MI6 reports from the World Premiere of the 21st James Bond film Casino Royale in Leicester Square, from the red carpet to the aftershow party...

Casino Royale World Premiere Report
15th November 2006

The 21st James Bond film Casino Royale took over Leicester Square in London last night (Tuesday 14th November 2006) as the Royal World Premiere secured three major theatres to break new records. Three of London's flagship cinemas - the Odeon Leicester Square, the Empire, and the Odeon West End - all combined via video link to create the most attended film premiere ever held in the UK, as 4200 attendees shared the experience. MI6 reports from the red carpet...

Above: A thousand cameras flashed when Daniel Craig walked the red carpet.

The park in the centre of the square was closed off for everyone except ticket holders as the red carpet rolled around to all three theatres. Amongst the props on display was the new Aston Martin DBS and a large video screen which allowed the thousands of fans on the other side of the barriers to watch the action, some of whom had queued for up to five hours to get a glimpse of the cast.

Cast and crew and special guests started to arrive at 6:45pm, and some were interviewed on the blue carpet bridge towards the Odeon cinema and broadcast to all three theatres as well as the crowd outside.

Above: Eva Green and Daniel Craig sign autographs for the fans.

Those who had waited were not disappointed as members of the cast signed many autographs along the railings for the fans who had weathered the rain throughout the afternoon. Daniel Craig made a special effort to meet and greet hundreds of people, often using their cameras so he could take a picture of himself alongside the lucky fans. Posters, books, banners, advertising hoardings and many more items were signed.

Above: The "Bond Girls": Caterina Murino, Eva Green and Dame Judi Dench on the red carpet.

The world premiere of the film is also the 60th Royal Film Performance, and will benefit the Film & Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF), whose patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh arrived at 7:30pm as their car drew up outside the Odeon Leicester Square. They were introduced to members of the CTBF organisation and Odeon cinemas, before proceeding to the traditional line-up of the film's cast and crew. Producer Michael G. Wilson introduced Her Majesty to the guests, starting with Sony chief Howard Stringer, Sony Pictures toppers Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton, Columbia marketing chairman Jeff Blake and MGM chairman Harry Sloan.

Above: Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre) and Giancarlo Giannini (Mathis) greet fans.

Prominent members of the production crew were next in line, including costume designer Lindy Hemming, casting director Debbie McWilliams, titles designer Daniel Kleinman, special effects chief Chris Corbould, stunt coordinator Gary Powell, production designer Peter Lamont, screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, composer David Arnold, director Martin Campbell and producer Barbara Broccoli.

The Queen was then introduced to the main players: Caterina Murino, Jeffrey Wright, Dame Judi Dench, Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green and Daniel Craig.

Above: Daniel Craig signs hundreds of autographs and takes pictures with fans.

A royal fanfare on stage introduced the national anthem, for which attendees across all theatres stood as Her Majesty entered. Sir Richard Attenborough gave the Royal Address on stage, noting that he had a small role in the film at the first Royal Performance sixty years ago, and that the event had already raised at least £300,000 for the charity.

Above: Daniel Craig is interviewed on the stage which is broadcast to all three theatres and a big video screen for the fans outside the event.

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were then introduced on stage, and then presented the main players of the film ahead of the screening.

Almost two and a half hours later, 4200 attendees cheered the film with a long round of applause. Her Majesty then left the theatre in a Bentley without tinted windows, so that she could greet the hundreds of fans lining the streets outside.

Above: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh arrive at the Odeon.

Cast and crew and selected guests then proceeded to the £250,000 after-show party at Mayfair's Berkeley Square. Daniel craig and girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell were the star attraction, but Craig opted for Guinness rather than a trademark vodka martini, as he told party-goers that there was only so much of Bond's tipple of choice he could stomach. Eva Green changed from her Alexander McQueen designed gown that she wore on the red carpet to a sweeping red velvet dress.

Meanwhile, guests mingled and dabbled at the casino tables dotted around the venue. Shortly after midnight, Craig loosened his bowtie, unbuttoned his collar and left the party. Many guests stayed on until 2am celebrating the latest Bond film, which many said was the best for years.

Above: The Queen is introduced to Mads Mikkelsen (left) and Daniel Craig (right) by producer Michael G. Wilson.

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.

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