Casino Royale is a 2006 British produced action-thriller espionage film starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, and Mads Mikkelsen. It was directed by Martin Campbell and is the twenty-first film in the James Bond Franchise Series. The film is the third screen adaptation of Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel of the same name and was intended to serve as a soft reboot to the entire franchise series and was the debut of Daniel Craig in the titular role of James Bond.
Newly minted 00 Agent James Bond finds himself in a high stakes poker game against Le Chiffre, the private banker to some of the world's worst terrorists! But even with his new license to kill, Bond may be over his head in this deadly high stakes poker tournament. Because in this final showdown, everything is going to be on the line...
Le Chiffre is a banker with the utmost discretion. He has to be. Since he happens to be the personal banker to several notable terrorists and clandestine organizations. But what not even his murderous clientele know is that he's been secretly using their money to short-sell the stock market by exploiting his insider knowledge of terrorist activity and pocketing the sizable profits for himself.
Until his latest financial shenanigans fails thanks to a daring and debonair secret agent with a new license to kill, James Bond of MI-6 who barely manages to foil the terrorist plot. Now, Le Chiffre is nearly bankrupt with a lot of terrorists who will be soon demanding their lost money. Desperate to recoup his losses, Le Chiffre enters a high stakes poker game at the fabulously exclusive Casino Royale in Montenegro.
And giving MI-6, an interesting opportunity: if a player can bust Le Chiffre's pot, he will have little choice but to plead for protection from his own clients.
It's a high-stakes gamble that only their best and brightest can dare to raise the stakes on. But that's never been a problem for Bond!
But Le Chiffre is not going down without a fight. And he's never been one to shy away from whatever underhanded and deadly trick to win. And since his life is literally on the line, he will do whatever it takes to win this deadly high stakes poker tournament. Because in this final showdown, everything is on the line.
- Daniel Craig as James Bond
- Eva Green as Vesper Lynd
- Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre
- Judi Dench as M
- Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter
- Giancarlo Giannini as Rene Mathis
- Simon Abkarian as Alex Dimitrios
- Caterina Murino as Solange Dimitrios
- Ivana Milicevic as Valenka
- Isaac de Bankole as Steven Obanno
- Jesper Christensen as Mr. White
- Sebastien Foucan as Mollaka
- Tsai Chin as Madame Wu
- Tobias Menzies as Villiers
- Clemens Schick as Kratt
- Veruschka as Grafin von Wallenstein
- Alessandra Ambrosio as Tennis Girl
- Christina Cole as Ocean Club Receptionist
Casino Royale was the first James Bond novel published by Ian Fleming in 1953 and its success paved the way for the establishment of a multimedia franchise. Fleming subsequently sold the rights to CBS to use the novel for the basis of a TV episode in Climax! in 1954 and later filming rights to producers Gregory Ratoff and Michael Garrison in 1955 but Twentieth-Century Fox subsequently rejected their pitch proposal. Ratoff subsequently died in 1960 and his heirs and Garrison sold the filming rights to producer Charles K. Feldman for $75,000.
Film producers Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman later optioned the rights to Ian Fleming's subsequent and future Bond novels in 1961 when they became partners and established Eon Productions intending to create a multi-picture franchise starring the British secret agent. They discovered that Casino Royale however was the sole novel not available for adaptation and entered negotiations with Feldman to acquire the rights for Casino Royale. However it soon became clear that a quick settlement was not viable which prompted Broccoli and Saltzman to focus on adapting Dr. No instead which was released in 1962. Eon Productions finally offered $500,000 and a percentage of the royalties from the film in exchange for his filming rights in 1964. However Broccoli and Saltzman clashed repeatedly with Feldman which resulted in him to reject the deal and approached rival studio, Columbia Pictures which agreed to finance Casino Royale which was finally released in 1967 despite directly competing against Eon Productions' adaptations of James Bond.
Despite lackluster reviews and numerous challenges and extended legal attempts by Eon Productions, filming rights to Casino Royale remained inextricably tied to Columbia Pictures which was then acquired as a subsidiary of Sony Pictures for the better part of three arduous decades. Eon Productions were finally able to broker a deal to acquire the rights in exchange for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's rights to Spider-Man for Casino Royale in 1999 by which time, all of the various individuals involved in the original legal wrangling; Cubby Broccoli, Saltzman, Fleming, and Feldman had since passed away.
Eon Productions commissioned a screenplay for Casino Royale which was intended to be the next Bond film in production following the twentieth film, Die Another Day. Casino Royale was originally intended to have Brosnan in the starring role and Eon Productions were mindful for the criticism of the CGI special effects and decided to return to Bond's more grounded and realistic roots rather than an over-reliance of sci-fi gadgets.
However after wrapping filming of Die Another Day; Pierce Brosnan completed his contract to star in four films for Eon Productions and was reluctant to sign on for another film believing that he was becoming too old to portray the character akin to Roger Moore and declined to continue. He subsequently announced his retirement from the role in 2004 which prompted Eon to begin a search for the new Bond actor.
Over 200 actors were considered including Julian McMahon, Hrithik Roshan, Dominic West, Goran Višnjić, Henry Cavill, Sam Worthington, Gerard Butler, Alex O'Loughlin, Rupert Friend, Dougray Scott, Karl Urban, Daniel Craig, and Hugh Jackman. Jackman was subsequently proffered the role but declined due to other filming commitments. Daniel Craig was then offered the role again but was originally intended to turn it down as he felt that the franchise had become "formulaic" until he read the script and that he was being proffered the opportunity to redefine the character and give Bond greater emotional depth. Craig being cast as the debonair British secret agent however met with extreme controversy with an intense internet campaign lashing out at the perceived horrendous miscasting.
Principal photography commenced on January 3, 2006 and lasted until July 20, 2006.
- Casino Royale was the first James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. It was also the sole one that has been adapted three separate times; once on TV and twice on film. Ironically, making it the last ever James Bond adapted movie as Ian Fleming's later 007 novels had all been already adapted to film.
- This is the first Eon Productions film since The Living Daylights was released in 1987 that uses the title of an Ian Fleming novel or short story.