Tagged: Casino Royale

ComicMix Quick Picks – February 8, 2009

The collection of non-NYCC posts that have come in over the last few days while we’ve been on the floor at Javits.

Anything else we missed? Consider this an open friend.

Amy Goldschlager is an editor for FindingDulcinea.com.

Daniel Craig Says He’s Not Making a Bond Trilogy

Daniel Craig Says He’s Not Making a Bond Trilogy

Actor Daniel Craig told Collider that his Bond series is not meant to be a trilogy as so many other films series are today. “No fucking way. I’m done with that story,” told them. “I want to lie on a beach for the first half an hour of the next movie drinking a cocktail.”

While Quantum of Solace, which broke the $500 million worldwide revenue mark this weekend, was intended as a direct sequel to Casino Royale, a third film would be something else entirely. Director Marc Forster had filmed a scene that would have sent Quantum right into a third chapter but cut it from the final print.

“We’ve finished this story as far as I’m concerned,” Craig said. “We’ve got a great set of bad guys. There is an organization that we can use whenever we want to. The relationship between Bond and M is secure and Felix is secure. Let’s try and find where Moneypenny came from and where Q comes from. Let’s do all that and have some fun with it.”

Although he has said much of the above in other interviews, he admits to not knowing what the producers have in mind.  No screenwriter has been hired and Forster has said he will not come back. "We don’t know when we’re going to do the next Bond. Nobody’s thinking about it at the moment. We’re giving it a rest for the moment. If I can squeeze something in next year I will…but I haven’t figured out what that’ll be yet. But nothing in the cold."

Stephen Sommers Leaps for Tarzan

Stephen Sommers Leaps for Tarzan

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) will next try his hand at adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan.  He has a script from Stuart Beattie (Australia) that ignores the classic 1912 novel in favor of a story set in the 1930s that will be a “romp with a hefty helping of romance: Think Pirates of the Caribbean with buffed-and-tanned actors flying through the jungle and sprinting up trees, parkour-style.”

Parkour the currently in vogue acrobatic fighting style developed in France and perhaps best known from a sequence in Casino Royale.

It makes me miss the Travis Fimmel WB series.

Olga Kurylenko Discusses Being a Bond Girl

Olga Kurylenko Discusses Being a Bond Girl

Ukrainian-born actress Olga Kurylenko addressed being the latest Bond girl in Quantum of Solace when she met with Australian press.

"That’s not what an actor hopes to play", she said, referring to the many women Bond has encountered. "They’ve mostly been dull and just arm-candy."

The 29 year-old actress plays Camille, a woman also on a mission of revenge, much like Bond. Unlike her feminine predecessors, she did not manage to bed the secret agent. "Yeah, I liked [the older ones] but I especially liked Casino Royale", she says. "The Bond girl is also a lot more interesting in that one. That’s what inspired me to go and audition for this one".

Having gotten the part, she then trained for the physical work which pleased her. "It was amazing. It was the first time I’d experienced doing such action stuff", says. "I trained a lot. I trained all the time, all the time – every free moment I had. They brought me in a month before I started shooting and during that month I just trained with the stunt people. They taught me how to fight- just basic fighting with fists and kicking and punching, so not like Asian martial-arts like Michelle Yeoh [in Tomorrow Never Dies]. This was more tough military-style fighting.

"I also had to learn how to skydive – we shot it in a wind tunnel but I still needed to train for a month to know how to do it properly."

Kurylenko was also seen this fall in Max Payne and expects to find a career in American films. "They know me in France – they’ve known me since 2004 when I did The Ring Finger — but America doesn’t me. Hitman was my first English-speaking part, and my second was Bond — I only did 3 days work on Max Payne, in the middle of filming Bond, so that doesn’t really count. Hitman did get me an American agent and it did open doors to an extent but this one more so, because it’s just so big!"

‘Hancock 2’ Charged with Bringing Sony Profit

‘Hancock 2’ Charged with Bringing Sony Profit

The Los Angeles Times notes that Sony has profited handsomely from its investment in MGM, earning huge profits from Casino Royale and expects a similar payday for Quantum of Solace.  After that, MGM regains full control of Bond so the studio needs fresh cash cows.

