Casino Royale: Prequel? Remake?

There’s a brand new trailer for the next Bond Movie out: “Casino Royale“. If you have just the vaguest of interest in Bond (think back to the Connery days), you’ll probably be as puzzled as I am. A quote from the trailer:

James: So you want me to be half monk, half hit-man?

M: I knew it was too early to promote you.

James: Well I understand the double-o’s have a very short life expectancy.

To me this sounds like the very recruitment of Bond. Chronologically this puts it before all the existing Bond films, which might explain the title; “Casino Royale” is the title of the first Bond-novel by Ian Fleming. Yet, Judi Dench still plays the character of M, like she did in Die Another Day.

So, what have we here: a prequel? A sequel? A new 007 agent who by coincidence is also named “James Bond”? Or are we looking at a remake / re-launch of the Bond franchise?

42 thoughts on “Casino Royale: Prequel? Remake?”

  1. Sujay says:

    I was actually thinking about this over at my site, except my theory is the other way around. To accomodate Daniel Craig’s new looks I think there’s sort of a system of 007 agents. When one dies, or they “retire” (let’s just say), someone agent in training gets promoted and becomes the new 007, who’s new name then becomes “James Bond”.

  2. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Who cares, it looks like a very bond-like film with plenty of action. Also, I like how they use the 007 “logo” in the movie title.

    I usually enjoy bond movies, but with a very pragmatic view of timeline, cast, and story. The point is that bond saves the world, kills the bad guys, and gets the girl. Nuff said.

  3. Nope. This film is just based on the book and takes place before all the others.

    Think “batman begins”, including the part where they make it all darker.

  4. Joen says:

    Jonas Rabbe said:

    Who cares, it looks like a very bond-like film with plenty of action. Also, I like how they use the 007 ?logo? in the movie title.

    I usually enjoy bond movies, but with a very pragmatic view of timeline, cast, and story. The point is that bond saves the world, kills the bad guys, and gets the girl. Nuff said.

    I am in complete agreement. Yet a restart, if that’s what’s happening, would be intriguing.

    James AkaXakA said:

    Nope. This film is just based on the book and takes place before all the others.

    Think ?batman begins?, including the part where they make it all darker.

    Sorry, “Nope” to what? So you think it’s a restart, i.e. Bond Begins?

  5. Matt says:

    Yes this movie would technically be a prequel, Casino Royale is the book (first Bond book) where James Bond becomes 007.

    Also Casino Royale was filmed and produced in 1967 ago as a spoof, featuring Peter Sellers as James Bond.

  6. Joen says:

    Matt said:

    Yes this movie would technically be a prequel, Casino Royale is the book (first Bond book) where James Bond becomes 007.

    So how does that fit in with M being played by Judi Dench in the new one, when in the old Bond films M was portrayed by Bernard Lee (i.e. a guy) for most of the series?

  7. Matt says:

    Joen said:

    Yes this movie would technically be a prequel, Casino Royale is the book (first Bond book) where James Bond becomes 007.

    I’ve got the same questions about that as you do. I was quite surprised to see Judi Dench again in the role of M even though she only showed up in Goldeneye…

  8. Joen says:

    […] even though she only showed up in Goldeneye…

    I’m pretty sure she was also M in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day (i.e. all Brosnan movies)…

  9. Matt says:

    Sorry I meant first showed up…

  10. khaled says:

    Gotta say I haven’t seen a Bond movie in a good long while. Traditionally the movies used to bore me so much I’d sleep through most of them. Goldeneye and a couple of the sequels kinda changed that but then I lost interest all over again. If we’re talking bond begins I’m completely down with that, as I really enjoyed Layer Cake (he’s the new bond right?)

  11. Sorry, ?Nope? to what? So you think it?s a restart, i.e. Bond Begins?

    Ah right, yes. Nope to Sujay, and yes to ‘rewind to the beginning’.

    So how does that fit in with M being played by Judi Dench in the new one, when in the old Bond films M was portrayed by Bernard Lee (i.e. a guy) for most of the series?

    Cos she was really good as M….and available and good for the ‘standing’ of the movie and the funding of the movie and…etc.

