Casino Royale: The Big Picture (fanedit of CR)

edited August 2016 in Fan Creations Posts: 676
Casino Royale is one of my favourite Bond films, along with the films directed by Terence Young and Peter Hunt, the Timothy Dalton films, and GoldenEye. In 2006, I had been a Bond fan for a few years, seen most of the films, and read all of Ian Fleming's novels, but Casino Royale was my first of the films in a theatre.

I was not disappointed. It's packed with more sex, sadism, and snobbery than any of the films since the '60s, and it’s full of iconic moments: Bond earning his 00 status, the parkour, the shower scene, the record-setting car crash, the torture. The novels are recalled in the sun-and-sand Bahamas locale and in the characters taking time to enjoy food, drink, and conversation. And all this held together by a Bond that combines the magnetism of Connery with the vulnerability of Dalton.

However, the film isn't flawless. The central poker game is interrupted one time too many, and on a rewatch, I found myself wishing for a version of the movie without the gimmicky car defibrillator scene. And so began my desire to edit Casino Royale. In my fanedit, that scene is gone – along with much of the film's excessive action. The parkour continues too long after its real climax (the crane jump); the airport sequence seemingly stops and starts as Bond jumps onto and then off and then back onto a moving truck; and the Venice sinking house is an overlong mess. I've removed long sections and entire stunts from these sequences.

I also took issue with the film's characterization of Bond. Casino Royale is meant to be a reboot of the character a la Batman Begins, but the idea of Bond as a hotheaded rookie is completely at odds with the casting of 38-year-old Daniel Craig. Bond is a new 00, sure, but he shouldn't be a young man or a rookie agent. He would have worked in the Navy and Secret Service for years before getting 00 status. So I've cut references to Bond being a young man and/or rookie agent; references to Bond being a hitman or thug (he's more of a saboteur and provocateur than anything); and much of the unprofessional hostility between Bond and M (some trust issues are understandable, but not to the extent the original film depicts). Instead of all this "Bond Begins" gimmickry, the film now focuses on Bond's character arc of learning to see the big picture.

Lastly, I have worked on the characters of Vesper and Mathis. I have edited Vesper's introduction to make the conversation seem less artificial, and I have removed the oft-derided romantic dialogue in the last act. As for Mathis, I have cut his most obvious exposition during the poker game, as well as the film's disingenuous hints that he betrayed Bond.

The result of my changes is Casino Royale: The Big Picture, a fanedit that presents a more mature and true-to-form Bond, a more believable romance, and action sequences more proportionate to their storytelling function.

The film is now 126 min. instead of 144 min. Here's a full list of changes:
- Replaced film version of "You Know My Name" with Pop Mix version. Pop Mix has many virtues: opening is more full-blooded with prominent electric guitar; softer first verse allows horns and strings to be heard; tambourine in chorus is more exciting; drums sound heavier.
- Trimmed parkour sequence for length. Ends faster after the crane jump.
- Cut guards shooting at embassy. Excessive and unnecessary after the parkour sequence.
- Cut Le Chiffre and Kratt's conversation on boat. Cut to remove confusing and corny dialogue.

- Cut M ranting in Parliament. Unprofessional of her to shout and swear about the 00 section in public.

- Cut line "I knew it was too early to promote you" (M). In this edit, Bond is not a rookie or a young man.
- Cut M lecturing Bond about arrogance and ego. See above.
- Cut Bond driving Ford Mondeo. Not Bond's kind of car.
- Cut Bond using M's name and password on MI6 website in the Bahamas. Bond isn't so disrespectful as to violate M's privacy again.
- Trimmed airport sequence for length. Carlos hijacks the fuel truck sooner, and Bond stays on the truck until the sequence's end.
- Trimmed shot of Bond smiling after killing Carlos. Bond takes no pleasure in killing.
- Cut line "Do you want a clean kill or do you want to send a message?" (Bond). Bond is not a bloodthirsty hitman.

