Anybody in their right mind knows you cannot make the book - probably any book -straight into a movie.
While I'd agree with your statement if I took it literally (no, you can't make a book straight
into a movie), I think it's one of those Great Myths of Bond Fandom that "Casino Royale" is a book that's "unfilmable" without major
It seems to me that there's a general view that "Casino Royale" is some kind of desperately dated and dull (and exceptionally short) novel that would need to be altered radically and padded out in order to work as a film (although, strangely enough, there seems simultaneously to be a heck of a lot of whining about Eon's apparent plan to alter the book and pad it out and add lots of "new stuff"
Having re-read "Casino Royale" recently, I was struck by just how much it isn't
dated or dull, and by how "filmic" it is. It remains gripping, violent, sexy stuff - a heady brew that still packs a punch, with a lot of edge-of-seat and shocking moments that could make for great cinema in - so to speak - raw form. And I don't think that's true of all the Flemings, by any means. Moving on to "Live and Let Die" and "Moonraker", I found them silly, old-fashioned and boring in places. Okay, we've all got our own individual likes and dislikes when it comes to the novels (and anything, come to that) - one man's "You Only Live Twice" (the
all-time solid gold classic, IMO) is another man's "Moonraker" (the total snooze of the bunch, as far as I'm concerned*), but the point I'm ambling towards is that it's not that I'm so in awe of Fleming that I think any of his works would make for absolutely riveting cinema if adapted faithfully. It's just that I think CR still works, still holds up, and that it isn't the unfilmable (without colossal changes) antique it's often made out to be.
Still, I'm definitely not calling for a faithful adaptation of CR. Why not? Well, basically because I think Broccoli, Wilson and co. should do their own thing, as Eon has nearly always done. Bring on the creativity, the fresh take! YOLT is by far my favourite of the novels, yet the fact that the movie is nothing remotely like it (well, it isn't, actually - there's a lot more fidelity to the book than meets the eye, but that's another post) doesn't prevent my considering it one of the finest Bond flicks ever. And why should it? The books are the books, and the films are the films.
I'm perfectly happy with the way next year's big screen 007 outing seems to be shaping up. Craig, Dench, a nonsmoking Bond, a first mission reboot, the Bahamas or wherever instead of France, poker.... hey, whatever. All that matters is: will it be a good, entertaining film? Forget Fleming (and also Brosnan or Connery or whatever else), and judge it on its own merits.
Mind you, changing Mathis to Massus (is that actually a real surname?) does
almost seem like a calculated insult towards the pasty and wifeless.
Next they'll be deliberately spelling the "Casino Royale" author's name as "Flemming" on the posters, just to get a rise out of Bond buffs.
*Although the Blades stuff is superb. Not the card game, so much as the descriptions of the club and its history and culture - a wonderful glimpse into an exclusive world beyond the reach of the average Joe reader.