    I?m pretty sure she was also M in Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day (i.e. all Brosnan movies)…

    True, from Goldeneye on she was in (IMDB checked).

    If we?re talking bond begins I?m completely down with that, as I really enjoyed Layer Cake (he?s the new bond right?)

    That is the same guy, yes. I can’t say I liked the movie, but that wasn’t because of him. I think (hope) the script will be stronger than previous Bond films – and given it’s based on an actual novel by Ian Flemming this time it should be.

  12. Joen says:

    James AkaXakA said:

    Cos she was really good as M….and available and good for the ?standing? of the movie and the funding of the movie and…etc.

    Well of course, I meant in a strictly storyline sense.

    Here’s something interesting:

    Craig also confirmed that Casino Royale will essentially restart the franchise, focusing on 007’s early days. “There’s a lot of similarities with the book but yes, of course it’s been updated. It has to be. It’s a suspension of disbelief that we’re renewing Bond, and that this is the first time you see him.”

    Source

  13. George says:

    I don’t think they’re hugely bothered by time and continuity in that franchise – the guy has been more or less the same age for forty years now, despite the time frames in the films staying current to when they were made (Cold War -> Soviet collapse -> post-Cold War plotlines, for example). After pushing Die Another Day into retarded over-the-top Batman & Robin territory, they’re trimming the fat and trying to get back to their roots, but they’d be foolish to ditch Judi Dench just because of a narrative/chronology problem.

    You might also be interested to know that there will be no Bond videogame tying in with this film, on the basis that this film is meant to be too strongly focused on story to make a good game out of. Sounds promising, huh?

  14. [..] this film is meant to be too strongly focused on story to make a good game out of.

    That does sound promising!

  15. Jonas Rabbe says:

    That does sound promising!

    Yes indeed.

  16. ajpele says:

    As for the continuity thing I would generally agree with the idea that the way they have worked it is that one guy dies and another assumes his identity. However that wouldn’t quite fit with his background being the same but we could live with that. The other problem is that in a couple of Roger Moores films they make reference to his wife (For your eyes only and The spy who loved me) so perhaps continuity has to be forgotten. Frankly id its a good film and less commercial all will be forgiven

  17. aijus says:

    However, it hardly seems that it would be likely that they would just promote somebody to become another ‘James Bond’. In the trailer, Judi Dench is hesitant to promote him to 00 status, not 007 status. In past films, there has been many references to other 00 agents that played their roles within MI-6. Given, they may not have lived for long and were not as skilled as Bond, they still had their place. As for the wife, remember Bond did get married for a short period before his bride was killed at the end of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.

    Continuity is something that does bother me. In fact, I was wishing to see this film really stick with continuity with EVERYTHING. But of course, there in lies a problem within itself. The 007 series has always been a forefront with all the fancy and latest gadgets and cars. Most people want to see this and of course we’re talking about audience appeal. Personally, I would rather see it stick within the timeline.

  18. Through the series he’s gotten older and younger and older again..what continuity?

  19. Joen says:

    Not only has James become both older and younger through the series, but in The Living Daylights, Felix Leiter was a young long-haired American, while in the next one, License to Kill, Felix Leiter was an aging shorthaired gentlemen portrayed by a different actor.

  20. aijus says:

    James AkaXakA said:

    Through the series he?s gotten older and younger and older again..what continuity?

    Joen said:

    Not only has James become both older and younger through the series,

    but in The Living Daylights, Felix Leiter was a young long-haired

    American, while in the next one, License to Kill, Felix Leiter was an

    aging shorthaired gentlemen portrayed by a different actor.

    That isn’t the continuity I was talking about. I was wrong if that’s what you thought I meant when I said everything. Of course they’ll change the actor’s who plays Bond and what not. I don’t have any problem with that. The continuity I was speaking of were things that doesn’t add up within itself.

    For instance, if Judi Dench as M is promoting James Bond to 00 status for the first time, how is that really possible? Especialy when she just became the new M in “Goldeneye”, which Bond acknowledged. They at least stated that she came into the new M position. Same goes with Q. When Desmond Llewelyn “retired” he had John Cleese appointed as the new Q. Cleese was actually jokingly named R in “The World Is Not Enough” when he was being trained by Llewelyn.