- Cut line "Trust me, I wish it wasn't the case" (M). Bond has been promoted to 00, so M should have faith in him.
- Cut several of Vesper's lines on the train. Conversation sounds more natural.
- Cut Bond finding defibrillator in Aston Martin. Not needed, as heart attack later is cut.
- Cut Vesper giving Bond a tailored dinner jacket. Bond knows how to dress himself.
- Cut line "That's not half bad, I'm gonna have to think of a name for that"€ (Bond). Not the first time Bond has ordered his signature martini.
- Cut line "Look, it's the tell, he is bluffing" (Mathis). This is obvious.
- Cut line "Bond will have to go all-in to call his bluff" (Mathis). Also obvious.
- Cut Bond's heart attack. Distracts from the poker game and has almost no consequence on the story.
- Cut Bond and Vesper talking beside poker table after game ends. Contains a reference to Bond's heart attack.
- Cut line "I'm afraid your friend Mathis is really my friend Mathis" (Le Chiffre). Le Chiffre has no reason to mislead Bond regarding Mathis.
- Cut Mathis walking up to Bond in hospital bed. Cut to remove David Arnold's ridiculous "sinister" music.
- Cut Bond and Vesper's conversation after line "If you'd just been born, wouldn't you be naked?" (Bond). Cut to remove unnatural dialogue and to emphasize Bond and Vesper's rebirth as lovers.

- Cut Bond shooting guard while following Vesper. Cut for pacing.
- Trimmed sinking house sequence. Sections removed and reordered for coherence and pacing.

- Cut Bond suggesting Mathis might still be guilty. Bond has no reason to believe this.
- Cut M's lines about Bond not trusting anyone. Not a core concept of the character, or an idea that emerges naturally from the story.
- Replaced end credits version of "You Know My Name" with "Vesper." Ends the film on a more sober note.
- Colour correction to lessen saturation and tinting throughout. The original colour grading often looks cheap and garish.
- Cropped out product placement throughout. Way too many Sony cellphones.
- Other minor cuts as needed.

If you're interested in checking out Casino Royale: The Big Picture, just PM me and I can point you in the right direction.

Here are a couple previews of edited scenes:



Comments

  • Posts: 676
    After the response to The Dead Are Alive, I wonder if anyone would be interested in checking out this fanedit as well? I've posted a couple more previews below, if you want an idea what the edit looks like.

    The first video is M's apartment scene, followed by Bond's arrival in the Bahamas. The main differences here: M doesn't say it was "too early" to promote Bond (he's at least 35, jeez), she doesn't lecture about arrogance and ego, Bond doesn't talk about monks and hitmen, etc. And in the Bahamas, I've cut the Ford Mondeo commercial.



    Next up is the poker game sans heart attack. In my version, Bond loses it all, gets staked by Leiter, then goes back and wins. There's no "action" bit to distract from the game - I've always thought it unnecessary at this point in the film. Just get on with it. Not to mention the defibrillator car seems like it was plucked straight out of a script written for Brosnan.

  • Posts: 438
    Love the scene in M's apartment - I've always felt the dialogue there was written strictly for some trailer dialogue. Your edits make the scene shorter, leaner and more to the point.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe Given the circumstances
    Posts: 7,346
    Great stuff, addresses many of the films flaws. All the action is overlong as it is. I often think that Bond could have done the crane jump and then CUT to M talking angrily about Bond shooting up the embassy. That would shave off at least a minute of screen time right there. We just need to see Bond follow the guy into the embassy, what comes after that is unrealistic and pointless to the story, especially when we learn about it in the very next scene from M.
  • I'll definitely give this a watch at some point. A shorter, more concise CR is a better CR imo. I've always liked CR but have never been able to really enjoy it as much as I feel I should and there are two reasons for that.

    The first is the Bond begins stuff. I'm not a fan. I find prequels kind of tedious and one of the strengths of both the novels and the films is how Bond was already fully formed imo. So I wasn't too happy when they went for the reboot/origin angle, and was even more irritated when it basically had no baring on the actual plot. I was relieved when we were back to square one by the end of SF but I didn't see any reason to reboot in the first place. Q has had films off or played down appearances before and it's not like Bond being a rookie has much baring on the actual plot. And the book wasn't an origin story, there's nothing there to indicate it was his first mission.

