MI6 can confirm that the 21st James Bond film will be titled "Casino Royale" and will be directed by Martin Campbell. Eon Productions officially announced the news in a press release today.
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond films, and MGM announced today that Martin Campbell will direct CASINO ROYALE, the 21st film in the 007 franchise.
This is Campbell’s second time as helmer of a James Bond film. In 1995 he directed the hit GOLDENEYE which introduced Pierce Brosnan to the role of 007 with great success.
Wilson and Broccoli said: “We are thrilled that Martin has accepted our offer to direct CASINO ROYALE. He is an extremely talented director and we believe he will help take our films in a new and exciting direction. He is currently finishing filming ‘Legend Of Zorro’, the sequel to ‘The Mask Of Zorro’, and will be joining EON Productions shortly to work on the development of the script with our writers, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.”
MGM Vice Chairman and COO Chris McGurk said: “Martin is an incredibly exciting filmmaker. GOLDENEYE was a wonderful movie and helped reinvigorate the Bond franchise. We’re thrilled to have him back to direct the newest Bond.”
Born in New Zealand, Campbell moved to England in 1966 and made his directorial debut on the popular TV series’ ‘The Professionals’ and ‘Minder’. He moved to America in 1986 to direct ‘Criminal Law’ and ‘Defenceless’. Following GOLDENEYE, he went on to direct ‘The Mask Of Zorro’, ‘Vertical Limit’ and ‘Beyond Borders’ and is currently directing ‘Legend Of Zorro’.
CASINO ROYALE will be released in 2006 and distributed world-wide by MGM. No decision has yet been made regarding casting for the role of ‘James Bond’.
Rumours Come True
Campbell directed Pierce Brosnan's "GoldenEye" in 1995 and is set to usher in another new Bond in 2006 with "Casino Royale". Campbell was rumoured to be linked to the production since July 2003, and the Hollywood Reporter announced him as "signed" last month
The first ever hint that Bond 21 would be based around Ian Fleming's first literary 007 adventure "Casino Royale" came in June 2004 when an insider leaked on the MI6 Forums that "elements of the story have been influenced by Fleming's original 007 novel, but it is NOT completely based on it".
You Know Your History, Mr Bond
Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, "Casino Royale" was published in 1953. The novel was adapted for a 1954 television show and Columbia Pictures' unofficial 1967 spy spoof "Casino Royale," which starred Peter Sellers, Woody Allen and David Niven. In 1999, MGM acquired the title and rights in a settlement with Columbia's Sony Pictures parent. MGM is now in the process of being acquired by a Sony-led investor group.