1. Resurrecting Connery's Bond

    By Matt Weston on 2005-09-22

    Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter (relayed through GameDAILY BIZ), EA executive producer Glen Schofield has revealed what James Bond fans can expect from Sir Sean Connery’s return to the role of 007. confirmed in March that Connery would reprise the role in EA’s From Russia With Love, a reimagining of the 1963 film of the same name. Connery since spent four days in a studio to record dialogue for the game, which is due to hit PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox in November.

    A CBn-exclusive screenshot: Sean Connery as James Bond

    A CBn-exclusive screenshot: Sean Connery as James Bond

    According to Schofield, Connery’s influence went beyond his inimitable dialogue. In addition to adding a degree of authenticity by providing his voice, Connery also weighed in on how his Bond should move in the game. “He added so much to not only the dialogue, but he also talked about his fighting style, which is much different from other Bonds,” Schofield said. Connery was reportedly paid $1 million for his work on the new game.

    Visually, a team of digital character artists have meticulously recreated Connery’s classic Bond appearance for From Russia With Love. Schofield said artists took animation techniques to the extreme in crafting his 3D character model and hand-painting its textures.

    Connery’s 1963 co-stars, however, will be voiced by a group of sound-alikes, Schofield revealed, including Robert Shaw’s Red Grant, Daniela Bianchi’s Tatiana Romanova, Lois Maxwell’s Miss Moneypenny, Lotte Lenye’s Rosa Klebb, and MI6 regulars, Bernard Lee (M) and Desmond Llewelyn (Q).

    “Millions of people have seen the movies, purchased the DVDs and played the Bond games,” Schofield said. “From Russia with Love came out over 40 years ago, so those that had seen it on the big screen when it was released are at the very outer edge of the age demographic that plays games.”

    James Bond saves Natasha Bedingfield's Elizabeth Stark

    James Bond saves Natasha Bedingfield’s Elizabeth Stark

    To create a balance, Connery will be joined by contemporaries, Maria Menounos as henchwoman, Eva, and British singer Natasha Bedingfield, who plays Elizabeth Stark, the daughter of the British Prime Minister.

    Menounos said she was given a lot of scope to create her character. “We don’t know her origin in the game, so I gave her an accent. It’s a blend of Czech and Russian.”

    As for what to expect from the game itself, Schofield promises a larger scale for many of the locations, including in and under the Russian consulate, which features in the film. Fans can also look forward to a surprise ending in the game.

    From Russia With Love will be released on 1 November 2005. Keep watching CBn for all the latest news leading up to its release.

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