GoldenEye - A New World - A New James Bond

Last Update: 30 October 2000
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For the first time in the '90s, James Bond, Ian Fleming's inimitable Agent 007, brings his trademark combination of action, style and wit to the big screen in GoldenEye.

Though the 16 previous Bond films had pretty much run the gamut of titles from Ian Fleming's novels and short stories, the filmmakers still wanted to pay homage to the man who created the legendary secret agent. The title GoldenEye is taken from the name of Fleming's home in Jamaica, where he first began writing the James Bond novels in 1952.

In the six years since the last Bond adventure, the world has undergone quite a bit of upheaval. However, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli reflect that Bond's popularity had already endured through the equally tumultuous '60s, '70s and '80s.

"James Bond has always been a contemporary character who lives for the present," Wilson says. "He will always be dealing with the here and now."

To direct the film, the producers turned to New Zealand-born filmmaker Martin Campbell, who had recently helmed another high-action film, No Escape. Wilson offers, "Martin has been living and working in Europe for the last 20 years, and I think that's important to a Bond film; it gives a certain texture and flavor. He's also an excellent director when it comes to working with actors, and he's certainly good with action. He was a natural choice."

Martin Campbell jumped at the opportunity, ever aware that he was taking on a movie legacy. "Bond has been going onscreen for over 30 years, and there are certain things you don't tamper with--the tailored suits, martinis, tongue-in-cheek humor and, of course, his womanizing--all of that is still intact. He's the kind of romantic anti-hero that we don't see a lot of now."

A team of talented writers collaborated on finding new ways to place the entire world at risk...and even more innovative ways for 007 to save it. Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein wrote the screenplay for GoldenEye from a story by Michael France.

Producer Wilson, who had scripted five earlier Bond adventures, notes, "Writing a Bond movie is always an interesting challenge. I think we got a mixture of good, solid writers on GoldenEye. Every one of them contributed something important to the film, and I think the result is outstanding."

Even as these creative aspects were coming together, perhaps the most vital element was yet to be decided: the man himself. Who would be the new James Bond?

Eight years earlier, a handsome young Irish actor had caught the imagination of Bond fans and almost captured the part. In 1994, the same actor again topped public opinion polls and, more importantly, was the unanimous choice of the filmmakers. In June of that year, Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and United Artists jointly announced that film and television favorite, Pierce Brosnan, had been cast as Ian Fleming's James Bond.

Brosnan reflects, "It was something that came in and went out of my life in '86, and though I certainly didn't just wait in the wings for it to come back, come back it did. When something happens in your life a second time, it carries a certain significance. In any case, it's not a job you take lightly; there's an audience out there, 33 years standing, so it's a big responsibility."

The actor adds that he's been a part of that audience for many of those years, having seen Goldfinger back in 1964. "I was a 10-year-old lad from the bogs of Ireland, and there was this beautiful gold lady on a bed--naked. It made quite an impression on me...and now, here I am in GoldenEye."

"If you look back at all the various actors who have played Bond," says Campbell, "they've all brought entirely different characteristics to the role. Now we've got Pierce, who has all the right qualities. He is not only a very fine actor, but is wonderful with the humor, fantastic at action and is a terrific looking guy with a real classiness to him."

Wilson agrees, "Pierce was absolutely the right choice. He has the looks, the charm and the
sophistication that the part requires. But Bond also has to be a veteran--an experienced secret
agent--and Pierce plays that perfectly." Brosnan offers that the script for GoldenEye gave him added incentive to tackle the role. "It was very tight, very sharp and very funny, with intrigue, betrayal and great action sequences--all the ingredients that make a Bond movie tick."

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