MI6 looks back at the history of Bond 18 script
and the variety of sequences and characters that
differed from the final film...
Tomorrow Never Dies Script History (1)
14th December 2007
The history of the "Bond
18" script - which would ultimately be titled "Tomorrow
Never Dies" - started with a treatment delivered by novelist
Donald Westlake before "GoldenEye" had opened in theatres.
After Piece Brosnan as successfully launched as the new
007 for the '90s, Westlake's treatment was dropped and
American writer Bruce Feirstein returned from his duties
on Brosnan's debut to start afresh. Feirstein, who was
a friend of producer Barbara Broccoli before "GoldenEye",
started work on a plot involving the imminent hand-over of Hong Kong from
British to Chinese rule . The first draft script was
delivered in August 1996.
After "GoldenEye" director Martin Campbell
turned down an offer to helm its follow-up, MGM
and Eon Productions settled on Roger Spottiswoode to
head-up Pierce Brosnan's second outing as 007. Spottiswoode's
first priority was to oversee a reworking of Feirstein's
which had been delivered that same month. A group of
seven screenwriters were flown from Hollywood to London
for a 'free weekend' to offer suggestions and improvements
- but nobody would be paid or credited. But out of the
seven, Nicholas Meyer was invited to write based on the
of his ideas, and further rewrites were performed by
David Campbell Wilson and Daniel Petrie Jnr all under
the watchful eye of director Spottiswoode.
With just a week to go before principal
photography was scheduled to start, Feirstein was recalled
and took back the reigns. The
to polish the script for shooting would be the subject
of several media reports covering the production, with
many claiming friction on set between writer, director,
producers and cast.
||MI6 Chief of Staff
|Kim Dae Yung
Ten years since the release of "Tomorrow Never Dies",
MI6 takes an indepth look at the initial draft by Bruce Feirstein
with sequences, characters and locations that never made it to
the final shooting script.
In a break with tradition, Feirstein pencils the famous gunbarrel sequence in
after the pretitles, before the main credits. This is ultimately restored to
its regular position in the final film, but the idea would be recycled for "Casino
Royale" in 2006.
The August 1996 draft sees an extra sequence at the beginning
of the pre-titles. It opens with Bond
an ice shelf
in the Khyber Pass to reach the terrorist's base. Half way
up the 500-foot cliff the ice begins to crumble - one shelf
gives way completely leaving Bond dangling by one very fragile
rope. 007 swings to and fro until he gains enough momentum
to swing up and hook an ice pick in the frozen wall. Next to
is the torrent of a waterfall. Edging his way across the waterfall,
looking for a decent handhold, Bond struggles on. He clambers
up through the waterfall and finally, groaning and straining
and soaking wet, makes it to the top. At the pinnacle he stands
and surveys his handy-work - two surveillance devices are tactically
positioned leaving the waterway the only space where 007 could
undetected. Bond presses on, unpacking a folded set
of skies and telescopic ski-polls.
Above: The rocky, foreboding peaks of the Khyber Pass are
is now slaloming between tall pine trees on the downhill
stretch in an attempt to stay undetected. When he reaches
a rocky outcrop he slows and stops.
Looking over the
edge, 50 feet below, there is a flat plain where
bulky men are unloading a variety of illegal weapons
of these are two stolen MiG-29s, Korean export.
is the start of the terrorist arms bazaar seen in the
final film, but the concept actually dates back to
an early draft of "The
The rest of the sequence progresses much like
the final film. With the surveillance in play, Admiral Roebuck
signals an aerial missile strike, but all too hastily. 007 spies
the missing Russian nuclear materials and the action erupts as
he defies orders and goes to retrieve the bomb. Much of the dialogue
remains the same (between Bond, Tanner, M and Admiral Roebuck)
but lacks the punchy banter between M and the Admiral.
Post-credits, Bond is found under-the-covers with a lovely
Chinese girl - Jenny Wu - who until the call of duty had
been tucked up with 007 on a lavish couch in a quiet corner
a private library. While Bond chats to Moneypenny about his
orders, he watches the young Jenny pull on a graduation gown.
In the film, Bond is at Oxford
University (implied but not stated in this draft) brushing
up on a
little Danish. There's no room for Jenny Wu this time,
but the vacuum is filled by Cecilie Thomsen to play
In Harms Way
In another corner of the library is television blaring
out HNN - the Harmsway News Network. Elliott Harmsway
is the face of modern media and in the Feirstein draft
there is no sign of "Carver", although the premise
to the character remains. Harmsway is villain of the piece
and his global media network reaches to all corners of
Above: Cecilie Thomsen goes under-cover with 007 in the first
act of Tomorrow Never Dies...
Debriefing With Everheart
Bond is summoned to a debriefing with M and Col. Dominique Everheart
of NATO. She identifies two of the men from Bond's surveillance
videos: Kim Dae Yung - a North Korean physicist with experience
with the Nuclear Regime, and Rendera Sikrahm
(aka Richard Stamper) - head-hunter, trained in torture and
From here Bond is whisked to M's office for the official mission
briefing. Feirstein's draft sees the meeting involve the Minister
Peter Johnstone. In the film, this meeting is made dynamic
by transplanting it to the back of M's limo
with M, Robinson and Moneypenny.
