With the casting of James Bond still to be decided, which of the MI6 regulars will be returning in "Casino Royale"?

Casino Royale - March Report
10th March 2005

M - Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench, who has played 007's boss M in the last four James Bond movies starring Pierce Brosnan, has re-confirmed this week that she will be reprising her for the fifth time in "Casino Royale". When she spoke about Bond 21 in the media last year, Dench said filming was originally planned for January/February 2005, but this date had been pushed back. This coincided with MGM scrapping their planned release date of November 18th 2005 to "sometime in 2006".

Dench said she now expects filming for "Casino Royale" to start in January or February 2006. This date is inline with the general consensus that "Casino Royale" will hit theatres in November 2006, despite the obvious marketing potential of a 2007 release.



Q - John Cleese
Another MI6 regular is also expected to return, despite rumours that his role may not exist in the first draft of the screenplay. John Cleese was contracted on a three-picture deal around the time of "The World Is Not Enough", and also expected shooting of the 21st movie to begin in early 2005 - before the MGM announced delay. Cleese has gone on record as saying he wants to return as Q if the role is there.

Cleese said in October, “I’m told that if there is a Q, I will be Q. But I think if they were to cast someone much younger as Bond, I’m not sure they’d want an old Q."

The last time Q was missing from an installment was back in 1973, when producers decided not to use Q as part of the series re-birth with Roger Moore making his debut in "Live And Let Die".

Miss Moneypenny - Samantha Bond
Exit stage left - Samantha Bond. The four-times Miss Moneypenny has said on numerous occasions that she will not be returning as the MI6 secretary without Pierce Brosnan in the role of 007 - with one exception. But the 41 year-old actress won't say the name of the one actor she would come back for.

Back in November, Bond said "I just don't want to go on being Moneypenny if Pierce isn't there. I really don't. It's an age thing. Pierce is just that little bit older than me - eight years - and when he's doing all that saucy flirting with Moneypenny, it looks OK".

But what if the new 007 is younger? "Older lady, much younger bloke - I don't think so. I've just been very lucky to play her in four box-office successes, and that's it. It's been 10 years and maybe enough is enough?"



Charles Robinson - Colin Salmon
Perhaps the most uncertain MI6 role belongs to Colin Salmon, who has plays MI6 aide Charles Robinson. Initially his character was a replacement for Bill Tanner when Michael Kitchen was unavailable to reprise his role from "GoldenEye", but since his solid performance in "Tomorrow Never Dies", Salmon has appeared in the past three films as a regular. Along with the possibility that Martin Campbell's vision for "Casino Royale" might rule out Salmon's character of Robinson as 007 is going back the early days of his career, Salmon may not reprise the role for a very different reason.

The English actor has strongly voiced his desire to take on the role of James Bond himself, and British bookmakers at one point stopped taking bets on Salmon becoming 007 #6 due to the volume of press speculation. He has repeatedly received the backing of outgoing 007 Pierce Brosnan - although he thinks the producers "don't have the bottle" to go down that route. Salmon said of the praise, "It's the ultimate accolade. There are some great candidates out there, but Pierce has watched me do five or six screen tests, and he knows I can do it".

Related Articles
"Casino Royale" - James Bond Begins?
"Casino Royale" 2006 Announced
Bond 21 Coverage