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From Sky News (June 12, 1999)
The World Is Not Enough for James Bond star Pierce Brosnan and the actor has said he will be back to play the smooth talking 007 spy for a fourth time.
Although Brosnan was signed by the producers on a 3 film contract, the Irish actor told Sky News he would be back as Bond for the 20th series.
Speaking from Pinewood studios in the UK, Brosnan said he was looking forward to working with some fresh faces on the set, including Robert Carlyle and comedy stalwart, John Cleese, as Q's assistant R.
Known famously for his portrayal of the eccentric "Q" Desmond Llewellyn has promised that he will return as the head of MI6, as long as "the film's producers and God is willing".
Llewellyn joins Bond regulars Pierce Brosnan, Dame Judi Dench and Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny for the 19th 007 film The World Is Not Enough.
The film caught domestic media attention when it was banned from filming a high speed water chase outside the Secret Service head quarters in London. But not to be deterred the quick thinking producers of the show put a call through to the film minister Janet Anderson who leant on the MoD to drop the restriction.
Other key scenes are expected to show Bond parachuting into the Millennium Dome when the film opens in the UK in November.
From The Mirror (Feb. 17 1999)
James Bond has been told he can't save the world - because his insurers say it's too dangerous.
007 star Pierce Brosnan and actress Sophie Marceau were due to fly to the Alps this weekend to film scenes for the 19th Bond movie, The World Is Not Enough. But the action sequence was due to be shot in and around the French resort of Chamonix where 11 lives have been lost in the area's worst avalanche disaster for almost 100 years.
Now the insurers covering the filming have told Pinewood bosses that Brosnan and other stars are not to be risked. That has put the fledgling £70million production well behind schedule. An insider told The Mirror yesterday: "It's a major headache. There are people already close to a nervous breakdown. We are talking about millions of pounds that could be lost. The insurers decided it just wasn't a risk worth taking."
From The Express [London] (Feb 15, 1999)
By Mark Jagasia
Bond girls are not usually chosen for the size of their IQ. But in the latest 007 film it's brains that count as much as beauty.
Its director Michael Apted, who has just started filming at Pinewood studios, insists his female characters are a lot more than scantily-clad window dressing. They include a nuclear weapons expert, a doctor, an oil heiress and an international criminal who blows up the MI6 HQ in London before escaping down the Thames by speedboat.
"They are very sexy women, but they have much more complex lives. We want them to be at the centre of the story and not just objects," said Mr. Apted, whose previous credits include Gorky Park and Gorillas In The Mist.
Actresses Maria Grazia Cuccinotta, Serena Scott Thomas, Denise Richards and Sophie Marceau play the high-flying foursome in the 19th Bond film, The World Is Not Enough.
Maria, heroine of Italian comedy Il Postino, plays the villain in a chase sequence which cost £1 million a minute to make and ends with a fight in a hot-air balloon above the Millennium Dome.
Denise, of Starship Troopers fame, plays nuclear scientist Dr Christmas Jones. Serena, sister of English Patient star Kristin Scott Thomas, has an even more memorable name as physician Dr Holly Warmflash. And French actress Sophie, star of Braveheart, is heiress Elektra King.
Pierce Brosnan, who is playing the world's suavest spy for the 3rd time, is more than happy with his bevy of brainy beauties. "Sophie is a stunning woman," he said. "And if you had seen Denise Richards running round in hotpants, well - I think Mr. Apted had a great deal of fun casting the film."With a £70 million budget it is the most expensive Bond movie yet. One scene involving an attack on a Caspian Sea caviar factory by helicopters dangling huge circular saws reunites Brosnan with Robbie Coltrane who reprises his GoldenEye role as ex-KGB agent Valentin Zukovsky.
The film also stars Dame Judi Dench as M, John Cleese and rap star Goldie.
BAKU /AFP, February 12 1999 -- To the list of world leaders and petroleum executives lobbying for an oil pipeline from the Caspian's billion-dollar offshore fields through Turkey, add one more name.
Bond. James Bond.
The international martini drinker and bon vivant has jumped with both feet into the Caspian oil game and will visit the Azeri capital in April for the latest in the lucrative cloak-and-dagger thrillers, the film's producers say.
