MI6 reports on how Casino Royale made an earlier than planned debut in Japan, plus news on Daniel Craig's scheduled appearance in Tokyo...

Casino Royale Debuts In Japan
27th November 2006

Bond fans in Tokyo had a surprise this week when Casino Royale was unveiled with a debut screening in Japan two days ahead of schedule.

Casino Royale had its debut screening at Hall A of Tokyo International Forum on Tuesday 21st November 2006. Sony Pictures Japan used the same venue as the premiere of the previous outing, Die Another Day. With little advertising and no cast and crew in attendance, the event was populated by Japanese celebrities with no connection to 007. As with Pierce Brosnan's final outing, the screening was free of charge.

Above: Various celebrities attended the debut screening

As originally planned, Casino Royale kicked off the Tokyo International CineCity Festival on Thursday 23rd November 2006 at the Shinjuku Milano Theatre 1 - the screen with the largest number of seats in any theatre in Japan. The festival, which was held over four days, attracted more buzz than the free debut screening two days earlier. On display were all the 007 film posters from "Dr No" to "Die Another Day" along with the new spin on the Casino Royale poster that has been released on the Sony Pictures Japan website. Prior to the film, one movie trailer from each era of the five previous Bond actors was shown on the big screen, and one lucky attendee won a DVD box set of all 20 films.

Above: Casino Royale kicks off the Tokyo International CineCity Festival in the The Shinjuko Milano 1 theatre, Tokyo

Daniel Craig will visit Japan on Thursday 30th November to meet and greet the Japanese audience in Tokyo, a day ahead of the film going on general release in the country. The event is scheduled for 19:15 at Shinjuku Milano Theatre 1.

Above: The Shinjuko Milano 1 theatre in Tokyo, where Daniel Craig will meet and greet fans a day ahead of the film opening nationwide.

Release Date
Casino Royale was originally scheduled to open nationwide in Japan on 17th February 2007, but this was pulled forward to 1st December 2006. This has been seen as a positive move from Sony, as this week is a popular winter holiday week in Japan and should boost the box-office; the most important region for blockbusters outside North America and Europe.
Casino Royale Coverage

Previous PR
Actress Eva Green (Vesper Lynd), director Martin Campbell and producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli visited Tokyo for a promotional press conference. Held on 17th October 2006, the brief visit also included a photoshoot for the local press.

Above: Martin Campbell, Eva Green, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson at the Tokyo press event back in October.
Tokyo Press Conference - Photo Gallery

Sony Pictures Japan released the first Casino Royale trailer for the region in early September. It is mostly a 1 ½ minute edit of the second English-language trailer released earlier this month, but it does include a few new shots: Vesper looking in the mirror, an aerial view of Montenegro and a couple of fresh action shots.

Although the dialogue has been cut to the point where some of it makes little sense, the Japanese captions add more depth. The opening and closing lines read "This story tells how 007 is born" and "One love ends, and 007 beings" respectively.


Welcome to Japan, Mr Bond

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Teaser Campaign
Sony Pictures Japan released their international teaser poster back in September, featuring the in-shadow face of Daniel Craig as 007 which appeared at the Cannes Film Festival and other tradeshows. A flyer has also been distributed which includes additional information on the film, and the "seven rules to receive 00 status". Translations of the rules read "1) You don't fear death, and won't give into torture 2) You have Olympic level shooting skills 3) Even if you double-cross your own parents, you will never double-cross the organization 4) You have knowledge that would surprise even a scholar, and a sense of humour that would make even a bad girl grin 5) You have the sociability of a lamb, but remain a lone wolf 6) You have the highest level of experience with alcohol, gambling, cars and food 7) You can fall in love but you can never love."

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Casino Royale Coverage
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Casino Royale French Premiere
Casino Royale Spanish Premiere
Casino Royale German Premiere

Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon Productions) and directed by Martin Campbell, CASINO ROYALE was released 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 is 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

Last Time Around...
A promotional press conference was held in Tokyo on 29th January 2003, attended by director Lee Tamahori and the two Bond girls - Rosamund Pike and Halle Berry. The trio were billed to attend the Japanese premiere a few days later.

The Japanese premiere was held in Hall A of the famous Tokyo International Forum building on February 2nd 2003, but Tamahori, Pike and Berry were nowhere to be seen. The impressive hall held a capacity of 5,012 people. To satisfy the demand for Bond, three premiere screenings were held during the day, and best of all, it was all free of charge.

  Above (left to right): Rosamund Pike, director Lee Tamahori, and Halle Berry attend the Tokyo press conference for Die Another Day.


The Pantheon cinema in Shibuya, Tokyo opened at 10:45am for the first screening of "Die Another Day" on March 8th 2003 - almost four months after the UK and USA release, and six weeks since the Japanese premiere.

Seven bikini clad "Bond girls" welcomed cinema-goers and handed out tickets to win a UK version of the "Die Another Day" poster (pictured opposite) signed by cast members Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike, Rick Yune, Toby Stephens, and director Lee Tamahori.

Die Another Day Articles
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"Die Another Day" Japanese Premiere
"Die Another Day" Opens In Japan