Most people don't go to Bond movies because they love good production design or because they love great editing - they go because they like Bond, plain and simple. Why else would there be such controversy about Daniel Craig as 007? I don't remember anyone being "talked off the ledge" with the assurance that Martin Campbell was back as director or that the script was being polished by Paul Haggis. Nope. All the attention was (and when the movie opens will remain) on one thing - who was going to be James Bond.
This doesn't mean for a moment that I discount the contributions of any man or woman who worked on the movie. Good direction counts, a good script helps, and certainly a great cast matters...but let's be honest - Bond is the straw that stirs the drink. These aren't films that work despite the central character - like the Bourne movies - Bond movies work BECAUSE of the central character. Get that wrong, and it's all wrong. Why else would Sony be sweating out the "Craig Is Not Bond" controversy? I mean, these aren't like Batman movies - where when one actor is out, you call up another one and throw him in a rubber suit ("we need to do a chin test") with nipples. I think both George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton would agree that filling in the tux is a whole lot harder than it looks.
If Casino Royale is a hit...
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