Looking ahead, the Times counts off forthcoming films based on The Green Hornet, Flash Gordon, and Preacher are worthy candidates. Closer to home, they are preparing a sequel fro the original super-hero tale, Hancock, which brought in huge dollars and little buzz.

Among the films mentioned, The Green Hornet, starring Seth Rogen and Stephen Chow, and to be directed by Chow, will be arriving first, in summer 2010. They’ve pencilled in Spider-Man 4 for summer 2011 but the other projects are still in development so the studio can’t start counting on profits yet.

Flash Gordon will be the first feature film featuring Alex Raymond’s classic hero since the 1980 disaster and will be directed by Breck Eisner, known more for his schlock horror efforts. Preacher, though, will be directed by Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition) so comes with greater hopes.

Sony entered into a financing agreement with MGM when the studio was once again facing financial failure.  As a result, by investing in Casino, Sony actually earned more than MGM, netting as much as $100 million in profit. MGM and Sony parted ways after the latter failed to meet sales targets for DVDs from MGM’s library. The deal allowed Sony to participate in Quantum but that will be all.

‘Quantum of Solace’ Outguns Competition

‘Quantum of Solace’ Outguns Competition

Quantum of Solace exceeded the most optimistic of estimates by taking in an estimated $70.4 million at the box office this weekend. This makes the film the largest opening Bond epic in history, surpassing Die Another Die, which did $47.1 million in 2002. It also nearly doubled the $40.8 million take of Daniel Craig’s first outing as Ian Fleming’s celebrated spy, Casino Royale.

The film had already started opening around the world prior to North America and was raking in the euros.  It has already amassed $251.6 million before even opening in Japan, Australia and Spain. It opened on Friday to largely negative reviews from America critics but the franchise has always been largely critic proof.

"It’s totally extraordinary," Columbia Pictures distribution president Rory Bruer said of the film’s early box office success. "Everybody is really loving the movie."

They also loved Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which fell to number two, taking in $36.1 million. The other sophomore entry, Role Models, was in third with $11.7 million according to Box Office Mojo.

The teenyboppers have been sated by High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which is slowing down quickly and has fallen to fourth place, totaling $84.4 million after four weeks in play. This is still a hugely profitable film before even considering merchandise and home video.

The top five was rounded out by Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, which took in just $4.2 million and has earned just $27.6 million after four weeks.

The weekend’s other newcomer; Slumdog Millionaire opened to terrific reviews but is in limited release. On just ten screens it brought in A$350 million.

Review: ‘Casino Royale’ 3-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD

Review: ‘Casino Royale’ 3-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD

I’m not objective when it comes to James Bond. [[[Dr. No]]] was the first “grown-up” movie I ever saw, and I’ve been writing about 007 in magazines and my books ever since.

Nor am I particularly dispassionate about [[[Casino Royale]]]. The New York premiere at the great Zeigfeld Theater was the best experience I’ve had in cinemas for the last few decades — and it was there that I ate humble pie because, to my shame, I had been dead set against Daniel Craig in the role prior to that (I had been rooting for runner-up Henry Cavill, and anyone who’s seen him as “Charles Brandon” in the second season of Showtime’s [[[The Tudors]]] can see why).

The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the original, cautious, DVD release that didn’t even include an audio commentary. Naturally, everyone knew that a big special edition would eventually appear, and, following record-breaking grosses and a Blu-ray release that really put the medium on the map, this is it.

The film remains exceptional but quibbliable (some nitpick at the central, drawn-out poker game, while I cavil [if you’ll excuse the expression] at the dispassionate off-screen dispatching of the main henchmen, to be hastily replaced by some generic thugs for 007 to slaughter at the climax).

The three-DVD status of this Special Edition (tomorrow) is also questionable, since the second disc only contains the extras found on the original release, promoted to their own disc apparently to make way for the previously absent audio commentaries. Even the DVD menus aren’t particularly distinguished.

However, the approximately nine hours of new Special Features made it worth the wait. Having done forty good, bad, or ugly audio commentaries myself, I know a great one when I hear it, and Casino Royale now has two. The first, with director Martin Campbell and producer Michael Wilson, is packed with illuminating info (including that the opening was inspired by The Ipcress File and the finale by Don’t Look Now), but the second is even better.


