it's obviously very significant, given that we are
the first Bond film to be shown here," he said. "The
fact that we got it through without any censor cuts at all seems
to me to be some kind of achievement."
stand by a Casino Royale billboard in Beijing
China only permits a small number of Western movies be shown
at cinemas every year, and even then films can run into problems
with the Chinese censor for political or moral content. But not "Casino
Royale". "I don't think they mind the violence. It's
interesting that we had a tiny bit cut in England, and we had
a little bit of the violence trimmed in America," the New
Zealand-born Campbell said.
The full, original version is being shown in China both
dubbed into Chinese and in the original English (although
Dame Judi Dench confirmed last week that she had to redub
a line to remove the phrase "cold war").
Craig has made good use of his time in the Chinese capital,
taking the opportunity to visit the Forbidden City with
his girlfriend, Satsuki Mitchell.
Monday's event in Beijing will be followed on Tuesday
by a second premiere in Shanghai, although the film was
released across 51 screens in the city on Monday.
Left: Daniel Craig and girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell visit
the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Royale World Premiere Report