    The other reason is how bloated it feels. I find it a slog to get through at times, especially at the end. Le Chiffre's death is pretty much the natural conclusion, Vesper's death is the epilogue. But we can't make a blockbuster without a big CGI packed OTT melodramatic finale, no matter how forced it feels. I really wish they'd followed the book on this one and just gone with the suicide note. And you're right, Le Chiffre had no reason to implicate Mathis, that was dumb and did nothing but mislead the audience.

    So your fan edit sounds great because it addresses my main two problems with the film. I'll have to give it a watch at some point.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited October 2016 Posts: 4,189
    I think you cut more from M's apartment scene. Whole comment about break in should be removed. Only comment at the end should stay. Then Skyfall everbody understand she moved. Like what you did with car, but atleast we should see him step in to the car.

    Mabey couple of second of begin of sinking house Bond looking with gun can be removed too. Start 0.06. With the knowledge of future ,the part of Bond only see a litle footage between split of wood made more intresting.

    Train scene is not my thing, so i can't see what you removed. In first place i am not fan of heart atack too, but i keep it now. Same way i wil not made difrent editing of QOS car chase, the 3th person view.

    And what do you think about Astin Martin joke ?
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe Given the circumstances
    Posts: 7,346
    I'll definitely give this a watch at some point. A shorter, more concise CR is a better CR imo. I've always liked CR but have never been able to really enjoy it as much as I feel I should and there are two reasons for that.

    The first is the Bond begins stuff. I'm not a fan. I find prequels kind of tedious and one of the strengths of both the novels and the films is how Bond was already fully formed imo. So I wasn't too happy when they went for the reboot/origin angle, and was even more irritated when it basically had no baring on the actual plot. I was relieved when we were back to square one by the end of SF but I didn't see any reason to reboot in the first place. Q has had films off or played down appearances before and it's not like Bond being a rookie has much baring on the actual plot. And the book wasn't an origin story, there's nothing there to indicate it was his first mission.

    The other reason is how bloated it feels. I find it a slog to get through at times, especially at the end. Le Chiffre's death is pretty much the natural conclusion, Vesper's death is the epilogue. But we can't make a blockbuster without a big CGI packed OTT melodramatic finale, no matter how forced it feels. I really wish they'd followed the book on this one and just gone with the suicide note. And you're right, Le Chiffre had no reason to implicate Mathis, that was dumb and did nothing but mislead the audience.

    So your fan edit sounds great because it addresses my main two problems with the film. I'll have to give it a watch at some point.

    Agree completely on both counts. The film is bloated, and a part of the problem comes from a lack of focus. They clearly wanted to explore the relationship between Bond and Vesper, but they weren't willing to remove an action sequence in exchange. They wanted to have their cake and eat it. The ending should have been a tight, bittersweet addendum to the main story, but instead the film idles along for twenty minutes before ramping up for one final, unnecessary set piece.
  • edited May 2017 Posts: 676
    CrzChris4 wrote: »
    Love the scene in M's apartment - I've always felt the dialogue there was written strictly for some trailer dialogue. Your edits make the scene shorter, leaner and more to the point.
    Thanks!
    Great stuff, addresses many of the films flaws. All the action is overlong as it is. I often think that Bond could have done the crane jump and then CUT to M talking angrily about Bond shooting up the embassy. That would shave off at least a minute of screen time right there. We just need to see Bond follow the guy into the embassy, what comes after that is unrealistic and pointless to the story, especially when we learn about it in the very next scene from M.
    There are some things you can have happen off-screen, but I'm not sure Bond killing someone is one of them. I guess in storytelling it's always better to show, not tell - so if either the shooting or M's conversation were to be cut, it would probably have to be the latter. But I would always want to show both, as M's anger is a direct consequence of the killing. One of CR's strengths is how the action has consequences for the characters (unlike most Bond films).

    I did trim the parkour sequence a little so it doesn't eat up as much screentime. I didn't touch anything before the crane jump, as I found it all quite necessary for building up to the crane jump. After the crane jump, Bond and Mollaka get down to the ground faster (edit is at 4:40), and the guards no longer shoot up the embassy (6:00):


    I'll definitely give this a watch at some point. A shorter, more concise CR is a better CR imo. I've always liked CR but have never been able to really enjoy it as much as I feel I should and there are two reasons for that.

