Bond 22 December update

In the last Bond 22 update in September we looked at the latest news a rumours about locations, cast and crew, the screenplay and cars, so with the start of filming less than a month away it now seems like a good moment to look at what else we’ve learnt since then.

Cast and crew
Despite being so close to filming, there is very little that has been let slip about casting, except the confirmation in November that Frenchman Matieu Amalric has been cast as the villain. Although no details have been released, it is likely that he will play Vesper Lynd’s Algerian boyfriend alluded to in Casino Royale.

As always the rumours about Bond girls have been flying back and forth, with little solid to go on and although Eva Green was widely expected to shoot some scenes, appearing in a video recording left for Bond, it now appears that this idea has been discarded. Casting notices went out for Latin American actresses and there were some claims of having landed the role following screen testing.  However, nothing has been confirmed and anyone who follows the trajectory of the typical Bond movie will be familiar with this type of non-story.

Paul Haggis delivered the screenplay before the writers strike started at the beginning of November, which he has been commenting on in interviews. While it is pretty much complete he has suggested that it requires some polishing, which will likely be handled by Michael G Wilson. He also suggests that the work by Purvis and Wade had been dropped when the script went in a different direction from their early drafts.

A central or South American location had long been rumoured, with Panama a strong contender, but its choice seems to have been finally confirmed by Dame Judi Dench when she mentioned she’s be shooting there on location. Daniel Craig has also mentioned shooting in South America before moving to Italy, where some background scenes were shot in the summer. He also mentioned the possibility of Austria, although scotching rumours that Bond 22 would feature a ski sequence.

That really wraps all we know up. Bond 22 is will start filming on 4th January 2008, with Daniel Craig already rehearsing some of the action scenes. There is sure to be more news emerging early next year, when we’ll start issuing these bulletins more frequently.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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23 Responses to “Bond 22 December update”

  • Christos

    Hello Bond fans abroad and thank you for the welcome box,

    As with any suggestion box when leaving comments its not always anticipated it will have appraises and full of compliments each time much to the format of a forum discussion group. Although the antithesis is not to be misunderstood either, I’m merely stating a comment only and trying Best to keep it Constructive and Not destructive or bashing.

    Well with that said again, I’m only making a point and not trying to bash or criticize immensely. But with the New Bond movie on its way, as it had introduced to us a new cast from the last Bond movie with Daniel Craig at the helm, isn’t it about time we have a New ” M ” lead the role now instead of Judi Dench?

    No complaints its just simply put and preference only, I’m tired of her portrayal of ” M ” and someone new – someone fresh would bring a better interpretation of the character to screen? Perhaps someone more closer to the Late “Bernard Lee”
    A former Admiral pipe smoker to represent her Majesty’s Secret Service just as how initially put the character was 1st penned from the late Ian Fleming!

  • Don

    Maybe you should be a screen play wrighter

  • M


    Great comment, I think many people will agree with you. While Judi Dench is a great actor I would have preferred to see a more “traditional” M.

    The problem is that in the books M was a kind of father figure (opposed to the kind of evil father figure represented by Goldfinger) and so the dynamic between them has changed. Not that it ever really was similar to the books as they became verbal sparring partners with not much mutual respect, very different to the books.


  • Don

    Yes C. I agree

  • Ap

    Surely Dame Judi can’t go on as a realistic M for too much longer as she’s now 73, although she doesn’t look it. When she finally calls it quits, I too would love to see a more traditional M in the Bernard Lee mould – and no, by saying “traditional” I’m not being sexist, because I think that Dame Judi has been an excellent M and much better than Robert Brown, who admittedly had an impossible act to follow but nevertheless brought nothing to the role in my opinion. He just never looked or sounded like M to me. But, no disrespect to one of our greatest dames of stage and screen, there is still no M to touch Bernard Lee. Underneath the old-fashioned, patrician air of authority, there was just a certain “je ne sais quoi”, a humanity perhaps; a certain pathos. How can I describe it better? When M felt disappointed in Bond, Lee somehow let you feel let down with him, as those rheumy eyes gazed up over the desk. Dench comes close to this – much closer than Brown – but somehow not quite close enough. I’ve always felt Anthony Hopkins would make a great M in the Lee tradition. His performances often carry that same mix of authority and pathos and his voice is similar. On top of that, he is of course a great, great British actor. A theatrical knight to follow a theatrical dame? He’s only a couple of years younger than Dench, so my opening comments would apply and he probably wouldn’t be in the role for long, but, if even if it were only for one film, it would be great to see.

