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  1. The CBn Dossier, April '06

    Blair Pettis

    Welcome to the May 2006 CBn Dossier, a wrap-up of all the James Bond news and rumours from the past month. In this dossier we’ll be taking a look at the reams of recent book-release announcements, some exciting news for dvd collectors, a mixed bag for gamers, and a couple of really big developments from the producers of Casino Royale.

    This month’s CBn Dossier is provided by Blair Pettis (who apologises for the slight tardiness of this report).

    Enjoy.

    Casino Royale Teases Us Twice

    The big stories which broke over the past weekend were the release of a teaser poster and teaser trailer for the upcoming Casino Royale film. The teaser poster art was first revealed on a Finnish website linked to the official James Bond website, and CBn’ers promptly registered a near unanimous cry of approval. CBn sources have confirmed that this is an official release. The moody, atmospheric image artfully evokes the stench and smoke and sweat of a casino at three in the morning. And Daniel Craig’s sidelong glance says James Bond is back indeed.

    Teaser Poster

    Casino Royale Teaser Poster

    The collective burst of glee in response to the poster art was soon followed by an even more uproarious delight when fans caught a look at a new Casino Royale teaser trailer. First revealed on the French televsion show CINESIX (airing on French channel M6), a 59-second version of the trailer became widely available for viewing on website planete007.com. And what a piece of work it is. Twenty-odd seconds of black and white footage cryptically reveal what appear to be some of the film’s early moments, including Bond tussling with baddies and verbally sparring with M. Then, all of a sudden, there is Craig as Bond in a familiar spinning motion, a shot is fired in the direction of the camera, a sea of red douses the frame—gunbarrel redux? Oh, my. And a nice segue to the colour footage, which, in the manner of all modern action film trailers, is a supercharged, edit-fest of heroic ballet. We see: gunplay; knives; X-ray tech; Parkour; explosions; the Aston Martin db5; beautiful women clad in elegant dresses and sexy swimsuits; and a hint of macabre villainy. But mostly, it is Bond. And it looks to be, by nearly all accounts, very good Bond. [Note: those wishing to remain absolutely spoiler free will need to abstain from watching the trailer. But as one who is trying hard to avoid spoilers, I can report that the trailer doesn’t really spoil much. I imagine any and all Bond fans will be pleased to have watched it, and will not feel spoiled.]

    While the response to the trailer has been overwhelmingly positive, there has been a smattering of the old complaints about Craig’s suitability, and a few fans have expressed worry that the trailer looks a bit Die Another Day, when Eon has promised something fresh. After seeing the trailer, this writer has faith in Eon’s pledge.

    More Casino Royale News

    CBn has confirmed that shooting on Casino Royale is scheduled to conclude in the Czech Republic in May of this year. Director Martin Campbell will grab the final shots in the spa town of Karlovy Vary, which is doubling Montenegro.

    In other CR news, the Ivory Coast’s Isaach de Bankole has been cast as Obanno, one of the villains associated with Le Chiffre. Mr. de Bankole recently completed filming on the big screen adaptation of Miami Vice.

    And finally, congrats to ITV, which just this month secured the television broadcast rights to Casino Royale, and the rest of the James Bond library. Fans will reportedly have to wait until late 2007, at the earliest, for Casino Royale to air on the telly.

    Young Bond

    Moving on to the literary Bond, bibliophiles were treated to a virtual tidal wave of announcements of forthcoming material. In particular, there was a lot of news on the Young Bond front. It was announced that author Charlie Higson will be making two promotional appearances in Great Britain in May of this year. Make sure to bring your copies of SilverFin and Blood Fever for signing. Mr. Higson is A-class entertainment for Bond fans, judging by his recent appearance at Foyles’ bookstore. CBn’s Matt Weston was on the case and filed a very engaging report full of juicy bits of info. To wit, Mr. Higson has completed work on the third book in the series which takes place in London, the fourth book in the series will feature Mexico and the Carribean as primary locations, and IFP was approached in regards to movie rights by the likes of Steven Spielberg. Wow.

    April also saw the release of the US paperback and audiobook editions of SilverFin, and the international editions just keep on coming.

    Books, Books, and More Books

    There are no less than four non-fiction books devoted to 007 on the horizon, and these are no lightweight fan fawns, either. A positively ambitious array of academic ink is being spilled in James Bond’s name this year. First up, The Man Who Saved Britain, by Simon Winder is slated for a UK release on the 2nd of June, 2006. This book is being promoted as a unique history of postwar Britain as seen through the lens of Bond fandom. An intriguing premise to say the least. Should be interesting to see how this turns out. Pre-order now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

    Hot on the heels of that is The Science of James Bond: From Bullets to Bowler Hats to Boat Jumps, the Real Technology behind 007’s Fabulous Films by Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg. Initially set for an April launch, this will now be available the 25th of August, 2006. Devotees of Q-branch should feast on this look at the gadgets, cars and other technological wonders of James Bond’s world. It even has an introduction by Raymond Benson. Available for Pre-order now.

