|Since EON Productions announced they would be remaking Casino Royale we've
been hearing all kinds of rumblings from Bond fans that the Bond films were finally
going back to their roots in Ian Fleming's wonderful 007 novels. After the casting of
Daniel Craig we've come to know that this film would not so much be a faithful
adaptation of Fleming's original Casino Royale book but in fact a new origin story
for James Bond that merely draws elements from the novel.
In this section we aim to set the record straight once and for all. Will the film be true
to Fleming's first Bond novel? Will Daniel Craig be able to provide a faithful
depiction of Fleming's Bond character?
Read on and find out for certain!
|Myth 1: Some fans state that Craig with his cold, cruel, tough looks closely
resembles the James Bond of Ian Fleming’s novels. – In the Fleming novels James
Bond’s regular cover was that of a salesman for Universal Exports. He normally
blended into the business world, social gatherings and even official events. If Bond
was as tough-looking as Craig he could never pass for a sales representative and
would be fairly easy to spot as an assassin! Although Fleming had mentioned that
Bond had a cruel aspect to him from time to time, these references were usually
describing a subtle facet of his appearance and clearly not primary to his
description. It should also be noted that Bond was a killer by choice, not by nature.
He was a military man and a patriot. He killed because that was his duty and he was
good at it. This doesn’t necessarily mean he should look like a killer as Craig surely
|Myth 2: The fact that Craig is not male-model handsome like Pierce Brosnan makes
him a better actor to play Bond. - In both the film and novel of From Russia With
Love, Tatiana Romanova described Bond as looking like as American film star.
Considering Fleming wrote that line for the novel in the late Fifties it would bring to
mind actors like Gregory Peck, William Holden, Cary Grant, James Stewart, and
Stuart Granger to name a few. None of these stars resembled Craig. In fact, Fleming
himself preferred Cary Grant and David Niven to play Bond; and neither of these
handsome heartthrobs vaguely resembled Craig.
|Myth 3: Craig looks very much like singer/songwriter Hoagy Carmichael, the model
of James Bond’s looks in Ian Fleming’s novels. – Totally untrue! Craig looks
nothing at all like Hoagy Carmichael. Hoagy had big, wide-set eyes, a wide mouth
and a head that was unusually long, thin and gaunt in proportion to its width. He
also had a distinguished saturnine profile with a long nose and prominent chin.
Craig’s face is rather flat in profile; he has relatively tiny eyes, a small mouth and
chin and a rounded face and head.
|Myth 4: Craig is a talented actor and this will allow him to play the part of Bond
despite the fact that he does not fit audiences’ expectations of a Bond actor. – As
far as acting goes, Tom Hanks is a great actor; would you have him playing Bond?
How about recent Academy Award winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman? For that
matter, if EON thought the only requirement to play Bond was great acting chops,
why didn’t they hire Al Pacino, Marlon Brando or Robert DeNiro to play Bond? Why
not hire a fine Shakespearean actor like Olivier, Guinness or Richardson? Do you
really think acting ability is the only quality needed to play Bond? Of course not!
|Myth 5: Casino Royale will be as close to the original novel as any Bond film ever
was. – Wrong again of course. The original novel was our first glimpse of James
Bond in his career. This film has transmogrified that story into an origin story
wherein the course of one short mission, Bond develops from an unkempt,
impulsive and reckless person into the smooth, composed and confident character
we all know. Doesn’t that kind of change usually happen over years or decades for
most people? What 38 year old adult undergoes a total change of personality in the
course of months? None in reality, and never for the James Bond of Ian Fleming’s
The Casino Royale novel was set in the 50’s, some time before the setting of the
cinematic version of Dr. No. The new Casino Royale film is not a remake, however it
is a reboot. It sets the beginning of Bond’s career in the present day. This reboot
wipes out the history of Bond as a Cold War warrior and as an officer of the Navy,
prior to becoming an intelligence agent. It also supersedes the previous 20 films,
wiping out all the beloved characters and treasured events from them including
Bond’s marriage to Tracy Di Vincenzo and her tragic death.
To make matters that much worse, this story will turn Bond into a combination of
Jason Bourne and The Transporter. Instead of the Navy, Daniel Craig’s Bond now
comes to MI6 from the SAS. This makes him similar to many clichéd movie heroes
trained as special forces soldiers like Stallone in ‘Rambo’ and Schwarzenegger in
‘Commando’. When you take all of these radical story and character changes into
account, there will be very little left of Fleming’s wonderfully sublime novel to enjoy,
and almost nothing will remain of the James Bond we've loved on film or in print!