|Tomorrow Never Dies|
Tomorrow Never Dies film poster
|James Bond||Pierce Brosnan|
|Also starring||Jonathan Pryce
|Directed by||Roger Spottiswoode|
|Produced by||Michael G. Wilson
|Novel/Story by||Bruce Feirstein|
|Screenplay by||Bruce Feirstein|
|Music by||David Arnold|
|Main theme||Tomorrow Never Dies|
Sony Pictures Entertainment
|Release date(s)||19 December 1997|
|Running time||119 min.|
|Followed by||The World Is Not Enough|
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) is the eighteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Bruce Feirstein wrote the screenplay, and it was directed by Roger Spottiswoode. It follows Bond as he tries to stop a media mogul from engineering world events and starting World War III.
The film was produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and was the first James Bond film made after the death of producer Albert R. Broccoli. The movie paid tribute to him in the end credits. Tomorrow Never Dies performed well at the box office and earned a Golden Globe nomination despite mixed reviews. While its domestic box office surpassed GoldenEye, it was the only Pierce Brosnan Bond film not to open at number one at the box office since it opened the same day as Titanic.
MI6 sends James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) into the field to spy on a terrorist arms bazaar on the Russian border. Via television, MI6 and the British military identify several wanted men, including American "techno-terrorist" Henry Gupta (Ricky Jay), who is buying a GPS encoder made by the American military. Despite M's (Judi Dench) insistence that Agent 007 finish his reconnaissance, the British Admiral Roebuck (Geoffrey Palmer) launches a missile attack on the arms bazaar. Bond then discovers there are two Soviet nuclear torpedoes mounted on an L-39 Albatros, the destruction of which poses potential local radioactive contamination. With the missile already in flight and unable to be aborted, Bond hijacks the L-39 jet and flies it away from the arms bazaar, defeating a pursuing L-39 and a hostile co-pilot by ejecting the co-pilot into the other aircraft. Despite the missile destroying most of the terrorists and weaponry, Gupta escapes with the encoder.
Media baron Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), head of the Carver Media Group Network (CMGN), begins his plans to use the encoder to provoke war between China and the United Kingdom. As the existing Chinese leadership is not receptive to giving Carver Media Group Network exclusive broadcast rights in their country, Carver wants to use a war to eliminate them in favor of politicians more friendly to his plans. Meaconing the GPS signal using the encoder, Gupta sends the frigate HMS Devonshire off-course in the South China Sea, where Carver's stealth ship and its crew plan to steal a number of its missiles. Carver's henchman, Stamper (Götz Otto), sinks the frigate with a sea drill and shoots down a Chinese J-7 fighter jet sent to investigate the British presence, and then the men aboard the stealth ship kill the Devonshire's survivors with Chinese weaponry. Thinking they have been attacked by the Chinese, Admiral Roebuck deploys the British Fleet to recover the frigate, and possibly retaliate, leaving M only forty-eight hours to investigate its sinking.
M sends Bond to investigate Carver after Carver Media releases news with critical details hours before these have become known, and MI6 noticed a spurious signal from one of his CMGN communications satellites when the frigate was sunk. Bond travels to Hamburg and seduces Carver's wife, Paris (Teri Hatcher), an ex-girlfriend; the information she tells Bond helps him sneak into Carver's newspaper headquarters and steal back the GPS encoder. When Carver learns of it, he orders Paris and Bond killed; Paris is killed by Dr. Kaufman (Vincent Schiavelli), but Bond escapes in his car. Bond then goes to the South China Sea to investigate the wreck, discovering one of the missiles missing. He and Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), a Chinese spy on the same case, are captured by Stamper and taken to the CMGN Vietnam bureau; they escape and begin collaborating.