  • Alex Knight 009

    I’ve got a $5.00 bet going with a friend of mine that they’re going to give Bond 22 the Ian Flemming short story title “Quantum of Solace”. The reason why I was thinking that is because it’s the last title of the Ian Flemming story that hasn’t been used yet that actually sounds like a pretty cool title for a Bond film. The others don’t really sound all that great, such as “The Hildebrand Rarity”, “Risico”, and “The Property of a Lady”. Thank you.

  • Kris

    I think Hopkins would make a great M too. He has a menace underneath the coolness ( Lecter cementing this ). He also has great humanity and a certain haunted thing going on. I think all of these things would be the spiritual legacy for a long serving agent like M…. a hard edge…a troubled conscience and a certain indestructible humanity as, after all, he still devotes his life to protecting his country. My favourite exchanges between Bond and M are always the ones where he / she seems to care about him as a friend.

  • Edward Donner 001

    Yes, I agree. My favorite M was Bernard Lee as well. I just think that he was perfect for the role. The chemistry was definately there. I wonder if they’ll ever shed anymore light on any of the other Double-O’s. We’ve had a Double-O agent as the main villain of one Bond movie but will we ever have a Double-O heroin? She would most probably have to be like Wae Lynn from Tomorrow Never Dies or Anya Amasovya from the Spy Who Loved Me. How exciting would THAT be? Perhaps they could name her Charleane Basildon 004 or something like that.

  • christos

    Hey Edward
    good point of view you make regarding
    the heroine of Bond.

    The only downfall that critics & other fans might say is
    if its now a woman james bond she would more likely be nick named
    Jane Bond who beds men then?

    Somehow, I’m not seeing that too clearly, that was one thing I didn’t like about Judy Denchs’ portrayal of “M” but I already gave my explanations. She doesn’t come across a Superior who cares for her agent the way the late Bernard Lee did as did the ‘M’ from the Fleming & Gardner Books.

  • christos

    Hi I just wanted to agree with “AP”
    as for his choice of a ‘M’

    I too also think that the actor Anthony Hopkins would make a Great “M”
    Ironically, it’s odd to think how we wasn’t chosen already for the role.
    His part in Beowulf, Alexander the Great (Narrator), Zorro, and the list goes one is just many of a few fine examples from his talents. A Fantastic actor!

    Well said and Thanks for mentioning him. Now if only the producers can lure him in?

  • Mark Brandyberry

    When I first heard that M was going to be a woman I was disappointed. When I saw JD playing the role I was thrilled. She added friction between JB and herself that no man could.

    Mark Brandyberry

  • Andrew Sterling 006

    I think I would like to find out more about the other Double-Os. I know they are not the best but they must be pretty close to being as good as Bond because Alec Trevelyan even thought that he was always better than Bond. I would particularly like to learn more about Edward Donner 001. Supposedly, he is the original 001 just like Bond is the original 007, and he has been 001 for as long as Bond has been 007. I think it would be cool if they were paired up on a mission in the next movie. They show 001 breifly in The World is Not Enough during the Double-O brief. He is the one in the back row. He would be the one on YOUR left-hand side. He is also in the novel called “Doulbeshot”. If Bond is the best, than surely he is second best.

  • Andrew

    Does my heart good to read peoples’ comments on the irreplaceable Bernard Lee. He was Fleming’s M brought to life. Judy Dench (what an actress!) has been wonderful but she should have been replaced with a man in keeping with the harder edge and fresh approach (reflecting the book for a most welcome change)of Casino Royale. She seemed terribly out of place when we first see her walking out of a meeting in a long shot – physically too small which made her appear comparatively weak (sorry, but image does count for a lot in a movie). Hopkins would be wonderful but as far as getting him for the role?….dream on!

  • Sammy Mansoori

    I have never liked Dame Dench in the first place. Nothing personal but I think that she exuded unnecessary female frigidity throughout her Bond appearances. It is high time she got scrapped and enjoyed her retirement among her laurels (if any) and let a new male face come to the screen. Times, they are a changi’n (and all that).

  • christos

    One last thing I wanted to mention about the Heroine of Bond as I just had a new Brainstorm moments ago.

    If you recall the Character “Jinx” from ‘Die Another Day’, there was talk about making a solo movie with her in the lead role a year later after ‘Die Another Day’. Somehow, Hollywood scraped the idea for unbeknowst reasons or another.

    However, instead of creating a JINX movie, they decided to give “Halle Barry” a lead role to portray the viscious comic book character of ‘CatWoman’
    And that I think had flopped too at the Box Office. So I don’t think we will be seeing anymore sequels of that too come along for at least a long while anyway.