In The World Is Not Enough, Bond's latest incarnation, Irish-born actor Pierce Brosnan, fights an international group of bad guys intent on dominating the production and transport of the world's oil supply.
In addition to Azerbaijan's Oily Rocks -- a gargantuan Soviet-era oil facility built from hundreds of causeways in the Caspian Sea -- Bond will visit the French Alps, Spain's Basque country and Turkey's Bosporus.
He is joined by French actress Sophie Marceau -- who plays Elektra King, "a daughter of a murdered oil tycoon Bond is hired to protect" -- and British actress Denise Richards. Robert Carlyle from The Full Monty plays the villain.
Those involved with the project say they cannot give away the film's entire plot but they do reveal that the agent from Her Majesty's Secret Service will defend the concept of a trans-Turkish pipeline.
"James Bond is supporting the idea of constructing a pipeline through Turkey to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean," said Mr. Ali Hoomani, a US-Iranian businessman who is organising the Azerbaijani segment of the film.
Mr Hoomani was quick to add that the film does not get involved in the current debate raging over what route a pipeline should take: to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan or Supsa on the Black Sea.
"The film does not mention any names. It is not that political," he said.
But the film producers admit that this Bond perhaps deals with current issues more than any other of the series' previous 18 productions. They began with adaptations of the works of Bond's creator Ian Fleming before taking on a life of their own.
"Each Bond story tries to have a storyline in today's news," said Mr. Geoff Freeman at Eon Productions, which is producing the movie along with the US-based MGM/United Artists.
"In the last Bond movie, it was the power of the international media, before that, it was the Berlin Wall coming down and the coming together of enemies," he added.
"But it is fascinating how topical this story is for the news today," he said. Production of the movie has already begun and will continue until May, Mr. Freeman added.
The film's backers say they are not afraid that events will overtake the plot-line and render real-life details obsolete by the time of release in November this year.
Negotiations over an actual pipeline's routing have reached deadlock and a decision may be put off until the end of the year.
Eon Productions' Ms Anne Bennett said that the movie is mostly fantasy, so the stories in the news will only accentuate what takes place on the screen.
"People go to Bond films for many reasons,'' Ms Bennett said. "Like any other Bond movie, this one will have exciting overseas locations, good action and a strong story line.''
Mr. Hoomani also promised that the movie will not disappoint, offering the usual mix of romance and death-defying stunts familiar to Bond viewers the world over. But he added: "They say that this James Bond will be completely different from any other.''
"Technically, the film will be very beautiful,'' Mr. Hoomani said, adding that Peter Lamont of Titanic fame would provide production design.
The majority of the Baku-based scenes, however, will be shot at Pinewood Studios in London, the producers say. There, an enormous model of Oily Rocks will be built and all the interior shots will be filmed. A camera crew will go to the former Soviet republic only for 1 or 2 days to film the establishing shots. Nevertheless, close to 1/5 of the movie is supposed to unfold on the shores of the Caspian.
Mr Hoomani, who claims credit for enticing the James Bond franchise to film in Baku, sees it as a positive event since Azerbaijan will become a known quantity outside the oil industry. "Some person sees that Pierce Brosnan is going to Azerbaijan and he gets interested,'' he said. "Brosnan in the movie calls it the 'oil and caviar capital.'''
"The next time he hears about the country, he says 'Hey --I know Azerbaijan.'"
From The Mirror (Feb. 11 1999)
This is the first picture [in the newspaper] from the new James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough. It shows Full Monty star Robert Carlyle as shaven-headed baddie Renard cowering before 007 Pierce Brosnan.
Britain's favourite secret agent is coming home for the £70 million movie which is set in London. One 5-minute speedboat chase being filmed on the Thames next month is set to cost £3 million and take 34 days to shoot.
It features Brosnan in pursuit of an evil female infiltrator who has blown up M16's HQ on the banks of the river. The chase ends at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich as 007 leaps on to a passing hot air balloon then jumps on the Dome's roof.
Meanwhile former Foreign Legionnaire Carlyle is holding the world to ransom with a stolen Russian nuclear reactor.
Brosnan said of his 3rd Bond role: "Here I am again - saving the world. Robert Carlyle is an excellent baddie - very scary, he will not disappoint."
From The Mirror (Feb. 9 1999)
Robert Carlyle has shaved his head to play James Bond's new adversary, the assassin Renard the Fox.
