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Feature: James Bond: Die Another Day

"Bond is Mine Now…"

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond

Four films in and Pierce Brosnan is still going strong as the latest incarnation of the world’s great secret agent.

All the stops are being pulled out for Die Another Day, the 20th James Bond adventure in the most successful film franchise in cinema history. They always are in the key areas of turbo-driven action, adrenalin-pumping stunts, gadgets galore, gorgeous girls and exotic locations. As Die Another Day marks the fortieth anniversary of the groundbreaking series, producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have devised numerous extras to ensure their latest spy saga hits the sensation buttons at breakneck speed. For a start it features numerous references to 007’s past glories that will please fans.

The $100 million-plus action adventure also sees the return of the vast set. On the Pinewood Studios back-lot, and in the large 007 soundstage nearby, production designer Peter (Titanic) Lamont built the largest construction since the submarine bay in The Spy Who Loved Me. It was here that his team erected the Ice Palace, the frozen headquarters of Über-villain Gustav Graves who launches a ‘Second Sun’ satellite in the sky to provide cheap light in the Earth’s darkest corners and then uses it as a destructive weapon. The impressive set was meticulously engineered to provide Vic Armstrong’s second unit action crew with enough space and twisting walkways for an extended car chase through its melting interior. In what is expected to be the most controversial aspect, Die Another Day will showcase the first ever CGI stunt with a digital Bond. Up until now, the thrilling stunts were always physically possible, if heightened in a quasi-fantasy reality. Die Another Day signals the series’ need to match the competition by using the same cutting-edge technological tools.

Producer Wilson said, “The Bond movies have to evolve to stay ahead of the game. Bond exists in a parallel universe anyway. Everything is brighter, the girls are sexier, more beautiful, the villains larger than life, so we have created a world over the years where we can press certain possibilities further. Moonraker did that successfully and we have certain similar Science Fiction elements in place here too. Yet Bond remains firmly in the real world, not in a fantasy realm, although he has always been a few seconds ahead in time. As long as James Bond remains the iconic focus and has a character journey audiences can respond to, I do feel we can push the action envelope in new exciting ways.”

Scriptwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote The World is not Enough and their professional attitude to such chores as daily rewriting ensured their position in what’s cosily called the ‘Bond Family’ with Die Another Day. Purvis remarked, “You have no idea how brilliant it is to think up outrageous stunts based on real news stories and know they will be done because Eon Productions’ capabilities are so enormous.”

by Alan Jones

For the rest of this nine-page in-depth look at the film see:
Film Review (Nov)

Image © MGM
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Film Review (Nov), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Nov)
#624, November 2002
ships from Oct 10 2002
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