They contact the Royal Navy and the Chinese air force to explain what is happening, then find and board Carver's stealth ship in Ha Long Bay to prevent him firing the stolen British cruise missile at Beijing. During the battle, Wai Lin is captured, but Bond captures Gupta to use as his own hostage, but Carver kills Gupta, claiming he has outlived his contract. Bond gets them out of it, by setting off an explosive, damaging part of the ship and exposing it on radar, enabling the Royal Navy to attack it. While Wai Lin heads to disable the engines, Bond leads a large battle to the stolen missile against the crew, and Stamper. Carver is killed by his own sea drill after trying to kill Bond on his own. As Bond begins to start the process of destroying the warhead, Stamper shows that he has Wai Lin hostage. A fight ensues when he tries to drown her. Bond traps him in the missile firing mechanism and leaves him to die, while saving Wai Lin as the stealth ship is destroyed by the missile. Bond and Wai Lin survive amidst the wreckage as HMS Bedford searches for them.
After the success of GoldenEye in reviving the Bond series, there was pressure to recreate that success in its follow-up. This pressure came both from MGM, which had recently been sold to billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who wanted the release to coincide with their public stock offering, and the worldwide audience, with co-producer Michael G. Wilson saying "You realize that there's a huge audience and I guess you don't want to come out with a film that's going to somehow disappoint them." This was the first Bond film to be made after the death of Albert R. Broccoli, who had been involved with the production of them since the series began. The rush to complete it meant the budget reached $110 million.
The producers were unable to get Martin Campbell, the director of GoldenEye, to return; his agent saying "Martin just didn't want to do two Bond films in a row". Instead, Roger Spottiswoode was chosen in September 1996. The story had its roots in a treatment written by Donald E. Westlake, although what influence it eventually had is unknown. Bruce Feirstein, who had worked on GoldenEye, penned the initial script which was then passed to Spottiswoode who reworked it. He gathered seven Hollywood screenwriters in London to brainstorm, eventually choosing Nicholas Meyer to perform rewrites. The script was also worked on by Dan Petrie Jr and David Campbell Wilson before Feirstein, who retained the sole writing credit, was brought in for a final polish.
As had been the case previously, with no Ian Fleming novels remaining unadapted, an entirely original story was required. The scriptwriting process was finished very late and after lengthy disputes. Spottiswoode said that MGM had a script in January 1997 revolving round Hong Kong being returned to the Chinese, which happened in July; this couldn't be used for a film opening at the end of the year, so they had to start "almost from scratch at T-minus zero!" Wilson said "we didn't have a script that was ready to shoot on the first day of filming", with Pierce Brosnan saying "we had a script that was not functioning in certain areas." The Daily Mail reported on arguments between Spottiswoode and the producers with the former favouring the Petrie version, but the latter reinstating Feirstein to rewrite it two weeks before filming was due to begin. They also said that Jonathan Pryce and Teri Hatcher were unhappy with their new roles, causing further rescripting.
The title was inspired by the Beatles' song "Tomorrow Never Knows". The eventual title came about by accident: one of the potential titles was Tomorrow Never Lies (referring to the Tomorrow newspaper in the story) and it was faxed to MGM. However, through an error it became Tomorrow Never Dies, which MGM liked so much they insisted on using. The title was the first not to have any relation with Fleming.
Teri Hatcher was three months pregnant at the shooting start, by her then-husband, Jon Tenney; her publicist stated the pregnancy did not affect the production schedule. Hatcher later regretted playing Paris Carver, saying "It's such an artificial kind of character to be playing that you don't get any special satisfaction from it." According to Brosnan, Monica Bellucci screentested for the role but "the fools said no."
Natasha Henstridge was rumoured as cast in the lead Bond Girl role, but eventually, Yeoh was confirmed in that role. Brosnan was impressed, describing her as a "wonderful actress" who was "serious and committed about her work". She reputedly wanted to perform her own stunts, but was prevented because director Spottiswoode ruled it too dangerous and uninsured.
When Götz Otto was called in for casting, he was given twenty seconds to introduce himself. Saying, "I am big, I am bad, and I am German", he did it in five.
