Producer Barbara Broccoli has spoken to iFMagazine on the James Bond series and the newest entry, Daniel Craig’s debut in Casino Royale.
‘I think that over the years the films have had a bit of battering by people about that because in fact when you look at the early films the women were very extraordinary for the ’60’s,’ says Broccoli. ‘They were pilots and tough and strong women who did extraordinary things who were sexual and had an equal sort of sexual appetite. They weren’t the wilting flowers. I think that what happened was that maybe in the ’70’s and ’80’s it became more window dressing. We had groups of girls in bikinis sitting around swimming pool, and I think that’s where we go that sort of attention.’
One thing that set Casino Royale apart from the previous James Bond films was the absense of the usual naked girls in the main title sequence. Broccoli explains: ‘Well, he’s been among girls in the opening sequence before, on this one, we felt, since we’re telling the story of him becoming a Double 0, and you see the two killings and he becomes a Double 0–the black and white is supposed to be his life before.’
‘Once he becomes a Double 0 everything explodes around him. We thought that it would be better to have him in the sequence to explain that this is now what his life is going to be like.’
On the casting of Eva Green as the enigmatic Vesper Lynd, Broccoli said: ‘We had seen Eva Green in Kingdom Of Heaven and The Dreamers and we thought that she was fantastic. The thing is that this character of Vesper, in Bond lore she is the most important character because she affects his life forever. So we had to cast it really well. She had to be alluring and beautiful. She had to be a great actress, but she had to have this kind of mystery about her. She has to be a kind of enigma because he falls in love with her and instinctively he knows that there is something missing, there is something wrong and he can’t quite put his finger on it. It’s a very difficult role to cast, and we’d seen Eva and we called up and they said, “No, she’s not available. She’s doing a film in France.” We started looking at a lot of people and no one just seemed right. I kept saying to the casting director, “Just ring her agent every week.” And this went on for months and months.’
‘Eventually they said, “Well, the film may not happen.” It was one of those European finance films and sometimes they’re tricky to get together, and so I said, “Please, please get her in.” I felt like she had to do it. It was just fate that at the end, her other film, the dates moved and we were already shooting. She came to Prague and we were all kind of anxious because sometimes when you meet someone it isn’t exactly what you thought. She walked in and Martin [Campbell] and Michael [Wilson] and I went, “Oh, my God. She’s it.” Then she came in and read with Daniel and he was like, “Oh, we’ve got to have her.” So it was fate that things shifted and she was able to do it.’
One rumour that has been circulating regarding Bond 22 is that Green’s Vesper Lynd will return as a pre-recorded message to Craig’s Bond in the film. Broccoli commented: ‘There is a rumor circulating that she’s in the next film. The fact is that the impact that she has on him in this film may be referred to in the next film, but we’re still working on the script. But she doesn’t come back to life.’
Continuing on the subject of Bond 22 and beyond, the plan is to ‘continue along in the way that we’ve set Bond up on this sort of new story, a contemporary story of him moving forward,’ says Broccoli.
Stay tuned to CBn for all the latest Casino Royale coverage.