Another day, another interview from Casino Royale director Martin Campbell on the status of the film and casting of James Bond number six...

Casino Royale - Campbell Comments
7th October 2005

Empire magazine has joined the ranks of those who have spoken to "Casino Royale" director Martin Campbell over the last few days (see earlier articles: Director Speaks, Campbell Reveals More and Casino Royale October Report), and gleaned some new tidbits on the status of James Bond and re-confirmed other details.

"We're still working on the script, we're casting," he said. "We've tested actors and we're looking at tests to see how they come out, doing all that. As yet, nobody; we haven't decided on anybody – and I don't think anybody is the front-runner. I think we're looking at the tests very objectively, and taking our time with it because the point is that whoever plays it has to do three movies, it's a huge commitment."

Above: Director Martin Campbell

When quizzed about how many contenders are in the running, Campbell said "It's probably more like 8 or 10. What you do is you test and you cut and you look, and you try to divorce yourself from any prejudice you may have, so that when you see the test you can just look at it as, "There's an actor, up for Bond". That's how you've got to do it."

Above: British Pan paperback cover

On the subject of why Paul Haggis was brought in to polish the script, he said "If you read the book, the relationship between Bond and Vespa (sic) was a very complicated one. The idea was to get some character into her, to make her a very strong girl so she stands up to Bond; she's his sort of equal. Certainly, psychologically speaking – and it needs someone like Paul to pull that off. To bring out genuine character – and also to bring the humour. Gone will be the awful one-line clunkers. Hopefully there will be a little bit of wit in this one."

"I don't think it [Bond] needs reinvigorating. – I think what it needs is a fresh coat of paint. I think the last Bond got so out there, with the action and stuff – so what do you do from there? This will be grittier, more realistic. It's when he just earns his double-O stripes, so he's kind of raw.

"He's got an arrogance, he thinks he can do what he wants to do – he thinks with his heart instead of his head, so he gets a few of the rough edges knocked off him on the way through the story. So by the end of it he becomes the Bond that we all know."

Empire asked, is Casino Royale turning in to "Bond Begins"? "Sort of, yeah. There's a little bit of that. But it's certainly more gritty and realistic, no doubt about that." Campbell confirmed again that the age range of Bond's character in the 21st film will be "about 28, 30-31".

"Casino Royale", the 21st James Bond film, will be directed by Martin Campbell and shooting is scheduled to commence on January 17th 2006 for release on October 19th 2006. No casting decisions have been made officially. Stay tuned to MI6 for the latest and most accurate coverage of Casino Royale.

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