    For those hungry for more scholarly analysis of Bond-dom, September will bring another goodie in the form of James Bond and Philosophy, by James B. South and Jacob M. Held. In this ambitious tome ‘15 witty, thought-provoking essays discuss hidden issues in Bond’s world, from his carnal pleasures to his license to kill. Among the lively topics explored are Bond’s relation to existentialism, including his graduation “beyond good and evil”; his objectification of women; the paradox of breaking the law in order to ultimately uphold it like any “stupid policeman”; the personality of 007 in terms of Plato’s moral psychology; and the Hegelian quest for recognition evinced by Bond villains.’ Phew! Pre-order it now: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

    After that, readers may be grateful for something a tad lighter. Although the title belies it, James Bond in the 21st Century: Why We Still Need 007, may just fit the bill. While details are in sparse supply at this point, early reports indicate this will be an anthological look at Bond from the perspective of pop culture. Here’s hoping that author Glenn Yeffeth’s work is smart, thoughtful, insightful, and a great bit of fun. Available for Pre-order now.

    Any mystery as to whether the book release accompanying the release of the Casino Royale film would be a novelisation or a tie-in was solved on the 2nd of April by The Young Bond Dossier, which revealed that a paperback movie tie-in is scheduled for release on 16, October, 2006. Thanks to the zencat (aka John Cox) for the heads up.

    Book collectors welcomed the mid-month release of the large print edition of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Distributed by the Thorndike Press, this book follows on from the large print release of Live and Let Die, this past February.

    Comic Strip fans sang Titan Publishing’s praises, as Colonel Sun was released in the USA, and The Golden Ghost was released in the United Kingdom. These are in the book formats which Titan has been doing so well.

    Gamers’ Highs and Lows

    There was good news and bad news for fans of Bond gaming this past month. OK, you want the bad news first, right? CBn has learned that the Casino Royale video game from EA has been cancelled. At this time it is unclear whether EA will release another James Bond-themed video game in its stead. Reportedly, the cancellation was due in part to the fact that EA was unable to meet the deadline for a November release while still being able to match the game action to the film action.

    On the brighter side, April saw the release of the Sony PSP platform of the Electronic Arts game, From Russia With Love. It’s still early, but so far the reviews have been mixed.

    Ultimate DVD madness

    Videophiles may have rejoiced at the announcement that a new set of James Bond Ultimate Edition dvd’s are scheduled to be released in the UK in July (no release date yet for the rest of the world). Perhaps a bit of a surprise to those who imagined that the next generation of Bond dvd’s would be either Blu-ray or HD-DVD, this collection nonetheless has some nice things to offer. First and foremost, the set of 40(!!!!) discs will come in a sleek silver attaché case with a subtle debossed 007 gun logo. Conjuring up memories of The World Is Not Enough, this case is one cool collectible in and of itself. And the dvd’s are sure to please as well. Can I mention again that there are reportedly 40 of them? Each film gets its own slipcase with new artwork, and containing one disk of the film and one for supplemental materials. All 20 films (Dr. No through Die Another Day) will be remastered and restored using a ‘breakthrough digital process’ by Lowry Digital, radically improving both picture and sound. They will all feature DTS 5.1 surround sound, and each will feature loads of new extras including ‘never before seen footage’ and ‘Top Secret Files’ on ‘The Bond Women’ and ‘Exotic Locations’. In a coup de grace, Sir Roger Moore will provide commentary for all his movies on a separate audio track. You can pre-order this collection from amazon.co.uk now.

    Can’t wait until July for your Bond dvd fix? No problem. Coming in May, Silvascreen presents a History Channel special, James Bond Gadgets. Featuring in-depth looks at the Aston Martin db5 and Vanquish, the Bell Textron Jet Pack, Little Nellie, TWINE’s Q-boat and many more Bond gadgets, this is sure to please the gadgetmaster in your household. Currently available for pre-order now at amazon.co.uk.

    The Impossibly Witty Job

    If you’ve been around CBn for any time at all, you’ll surely be aware that there is no better read than one of professor Jacques Stewart’s dissertations. This past month we were treated to The Impossible Job: Doubleshot, Part IV of Jacques’ series of Raymond Benson book reviews. If you haven’t read it, please do so now. Even if the acerbic wit doesn’t give you a guilty giggle, the critical insights will educate and enchant.

    The Paul Michael Kane CBn Interview

    Earlier this month, CBn’s Devin Zydel published his most excellent interview with Paul Michael Kane, author and illustrator of 007: A Literary Dossier. Mr. Kane’s book, which saw a limited release in February, with a wider release set for sometime in the near future, is an analysis of the Bond-related works of Ian Fleming, Kingsley Amis, John Gardner, and Raymond Benson. If you haven’t read this interview yet, check it out.

    That’s all for this month. Now hurry on, and watch that trailer again.

    With over 500,000 posts and endless discussion topics, there has never been a better time to join the CBn Forums to discuss Casino Royale and all other James Bond topics. Registration is free and only takes a minute. It’s safe to say that as Bond fans, we have a lot to look forward to. As always, stay tuned to CBn for daily coverage of all things James Bond 007.

    Related Links

    The CBn Team @ 2006-05-01
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