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Casino Royale (2006)


James Bond's first "007" mission leads him to Le Chiffre, banker to the world's terrorists. In order to stop him, and bring down the terrorist network, Bond must beat Le Chiffre in a poker game at the Casino Royale. Bond meets a beautiful British Treasury official, Vesper Lynd, who is assigned to deliver his stake for the game and watch over the government's money. But, as Bond and Vesper survive a series of lethal attacks by Le Chiffre and his henchmen, a mutual attraction develops.


Prague, Czech Republic; Lahore, Pakistan; London, UK; Uganda; Madagascar; Bahamas; Miami, USA; Trieste, Italy; Montenegro.

Pre-Credits Sequence

James Bond earns his double-o licence to kill by eliminating two enemies. The first dies a brutal and messy death in the washrooms of a cricket ground, whereas the second is a clean and clinical execution of a rogue operator handling the double-o section. For the first time in the Bond series, the scenes are shot in black and white to act as a flashback explaining Bond's promotion. The classic gunbarrel opener is saved until the credits sequence, where the film bursts back in to colour.


The title is taken from Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, and also features as the name of the casino in which 007 must bankrupt villain Le Chiffre.

Release Data

UK: 16th November 2006 (12A)
USA: 17th November 2006 (PG-13)
World Premiere: 14th November 2006 (Odeon Leicester Square, UK)
UK TV Premiere: 19th September 2009, ITV
US TV Premiere: 5th June 2009, USA Network

Running Time: 144 minutes
Classification: 12A (UK), PG-13 (US)
Budget: $72m
Worldwide Box Office: $594.2m
US Box Office: $167.4m
UK Box Office: $105.9m

Best Line

Bartender: "Shaken or stirred?"
Bond: "Does it look like I give a damn?"

Best Mistake

When Bond enters his pass code at the poker game, he enters 836547. This combination of numbers cannot spell VESPER. However, at the end of the film when Vesper Lynd enters the pass code, the last three digits entered are 737 (which, indeed, can spell PER).

Distinguishing feature

For the first time in the series, the film does not open with the traditional gunbarrel, which only appears after a stylised black and white sequence that shows how Bond earned his double-0 status.

Vital Statistics

Conquests: 1.5
Martinis: 3
Kills: 12
"Bond, James Bond": 1

The Making Of Casino Royale

The road to Casino Royale began in March 2004 when scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (“The World Is Not Enough” – 1999, “Die Another Day” – 2002) began work on the screenplay. According to the duo, at that time they were writing the film with Pierce Brosnan in mind. That would all change a couple of months later when tabloid rumours spread that Brosnan had not been asked back for a fifth film.

Behind the scenes, the task of casting a new 007 had begun. The title of the film and the return of “GoldenEye” (1995) helmer Martin Campbell was announced in February 2005, further hinting that the director was to usher another fresh face into 007’s tuxedo.

To bolster Bond’s return to his literary roots in an adaptation of Ian Fleming’s debut 007 novel, Academy-award winning screenwriter Paul Haggis (“Crash”, “Million Dollar Baby”) was brought in to polish the script and strengthen the relationships between the characters. Media coverage dubbed the production “Bond Begins” when Campbell revealed the film would show 007 earning his licence to kill at the beginning of his MI6 career.

With the Sony Pictures lead consortium taking over MGM in 2005, the casting of Daniel Craig as 007 was stalled as the producers were asked to widen their search before the studio would sign off on their selection. Over 200 actors were tested from around the world until - finally - on October 14th 2005, Daniel Craig was officially unveiled as the sixth actor to play 007.

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Principal photography for Casino Royale commenced on January 30th 2006 and began - for the first time in franchise’s history - without a villain or leading lady. Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron were both "strongly considered" for the role of Vesper before the casting net discovered French actress Eva Green.

Mads Mikkelsen had been selected to play villain Le Chiffre long before his work schedule had allowed him to commit to the role. The announcements were confirmed to the press, along with Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, on February 16th 2006, some two weeks since filming began.

Casino Royale was primarily shot at Barrandov Studios in Prague, with additional location shooting in the Czech Republic, The Bahamas, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Production returned to its traditional home of Pinewood Studios to complete the shooting schedule and post-production.

Filming wrapped July 21st 2006, with the film’s finale shot in Pinewood’s “007 Stage” – which would be destroyed by fire only days later when the Venice set was being dismantled.

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