CRAIG'S LIST
CRAIG'S LIST
00-Dan’s finest moments…
JANE CROWTHER, JORDAN FARLEY, JAMIE GRAHAM, KEVIN HARLEY, MATT MAYTUM, JAMES MOTTRAM

CASINO ROYALE 2006

Hit & run

Is there a single better set-piece from the Craig era (to date) than the one that started it all: Casino Royale’s high impact parkour chase? Fast, ferocious and thrillingly physical, it was the moment that separated Craig’s Bond from all before him. “The very first thought that we had for Casino Royale, was the idea behind that whole freerunning sequence,” says Casino writer Robert Wade. “That is: he isn’t as good as the guy he’s up against, but he’s going to keep going anyway. So you saw a different kind of James Bond. He’s not the very best, but he’ll keep going.” In the Madagascar-set sequence, Bond is forced to pursue bomb-maker Mollaka (Sébastien Foucan) on foot after a fellow agent’s cover is blown. Only Mollaka possesses superhuman athleticism, and Bond is a blunt object. Stripped of gadgets, glamour and obvious CGI, according to Wade, “It was a way of saying, ‘This is a different kind of James Bond.’ And with that, goes a certain level of being slightly more down-to-earth, which definitely has been easier to do with Daniel as Bond, because he does bring a realistic feel to it.” Sure, it may owe a debt to Bourne, but nobody does it better than Bond.

Money train

It’s rare for Bond to truly meet his match, but within five seconds of Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd making her entrance on a train to the Casino Royale, it’s clear that Bond is in trouble. The series’ sharpest bit of sustained badinage is a thorny meet-cute, where Vesper and Bond size each other up – literally and metaphorically – with some incisive armchair psychoanalysis. In conceiving the scene, screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade were inspired by an espionage classic. “We’re both – Barbara [Broccoli] and Michael [G. Wilson] are, as well – big fans of North By Northwest,” Wade tells Total Film. “There’s this brilliant scene in the train dining car where it’s very spiky, and we were homaging that.” Vesper’s unforgettable introduction – “I’m the money” – was Wilson’s invention, while Crash director Paul Haggis also had a hand in penning their verbal sparring match. But, as Purvis points out, it’s Craig and Green that truly make the scene soar. By the end, there’s no question that Bond has fallen head over heels. “What’s so great is just the chemistry between them. That’s why that film works so well. Eva Green was really, really good casting.”

QUANTUM OF SOLACE 2008

A night at the opera

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March 2020