    The first is the Bond begins stuff. I'm not a fan. I find prequels kind of tedious and one of the strengths of both the novels and the films is how Bond was already fully formed imo. So I wasn't too happy when they went for the reboot/origin angle, and was even more irritated when it basically had no baring on the actual plot. I was relieved when we were back to square one by the end of SF but I didn't see any reason to reboot in the first place. Q has had films off or played down appearances before and it's not like Bond being a rookie has much baring on the actual plot. And the book wasn't an origin story, there's nothing there to indicate it was his first mission.

    Glad to hear you're interested!

    I originally was going to cut everything about Bond being a new 00 (along with the rookie/young man stuff)... except the fantastic black-and-white PTS, which would just look like it was ancient history. But as I edited the film, I found the "new 00" approach was kinda baked into the film's DNA. In the title song's lyrics, in the "00 status confirmed" text of the title sequence, in the relationship with M (and I didn't want to cut Judi Dench's role so severely that she was just playing Basil Exposition).

    So I decided I would simply cut all suggestions that Bond was a rookie/young man (e.g. baby's first martini, baby's first tuxedo, M giving him the Aston, all the lines about Bond learning "lessons," some of the hostility between Bond and M), but keep all the new 00 stuff. Of course, Bond at this point has worked for the Navy and Secret Service for years. He might not be a new 00 in the novel, but it's a smart choice for the film adaptation, IMO. Bond being a new 00 doesn’t contradict his character arc of learning to see the big picture (which is his arc in the novel) – in fact, it seemed to complement his character arc, which is what I wanted to highlight.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe Given the circumstances
    edited October 2016 Posts: 7,346
    But Bond killing a nothing character surely isn't the important bit. Not as important as the reaction to it from M. It's not like Bond has any great reaction to the killing that informs his character. He just shrugs it off. I would CUT at 5:27 into your video, With M walking through the double doors moaning about the cold war. I feel that would really speed up the pace, at a very low cost to the story itself. Obviously the score would have to amended slightly to make it flow better between the scenes.

    I know it's better to show than to tell as a rule, but I feel like in this case its better to leave the embassy sequence to the audiences imagination. All we really need to know is that Bond causes havoc, and M gives us that information in her introduction. Plus, imagine how much money they would have been saved if they had done this instead, as well as the very sensible adjustments you suggest. The film could have cost 100 million instead of 150 when all is said and done. And not only that, but imagine how much more rewatchable CR would be without all the baggage.
  • Posts: 1,296
    Can I have a download link for this please
  • dominicgreenedominicgreene The Eternal QOS Defender
    Posts: 1,756
    Love what you did. :) Indeed this movie is my favourite Bond movie and is my personal favourite movie of all time, but a more concise version of the film would have improved it.
  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,116
    Only thing with cardiac arrest scene is that it features Craig doing a bit of a Brosnan homage.

    The line "I'd never dream if it." ...nice wink.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe Given the circumstances
    Posts: 7,346
    Love what you did. :) Indeed this movie is my favourite Bond movie and is my personal favourite movie of all time, but a more concise version of the film would have improved it.


    As with every Craig film.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 5,205
    mcdonbb wrote: »
    Only thing with cardiac arrest scene is that it features Craig doing a bit of a Brosnan homage.

    The line "I'd never dream if it." ...nice wink.

    Also, there is a sad irony to Vesper saving Bond here when he can't save her later.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,154
    CR is great but it's not perfect.

    Very interesting points here. Also like it very much that you've cut the Mondeo scene.
  • Posts: 676
    echo wrote: »
    mcdonbb wrote: »
    Only thing with cardiac arrest scene is that it features Craig doing a bit of a Brosnan homage.

    The line "I'd never dream if it." ...nice wink.

    Also, there is a sad irony to Vesper saving Bond here when he can't save her later.
    Yes, some things are lost by cutting the heart attack - the stuff you guys have mentioned, as well as Craig's great acting and "that last hand nearly killed me" (a line which I understand is a fan favourite). The movie plays differently for sure. For me, it plays better without the sequence. Your mileage may vary.
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    CR is great but it's not perfect.

    Very interesting points here. Also like it very much that you've cut the Mondeo scene.
    Glad you liked that bit!
Sign In or Register to comment.