Casino Royale Section Header Casino Royale Pre-Release Rumor Mill

Between the firing of Pierce Brosnan after Die Another Day, the decision to reboot the franchise with the first Ian Fleming novel and the incredibly risky choice of Daniel Craig as the new James Bond, Casino Royale's beginnings were full of controversy and media frenzy. The below articles are merely a taste of the rumors surrounding the movie's early days...so scroll down and enjoy a walk back in time.


Bond 21 is Officially Casino Royale: Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond films, and MGM announced today that Martin Campbell will direct "CASINO ROYALE," the 21st film in the 007 franchise.

This is Campbell's second time as helmer of a James Bond film. In 1995 he directed the hit "GOLDENEYE" which introduced Pierce Brosnan to the role of 007 with great success.
Martin Campbell directs GoldenEye
Martin Campbell directs GoldenEye

Wilson and Broccoli said: "We are thrilled that Martin has accepted our offer to direct 'CASINO ROYALE.' He is an extremely talented director and we believe he will help take our films in a new and exciting direction. He is currently finishing filming 'Legend Of Zorro,' the sequel to 'The Mask Of Zorro,' and will be joining EON Productions shortly to work on the development of the script with our writers, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade."

MGM Vice Chairman and COO Chris McGurk said: "Martin is an incredibly exciting filmmaker. 'GOLDENEYE' is a wonderful movie and helped reinvigorate the Bond franchise. We're thrilled to have him back to direct the newest Bond."

Born in New Zealand, Campbell moved to England in 1966 and made his directorial debut on the popular TV series 'The Professionals' and 'Minder.' He moved to America in 1986 to direct 'Criminal Law' and 'Defenseless.' Following "GOLDENEYE," he went on to direct 'The Mask Of Zorro,' 'Vertical Limit' and 'Beyond Borders' and is currently directing 'Legend Of Zorro.'

"CASINO ROYALE" will be released in 2006 and distributed world-wide by MGM. No decision has yet been made regarding casting for the role of 'James Bond.'

Pierce Brosnan Confirms Stepping Down on His Web Site
On his official Web site, Pierce Brosnan officially stated that his time as James Bond was over. He said, "I would like to thank all of you who have supported me over the last year or so in regard to my playing Bond. It was a decade of my life that I will always hold dear to my heart and a time that will never be forgotten. And you dear friends stood by me throughout. Many, many thanks! But everything comes to an end, and one must accept this decision which cannot be dealt with in any other way but with some kind of grace and knowledge that I did the job to the best of my ability." [read more: discuss] 2.4.04

Bond 21 Delays Continue Due to Fued

Daniel Craig poses with Bond Girls Eva Green and Caterina Murino
Daniel Craig poses with Bond Girls Eva Green and Caterina Murino
According to ContactMusic.com, Bond 21 is still being delayed due to a continuing fued between the Broccoli family and Sony about the direction of the film. The Broccolis want to "return the spy franchise to the more serious, plot-driven films," while the movie company wants "to generate as much money as possible by sticking to the movies' well-established formula of gadgets, breath-taking stunts and big-budget special effects." [read more: discuss] 1.14.05

Martin Campbell "Signed" on to Direct Bond 21
According to the Hollywood Reporter, GoldenEye director Martin Campbell has signed on to direct the next Bond film. Campbell was rumored to be directing as early as October, 2004. There has still been no official word from EON. [read more: discuss] 1.5.05

Now that Pierce Brosnan is no longer James Bond, Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny) will also bow out of the series. "I just don't want to go on being Moneypenny if Pierce isn't there," she said. "I really don't. It's an age thing, for a start. Pierce is just that little bit older than me - eight years - and when he's doing all that saucy flirting with Moneypenny, it looks OK and a lot of fun, which it is." [read more: discuss] 11.23.04

In the absurd Bond 21 rumor department, Maria Carey is reportedly in talks to star in a remake of Casino Royale. What makes this rumor particularly off-the-wall is that the remake is set to be of the 1967 spoof, not the serious movie. [read more: discuss] 11.17.04

Martin Campbell, director of GoldenEye, is rumored to be in negotiations to direct Bond 21. [read more: discuss] 11.10.04

IanFleming.org has reported that the script for Bond 21 may not include the Q character. This is a bit confusing, considering John Cleese is already signed on for the film. [read more: discuss] 11.5.04

After months of speculation, Pierce Brosnan finally admitted that he had been fired from the role of Bond, James Bond. While on an interview to promote his new movie, After the Sunset, Brosnan was quoted as saying "It's over, it's over, it's absolutely over." [read more: discuss] 10.14.04

To correct an earlier story, the French James Bond Club has ONLY confirmed a delay for Bond 21 for a release somewhere in 2006. "They never told about 'going back to something like From Russia With Love, that was a typing mistake we did, we meant to wrote that 'we hope' Bond 21 should go back to the roots of the series. [read more: discuss] 10.5.04

