Well, it's almost here.
I guess it's appropriate that Casino Royale has a plot centered around high stakes gaming, since taking a franchise that's been around since 1962 and, to all intents and purposes, starting it over, has got to be a huge gamble. Add into the mix that you have a new lead actor stepping into one of the most iconic roles in film history, one who's all but unknown to the U.S. market (a vital part of the overall box office tally), who is replacing an extremely popular star, and who hasn't been particularly well-received by a fair number of vocal fans and journalists, and the producers have got to be sweating... at least a bit.
But, as a huge Bond fan since I was a kid (I've seen every 007 flick in the theater on the opening weekend – usually the first night – since 1979's Moonraker), I've got to say I'm looking forward to the new Royale.
I'm not quite as hyped up about it as I was when Goldeneye was about to be released – in that case, there hadn't been a Bond film in seven years, and I was really jonesing for some spectacular stunts, sexy femme fatales, sleek sports cars, cool gadgets and vodka martinis (shaken, of course – not stirred) – but with Casino Royale's debut just two weeks away, I am starting to feel that familiar tingle of anticipation that, for me, anyway, has always preceeded the premiere of a new 007 adventure.
Yeah, I still think Daniel Craig's a little old to be playing a neophyte 00 agent, I wish that Judi Dench wasn't playing M again (nothing against her, but it certainly confuses the timeline), and I'm annoyed that they've made so many seemingly arbitrary and unnecessary changes to the backstory (Texas Hold'em instead of baccarat? Ex-SAS instead of Royal Navy?)... but I'm still eagerly looking forward to seeing the movie. The trailers look good, and I am interested in seeing how Craig handles the role. I've liked all the previous Bond actors to different degrees, and I'm curious to see where Craig falls in my esteem.
Well, I guess, in two weeks, I'll find out.