The 22nd James Bond film due in 2008 will be a closely related sequel to Casino Royale, with an appearance from Vesper Lynd planned...

Bond 22 - A Direct Continuation
27th October 2006

As is usual for the James Bond film series, the latest installment is yet to open in theatres but already there is talk of the "next" one. With Daniel Craig's debut outing "Casino Royale" opening November 16th 2006 in the UK (and the following day in the USA), details about its sequel are already emerging due to the extensive press coverage the franchise is currently enjoying. The 22nd film in the Eon Productions franchise was originally pitched with a slightly optimistic May 2nd 2008 release, but was later pushed back to November 7th 2008.

A Bond Girl "Returns"
Actress Eva Green, who plays Bond girl Vesper Lynd in "Casino Royale" was interviewed by UK magazine Arena this month. She revealed that Bond 22 is a direct continuation in terms of story as it revolves around a dark secret Vesper had, involving her lover being tortured (as with the backstory to the character in Ian Fleming's original 1953 novel). This leads Bond to his next mission. When asked is she would return in flashbacks she says that Vesper will likely return on a computer, a pre-recorded message by a web cam on the internet.

MI6 reported back in August that Green had a clause in her contract that gave her an option to return to the series in a future 007 movie featuring Daniel Craig.

When producer Barbara Broccoli was interviewed in March whilst "Casino Royale" was filming in the Bahamas, she confirmed this tidbit: "We're already thinking about it. We're in the early stages. [Bond 22] is an original story, but it's going to continue part of what the story is in this film."

Right: Eva Green as Vesper Lynd


Craig hinted of the story continuation in a press interview about Casino Royale, "He gets his heart broken because he gets double crossed. It creates this person who is no longer emotional, but is actually going to go out for revenge."

Craig's Contract
Details of Craig's contract to play 007 are somewhat sketchy. Back in March the BBC reported that Craig was under contract to play James Bond until 2012, and with an average gap between films of two years, that could mean Craig shoots at least a further three 007 movies after "Casino Royale". Then in July, the expected news broke that Craig had signed up for another outing and would definitely return for a second film. Recent interviews Craig has given may allude to a shorter tenure than past mainstays Sean Connery and Roger Moore though. After completing his second 007 film, Craig recently commented that he would "then get on with the rest of [his] life". Whether this means a longer break between films, or the end of his run as 007, remains to be seen. When the later release date of Bond 22 was announced, the trade press stated Craig was signed for three films.

Above: Daniel Craig as James Bond 007

Back in October 2005, screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who penned the script for "Casino Royale" before handing it over to Paul Haggis for a final polish, confirmed they had started work on the story for "Bond 22" once Daniel Craig had been signed by producers. The plot is said to be based on an orginal idea by producer Michael G. Wilson. MI6 learned later, in August, that Purvis & Wade were no longer on the project, and playwright Tom Stoppard and "Love Actually" screenwriter Richard Curtis were both being rumoured to have taken over. The inevitable title conjecture has already started, with one "hot tip" from Pinewood citing the 22nd adventure could be called "Risico" after an Ian Fleming short story.

Helmer Roger Michell walked away from production of the 22nd James Bond film in August 2006 according to Variety. Michell was reported to be in negotiations to direct the film to follow "Casino Royale" but ended his relationship with the film following "creative differences" with producers. When the November 7th 2008 date was released to the press, Sony Pictures Entertainment vice chairman Jeff Blake said the studio, along with partners MGM and British production company EON Productions, were in talks to bring on a new director after Michell bowed out of the project. No new names have yet been mentioned.