Second unit filming began on 18 January 1997 with Vic Armstrong directing; they filmed the pre-credits sequence in the French Alps and moved on to Portsmouth to film the scenes where the Royal Navy prepares to engage the Chinese. The main unit began filming on 1 April. They were unable to use the Leavesden Film Studios, which they had constructed from an abandoned Rolls-Royce factory for GoldenEye, as George Lucas was using it for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, so instead they constructed sound stages in another derelict industrial site nearby. They also used the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios.
They planned to film some of the scenes on location in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and had been granted a visa. This was later rescinded, two months after planning had begun, forcing filming to move to Bangkok, Thailand. Some claim the Chinese government put pressure on Vietnam to do this, because they were unhappy with the story involving corrupt Chinese generals doing the bidding of a media tycoon. However, Bond spokesman Gordon Arnell claimed the Vietnamese were merely unhappy with crew and equipment needed for pyrotechnics, with a Vietnamese official saying it was due to "many complicated reasons".
The car chase sequence took three weeks to film, with Brent Cross car park being used to simulate Hamburg (although the final leap was filmed on location). A stunt involving setting fire to three vehicles produced more smoke than anticipated, causing a member of the public to call the fire brigade. Two locations from previous Bond films were used: Brosnan and Hatcher's love scene was filmed at Stoke Poges golf club, which had been featured in Goldfinger, and the bay where they search for Carver's stealth boat is Khow-Ping-Khan island near Phuket, Thailand, previously used for The Man with the Golden Gun.
During filming, there were reports of disputes on set. The Daily Mail reported that Spottiswoode and Feirstein were no longer on speaking terms and that crew members had threatened to resign, with one saying "All the happiness and teamwork which is the hallmark of Bond has disappeared completely." This was denied by Brosnan who claimed "It was nothing more than good old creative argy-bargy", with Spottiswoode saying "It has all been made up...Nothing important really went wrong." Spottiswoode did not return to direct the next film; he said the producers asked him, but he was too tired. Apparently, Brosnan and Hatcher feuded briefly during filming due to her arriving late onto the set one day. The matter was quickly resolved though and Brosnan apologized to Hatcher after realizing she was pregnant and was late for that reason.
Barbara Broccoli chose David Arnold to score Tomorrow Never Dies on a recommendation from prolific James Bond films composer John Barry. Arnold had come to Barry's attention through his successful cover interpretations in Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project, which featured major artists performing the former James Bond title songs in new arrangements. The film's score combined techno music with a recognisably Barry-inspired 'classic Bond' sound–notably Arnold borrowed from Barry's score for From Russia with Love. For the music for the indoor car chase sequence, Arnold enlisted the help of the band Propellerheads, who had worked with him before on Shaken and Stirred. The soundtrack's reception was good, with Filmtracks describing it as "an excellent tribute to the entire series of Bond score", and Arnold was brought back to score all the subsequent films, four more to date. The theme was chosen through a competitive process. There were around twelve submissions, including songs from Swan Lee, Pulp, Saint Etienne, Marc Almond, Sheryl Crow, and David Arnold. Crow's song was chosen for the main titles while David Arnold's song Surrender, performed by k.d. lang, was used for the end titles, its melody cropping up throughout the film. Both songs include the title as a lyric–"tomorrow never dies"–a first for the series; and this was the fourth Bond film to have different opening and closing songs. Two different versions of the soundtrack album were released, the first lacking music from the second half of the film, and the second lacking the songs. Pulp's effort was retitled as Tomorrow Never Lies and appeared as a b-side on their single "Help The Aged". Moby created a remix of the original James Bond theme to be used for the movie. The original version of the Pulp offering can be heard on the Deluxe Edition of This Is Hardcore as a rough mix.