    Now if they set “Casino Royale” anywhere else without mentioning that Bond was just promoted as a 00 agent, then everything would work out. I don’t really think there is any distinct timeline as in events so essentially any of the events could occur anytime. The only reason why we see a evolution of time with the series is because of the culture and the the technology.

  21. Joen says:

    aijus said:

    For instance, if Judi Dench as M is promoting James Bond to 00 status for the first time, how is that really possible? Especialy when she just became the new M in ?Goldeneye?, which Bond acknowledged. They at least stated that she came into the new M position. Same goes with Q. When Desmond Llewelyn ?retired? he had John Cleese appointed as the new Q. Cleese was actually jokingly named R in ?The World Is Not Enough? when he was being trained by Llewelyn.

    Now if they set ?Casino Royale? anywhere else without mentioning that Bond was just promoted as a 00 agent, then everything would work out. I don?t really think there is any distinct timeline as in events so essentially any of the events could occur anytime. The only reason why we see a evolution of time with the series is because of the culture and the the technology.

    See that’s what makes me believe this is a restart of the Bond series. A goodbye to the old, and a hello to an official restart of the series.

    I can understand that this is not what you like (heck, I’m unsure myself), but I think that’s what this means.

    From Rotten Tomatoes :

    Fans supporting the boycott are also upset with the filmmakers for deciding the franchise needed a “reboot;” according to reports, “Casino Royale” will not carry on the chronology of the previous Bond films but will be a sort of prequel/origin story to restart the entire franchise. Thus, while Dame Judi Dench is onboard once again as Bond’s boss, “M,” character actor Jeffrey Wright will portray CIA agent Felix Leiter — a recurring character previously played by numerous actors, who was killed off in 1989’s “License to Kill.”

  22. It’s a prequel!

    So nothing to worry about 😉

  23. Joen says:

    James AkaXakA said:

    It?s a prequel!

    From where do you get your facts? I think it’s a REMAKE! And I don’t think that’s anything to worry about 🙂

    In fact, inconsistencies like those present in the Bondverse always bug me in movies. If the film is good, I’ll be happy.

  24. Joen said:

    James AkaXakA said:

    It?s a prequel!

    From where do you get your facts? I think it?s a REMAKE!

    I kid, I kid…it’s a new start and that’s it. Since there haven’t really been any multi-film spanning plotlines anyway, it shouldn’t be all that different from the other films in that sense anyway.

  25. monochrome says:

    Here you go.

    Bond and Lieter are secret agent code names. Bond gets replaced as he gets old or dies,… with a new bond, and so on with Lieter.

    Now,… When Roger Moore reacts to comments about, or speaks of, his past wife. It’s because he is the next Bond, not everyone has seen him, and like the Dread-Pirate-Roberts, must keep up the act. I pretend that George Lazenby was infact the Sean Connery Bond. Enraged by the death of his wife, he rededicates himself to the demise of Blofeld and SPECTRE, doing so in the next film.

    Moore would be the second. Taking over for the original, with a reputation to go on, an already exsisting 00 switches numbers and name, or an all new recruit with heavy Secret Service time is promoted. Who Knows. Blofeld also only shows in one Moore movie, and that is more of a pre-credits gag more than anything else. That takes Moore bond up to the point of retirement, his dry humor and malaze also traded up, for the Third Official Bond.

    Dalton Bond is brash and quick, so much so that it is his only failing. Licence to Kill is revoke in the movie of the same name, and 00 status terminated. Although still in British Naval Command position, Dalton Bond never regains this position. Next, thrust into the limelight, a slightly older and more experience recruit is rushed in as the Fourth Bond.

    Brosnon Bond starts in Goldeneye, with a 9 years ago flashback, which puts it right on track. In Die another Day he is old, comments as such, and speaks of this as a possible last job.

    Thus Enter Daniel Craig Bond. Who, with the new Dench M, is ready to go into the Bond foray, equipped with modern technology and an almost flawless backstory.

