Mumbai: Star Movies is set to premier Casino Royale on 6 September at 9 p.m. The most successful James Bond film ever, Casino Royale earned a worldwide gross of US$594 million. Much of Casino Royale’s success can be credited to Daniel Craig. As the sixth actor to portray Bond on the big screen, Craig proved his critics wrong and made the role his own.
"I don’t think I would have taken the role if it had been a continuation of Bond as we knew him," explains Craig. "It just wouldn’t have interested me."
Based on Ian Fleming’s first book in the Bond series, Casino Royale traces the early career of 007. After his first government-sanctioned kill, the novice spy is granted double-0 status and given a licence to kill. "It was important for me to discover who this guy was," says the 40-year-old actor. "By starting at the beginning we were able to do that. I just wanted to make sure that we were seeing a character go through some change within the movie."
In his first mission, Bond is on the trail of Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a financier who channels money to terrorists. Hoping to bankrupt him, Bond travels to the Casino Royale in Montenegro and plays against the cash-strapped Le Chiffre in a game of high-stakes poker.
He is joined by Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), a British Treasury official responsible for keeping an eye on the government’s money. Although wary of Lynd at first, Bond soon falls for her charms. But their romance jeopardizes the mission and forever changes Bond’s life.
"James meets someone who changes his life because he falls in love with her," explains director Martin Campbell. "It very much shapes him. At the end of it he becomes Bond, the one that we all know."
Having helmed 1995’s GoldenEye, Campbell returns to the franchise for Casino Royale. "GoldenEye was very much a traditional Bond," explains Campbell. "You still had the bad guys trying to destroy the world, all the usual scenarios. Casino Royale is much more down to earth."