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Producers Take James Bond in New Direction


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Imagetalesofthestupid.blogspot.com
27 February 2006

by Mimi Spoofington, Arsociated Farce Movie Writer

New York – James Bond fans will be left stirred and
shaken this winter when they discover the iconic British
spy gets a sex change.

“After much thought and consideration, we have
decided, in agreement with the actors, to take the
James Bond franchise in a new, challenging direction,”
a statement released by Eon Productions announced on
Sunday.

Casino Royale, the 21st screen adaptation of Ian
Fleming’s suave Martini-drinking spy, will see James
Bond on the run and forced to undergo a sex change
operation to evade his enemies.

Reached by phone by AF, producer Barbara Broccoli
said that the new Bond was directly inspired by Daniel
Craig, the little known 37-year-old actor who was
chosen last October to replace fan favorite Pierce
Brosnan. “Daniel has been struggling with the role. He
had trouble understanding it. The guns, the fast cars,
the women. I think he didn’t really get all that. So he
realized something was wrong. He approached us with
the gender bending idea and he said it was something
he definitely wanted to do for some time now. Of
course, we were one hundred percent supportive. And
from a character standpoint, it opens a whole new
direction. So we decided to write it into the script.”

Production for Casino Royale, the latest installment of
the longest and most successful franchise in movie
history, has already been marred by delays. The pivotal
baddie and Bond Girl roles were not cast even as the
film started shooting earlier this month in Prague. Last
week, Craig had his teeth knocked out during the
filming of a fight sequence. And on Friday, British
tabloids revealed that the Aston Martin that was
shipped to the Bahamas had to be refitted with an
automatic gear box because Craig could not drive stick
shift.

“I mean, it’s something I’ve always felt in me. This
femininity. I’ve always been very afraid of guns. I saw a
gun wound once and it traumatized me. And I’ve
always driven automatic cars. I saw a stick shift car
involved in a crash once and it traumatized me,” said
the actor.

Craig has been the target of unprecedented criticism
from fans who oppose his casting as James Bond. An
internet site recently called for a boycott of the movie.

“Yeah, I heard about that. I don’t think I really care.
Right now, I’m trying to focus on the surgery. That’s
the most important. It’s what I always wanted,” Craig
said.

“Daniel is an extremely talented actor,” according to
Broccoli. “And because of that, we all know he’ll be an
extremely talented actress as well. He’s decided to take
this to the next level, and we respect his choice. The
next James Bond will be unlike any you’ve ever seen.”

Producers of the 007 franchise have always
experimented with their lead actors: in 1969, they used
a puppet called George Lazenby as the figure of Bond,
but fans were not convinced. In the late 1980’s, a
robot, code-named Timothy Dalton, was used in an
attempt to introduce a more technology-driven saga.
But the Dalton robot mysteriously kept growing facial
hair and was debilitated by an unconvincing British
accent.

Producers also persuaded Sean Connery, the very first
James Bond, to reprise his role as a septuagenarian
007. Fans welcomed his return but production costs
skyrocketed as enormous quantities of drugs and
medical machinery were necessary to keep Connery’s
body artificially alive. Even a clown named Roger Moore
was used for a while, giving the franchise a lighter,
comedic tone. But the role was recast when teenage
movies such as American Pie proved a better comedy
draw for fans.

“In everything we’ve done, we’ve always tried to
remain true to the real spirit of 007. We think a female
James Bond is what Ian Fleming intended his hero to
be,” director Martin Campbell explained.

Broccoli denied the sex change decision was motivated
by the success of Brokeback Mountain, an improbable
love story between two cowboys that has garnered
international acclaim and is a frontrunner for this year’s
Academy Awards.

“James Bond will not be gay. Or lesbian,” Broccoli
assured. “Eva Green has been cast as the Bond girl but
everybody knows she looks like a man. So her role will
be re-written as a Bond boy and she… I mean, he will
remain Bond’s love interest. She… he is very much up
to it.”

When asked how it would feel interpreting the male
love interest of a transgender superspy, the 25-year-old
French actress answered: “Yes.”

To deal with the transition, producers have brought
director Lee Tamahori back on board. The helmer of Die
Another Day has recently been at the center of his own
controversy when he was arrested last month in an
LAPD prostitution sting dressed in drag. Tamahori has
since agreed to a plea bargain and his community
service has been commuted into an advisory role on the
set of Casino Royale.

Says Tamahori: “I know what it is to be a woman in a
man’s body. I think I can help Craig make the
transition. It will be my job.” His first advice?
“Obviously, an actor has to get into character. So we’ve
asked the cast and crew to refer to him as Danielle.”

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