As any Bond fan can tell you, the James Bond film franchise has spawned 24 official movies over the course 54 years and six actors taking the role of 007.
While most of the films will always be celebrated by fans, it’s easy to forget that after 2002’s “Die Another Day” the 007 series was in deep trouble. Remember the invisible car or the tidal wave CGI surfing?
But in 2006 the prayers of Bond fans (like me) were answered with the release of “Casino Royale.” With this film, Eon and MGM decided to start over, and since in 1999 Eon obtained the film rights to Ian Fleming’s very first Bond novel Casino Royale, the decision was easy: they would go back to the very beginning.
This was a big gamble for the studio. Not only were they restarting the long-running franchise, but they were also recasting James Bond. After screen testing hundreds of actors for the role, the producers settled on Daniel Craig. And don’t forget, he was a controversial choice at the time.
Even I had my doubts he could pull it off, and his small role in the first Tomb Raider movie wasn’t exactly award caliber stuff. But when all was said and done, the studio’s gamble paid off. and “Casino Royale” took James Bond in a bold new direction and the result was a modern-day classic.
Gone were the gadgets, the villain’s lair, and the over the top action finale. Even the part of the Bond girl meant more to the plot, and to Bond himself. In other words, “Casino Royale” redefined what I and other fans had come to expect from the franchise.
So happy 10th anniversary “Casino Royale,” and thank you for making me believe in 007 films again.