Notes On The First Draft of Casino Royale

For months Hollywood has been buzzing about the latest film in the James Bond franchise, Casino Royale. While reports have focused on the plot and the new actor playing the legendary hero, the studio has worked diligently to keep the public from ever seeing the first draft of the script. Luckily, we got our hands on the notes studio executives sent to screenwriter Neal Purvis.

Neal, loved the script! James Bond is back! But before he can return, we need you to make some changes to this script.

P. 5
You have James Bond first encountering the villain at the Casino Royale during a “Hungry Hungry Hippos” tournament. That is not a game you would find at a casino. Neither is “Candyland” and people certainly don’t play “Operation” for money. Also, for the record, when three cherries come up on a slot machine, the player doesn’t actually win cherries. You also cannot “buy a vowel” after spinning the roulette wheel. This scene makes one wonder if you have actually ever been to a casino. You need to do more research.

P. 12
We’d like you to think up a new main villain. The one you have here, “Clam Chowder,” is a little over the top for a James Bond film. You indicate you would like him introduced in a song with the same tune as “Goldfinger” but with the lyrics “Clam Chowder, he’s a clam! A clam, with clams for hands!” How he poses a threat to society is also confusing. The script says he has a plot to take over the world, yet all government agents can seem to do is complain about his incessant jaywalking.

P. 22
We don’t think you should be taking the liberty of changing the catchphrases that have made the James Bond movies legendary. For example, so far, instead of Bond being referred to as the traditional “agent double O seven,” you have him repeatedly called the much longer and less punchy “agent zero and then another zero followed by the number seven.” Also, instead of his signature “martini, shaken not stirred,” you have Bond’s drink of choice as “milk and orange juice, mixed together.” We also don’t think it’s appropriate that you’ve changed Bond’s catch phrase from “Bond, James Bond” to the much more confusing “wait till I get my Hanes on you.”

P. 32
We’re only 30 minutes into the film and already James Bond’s “license to kill” has been revoked three times because of late fees. This isn’t like a fishing license, the government does not charge you to maintain it.

P. 44
A cornerstone of the Bond movies is his incredible gadgets. However, the items you have Bond toting are less than impressive. Many of the gadgets are completely pointless, like the “half-eaten bagel with caller ID,” the “glasses with kaleidoscopic vision” and the “chemical compound that makes Diet Dr. Pepper taste more like the original.” Also, other items he is given seem quite outdated, such as the “dual cassette recorder with automatic rewind” and the cell phone that is “small enough to fit into a briefcase.”

P. 50
Why does he keep throwing out his back?

P. 64
It seems inconsistent with the James Bond character to have him “just want to be friends” with the many voluptuous women in the film before agreeing to make any sort of physical commitment to them.

P. 77
The computer has a delete key for a reason. In this scene you have James Bond possessing the ability to fly. Then, halfway through, as if you realized this is a mistake and instead of rewriting the scene, you have Bond declare, “Wait a second, I can’t fly.” He then comes crashing to the ground only to be confronted out of nowhere by a robot who “erases the incident from his memory” and then blasts off into outer space unexplained and never to be heard from again.

P. 80
James Bond would never wear a fanny pack.

P. 92
This is the fifth scene that requires full frontal nudity. It adds nothing to the film. Why do you keep calling for it?

P. 102
I know you’re going for an element of realism here, but it is extremely annoying to the viewer that when the villain has James Bond trapped and is explaining his diabolical plot, he keeps getting interrupted by cell phone calls, many of which are from telemarketers. It’s also confusing as to why the villain seems interested in every offer pitched to him over the phone.

P. 110
Part of the charm in the Bond films is watching the hero find clever ways to escape seemingly hopeless situations. However, in this scene we watch as Bond is riddled with bullets and his lifeless body is tossed into a vat of sharks and electric eels. But in the very next scene the hero appears before the villain without a scratch on him. When the villain says “I thought I killed you” the only explanation provided by James Bond is “nope, you didn’t.”

P. 120
What happened to the villain?! The film is over and we haven’t even hit the climax! You have James Bond driving to Clam Chowder’s hideout to foil his plot, but then he looks at his watch and says “we’re running out of time here.” Next thing you know, he’s back at headquarters and when government agents ask Bond what happened to Clam Chowder his only reply is to slyly say “Oh, I’m sure he’ll get his and if he doesn’t, I have a feeling old age will get him.” The agents for some unknown reason seem satisfied with this response, saying “good work Mr. Bond!” That’s it. The audience needs a more satisfying ending.

Once you make these changes, you’ve got yourself a green light my friend.

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