Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) has for years expressed a desire to make a faithful adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel Casino Royale. Ideas the director has floated in the past have included shooting the movie in black and white, and even using voice over narration in order to incorporate Fleming’s text. Most recently Tarantino has said he would cast the potentially ousted Pierce Brosnan as his Bond, and Uma Thurman as Bond Girl Vesper Lynd.
Brosnan has endorsed Tarantino’s approach (which should come as no surprise considering how badly he wants one last shot at playing 007), but Eon Productions and MGM have remained publicly quite on the matter, saying only that Bond 21 is on track for a 2005 release, and that decisions as to who will direct, and who will play 007, will be made “in the next few months.” [See: MGM Vice Chairman Talks Bond 21]
But now Quentin’s Tarantino’s “Casino Royale” is appearing in a respected online movie industry production database, Production Weekly (a subscription service), as a “development” project under Tarantino’s A Band Apart production company banner.
“CASINO ROYALE” Feature Film
A BAND APART
7966 Beverly Blvd., 3rd Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90048
PHONE – [edited for privacy] FAX – [edited for privacy]
STATUS – Development
DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino CAST: Pierce Brosnan
Sir James Bond is enjoying his retirement when four international agents press him into service again in hopes of smashing SMERSH and Topple LeChiffre at the baccarat tables. Bond is taken in by Agent Mimi (alias Lady Fiona McTarry) who immediately falls in love with him. Bond’s illegitimate daughter, Mata Bond, whose mother was the late Mata Hari, is going to help out. The current agent using the Bond name, Cooper, has his hands full, despite his assistance by beautiful secretary, Moneypenny. 007’s nephew Jimmy Bond is supposedly incompetent. Bond, hoping to clear his name from its current low repute, hires Evelyn Tremble to meet LeChiffre at the gambling tables at Casino Royale. The world’s richest agent, Vesper Lynd, helps convince Tremble to masquerade as 007.
Does this mean the Tarantino “Casino” is going ahead? Might we get another “Battle of the Bonds” in 2005?
Eon/MGM now hold the rights to Casino Royale, awarded to them after the 1997 court battle with Sony Pictures (who now own Columbia, the studio that made the 1967 Casino Royale with David Niven). Despite the presumption of the listing, A Band Apart cannot adapt the book, remake the ’67 film, nor even use the character of James Bond in anyway. Eon and MGM hold all cinematic rights to the character of James Bond. Period.
It’s more likely that Tarantino (who is never press-shy) is putting his ideas out there in the hopes of swaying Eon into a co-production of some kind. It’s also possible that the listing was generated by an over-zealous fan, or an industry professional who picked up on the numerous Quentin/Casino stories and included the listing without realizing that the director doesn’t actually own the rights. Further suspicion is raised by the fact that the plot outline on this listing is that of the 1967 farce — hardly the faithful adaptation of Fleming that Tarantino has spoken of in the past.
Nevertheless, with two such headline-grabbing names as Quentin Tarantino and James Bond, no doubt the rumors will continue. But unless Eon announces a co-production with the famous filmmaker, Bond fans should not expect to see Quentin Tarantino’s “Casino Royale” anytime soon.