Bonds Bests Batman Where it Counts

Bonds Bests Batman Where it Counts

James Bond and Batman may rival one another for who has the best gadgets, but the British espionage agent bests the Caped Crusader where it really counts.  In the current issue of Condé Nast Portfolio, on sale today, an article calculates how much the franchise has earned since its inception. Ian Fleming’s literary creation has generated $13.8 billion in business from the first novel through the most recent film, Casino Royale. His next film, November’s Quantum of Solace, will only add to those numbers.

The article breaks down the categories and estimates that the original 14 Fleming books in addition to the 30 authorized sequels and related titles have brought in a cool $1 billion on their own.  The article notes that Sebastian Faulks’ novel, Devil May Care, released earlier this year became the fastest selling hardcover fiction title in Penguin’s history despite poor reviews. The appetite for Bond fiction remains large.

The film series, from Albert Broccoli and his heirs, began in 1961 with Sean Connery portraying the spy in Doctor No.  The official 21 films alone have brought in $11.6 billion plus whatever the original Casino Royale and Connery’s return in Never Say Never Again added to the totals.  Home video sales are estimated to have generated $400 million before the Blu-ray releases coming shortly from Fox Home Entertainment.

Bond remains a licensing machine with video games accounting for $812 million alone plus other toys and games in the mix.

The article notes that other huge money machines include Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, and Batman.

Bourne Potter, by Ric Meyers

Bourne Potter, by Ric Meyers

I have a special relationship with Jason Bourne. But, before I elaborate on my entirely self-manufactured rapport, let’s establish something at the outset. Bourne (and/or 24’s Jack Bauer, for that matter) literally wouldn’t exist without James Bond. You don’t think that all their initials being “J.B.” is a coincidence, do you? In fact, the late author Robert Ludlum created the Bourne book series with the brilliantly simple and engaging high concept of “what if 007 got amnesia?”


So, perhaps I should rephrase my declaration: I have a special “bond” with Jason Bourne. Dr. No was the first “adult” film I ever saw. The Bourne Identity is the most recent movie I saw with my brother at a cinema. I saw its sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, on Christmas Eve, the last day of my first tenure as Santa Claus at the Danbury (CT) Fair Mall. Sitting alone in a dark hotel room as the snow fell outside, watching director Paul Greengrass’ frenetic, yet somehow followable, chases on a hotel’s small TV screen – prior to heading out for a Christmas celebration with my family – created an evocative memory.


Now there’s The Bourne Ultimatum, out this coming Tuesday as a single, non-special edition DVD. I originally saw the film at its New York screening, but truly appreciated seeing it again on an HDTV, since the DVD remote control allowed me to slow down the frenzied editing so I could truly enjoy the jigsaw-designed chases and hand-to-hand battles (especially a frantic fight in a cramped apartment where Bourne proves that the book is mightier than the knife).


Although it remains one of the worthiest second sequels in film history, I still found the DVD lacking for two small reasons. First, despite truly fascinating featurettes on the action sequences – “Rooftop Pursuit,” “Planning the Punches,” “Driving School,” and “New York Chase” – character building “deleted scenes,” which were excised when Greengrass decided that he was making a “violent ballet” rather than a character-driven drama, and a doc called “Man on the Move: Jason Bourne,” none (or all) of them really don’t communicate how agonizing the film’s production actually was.


Robert Rodriguez on Barbarella

Robert Rodriguez on Barbarella

Director Robert Rodriguez will be directing the remake of Barbarella.

The director of such hits as Sin City and From Dusk To Dawn, well-known for his low budget on-time green screen work, has put Babs on his schedule alongside The Jetsons (live action) and Sin City 2, which has been in pre-production for a while. Casino Royale writers Neal Pervis and Robert Wade will be scripting, and Dino De Laurentiis will be repeating his duties as producer. Production is scheduled to start next year. Jane Fonda is not expected to be cast as the lead once again, although a villain role has not been ruled out.


To tie into the movie, the original Barbarella comics stories by Jean Claude Forest will be re-released in two volumes; material that had never been published in English will be included.