How Casino Royale introduced the Daniel Craig era of James Bond


We’re almost there, James Bond fans. no time to die is about to end Daniel Craig’s era as modern Bond, and there’s no telling where we’ll head next. But the road to that grand finale was a long, winding one that took 007 from Casino Royale at no time to die. Starting with this first entry from Daniel Craig, let’s take a look at the modern era of Bond, James Bond, and see how all the pieces fit together; leading to the eventual conclusion that breaks down how no time to die crowns Mr. Craig’s legacy.

Although it is likely that you have seen Casino Royale, if not, big spoilers ahead!

Daniel Craig shot down a gun barrel in Casino Royale.

How James Bond became an Agent 00

What does it take to become a 00 agent in the world of Casino Royale? Well, it takes two kills, a process discussed between Bond himself and one of those two targets, Section Chief Dryden (Malcolm Sinclair). Selling state secrets to make money on the side, Dryden is confronted by the man who will become 007 and killed after failing to take out the proactive Bond.

The first kill of his Agent 00 career was an associate of Dryden, known only as Fisher (Darwin Shaw). Presumably a middleman who helped sell said secrets, as Bond mentions him as Dryden’s “contact”, things certainly don’t end well for him. After a huge brawl in the bathroom, where James Bond presumes to have drowned Fisher, 007 seals his status by making his enemy the cannon killer. Casino Royale opening.

Judi Dench and Daniel Craig are looking at something sinister in Casino Royale.

James Bond & M: the new beginning of a classic relationship

Traditionally, the relationship between James Bond and M (Dame Judi Dench) was that of boss and employee. But even towards the end of Pierce Brosnan’s run as 007, that dynamic began to evolve into a more personal nature. With Casino Royale, the groundwork is laid for Bond and M to become something like a rebellious son and studious mother.

From the start, James Bond’s license to kill 00 is exercised, as he kills when he can interrogate. Without forgetting that it begins Casino Royale using his disregard for authority to access information that only M should have access to. Bond even knows his name, which isn’t usually discussed on the show, as it’s a matter of secrecy. (Although celestial fall and Spectrum officially land on an answer.)

But though 007 doesn’t pay much attention to authority, he respects Mr. As he pursues leads that keep leading him up the ladder of Casino Royale antagonists, and uses unconventional means to do so, Bond never despises Mr. Over time, these two will forge a connection that will see the ultimate test in celestial fall.

Jesper Christiansen and Mads Mikkelsen stand there while planning Casino Royale.

Le Cipher and Mr. White, Daniel Craig’s First Villains

Before Quantum or even SPECTER were in the picture, there were two frenemies who reintroduced the Bond Villain concept to the world. For its main antagonist, Casino Royale brought to life the first villain to face 007 in his literary adventures: expert card player Le Cipher (Mads Mikkelsen). Using the world of finance and gambling to fund an unknown terrorist network, the only thing keeping Le Cipher alive is the money he brings in.

His superior is a figure James Bond fans have come to know as a common thread throughout Daniel Craig’s era of villainy: Mr. White (Jesper Christansen). Shadow broker who supervises the activities of Le Chiffre on the ground, we see little of it Casino Royale antagonist. But when it does show up, there’s usually a good reason; like when Le Chiffre’s failure at cards forces Mr. White to terminate his employment… fatally.

Eva Green takes a seat on the Casino Royale train.

Vesper Lynd, Daniel Craig’s first heartbreak

Much like the relationship between James Bond and M, Casino Royale picked up the torch from the Pierce Brosnan era when it came to developing the modern Bond woman. An ally of Her Majesty’s Treasury, Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) would become the first Bond Woman of the modern era. Arguably, it would also have become the most important, as it represents two crucial lessons that James Bond would learn on his first 00 mission.

Falling in love with Vesper Lynd leads to Casino Royale unique place in 007’s legacy, as it’s the first time in a long time that we’ve seen Daniel Craig’s James Bond romantically invested in a relationship. Planning to leave Her Majesty’s Secret Service to travel the world with the woman he loves, Bond eventually discovers that Vesper is a double agent working for Le Cipher. Committing suicide due to the grief she feels in her betrayal, Vesper Lynd’s death is the first crack in James Bond’s psyche; and these fractures will soon begin to spread.

Jeffrey Wright plays cards while Giancarlo Giannini watches in the crowd at Casino Royale.

René Mathis and Felix Leiter, brothers in arms

Also assists James Bond in Casino Royale mission to bankrupt Le Chiffre at the poker table are two other forces of order. On a more local level, Inspector René Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini) provides intelligence to Bond on the ground, helping him navigate Montenegro. However, at the end of their mission, Le Chiffre sows a doubt which turns out to be false, affirming that “your friend Mathis is really my friend Mathis. 007 follows this hunch, and Mathis is apprehended shortly after, who will come back to bite him a bit in Quantum of Comfort.

But out of the blue, another card player Casino Royale turns out to be one of James Bond’s most iconic allies: CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright). Introducing himself as a “brother to Langley”, Leiter sees potential in Bond’s abilities to break Le Cipher at the tables. Transferring his remaining funds to 007, in hopes the CIA will make the collar, the once broke James Bond returns to win the day; all thanks to a new old friend.

Daniel Craig checks his phone while armed at Casino Royale.

How the Ending of Casino Royale Sets Up the Daniel Craig Era

At the end of Casino Royale, Vesper’s suicide leaves James Bond heartbroken and jaded. The former Bond was, for the most part, a risk-taker who enjoyed a good drink, female company, and defeating bad guys; all in the name of the Crown. But the modern age of Daniel Craig sees Bond’s loyalties placed elsewhere and his motivations defined by personal tragedy. This tragedy happens to be the common thread in a much bigger conspiracy at work.

Apprehending Mr. White in the film’s final moments sees James Bond revert somewhat to factory settings; thanks to a tip sent to Bond’s phone by the late Vesper. But as Quantum of Comfort, and every Craig film that follows will show us, these emotional scars are an integral part of what makes modern Bond what it is. As for the plot, Mr. White is about to become a vital pawn in a bigger game.

However, when it comes to the character of James Bond, the hardened killer has a story that will drive him to the edge of his own limits time and time again. Two factors will come to define Bond in the films to come: loyalty and revenge. These twin passions will drive 007, with stakes and consequences gradually reaching a boiling point.

And it’s there Casino Royale leaves the James Bond franchise with its finale, leaving Quantum of Comfort to continue the track. If you’re curious to watch James Bond movies in order, whether it’s classic movies or Craig Canon, you’ll be able to pick up this thread quite easily. And if it’s time to plan your next adventure in theaters, the list of new 2021 movie releases is also available for a post-mission debrief.


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