Bond's great rope trick

The World Is Not Enough
Never Enough - Bond is back!
Every Bond movie is always more eagerly-awaited than the one before. The World Is Not Enough is the 19th in the series – meaning anticipation is running at an all-time high!
From the December 1999
Film Review
TEXT ALAN JONES

James Bond faces his toughest assignment in the 19th adventure The World Is Not Enough; with the world’s oil supply hanging in the balance, 007 races to defuse an international power struggle brought on by the notorious terrorist Renard.

Directed by Michael (Gorillas in the Mist) Apted, The World Is Not Enough cost over $110 million and headlines Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in his third successive 007 outing. French superstar Sophie (Braveheart) Marceau plays the mysterious Elektra King and Robert (The Full Monty) Carlyle enters the Rogue’s Gallery of Bond Villainy as Renard, the cropped Bosnian who has a bullet embedded in his brain that blocks all sensations, including pain. Along for the ride in the first Bond movie ever to sport the MGM logo, as supposed to the usual United Artists one, is Denise (Starship Troopers) Richards as nuclear weapons expert Dr Christmas Jones.

You could have knocked Michael Apted down with a feather when the offer came to direct the latest in the Bond series. The helmer of such acclaimed films as Nell and Coal Miner’s Daughter said “All I kept thinking was, ‘What the hell do they want me for?’ Then I found out they wanted a better story to go between all the action and someone well-versed in drama to make it pay dividends. They also wanted to do different things with the women in the film, make them more interesting and not just be there for sexual decoration... What was good about the writers was they each focused on a different aspect of the script. Here we’ve been rewriting in the best way, ie responding to the actors’ demands."

Pierce Brosnan sat in on all the script meetings and gave his valued opinions too. He remarked, “It was nothing specific, just there had to more meaningful character above whatever mission Bond was going to be involved in. In the situation here, Bond feels somewhat at fault over the demise of oil tycoon Sir Robert King. So he goes to protect his daughter Elektra and in doing so gets emotionally involved with her. Then the world turns… For once, there’s this sense of doubt in the Bond character, that he might be in over his head maybe. It’s a premise that lends itself to exciting scenes with nuance and subtext. There’s more of a maturity from me playing the role too, and certainly a lot more confidence because of having two Bonds under my belt now.”

Producer Michael Wilson had loved Robert Carlyle in Trainspotting and specifically wanted him for the role of Renard. Carlyle said, “I wouldn’t go as far to say it was an ambition to appear in a Bond movie, but once the part was on offer it was a really simple decision to say yes. I’ve grown up with the movies like everyone else has. I remember going to see Sean Connery in Bond movies with my dad and the link between Connery and Bond in Scottish acting terms is quite a fundamental one. I’ve played a lot of villains so the combination was a fun one to try and fit together again.

"The first time I got the script, I was looking for the cliché memorable lines. I think, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of Mr Bond’ is my classic.” Carlyle added, “Donald Pleasence as Blofeld was always my favourite Bond villain. The bullet hole wound I have on my right temple is reminiscient of Blofeld’s scar, I suppose. But I don’t stroke a cat! You do have to look for something to distinguish Renard from the crowd. That had already been written in for me really with the bullet lodged in his head. The twist there being he’s already dying and that makes him particularly difficult to kill. If he doesn’t fear death, then he doesn’t fear anything, and that’s the crux of his character.”

Image copyright: MGM/ UA / Eon Productions. Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 1999. Not for reproduction.
The World Is Not Enough opens on Nov 26 in the UK (Nov 19 USA)
Full six-page interview feature, with more from Brosnan, Carlyle and Apted PLUS Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards...

in the December 1999 issue of Film Review
Special Competition! Win a Bond Skiiing Holiday with Club Med! (UK callers only – sorry)
Review to follow in the January 2000 issue
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