I'm told the Trainspotting star wants to follow in the footsteps of Donald Pleasance (Blofeld), Harold Sakata (Oddjob) and Richard Kiel (Jaws) and become one of the all-time great Bond baddies.
Robert, 36, stunned diners - including Posh Spice and David Beckham - at London's trendy Titanic restaurant on Saturday night when he arrived sporting his new look.
"Bobby can appear pretty menacing at the best of times, but now he's had his head shaved he looks positively psychotic," said one onlooker.
The Scots star is picking up £750,000 to take on 007 Pierce Brosnan in the 19th Bond adventure The World Is Not Enough. His character is an ex-member of the Foreign Legion who has a bullet lodged in his brain from a previous showdown which means he is unable to feel any pain.
Robert and 007 eventually end up in a spectacular showdown, fighting for French beauty Sophie Marceau, who plays Elektra King. The fight is likely to be filmed at the Millennium Dome in east London.
My spies on the set tell me Robert is relishing the role and gets to utter some classic lines.
Apparently, his personal favourite is: "You can't kill me. I'm already dead."
From the Daily Record [Scotland] (Jan. 29 1999)
The name is Kieran, Paul Kieran. And he is a licensee who's thrilled.
Barman Paul, 32, was stunned when he was asked to stand in for 007 in the new James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough. He won't exactly be following in the footsteps of Sean Connery - his big scene as a double for 007 Pierce Brosnan lasts around a second.
Paul got his big break when the Bond team arrrived to film a scene at Eilean Donan Castle at the head of Loch Alsh in Ross-shire. He usually serves regulars at the Cuchullin Bar in nearby Kyle of Lochalsh. Now Paul and local landlady Zeda Sale - who stands in for Dame Judi Dench as M - will be filmed from a distance driving to MI6's Scottish HQ.
He said: "I've taken some stick from the lads but I'm looking forward to it. It's only a minor role and I don't even get the chance to get behind the wheel of the Aston Martin."
Eilean Donan Castle will feature as MI6's Scottish headquarters - Castle Thane - in the new 007 epic which also stars Scots actors Robert Carlyle and Robbie Coltrane. A 3-day shoot at the castle, also used in ex-007 Connery's film Highlander, ended yesterday. Cameramen filmed the outside of the castle to use as a scene- setter. The stars filmed the interior shots in Pinewood studios.
Kevin Cowle, of Scottish Screen Locations, said: "Bond films are seen around the world and it is nice that once again there is a Scottish connection."
Robbie Coltrane is again playing his GoldenEye role as Valentin Zukovsky. Full Monty actor Robert Carlyle plays Renard, the latest baddie to do battle with Bond. His character has a bullet lodged in his brain which means he feels no pain. Carlyle's character has a shaved head and uses a killer crow to peck out his enemies' eyes.
Carlyle, 37, decided to take the Bond role because of Sean Connery. He said: "I went to see these films with my father in the 60s and 70s when Connery was Bond. I honestly thought Sean Connery was the only Scottish actor. There was no one else around and he sounded like me and so I remember that as a kid. So that link between Bond, Connery and Scots acting is fundamental really."
He added: "When I looked at all the Bond posters I knew I had to do it." Carlyle says Connery is an inspiration. "He has made 60 or 70 movies and is still surviving in a very, very difficult industry. So I have nothing but the utmost respect for the man. He's survived and he's still going strong."
So will Carlyle bring the Scots burr back to Bond? "I don't think so," he laughed. "I will have an accent but I don't know what it will be yet."
From the Daily Record [Scotland] (Jan. 8 1999)
Full Monty heart-throb Robert Carlyle is to star in the next James Bond epic as an evil villain. In the new film, The World is Not Enough, the Scottish star will battle Pierce Brosnan, who plays 007.
Carlyle, 37, who shot to fame as the psychopathic Begbie in the hit film Trainspotting and starred in TV series Hamish Macbeth, will earn a £3million fee.The role will see him join an all-star cast, which includes Dame Judi Dench.
And he'll team up with fellow Scot Robbie Coltrane, who returns in his GoldenEye role as ex-KGB criminal Valentin Zukovsky.