M's scenes were largely the
same in the first draft, but she was later given snappier
In the briefing with M,
the plot is unraveled and we discover Elliott Harmsway
has connections to both goons identified on Bond's recording.
Johnstone is interested in the politics; protecting the
image of the government following the recent knighthood
of Harmsway. In the final draft, Carver is connected
to the robbery of an American Satellite decoder. Feirstein's
original plot is simpler: 007 is assigned to Venice where
he is tasked to investigate Harmsway's involvement in the
of missing uranium (a similar plot device would
be later recycled in the next-film, "The
Is Not Enough").
Close, but not the Quartermaster
Q, with the premise of being on a "fishing trip",
does not appear for his usual briefing in this draft. Instead,
his junior Saunders arms Bond with a long distance cigarette
lighter (flame throwing for up to 40m), plastic explosive
shoelaces and code-breaking swipe card - ready to break
into any card mechanism Bond may uncover. For several years
Desmond Llewleyn had reportedly requested a departure scene
to be written - and in
Feirstein's early draft Saunders
a replacement for the old, loveable Quartermaster. Both
the fishing trip and his retirement would be later seen
in "The World Is Not Enough".
Masks Of Venice
Bond is disembarking from a lavish gondola and onto the shore
where he is to rendezvous with his contact at Harmsway's exotic
party - the only trouble is that every guest is
dressed for the masked ball. 007 makes his way through the
crowd, finally donning the mask he was assigned for identification
purposes. He is discovered and lead by a strange, mysterious
woman to a deserted corner of the Venetian party. Unmasked,
the woman is Paris Harmsway and, as in the shooting script,
an ex-lover of Bond. What differs is
her personality: Paris is clingy and troubled by her husband's
dealings. She confirms that her husband is behind the nuclear
plot. The sight of a gaggle of Harmsway's goons breaks up their
embrace - the leader of the pack is Stamper. Stamper and his
Bond in a rough chase through the dark Venice alleyways before
007 can shake off the men.
Above: The Venetian Canals would have
made for a haunting chase sequence
This sequence is reminiscent of Bond's infiltration
of Carver's launch party in Hamburg and the rendezvous with Paris
that appears in the final script, but the location and various
characters appear differently. The same purpose is served: Bond
learns the location of the stolen goods and reunites with his
Bond sips coffee with Digiacomo from the Italian Secret Service.
Across the dock, Harmsway's luxury launch The Sea Dolphin
II is moored. It is here that Elliott Harmsway is hosting his
press conference. After leaving his meeting with his Italian
the Sea Dolphin in time for one of Harmsway's infamous self-appreciating
speeches. Just like Elliot Carver, the arrogant Harmsway loves
the sound of his own voice.
It is in this sequence
that we spot a familiar face - Valentin Zukovsky - who
has just be "elected" the Premier of the Ukraine.
While Harmsway reviles in the press attention, Bond slips
away to check out the villain's headquarters.
Bond searches below decks, carefully avoiding
the various security personal on board. He uses his swipe-card
gadget to get himself into a high-security office.
some poking around he locates the red box he remembers
from the Khyber Pass - inside is the missing uranium.
During his snooping he is interrupted by a noise outside.
enters moments after Bond slips out by another door.
Above: Robbie Coltrane would have to wait another film to reprise
This sequence is later replaced with 007 looking around Caver's printing factory and Gupter's office - instead of finding the uranium, as in this early draft, Bond locates and retrieves the GPS satellite tracking system.
The Russian Connection
Back on deck, Bond comes face to face with Zukovsky. Very conscious
of trying to keep a low profile, Bond is reluctant to talk
with Valentin. The ex-Russian Mafia boss buys 007 a drink and
introduces him to Harmsway. The moment pleasantries are exchanged,
Digiacomo - who is armed to the teeth and backed up by a
variety of military personal- comes charging up the gang
warrant for Harmway's arrest.
Harmsway bluffs his way out of the deal, "proving" that
it is depleted uranium and "totally safe" -
a gift from his Russian friends. Bond is left alone on deck with
Paris who pleads with Bond to save her from her evil husband.
They agree to meet at his hotel room. Once the authorities have
cleared off in a haze of embarrassment, it is revealed that Yung
switched the lethal uranium for its less-deadly cousin!
Above: Teri Hatcher would later sign
on to play Bond's ex-lover in "Tomorrow Never Dies"
Bond returns to his hotel for his rendezvous with Paris
- but too late! He finds her dead in his hotel suite and Digiacomo
to make the arrest. Bond has been set up. While Zukovsky doesn't
make the final cut of "Tomorrow
Never Dies", Paris meets her same fate. She is assassinated
under orders of her husband, with 007 framed to take the
Stay tuned to MI6 for the
final two acts of the plot as well as other features and facts
in the "Tomorrow Never Dies" 10th Anniversary season
Never Dies - Script History (Act 1)
Never Dies - Script History (Act 2)
Never Dies - Script History (Act 3)
Tomorrow Never Dies - Production Notes
Tomorrow Never Dies - Movie Index