Daniel Craig as James Bond, 007
Daniel Craig as James Bond, 007
Sony Pictures is looking to change the Bond character, "aiming for the kind of global audiences that flocked to Sony's Spider-Man blockbusters, believing there should be more to Bond's character than machismo." However, the Broccoli camp does not want to give Sony this control. This tug-of-war between the two parties is sure to grow in intensity as Bond 21 grows closer. Stay tuned. [read more: discuss] 10.4.04

The French James Bond Club has confirmed that Eon Productions will be taking 007 back to his roots in 2006, returning to a From Russia With Love style film with a down to earth spy thriller script. [read more: discuss] 10.4.04

MGM has delayed the release of Bond 21 until 2006, due to the lack of a director, lead actor and final shooting script. Much of the delay came about because of the sale of MGM to Sony last month. [read more: discuss] 10.4.04

Although the sale of MGM to Sony may cause ripples and cancel many future MGM films from being made, one movie that will not be affected is Bond 21. [read more: discuss] 9.17.04

In an interview with LA Confidential magazine, Pierce Brosnan denied that he officially retired as 007. "There was no announcement. I think the reporter heard it wrong. I think what I said was, 'I?ve had my fill of talking about Bond'....It was not an official announcement." [read more: discuss] 9.17.04

The IMDB has released a plot summary for Bond 21. It is probably false, but it is as follows, "When a bridge in Russia is mysteriously destroyed, Bond is recalled from a mission in Egypt to investigate the connection with the recent 'attacks' and the machinations of a legitimate business empire called 'Scorpio'. Richard Falco, the owner, may hold the key to stopping the destruction of various monuments in the world...." [read more: discuss] 9.17.04

An article in the trade magazine Variety reports that Bond 21 is in "development hell," not a good sign for a film that is supposed to be right on schedule for a November 2005 release. However, the article also reported that the first draft of the script has been turned in, which has not been reported anywhere else. [discuss] 8.4.04

Numerous James Bond fan sites have reported that the plot for Bond 21 will be based around the novel Casino Royale. [read more: discuss] 8.4.04

A fan-created Ultimate Edition DVD case.
A fan-created Ultimate Edition DVD case.
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The News of the World, a British tabloid, is reporting that Bond 21 will be called The Man With the Red Tattoo. However, since that was the title of the last Raymond Benson Bond novel, this does not seem too likely. [read more: discuss] 8.4.04

The never-ending "Brosnan quits saga" heated up again today when numerous tabloids, including The Mirror have 'confirmed' that Brosnan will not be Bond in the next film. However, all these reports seem to be basing their facts on the one EW interview, and nothing has been officially announced yet. [read more: discuss] 7.29.04

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pierce Brosnan has stated that he is done with James Bond. "That's it," Brosnan told EW.com. "I've said all I've got to say on the world of James Bond." It seems that the months of rumors and uncertainty have finally caught up with the actor. Or is it just a ploy to get a bigger paycheck? "We went out on a high," Brosnan said, "and I look back affectionately at that time and doing those four movies. But I've said all I gotta say on it." [read more: discuss] 7.28.04

Variety has learned that the Bond producers have begun talks to film parts of Bond 21 in Prague. [read more: discuss] 7.21.04

MKKBB is reporting that Pierce Brosnan's status for Bond 21 is still very much up-in-the-air, despite recent rumors to the contrary. They also report that the writers are penning a "generic Bond script" that could fit any number of actors, including Hugh Jackman and Clive Owen. [read more: discuss] 6.1.04

In an interview with the Boston Herald, Pierce Brosnan said "They said they wanted to do a fifth, and we started negotiations, and those negotiations have now ceased." [read more: discuss] 4.27.04

In the first "official" word on the status of Bond 21, MGM vice chairman and COO Chris McGurk talked to Variety magazine and said that the film is still on track for a late-2005 release. Purvis and Wade are writing the film for a "generic Bond actor," as Brosnan still has yet to be approached for the film. "Decisions about a director, and who will play Bond, will be made 'in the next few months.'" [read more: discuss] 4.20.04

Canada.com has a great summary article of the problems going on with Bond 21. [read more: discuss] 4.20.04

Michael Madsen, neighbor and friend of Pierce Brosnan as well as Die Another Day co-star, has been quoted as saying that Brosnan does not want to do another Bond movie anymore. He also said that Brosnan would be replaced with an Australian, although he did not know which one. [read more: discuss] 4.8.04

Quentin Tarantino told SCI FI Wire that he has talked to Pierce Brosnan about adapting Casino Royale as Brosnan's fifth and final James Bond film. The director noted that his challenge would be to convince producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to diverge from the current formula of expensive action set pieces. [read more: discuss] 4.8.04

