Mission Bond: Celebrating 10 years of “CASINO ROYALE”
The annual James Bond event of Bond expert and author Danny Morgenstern in Braunschweig, Germany, has become a popular institution in the cultural calendar. What began as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of each of the Bond films in 2012, had to be slightly altered in 2016 since there is no golden jubilee this year. For that reason, Morgenstern picked Daniel Craigs first Bond thriller “Casino Royale” which premiered ten years ago.
Another novelty was that the event was stretched over several days with a special exhibition of original props by collector Chris Distin, owner of the largest Bond collection in Europe. Among the 55 items on display were the original script of “Casino Royale”, poker chips, the stunt snake of the Madagascar scenes, villain Le Chiffres Jaguar numberplate as well as several items from the Pierce Brosnan era films. However, the most spectacular item just had to be the original Honda motorbike of “Skyfall” which was used by baddie Patrice in the opening sequence in Istanbul.
The highlight of “Mission Bond” was the event evening on 01 October. Guests had started to arrive from several parts of Germany the day before and I officially welcomed fellow members of the James Bond Club Germany at a relaxed luncheon at 1pm to catch up and discuss our favourite subject.
The first item on the event agenda was a talk by renowned physics professor Dr. Metin Tolan at the House of Science in Braunschweig. Guests took their seats in the auditorium and the gallery above it which slightly resembled the scene of the Spectre meeting in “Spectre”.
The talk, entitled “James Bond and Physics”, was highly entertaining and Tolan f.e. explained, under which circumstances it could have been possible for James Bond to catch the falling plane at the beginning of “GoldenEye”. The audience reacted with many laughs, applause and praise for the 60 minute lecture.
Afterwards, guests made their way to the C1 Cinema where I, representing the James Bond Club Germany, had the pleasure to welcome everyone in the almost sold-out screening room where “Casino Royale” had celebrated its local premiere 10 years earlier. With me were $ 2.5 million in Casino Royale poker chips which quickly changed ownership for the correct answer to a quiz question.
Presenter Danny Morgenstern entered the stage and welcomed star guest Andreas Daniel who had played the dealer in “Casino Royale” and who had come all the way from Vienna to join us for this very special occasion. He spoke candidly about working with Daniel Craig and Martin Campbell, about the high production value of the film as well as the familiar atmosphere on the film set.
Once the film had finished, guests had the opportunity to get Danny Morgensterns newest book of his successful 007XXS series, this time focusing on all three film versions of “Casino Royale” as well as the 1953 Ian Fleming novel that had introduced James Bond to the world. This limited edition sixth pocket book is the biggest yet with 352 pages full of interesting and unusual facts.
Two long queues of guests had formed to await their book being signed by the author as well as guest star Andreas Daniel who very much enjoyed meeting Bond fans, taking photos and chatting a bit more about his time on the film set.
The evening continued with the glamorous Aftershow Party at Hoffmann dance school where a casino had been set up. For 5 euros in aid of a charitable organisation, guests could get 500 euros in chips and try their luck at Blackjack, Roulette and of course Poker. Two bars offered refreshing drinks, including seven different cocktails from the James Bond novels and films. Favourite of everyone was naturally the legendary Vesper Martini!
For the fifth time, Danny Morgenstern and his team have succeeded in offering a grand event for Bond fans. We are very much looking forward to next year which will see the 50th anniversary celebration of “You Only Live Twice”.