New mission for Haggis: 007's 'Royale'
By Borys Kit and Anne Thompson / The Hollywood Reporter
For James Bond, 007 means having a having a license to kill. For Academy Award nominee Paul Haggis, 007 means having a license to write.
The writer, who was nominated for an Oscar for "Million Dollar Baby" and wrote and directed this summer's sleeper hit "Crash," has been tapped to do a rewrite of "Casino Royale," Sony and MGM's 21st installment of the lucrative Bond franchise.
Producer siblings Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have brought back Martin Campbell ("GoldenEye," "The Legend of Zorro") to direct his second Bond. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who cut their teeth on Bond films "The World Is Not Enough" and "Die Another Day," wrote the previous draft. The search for a new Bond to replace Pierce Brosnan is under way.
The movie's script is based on the 1953 Ian Fleming novel, which is the first, darkest and most violent of the Bond books. It introduced not only Bond, but the evil organization SMERSH, as well as model Bond villain Le Chiffre (French for "the number"). One of the book's set pieces is a baccarat duel between Bond and Le Chiffre. The book was first adapted as the 1967 spy spoof starring Peter Sellers, David Niven, Orson Welles and George Raft, although the comedy is not considered part of the Bond canon.