James Bond will pit his wits against a new terrorist
organisation in "Casino Royale" with a story-arc
to echo real world threats...
New Threats Face 007
22nd October 2005
Back in 1995 when Pierce Brosnan was revealed as James Bond in
his first teaser sequence, the "GoldenEye" trailer ran
the catchphrase: "It's a new world. With new enemies.
And new threats. But you can still depend on one man".
Fast-forward ten years, and a new 007 is about to be ushered
in again with a similar pretence. During Pierce Brosnan's tenure
as Bond, the world has seen an uprising of terrorist activity
and a "global war on terror" lead by the USA in Afghanistan
and Iraq. Craig's era as 007 will see an overlap with that real
With the story of Ian Fleming's debut 1953 novel set against
a Cold War backdrop, which is no longer relevant to today's political
and social climate, the writers of "Casino Royale" have
brought to story forwards fifty years.
The book's villain, Le Chiffre, is an agent of SMERSH whom
Bond bankrupts in the casino, ultimately leading SMERSH
to assassinate their own man.
SMERSH was in fact a real world organisation created by
the Soviet Union to carry out acts of vengeance, responsible
for ensuring loyalty to the state, and eliminating its enemies.
SMERSH is a contraction of Smyert Shpionam (roughly translated
- "Death to Spies"), its name was so feared during
the Cold War that "no sane man would dare speak it".
Ian Fleming utilised this real world threat as Bond's enemy
in the early novels, before introducing SPECTRE (SPecial
Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and
Extortion ) - a private organisation lead by Ernst Stavro
Screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have brought
the plot up to date by introducing a new organisation for
James Bond to face off against in "Casino Royale"
and subsequent movies, much like the Connery era story-arc
of SPECTRE in the 1960's. Details on the new villainous
organisation are sketchy, but they will take on a terrorist
role, based out of a fictitious country.
Above: Donald Pleasance as the iconic
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, head of SPECTRE, in the 1967 film "You
Only Live Twice".
Fact / Fiction
The producers were careful not to overlap 007 with certain real-world
events back in 2002, following the tragic events of September
11th a year earlier. But "Die Another Day" did contain
a subtle reference to the changing times when M meets Bond underground
after his time spent captive in North Korea: "While you were
away, the world changed." Bond replies, "Not for me."
The latest plotline is likely to cause controversy in certain
parts of the world, much like the last film "Die Another
Day" that cast a North Korean as the central villain with
dreams of world conquest. Protests were made in both North and
South Korea, countries divided by a demilitarised zone that acted
as a centrepiece to (the fictitious) Colonel Moon's plans.
Although 007 may see things in black and white, the world around
him is far more complex, and "Casino Royale" will be
taking a brave step in developing storylines that have significant
overlap with today's political climate.
"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 November 17th
2006, distributed by Columbia Pictures. British actor Daniel Craig
will James Bond, the sixth actor cast as 007. Stay tuned to MI6
for the latest and most accurate coverage of Casino
On Casino Royale
Bond #6 Casting Explained
Royale Press Conference Video
Craig Press Conference
James Bond 007 #6 is Daniel Craig
Campbell To Direct Casino Royale
Brosnan Confirms It's Over - 2nd February 2005
Curious History of Casino Royale