  • Fi

    If you have a male M, you’d have to have a female assistant, I quite liked the idea of a male assistant in Casino Royale, especially as he was quite cute. No chance James taking advantage of him.

    What’s the latest on this ‘gay kiss’ business!

    As a female I don’t think it will go down too well. Although could suggest an actor to do it!!

  • Alex Knight 009

    I think they tried to approach the subject of homosexuality just once in the Bond film Diamonds are Forever with the homosexual assassins named Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd, but they never went there again(thank God). Forgive me but, there’s just no place for it in a Bond film unless they’re the villains, which they were. I think if they did that again it would start to seem repetitous. I think it would be interesting to explore the other Double-O Agents. Find out how they differ from Bond. What are their pistols of specialty? What are their names? What do they look like? How does their methods differ from Bond’s. In The Living Daylights M said that 008 follows “orders”, not instincts…

  • M

    Fi, I think the gay kiss thing was a typical tabloid journalism non-story reported pre-Casino Royale because Daniel Craig had played at gay character in one of his previous films. I don’t think that would go down well with anybody to be honest!

    As for a male M with a Moneypenny again, not problem for me, although Lois Maxwell was hard to beat.

    Alex Knight 009 – I changed your name to what you used here before, please stick to it – I’m not really sure I’d say they really touched on homosexuality before as the characters didn’t exactly have much depth to them. Wint and Kidd were originally characters written by Fleming and I think partially to poke fun and his gay friends – Noel Coward and William Plomer are the two that spring to mind – and also remember that Pussy Galore was a lesbian which was handled ina completely realistic way :-)

    I don’t mind gay characters in Bond, but for most of the characters their sexual orientation is irrelevant. Most of the various henchmen could be straight or gay, we don’t find out enough about them and portraying them as gay will only lead to alienating the gay community.

    And I’m not interested in the other 00 agents. The films are about Bond and there is already too much of M and HQ for my liking anyway. Fleming sent 007 out on a mission and that was it; no phoning home for a piece of kit from Q to save his butt.


  • Alex Knight 009

    Hey. Did you guys see that? I guessed what the next Bond film was going to be called and I was right. Isn’t that cool? No I’m not bragging lol. One thing that was kind of interesting that I discovered about the James Bond mythos is that there are actually 13 Double-O Agents according to the James Bond novels and newspaper strips, and there are 21 S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Operatives. We all know that Ernst Stavro Blofeld was #1 but which was Dr. No, #4? My next prediction is that M.I.6 Agent Fields will be the heroine of this next movie and is a.k.a. “004”. In the words of Austin Powers “YEAH baby, YEAH!”

  • Roger Dispenza 005

    I couldn’t agree more, M needs to be a man. I do like Judy Dench but cannot see her as M. It may be sad to say but, when fleming conceived of James Bond it was a different time. A time when such jobs were occupied by men. Therefore, in keeping with a pure idea Fleming gave to us, M needs to be a man.

    Also, and I hope this is not heresy, I am not in favor of Daniel Craig as James Bond. I like him as an actor, just not in this role. My choice would be Clive Owen.

  • Alex Knight 009

    Hey 005, I like the name you’ve chosen to accompany your code prefix. I’m afraid I’m going to have agree with you about Daniel Craig, but in his appearance only. The actor needs to have black or dark brown hair-end of story, because that was Ian Flemmings original concept. Roger Moore didn’t even come close to convincing me that he was James Bond. Remember, Bond was at one time a commando. Did Roger Moore ever look like he could kick some butt, let alone do one forward summer-sault for us lol?

  • Pete

    “Roger Moore didn’t even come close to convincing me that he was James Bond.”

    Just how I feel about him as weel. As good as he is as an actor he was the worse choice as James Bond. I’ve never worried about his hair colour, but it’s all the other things that makes Bond what he is that are missing from Moores Bond.

    As for Judi Dench being M. Well it makes little difference these days, I think had it happened in the 60’s or 70’s it may have been looked at a bit odd, but in the last 20 years having a female head is quite normal.

  • Alex Knight 009

    Hey, did you guys notice that in the widescreen version of Thunderball you can see the faces of Stuart Thomas 005 and Jack Giddings 006(I guess he was the original 006) during the Double-O brief scene that takes place in the conference room. I also notice that in this same scene 003 appears to be a woman, or at least, the Double-O sitting in the chair that is 3rd from the left. Could she have been the original 003? Since they’re doing prequels right now, I think they should bring Jaws back, perhaps just once more. I think that’d be awsome.