Last night, a film spokeswoman said: "We're delighted to have Robert on board. He's a fantastic addition to our cast." Although filming for the new movie begins on Monday, Robert's scenes will not be shot until later.
He plays French Foreign Legion officer Claude Serrault - codenamed Renard - the savage partner of the film's female villain, Elektra King, played by actress Sophie Marceau. Because of a bullet lodged in his brain, Renard does not feel pain and travels with a pet hawk trained to gouge out the eyes of villains. His evil plans involve melting down a nuclear submarine in the Caspian Sea in a bid to control the world's oil pipelines.
Dame Judi Dench plays M, Bond's boss. The movie also stars Denise Richards as Dr Christmas Jones and Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
The start of the movie is set in Cuba, where Bond tries to get some money back from an arms dealer who ripped off oil mogul Sir Robert King. Part of the action also takes place in London, where MI6's offices are destroyed, and Istanbul. The plot begins with Bond protecting King's daughter Elektra from Renard, only to discover later that they are plotting together.
In the film Bond begins to wonder whether he's getting too old for his line of work after failing to stop the assasination of a family friend. But his concerns are pushed aside when he learns Zukovsky has teamed up with Carlyle's character. Carlyle screen-tested for the part last year.
The role, his biggest yet, follows his gritty BBC2 series Looking After Jo Jo about Scottish drug dealer Jo Jo McCann.
BAKU, (Jan 5 1999) -- James Bond is set to save the world again and this time 007 will be fighting power-hungry criminals in an oil-rich former Soviet republic.
Britain's best known secret agent will face a new enemy -- a group of international gangsters plotting to dominate the oil industry, Amanda Schofield of film company Eon Productions said on Tuesday in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan and one of the world's oldest -- and newest -- oil boomtowns.
She said Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea oil riches, first developed a century ago and now on the verge of a new post-Soviet boom, made it the best place to set the action, although she gave no further insight into the storyline.
"Baku was chosen because oil is important to the story of the film," Schofield said.
Eon Productions, which has produced 16 of the 18 Bond films made to date, tested shots late last year at a caviar processing plant near Baku and a 1940s Soviet oil platform out in the Caspian.
She said the sprawling offshore causeways and rusting, windswept platforms would give Bond a great opportunity to do what he does best -- chase villains and seduce women.
Irish actor Pierce Brosnan, who took up Bond's 007 "Licensed to Kill" mantle in the last two films, will again portray the slick spy created by author Ian Fleming.
"If you want the film to be beautiful then you go to Paris, if you want nature you shoot in the Amazon, but if its oil you want then you come to Azerbaijan," said Ali Hoomani, general manager of local film company Azerbaijan International Cinema.
The new story could echo Baku's everyday life. Since independence from Moscow in 1991, Texan oil men have been competing with Russians, Britons and Turks for billion-dollar contracts to develop Azerbaijan's oil.
From Sunday Mirror (Sept. 13 1998)
James Bond will be forced to face up to his womanising past when his next deadly opponent is unmasked as his own illegitimate son.
And Scottish heartthrob Ewan McGregor, star of Trainspotting, is number one choice for a battle to the death with the father he never knew in the role of James Bond Jnr.
The superspy's son will be the right-hand man to the main villain in the 19th 007 adventure, provisionally titled The World Is Not Enough.
And Basic Instinct star Sharon Stone is favourite to land the role of the evil crook codenamed Electra in the £70 million epic. Sources tell me Bond's evil son is the product of a relationship with a beautiful American secret agent. But she turns their child into the ultimate killing machine as revenge against the man who left her.
The insider added: "His true identity will not be revealed until the final scenes. It's a heart-breaking shock for Bond."
Scripts have been finalised for the blockbuster and work on 4 sets has begun at London's Pinewood studios. Last night a film source said: "Bond's son is charming, ruthless and deadly - just like his dad. But the main difference is that he offers his services to the highest bidder. Ewan would be fantastic in the role and the bosses will go all out to get him."
Pierce Brosnan will be back as the legendary secret agent and Cracker star Robbie Coltrane has already signed up to reprise his GoldenEye role as ex-KGB man Valentin Zukovsky, this time teaming up with his former foe to save the world. But Dame Judi Dench, who stars as Bond's boss, could be making her final appearance as one twist of the plot is rumoured to be the assassination of M.
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