1. Dench Confirms Jan/Feb '06 Start Date for 'Casino Royale'

    By johncox on 2005-03-10

    Dame Judi Dench, who in October announced she would be reprising her role as James Bond’s boss “M” in Casino Royale, confirmed in an interview with Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2 that production on the 21st James Bond film is due to start in January or early February 2006. This start date would indicate a Winter 2006 or Spring 2007 release.

    Dame Judi Dench

    Dame Judi Dench

    Director Martin Campbell is expected to start pre-production on the film immeaditly after wrapping work on Sony’s The Legend of Zorro in June.

    News of Dench’s return comes as a bit of surprise to some Bond fans who assumed that because Casino Royale will feature James Bond in his very first mission (this according to Martin Campbell), a new “M” would be mandatory. After all, Dench’s “M” has quite a history with Pierce Brosnan’s 007.

    Dench was clearly “the new M” in 1995’s GoldenEye who famously pegged 007 as a “sexist misogynist dinosaur” in their first meeting. She was later saved by 007 after being kidnapped by the evil Electra King in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough. The “M”/Bond drama continued with Die Another Day (2002) in which “M” disavows 007 after he’s been captured while on a mission in North Korea, bringing the two into personal conflict…again.

    It may seem a little strange to now have Dench’s familiar “M” sitting across from a freshly minted 007. Nevertheless, Dench has become somewhat of a hallmark of the series and Eon seems reluctant to let go of this excellent actress and Oscar winner.

    It’s not yet known which if any other regular MI6 staffers will return. John Cleese had reportedly been signed to a multi-picture contract as gadget-master “Q.” Samantha Bond, on the other hand, recently said she would not return as Miss Moneypenny if Pierce Brosnan was not 007.

    Despite many rumours, CBn can confirm that NO decsion has yet been made as to who will play James Bond.

    Keep watching CBn for all the latest news on Casino Royale.

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