The IMDB reported today that in addition to the uncertainty surrounding Pierce Brosnan's involvement in Bond 21, there is a strife between screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade and EON. "The two scriptwriters want one kind of Bond, while Eon wants another. Neal and Wade want to go back to basics and concentrate on the plot and the characters, but Eon wants an even bigger special effects bonanza than Die Another Day, with loads of gadgets and computer wizardry. Obviously the issue affects the choice of who plays Bond." The report also states that Kylie Minogue is in the running to play a Bond girl. [read more: discuss] 4.5.04

Eva Green portrayed Vesper Lynd
Eva Green portrayed Vesper Lynd
According to imdb.com, Hollywood bosses were forced to offer Pierce Brosnan the role for Bond 21. The imdb also says that EON deliberately leaked plans to gauge the response from the movie-going public - and were inundated with appeals not to ditch Brosnan. An un-named MGM executive said, "We didn't realize what an army of supporters Pierce has. We got the message Pierce stays." [read more: discuss] 3.22.04

In an interview on AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout, Pierce Brosnan was asked if he was returning for a fifth Bond film, to which he replied, "I don?t know. We?re in a very opaque land at the moment. I?m certainly willing to come back for a fifth and final one. But I think [with] the producers a certain kind of paralysis has set in. And they don?t know where to go, how to go with this film. So if it happens, great. If it doesn?t, I?ve done my four - the contract was for four...? [view the interview: discuss] 3.15.04

Sky News has reported, probably falsely, that Anna Kournikova was offered a role in Bond 21 and turned it down due to her tennis commitment. [read more: discuss] 3.9.04

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, screenwriters of the last two Bond films, have begun their work writing the script for Bond 21, slated to be released on November 18, 2005. [read more: discuss] 3.9.04

Yahoo! Movies has reported that Bond 21 will be released on November 18, 2005. [read more: discuss] 2.18.04

The Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage has been confirmed as the car in Bond 21. [read more: discuss] 2.5.04

MGM has stated that Britney Spears is not up for any kind of part/role in Bond 21, and that their meeting was at Spears' request and was granted as a courtesy. [read more: discuss] 2.5.04

Britney Spears met with the Bond producers in London; it is not known if it was for a part in Bond 21 or to sing the title song. [read more: discuss] 2.4.04

Aishwarya's agent insists that all recent rumors about his client having a role in Bond 21 are completely false. [read more: discuss] 1.26.04

Catherine Zeta Jones is reconsidering an offer to become the next James Bond girl after some advice from former 007 star Sir Sean Connery. [read more: discuss] 12.3.03

Alex Parks, Fame Academy winner, was rumored to have a cameo role as a baddie in Bond 21. Needless to say, this rumor has quickly been debunked. [read more: see a photo: discuss] 11.17.03

Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre
Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre
Cbn has reported that Christian Wagner, editor on Die Another Day, will return to work on Bond 21. read more: discuss] 11.17.03

Pierce Brosnan has said that Clive Owen 'has a long wait before he can become 007,' although when the time comes he will 'happily hand over the role to Owen.' [read more: discuss] 10.22.03

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is reporting that Bond 21 will be released on November 25, 2005. Keep in mind that this rumor has nothing backing it up, but it is the first published release date for the film. [read more: discuss] 10.21.03

Uma Thurman has expressed an interest in being a Bond girl. [read more: discuss] 10.21.03

The Daily Record is reporting that Clive Owen will be announced as the next James Bond in a press conference late next year. This will follow a January or February 2004 news conference where Pierce Brosnan will officially declare Bond 21 to be his turn as James Bond. [read more: discuss] 10.3.03

Pink has been rumored to be playing a Bond girl in Bond 21. [discuss] 8.27.03

A rumor stating that Martin Campbell (GoldenEye) will return to direct Bond 21 has been debunked as the director has already signed to work on the next Zorro film during that time. [read more: discuss] 7.25.03

Business Week has confirmed that Brosnan signed a contract for Bond 21. [read more: discuss] 5.27.03

CBn has reported that Lee Tamahori will return as the director for Bond 21, ending the tradition of a different director for each Bond film. This goes against rumors during the filming of Die Another Day that Tamahori clashed with the actors and producers and would not be asked to return. [discuss] 5.5.03

According to rumors, Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai has been offered a lead role opposite Pierce Brosnan in Bond 21. [read more: discuss] 4.8.03

EON has reported to IanFleming.org that Bond 21 will NOT be filming in 2003 for a 2004 release. The Bond producers always pencils in Pinewood "just in case." [read more: discuss] 4.8.03

Cher has been rumored to be singing the theme song for Bond 21. Keep in mind, almost no rumors reported at this point of production will come true. [read more: discuss] 4.8.03

EON Productions has booked Pinewood Studios beginning August 2003. This goes along with earlier reports by 007Forever that Bond 21 will be released in December 2004, and not 2005. [read more: discuss] 3.27.03

007Forever.com has heard from reliable sources that Bond 21 will start filming in January 2004 and that the script is already being penned by Purvis and Wade. [read more: discuss] 3.6.03