Acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has explained why plans for his version of Casino Royale never eventuated. The first book published by original James Bond author Ian Fleming, Casino Royale introduced the world to the suave British spy and paved the way for his eventual jump to the big screen in 1962’s Dr. No. In 1967, the book eventually went on to inspire a parody film starring Peter Sellers and David Niven, and 39 years later, it was finally given the proper Bond treatment for Daniel Craig’s official 007 debut. Long before Craig assumed the lead role in Casino Royale, Tarantino planned on making his adaptation following 1994’s Pulp Fiction.
During a recent interview with Deadline, the director revealed that his plans for the movie would have cast a new Bond and set the action during the 1960s, but the project ultimately fell through due to rights issues. Contrary to the director’s belief the film rights to the book still sat with the Fleming estate, the Broccoli family had already stepped in to make a blanket deal three years earlier. Check out his comments below:
“We reached out to the Ian Fleming people, and they had suggested that they still own the rights to Casino Royale. And that’s what I wanted to do after Pulp Fiction was do my version of Casino Royale, and it would’ve taken place in the ’60s and wasn’t about a series of Bond movies. We would have cast an actor and be one and done. So I thought we could do this.
But then it turned out that the Broccolis three years earlier figured out somebody was going to try to do what I did. And so what they did is they just made a blanket deal with the Fleming estate and said that: ‘We have the movie rights to everything he’s ever written. We’re going to just give you a bunch of money. This is for every single thing he’s ever written. If anybody wants to make a movie out of it, they got to come to us.'”
What Tarantino’s James Bond Would Have Done For The Franchise?
While Tarantino’s plans for his own James Bond film have long been a hot topic among the director’s fanbase, his movie could have potentially caused significant problems for the official Bond franchise. Had Tarantino been successful in attaining the film rights for Casino Royale, his movie would have joined the likes of 1967’s Casino Royale and 1983’s Never Say Never Again as another unofficial Bond film that wouldn’t count in the canonized entries produced by Eon Productions. Instead, it would have been likely that Tarantino’s Bond would compete directly against Pierce Brosnan’s own Bond debut in 1995’s Goldeneye.
Though the Bond franchise had previously encountered a similar conflict, when Roger Moore’s Octopussy was released in the same year that Sean Connery returned for Never Say Never Again, Moore was already firmly established in the role and had long since proven his bona fide energy. Brosnan, however, would have been at a distinct disadvantage with no previous Bond films to his name and found himself engaging against the work of one of the most celebrated directors of the time. While Tarantino’s Bond would have likely been a film to remember, it could have spelled potential doom for the official Bond franchise.
However, with the James Bond movies currently in another state of flux, following the departure of Craig and the ongoing quest to find his replacement, perhaps Bond producers might choose to borrow some of Tarantino’s ideas. Originally created in a very different era, the later Bond films have often struggled with the character’s place within the modern world. Following Tarantino’s idea of making his Casino Royale a period piece set during the height of the Cold War would offer something different when Bond finally does make his triumphant return to screens.