“We haven’t even started preproduction. There is no James Bond yet cast. All we can confirm is that it definitely will not be Pierce Brosnan, the film will be called ‘Casino Royale’, it is being written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade and it will be directed by Martin Campbell. If you want anything more, ring back in a couple of months.”
– Eon spokesperson
In three short sentences, speaking to the UK’s Guardian Unlimited, an Eon spokesperson summed up the current status of Casino Royale and categorically stated that Pierce Brosnan is out as James Bond.
Despite denial from Pierce Brosnan’s people, rumours of a potential return to the role of 007 have continued to circulate in the media in recent weeks (Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang! recently reported on some of the latest articles on that front).
While this only confirms the suspicions of most Bond fans in that the latest round of Brosnan rumours were poppycock, this is perhaps the most forward Eon has been to date regarding the Brosnan Axed saga. In the only news release to emerge from the production company, Eon played their cards close to their chest, simply stating, “No decision has yet been made regarding casting for the role of ‘James Bond'”. Interviews with director Campbell, writers Purvis and Wade and composer David Arnold had all indicated Brosnan was out, but Eon themselves had never been overly forward in saying a fifth film for Brosnan was out of the question.
With articles quoting representatives from the production company emerging more frequently, Eon spokespeople have been slightly more vocal in recent times, after more than a year of hearing next to nothing from the company. So, why the slight change of tact? In the past couple of months, the Bond rumour pot has boiled over, with a new candidate alledgedly being considered by the production company every other day. From a PR standpoint, any publicity’s good publicity, but when the rumours are being run as fact, as has been the case in recent times, a bit of damage control on Eon’s behalf would not go astray.
Indeed, The Guardian feature claims there is a list posted at Eon’s office of 72 names that have been mentioned by British newspapers as being linked to the role, two of which are women, and one of which is a dwarf. Not the sort of publicity Eon would be after.
Based on Ian Fleming’s first novel of the same name, the current Casino Royale script explores Bond’s formative years at MI6.