    If not, oh well,…… i’m such a geek, i can’t believe i wrote all that.

    Oh as for Lieter, The Americans are the Mission Impossible side of things. Lieters just got one of those Makeover masks on.

  26. Casino Royale is a reboot of the film series. It has no continuity with any of the previous films and is Bond’s first mission after acquiring his double-O status in the pre-title sequence. While the film reboots Bond’s continuity, it is still considered the 21st entry in the established Bond series as opposed to the beginning of a new one.

    Although it is a reboot, elements of Casino Royale will take liberties with established continuity from earlier films. Examples of this include Judi Dench’s reprisal of her role as M, who in the Brosnan Bond films was established as a successor to an earlier male M; however, in Casino Royale, she will be the first M by whom Bond is employed.

    Source

  27. Jeffrey says:

    Matt said:

    Yes this movie would technically be a prequel, Casino Royale is the book (first Bond book) where James Bond becomes 007.

    Also Casino Royale was filmed and produced in 1967 ago as a spoof, featuring Peter Sellers as James Bond.

    actually there was an original version of Casino Royale as a television episode of some series, this was the film version of any of the james bond books. I did get a chance to tape this a few years ago, I will have to look for it now. It has been packed away since I got my DVD player.

    but here is the imdb info on the version I am talking about.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310853/

  28. Jack Yan says:

    I have to admit the reboot??Bond Begins? for want of a better term?disturbed me for the same reasons, plus The Sum of All Fears did not work with a younger actor (Ben Affleck) playing Jack Ryan in a prequel?yet the political events were totally up to date.

       However, I have totally warmed to the film now. The important thing is that it is likely to be a good movie, one that tells a story?not one where the special effects person has a chance to show off, and then the composer has his chance, and then the editor does quirky techniques to show his presence, etc.

       I am willing to suspend disbelief for two hours and ignore the continuity problems. Speaking of which, this time, Felix Leiter is black?the first time it has happened in the official Eon series.

  29. Robbie Clark says:

    I think most of you will find this interesting:

    http://www.daltonswendy.com/index.php?showtopic=1371&st=40

  30. Timmah says:

    This Bond movie is actually being used to restart the franchise, the bond movies as a whole were not doing so well, sure they brought in a lot of money, but there was no explination in to how he became who he is and they never explained why he never aged but the technology kept changing. So mgm along with sony decided why don’t we just restart the franchiese, everything from this point will in present day time line and not scatered about like the previous 21, over a course of 44 years, they most likly will not remake any more of the other films but leave them alone, to remake them all would not be a good thing for the franchise as a whole.

  31. Jason says:

    My hunch about this film is that it is a prequel and a sequel at the same time. Perhaps at the begining of the film they are going to show and explain how Bond got promoted before Dr. No. Which may explain the presence of the Aston Martin DB5. Then after, they go to the point after the events of Die Another Day where it is Present Day. With the apperance of the new Aston Martin DBS.

    Thats my theory. I mean, theres no way they could have a designed and invented a new aston martin like that back during Dr No.

  32. Tom says:

    I totally agree with Jason. What purpose is there for the producers to scrap 44 years of movies? Just because some of the recent movies had their shortcomings does not mean that they should be scrapped. The preview itself even suggests that the precredit sequence will be Bond’s first mission and initiation. During the black and white sequence, Bond is talking with most likely and agent who looks curiously like Bernard Lee (the original M). The rest of the movie is in color, which suggests that it takes place in modern times (along with the modern technology, fashion, and cars). Also, the lack of Q and Moneypenny do not prove that Casino Royale will be a reboot. Q was absent in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Live and Let Die. I am also willing to forgive the inconsistencies with Felix Leiter, since about a gazillion actors have played him. All together, this movie will be different, but it will be better than the recent films.

  33. Tom says:

    Oh, and just because M (lady M) says that it was too early to promote Bond does not mean that it diverges from the rest of the movies. Bond’s recklessness in all 20 movies warrant such a statement.