The film had a World Charity Premiere at The Odeon Leicester Square, on 9 December 1997; this was followed by an after premiere party at Bedford Square, home of original Ian Fleming publisher, Jonathan Cape. The film went on general release in the UK and Iceland on 12 December, and in most other countries during the following week. It opened at #2 in the US, with a weekend gross of $25,143,007 from 2,807 theaters, for an average of $8,957 per theater. It ended up achieving a worldwide gross of over $330 million, although it did not surpass its predecessor GoldenEye, which grossed almost $ 20 million more.
The critical reception of the film was mixed, with the film review collection website Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 56% "rotten" rating (75% amongst top critics), and similar site Metacritic rating it at 56%. In the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four-stars, saying "Tomorrow Never Dies gets the job done, sometimes excitingly, often with style" with the villain "slightly more contemporary and plausible than usual", bringing "some subtler-than-usual satire into the film". James Berardinelli described it as "the best Bond film in many years" and said Brosnan "inhabits his character with a suave confidence that is very like Connery's." However, in the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan thought a lot of Tomorrow Never Dies had a "stodgy, been-there feeling", with little change from previous films, and Charles Taylor wrote for Salon.com that the film was "a flat, impersonal affair".
The title song sung by Sheryl Crow was nominated for a Golden Globe for "Best Original Song -
Motion Picture" and a Grammy for "Best Song Written Specifically
for a Motion Picture or for Television". The film received four
nominations for Saturn
Awards, with Brosnan winning "Best Actor". It also won a MPSE Golden Reel Award for "Best Sound Editing -
Foreign Feature" and a BMI Film Music Award.
Tomorrow Never Dies was the first of three Bond films to be adapted into books by then-current Bond novelist, Raymond Benson. Benson's version is expanded from the screenplay including additional scenes with Wai Lin and other supporting characters not in the film. The novel traces Carver's background as that of media mogul Lord Roverman's son. Carver blackmails him into suicide and takes over his business. The novel also attempts to merge Benson's series with the films, particularly continuing a middle of the road approach to John Gardner's continuity. Notably it includes a reference to the film version of You Only Live Twice where he states that Bond was lying to Miss Moneypenny when he said he had taken a course in Oriental languages. This was done to counter the scene in Tomorrow Never Dies where Bond is unable to read a Chinese keyboard. But this contradicts Benson's previous book Zero Minus Ten in which Bond is able to speak fluent Cantonese. Tomorrow Never Dies also mentions Felix Leiter, although it states that Felix had worked for Pinkertons Detective Agency which is thus exclusive to the literary series. Subsequent Bond novels by Benson were affected by Tomorrow Never Dies, specifically Bond's weapon of choice being changed from the Walther PPK to the Walther P99.
The film was adapted into a third-person shooter PlayStation video game, Tomorrow Never Dies. It was developed by Black Ops and published by Electronic Arts on 16 November 1999. Game Revolution described it as "really just an empty and shallow game", and IGN said it was "mediocre".
The motorbike-scene including Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh was referenced in the South Park episode "Super Fun Time", when Eric Cartman and Butters had to hold hands the whole Episode and rode a coin-operated motorcycle in a fun park. They "performed" the same stunts Brosnan and Yeoh's characters did in Tomorrow Never Dies.
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|Tomorrow Never Dies|
|Tomorrow Never Dies|
|Release date||November 16, 1999|
|Genre||Third-person shooter, Action|
|Age rating(s)||ESRB: T|
|Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough|
|James Bond games|
|James Bond 007 | James Bond 007: A View to a Kill | A View to a Kill | James Bond 007: Goldfinger | The Living Daylights | Live and Let Die | 007: Licence to Kill|
|The Spy Who Loved Me | James Bond: The Stealth Affair | James Bond Jr. | James Bond: The Duel | GoldenEye 007 | James Bond 007 | Tomorrow Never Dies|
|The World Is Not Enough | 007 Racing | Agent Under Fire | Nightfire | Everything or Nothing | GoldenEye: Rogue Agent | From Russia with Love | James Bond: Quantum of Solace|
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