By Humphrey Carter

ONE can never say never again but it appears that one of Palma's cinema complexes has been closely guarding an important secret that it will be showing the new James Bond film Casino Royale in English. Casino Royale, which has broken all previous first weekend Bond box-office records in the United Kingdom and the United States opens in the original version at the Ocimax complex tomorrow and, despite all the fuss made by staunch Bond fans over the colour of the new Bond´s hair, Spain is bracing for a record breaking first weekend as well with Spanish film critics hailing Casino Royale as one of the great Bond films. The new Bond, Daniel Craig, his co-star Eva Green and the rest of the cast caused mayhem in Madrid earlier this week when they attended the Spanish premiere. Former Bond director Guy Hamilton, who now lives in Andraitx, told the Bulletin last week that he is not at all surprised at the success of the film and the global audiences' response to Daniel Craig as the new special agent on her Majesty's secret service. And Hamilton should be the judge as he directed Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun.
Daniel Craig has put a new spin on the old spy for Casino Royale in a gamble for a studio looking to give the 21-film franchise a makeover.
The high-speed chases in an Aston Martin and beach beauties are never far away as Bond travels the world after Le Chiffre, evil banker to the world's terrorists. But there is more realistic action and emotion alongside the glamour and gadgets. Hamilton said was a very wise move on behalf of the producers who have to compete in today´s tough action movie market and also appeal to a new generation of potential Bond fans in order to keep the concept of Bond alive. Hamilton said that, despite not having seen the film yet as he turned down his invite to the Royal Premier in London, he has received very good reports from industry insiders and, from Craig's performances in other films, knew that he would be able to carry off the Bond role with sucess. The story of Casino Royale goes back to the beginning of 007*s life as a spy and is based on the first Ian Fleming Bond novel from 1953.
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have admitted that they take a risk in casting Craig, whose appointment in October 2005 was met with complaints from fans who said he was too blond, too unsophisticated and simply too ugly to carry off the role. ”It didn't really bother us because we knew we had the right guy,” Broccoli said. ”The controversy didn't really disturb us.” And, as Hamilton pointed out, the Broccoli family have been producing Bond films for over 40 years, “so they're not going to cast an actor if they have any serious doubts,” he said. Craig's next Bond film is due out in 2008. This weekend, we can look forward to seeing a chiselled Craig emerge from the sea in a shot normally reserved for Bond girls, and there is real intensity in the relationship between 007 and leading lady Vesper Lynd, a prickly official at the Treasury played by Eva Green. The secret agent gets his fair share of cuts and bruises, and is subjected to a form of torture that will have male eyes in the audience watering and to top it all, here in Majorca, we can watch it in English.


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