As in previous Bond movies, producer Michael G. Wilson has again several tasks to fulfill in Casino Royale. Apart from his duties as a producer, Wilson–being a self-confessed poker addict–personally supervised the filming of the poker scenes in Casino Royale. ‘For the film, the game was changed [from Chemin de Fer, a variation of Baccarat] to Texas Hold ’em, in part because of the recent worldwide poker phenomenon,’ says Wilson, ‘but also because poker is a game of bluff and strategy which offers more dramatic possibilities on screen.’ And director Martin Campbell adds: ‘The film’s marathon card tournament turned out to be even harder to film than some of Casino Royale‘s spectacular action set pieces. This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to shoot–ten players round a table, playing Texas Hold ’em, all looking at their cards and each other. Maintaining the tension and the continuity was a nightmare. In fact, as an exercise it would be a very good test for film students to try. Luckily, producer Michael G. Wilson is a genius at poker and very good at numbers. I couldn’t have done it without him.’
And of course, Casino Royale also features the traditional Michael G. Wilson cameo: In addition to serving as producer and poker consultant on Casino Royale, Wilson plays the role of SPOILER: Highlight To Read: a corrupt Montenegrin chief of police whose tenure abruptly comes to an end.
‘I’ve made an appearance in every film since The Spy Who Loved Me in one form or another–sometimes only as a hand or a voice. It’s become a tradition. I’ve been a priest and a scientist, but this is my first time as SPOILER: Highlight To Read: a policeman.’
Stay tuned to CBn for all the latest news on Casino Royale.
Casino Royale is the 21st James Bond 007 film produced by franchise holders Eon Productions. The MGM/Columbia Pictures production began shooting in January and is due for release worldwide on 17 November 2006. Casino Royale will premiere on 14 November in London. Starring Daniel Craig as James Bond; locations include the Czech Republic, the Bahamas, Italy and the UK.
The film co-stars Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian, Tobias Menzies, Ivana Milicevic, Clemens Schick, Ludger Pistor, Claudio Santamaria, and Isaach De Bankole.