MI6 chatted to Glen Schofield, Executive Producer on "From Russia With Love", about going retro with James Bond...

Glen Schofield Interview (1)
15th October 2005

Fans have been pining for a Connery game for many years. Why do you think it has taken so long to finally make a game like this? Do you feel technology 10 years ago could have done this game and movie justice?
I think everything was in alignment for this year’s game. You need to have MGM, Danjaq and Connery all sign up for it and I’m not quite certain that they would have agreed to do it 10 years ago. Definitely today’s technology has helped bring this to life.

Some fans are concerned that the game will diverge too far from the story in the movie. How have you been faithful to the movie and how much freedom have you been given by the powers to mould the story into something that plays well as a game?
We tried very hard to remain true to the story. We’ve added a few new bits here and there—the jetpack, the DB5, a couple levels and a surprise ending, but they all work within the story.

The major plot points, cinematic moments, even the famous dialogue are all there. We picked this movie because of its great story. We surely wanted to remain true to it.

Above: Behind the with scenes with Natasha Bedingfield on FRWL

Sir Sean Connery himself is directly involved with the project. Can we expect him to provide new voice over for the game? Initially, did he have any reserves or concerns with the project?
Sean Connery did all the lines for Bond in this game-every single one. He didn’t have any reservations, but he wanted to make sure this was a quality product. He helped out with dialogue and changed some things, for the better. He was absolutely amazing to work with, a true professional.

Above: Maria Menounos poses as Eva for her role in EA's director's cut of "From Russia With Love"

How have you chosen to tell the story in-between playable sections? Can we expect in-game cut scenes, pre-rendered cinematics or perhaps actual footage from the movie??
We didn’t do actual footage except in the front end screens and some of the user interface screens. We do, however, have almost 50 cinematics and in-game cut scenes to tell the story. We are extremely proud of the way the movies and story was told in the game.

Above:: Maria Menounos poses as Eva

What was the main choice behind developing this game for the current generation of consoles? How have you been able to overcome the limitations of current technology with this game?
The story, exotic locations, great villains were a big part of our decision to make this our first Classic Bond game. When Connery told us it was also his favorite Bond movie, well, that just sealed the deal.

The limitations of the current technology didn’t bother us at all. For us this was about our sixth generation of games on this platform so we know it quite well. We’ve made some big advances in lighting techniques as well as motion capture and facial capture and that’s all evident in this game.

The Need For Speed team are not crafting the vehicular missions this time around. What have been the advantages, for both the developers and players, in developing an engine where the two types of gameplay co-exist? Do you feel pressure to live up the great expectations of the NFS team's previous work?
The advantages of us doing our own driving are huge to the consumers in my opinion. First, we now have levels that are fully integrated, meaning Bond can drive a car, get out and run around, jump back into the car and maybe later use a jetpack-all in the same level. Additionally we made our driving different. It is more action oriented, tons of explosions, cars driving you off the road, a tire punch. We call it controlled chaos. It feels different and that’s what we wanted.

Above: Sean Connery as James Bond with the Aston Martin DB5

How have you gone about recreating the authentic 60s look and feel in the game? How closely have you matched the layout of popular locations from the movie?
We have studied that period—1963—quite extensively. From the streetlights, to computer terminals, telephones, furniture, hair styles, vehicles, fashion, music, audio, you name it we’ve looked at it and put that into the game. That was our biggest art direction challenge, trying to match the early sixties. It’s all about the details.

We absolutely tried to match the layout of the movie wherever we could in the game levels. You can see it in the Hedgemaze, Gypsy Camp, Russian Consulate, all over. This was very important to us.