Daniel Craig Confirms Casino Royale Link to No Time to Die

Anticipation is building ahead of the latest instalment in the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die, which is scheduled for an April release in theatres.

There are things we know already – this will be Daniel Craig’s last outing in the famous tuxedo, Billie Eilish is on theme tune duties, and Rami Malek, fresh from his successful turn as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, will play 007’s nemesis, Safin.

As you might expect from such a major release, cards are being kept very close to chests as far as further details are concerned, but Daniel Craig has spoken recently of an explicit link between this latest movie’s narrative and that of Casino Royale, the 2006 adaptation of the Ian Fleming novel.

Talking to Top Gear.com magazine, the English actor referenced Casino Royale before stating that in No Time to Die his super-spy embarks on a ‘big emotional journey’, which many 007 fanatics have already tried to unravel in various online message boards.

The presumption is that Craig is referring to Vesper Lynd, his former love interest who died in Casino Royale. Photos from the set during filming confirm that some of the action takes place in Italy, where it is believed that Vesper – portrayed by Eva Green – is buried.

Lynd, it transpires, was working for Quantum the whole time, and she leaked key information about Mr White, who was one of Bond’s targets in Casino Royale.

It remains to be seen if that is the only similarity between the two movies, although the hope is that Craig gets to spread his wings some more as he did in Casino Royale – especially in the all-important poker scene, which was one of the standouts of the piece.

Bond’s Casino Legacy to Live On

In Casino Royale, the former Layer Cake and Tomb Raider actor did an excellent job of keeping viewers on their toes as he played a single hand of poker for a pot worth in excess of $120 million. The tension was almost palpable as Bond did battle with Le Chiffre, played with customary quiet menace by Mads Mikkelsen, with 007 ultimately winning out with a straight flush in a final all-or-nothing hand.

It was the quintessential James Bond scene, and the casino-lifestyle has been keeping the super-spy on his toes ever since he donned his tuxedo for the first time back in Dr No (1962). There, Sean Connery was playing Baccarat in the uber glamorous Chemin de Fer casino, and uttered his immortal ‘the name’s Bond, James Bond’ line for the first time.

There can be no doubt that 007 has helped to glamourise the world of casinos on the silver screen, and his love of gaming action has helped to bring a catalogue of games to a new audience – from his adventures on the Craps table in Diamonds Are Forever to the cat-and-mouse Baccarat encounter in Goldeneye. Land-based casinos, like the Belle Époque in Monte Carlo, have also been immortalised.

Today, online casinos are thriving because of the variety of games they can offer players on their desktop and mobile devices, and sites like CasinoWings.com have emerged that essentially rank the best online casinos around in a number of different categories. It’s arguable that the industry wouldn’t be as it is today without the help of characters and franchises like Bond sustaining the glamourous aesthetic of the casino for the last 60 years.

‘Belle Époque Casino’ – Irene via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

That would surely please James Bond himself no end, who, when he’s not busy stopping baddies from taking over the world, is taking on the dealers and looking effortlessly cool whilst doing it.

No Time to Die may be the end of Daniel Craig’s reign in the 007 loafers, but the next incumbent will surely continue the fine tradition of foiling plots and winning on the felt.

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