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Bond: 10 Things You Might Not Know About GOLDENEYE

Unlike the American government, Geek Dave prefers not to get his bad news from CNN.

1. Pre-production work for the third James Bond film starring Timothy Dalton, fulfilling his three-film contract, began in May 1990. A poster for the then-upcoming movie was even featured on the Carlton Hotel during the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, with an expected release date of late 1991. Dalton would declare in a 2010 interview that the script was ready and "we were talking directors" before the project entered development hell caused by legal problems between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, parent company of the series' distributor United Artists, and Albert R. Broccoli's Danjaq, owners of the Bond film rights.

The lawsuits were eventually settled in 1992, but it wasn't until May 1993 when MGM announced the seventeenth James Bond film was back in the works. With Broccoli's health deteriorating (he died seven months after the release of GoldenEye), his daughter Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson took the lead roles in production while Albert Broccoli oversaw the production of GoldenEye as a consulting producer, credited as "presenter".

2. Timothy Dalton was still attached to the project. In an interview in 1993, Dalton confirmed his involvement and said that Michael France was writing the screenplay, due to be completed in January or February 1994. Indeed, France's screenplay was completed by that January, but in April 1994 Dalton officially resigned from the role.

3. Although there is only 6 years between the release of Licence to Kill and GoldenEye, world politics changed dramatically in the interim. With GoldenEye the first James Bond film to be produced since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Cold War era which Bond was known to inhabit was brought to an end, and therefore it was doubtful whether the character was still relevant in the modern world. Much of the film industry felt that it would be "futile" for the Bond series to make a comeback, and that it was best left as "an icon of the past".

After Dalton resigned from the role the producers considered a variety of new concepts for the series, such as a period piece set in the 1960s, a female 007, or a black James Bond. Ultimately, they chose to return to the basics of the Bond movie franchise, not following the sensitive and caring Bond of the Dalton films or the political correctness that started to permeate the decade. However, when released, Goldeneye was viewed as a successful revitalisation and it effectively adapted the series for the 1990s.

4. While the story was not based on a work by Ian Fleming, the title GoldenEye traces its origins to the name of Fleming's Jamaican estate where he wrote the Bond novels. Fleming gave a number of origins for the name of his estate, including Carson McCullers' Reflections in a Golden Eye and Operation Goldeneye, a contingency plan Fleming himself developed during World War II in case of a Nazi invasion through Spain.

5. To replace Dalton the producers cast Pierce Brosnan who had been prevented from succeeding Roger Moore in 1986 because of his contract to star in the Remington Steele television series. Before negotiating with Brosnan, several other actors were considered for the role (read about them here), including Sean Bean.

6. Judi Dench was cast as M, making GoldenEye the first film of the series to feature a female M. The decision is widely believed to be inspired by Stella Rimington becoming head of MI5 in 1992.

7. John Woo was approached to direct. He said he was honoured by the offer, but turned down the opportunity.

8. The opening 220 m (720 ft) bungee jump at Archangel, shot at the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland and performed by Wayne Michaels, was voted the best movie stunt of all time in a 2002 Sky Movies poll, and set a record for the highest bungee jump off a fixed structure.

9. Licence to Kill used a contest advertising campaign to help generate interest for the film, with the winner of the contest promised a cameo role in the next James Bond picture. Even though the prize was intended to be part of the originally planned 1991 Bond movie, the producers still made good on the promise almost 6 years later. The winner does not have a speaking part, but you can see her in a lovely gold and black evening dress looking over Onatopp's shoulder as she plays Baccarat against Bond.

10. The Rolling Stones were approached to record the theme song for GoldenEye, but they declined. Swedish group Ace of Base were then approached and they went so far as to write a proposed theme song, but label Arista Records pulled the band out of the project fearing the negative impact in case the film flopped. The song was then re-written as their single The Juvenile....

...Looks like we all dodged a bullet there!

James Bond will return in 10 things you might not know about Tomorrow Never Dies.

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