  34. Jason says:

    Here is some more proof from Wikipedia which i found out bout Casino Royal:

    Bond earns his stripes in the 00 Section by completing two tasks, which Fleming outlines in Casino Royale. The first is the assassination of a Japanese cipher expert on the 36th floor of the RCA Building at Rockefeller Centre in New York City. The second was the assassination of a Norwegian who became a double agent and betrayed two British agents. Bond travels to Stockholm where he kills the man in his sleep with a knife.

    According to Bond, obtaining a 00 number is not hard so long as you’re prepared to kill, which John Pearson suggests Bond first did as a teenager. Throughout Fleming’s novels, further continuation novels, and even the films, Bond’s attitude toward his job is similar; he dislikes taking life ? resorting (typically in the films) to flippant jokes and off-hand remarks as after-the-fact relief, often misinterpreted as cold-bloodedness.

    ? It was part of his profession to kill people. He had never liked doing it and when he had to kill he did it as well as he knew how and forgot about it. As a secret agent who held the rare Double-O prefix ? the licence to kill in the Secret Service ? it was his duty to be as cool about death as a surgeon. If it happened, it happened. Regret was unprofessional ? worse, it was a death-watch beetle in the soul. ?

  35. Sam says:

    Hi,

    First of all, I DO have a problem with those facts that just aren’t correct. How can M be a woman when in Goldeneye (the best Bond of all btw) she is clearly new in her M status, as said before on this forum, this is confirmed by Bond himself… Second fact is that this is his FIRST mission (so says the synopsis on the site), how can this be his FIRST mission if the gadgets, buildings and other technology is CLEARLY to evolved te be timelined BEFORE Dr No!!! The fact that Bond looks different doesn’t bother me really, i’m used to it, but its the first time I have the honor of enduring it, for the last change was a bit too long ago… They also say in the synopsis that, the things he does here, will change his personal life forever! Are they refuring to his life in all previous Bond films? Because if they do, hats IMPOSSIBLE, because the world has evolved and you CAN’T hide that in the movie + M is still the woman from all Bond films since Goldeneye!!!

    Because it is quiet enoying not to have a decent answer to these facts i try to accept the fact that when a 007 dies/retires, his number AND name are given to a new agent who takes his place. And the mission we will see in the movie is actually this new agent’s first mission and will change HIS life forever…

  36. Sam: It’s a different time-line, get over it.

    Bond films were never about continuity.

  37. Anthony says:

    I beg to differ with the quote “Bond films were never about continuity”. In more than one bond film references were made about his wife from “On Her Majesties Secrete Service” also about his family motto: “The World is not enough”. Most ALL of the films from “Majesty” on had a reference to one or more past film.

    Anthony

  38. Ian says:

    Look on wikipedia and you will see that it says that the new bond find is a reboot, and so that means that all of the other films are sort of forgotten by the writers, as if they never happened in this new storyline, and this is like a beggining if a new James Bond series. Im not sure why they did this, but maybe it was so that people could find out more about bonds past or because people were getting annoyed with the lack of crnologicallity.

  39. Ricky says:

    i think the new james bond film is crap it is totaly not in the james bond character thers no gadgets no intiseing action i’s quite boaring actualy the new bond is good but i think that this film is one of the more worst films it’s not like the bond we know and expect they’v tryed to change it and i don’t know why, we all know who and what james bond is so why do they try and change it keep it simple but 21st centuary bond films are ment to make you get butterflys jump off your feet with the action even if you know bond will never die.

  40. Joen says:

    Im not sure why they did this, but maybe it was so that people could find out more about bonds past or because people were getting annoyed with the lack of crnologicallity.

    Maybe for the same reason Batman Begins was created? There were enough films in the old storyline (20! 21 if you count Never say Never).

    I’d say it was about time for a Bond Begins.

  41. Roger Less says:

    RIcky, go home FFS!

  42. Glen says:

    I have to say I am amazed at the discussion about continuity in the Bond world. As far as I am concerned James Bond has as much to do with continuity as the Simpsons does. The only times they use continuity is if they want to reuse a character, drop in an in-joke or further develop/use an existing storyline.

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