After Licence to Kill, Michael G. Wilson and Alfonse Ruggiero wrote a script treatment for a Bond film intended to be released in 1991 under the title "The Property of a Lady," the title taken from an Ian Fleming short story. According to what little evidence is available about this script (and is printed in the book The Bond Files by Andy Lane and Paul Simpson), the film would have taken place in Hong Kong. Legal squabbles over the ownership of James Bond, disappointing box office results on Licence to Kill, and the death of longtime screenwriter Richard Maibaum, delayed the start of production for several years. Although he was contracted to play Bond a third time (and possibly fourth time), after several years elapsed with no new film, Timothy Dalton announced he didn't want to play the role again. This opened the door for Pierce Brosnan. Several title and concept changes changed The Property of a Lady into this film.
Because the series was caught up in litigation, the six-and-a-half-year hiatus between the release of Licence to Kill and GoldenEye is the longest gap between Bond films since the series first started in 1962.
After the scene where the tank crashes through the Perrier truck, the company allegedly had every single can collected off the ground. Whether the can was perfect, crumpled, or flattened, the company apparently didn't want its product placements to be used for selling of false non-Perrier mineral water.
"Goldeneye" is the nickname of Bond creator Ian Fleming's beachfront house in Jamaica where (between 1952 and 1964) he wrote the Bond novels and short stories. It was named for the contingency plan that the SIS, whose members included Fleming himself, devised in the event of a Nazi invasion of Spain. The Goldeneye title was also used for a 1989 television biopic of Fleming Goldeneye, a James Bond video game GoldenEye and then another video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, which used this name to take advantage of the popularity of the first game, but had a wholly different story. These all make Goldeneye the most ever used title for movies and video games in the James Bond universe.
The first Bond film to be made after the downfall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, and thus, the first Bond film to actually shoot in the traditional spy genre cold war country of Russia--St. Petersburg specifically. However, Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey doubled up as St. Petersburg airport, while much of the tank chase was actually shot in London and at the new Leavesden studios. This was to reduce expenses and to cut on security concerns--the entire unit would have needed bodyguards.
Vehicles featured included Xenia Onatopp's red Ferrari Spider F355 GTS sports car with fake French rego plates; a surprise tractor; a blue BMW Z3 roadster convertible car; the return of the silver birch Aston Martin DB5 which had originally appeared in Goldfinger and Thunderball; Alec Trevelyan's Train, a dark colored black gray British Rail Class 20 No. D8188 locomotive with additional Russian-looking armored plating; a T-55 tank adapted to look like a T-80BV Russian tank; Eurocopter 355 Twin Star, Robinson R-22 Beta, Bell 204 HUEY, and black Eurocopter PAH-2 Tiger Stealth helicopters; the French stealth ship La Fayette; a speedboat; a Mercedes-Benz 280E; the Manticore Yacht; a GAZ-3102 Volga passenger car; a Mera Cagiva 600 W 16 motorcycle; a Zaporozhec; several VAZ 2106 police cars and UAZ army jeeps pursuing Bond's tank; a Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo-Porter airplane; three Russian Mikoyan MiG-29 jet fighter aircraft; a Perrier merchandise truck; and a blue Moskvich car and Cessna 172 airplane both belonging to Jack Wade.
The satellite dish at the end of the film is the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, which also appeared in the film Contact. It took about ten minutes for crew to walk along the walkway from the periphery to the center of the dish.
The Bond series traditional home at Pinewood Studios was unavailable, having being booked to shoot First Knight ironically starring original James Bond - Sean Connery. So, the producers created a new studio from a former Rolls Royce aircraft engine factory and aerodrome. This studio, at Leavesden in Hertfordshire, was named Leavesden Studios. It was subsequently used for Sleepy Hollow and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. GoldenEye was the first film to shoot at Leavesden Studios and when built, it was nicknamed by the production as "Cubbywood".
Although it is alleged that Pierce Brosnan's contract to play James Bond specifically prohibited him from appearing in other movies wearing a tuxedo, he nevertheless appears in a tuxedo in The Mirror Has Two Faces which followed Brosnan's first James Bond appearance in GoldenEye by more than a year.
The ID number on the badge of Admiral Chuck Farrell (Billy J. Mitchell) of the Canadian National Defence was No. 2488. Mitchell had previously played the Yacht Commander of "The Flying Saucer" in Never Say Never Again. In the original script, Admiral Farrell was to be an American. According to David L. Robb's book "Operation Hollywood" this was changed at the request of the US Pentagon.
Composer John Altman provided the music for the tank chase, after it was decided that Eric Serra's initial arrangement was not to be used, in order to use a more traditional rendition of the James Bond theme. It appears on the soundtrack CD as "A Pleasant Drive in St. Petersburg". As such, the collaboration for this incidental music in the movie is the only instance in the film series that this has occurred.
The film's title song did not chart in the USA but in the UK it went to the No. #7 spot on the UK Charts. The song was written by Bono and The Edge of 'U2' and performed by Tina Turner. All three were neighbors to each other living in the South of France. One day, the U2 members went over to Turner's place whereupon The Edge played the song on Turner's piano. Bono's inspiration for writing the song was his honeymoon stay with his wife at Ian Fleming's Jamaican beach house Goldeneye, which is also the name of the movie's title.
The song "The Experience of Love", which appears during the end credits is actually a sped-up version with lyrics of a select sequence from Eric Serra's score from his previous film, Léon: The Professional
At the time the script was being written the producers were under the assumption that Timothy Dalton would be renewing the role of Bond. It was written to match Dalton's darker, more realistic portrayal of 007.
Whilst on the set of Scarlett, Timothy Dalton officially announced his resignation from the role of James Bond on 11 April 1994. The script for this movie was originally earmarked for Dalton in the role of James Bond.
Pierce Brosnan was officially introduced to the press as the new James Bond on 8 June 1994 at the Regent Hotel in London. He was sporting a full beard as he was about to start production on Robinson Crusoe the next day.
Pierce Brosnan hurt his hand in his bathroom at home in Malibu before shooting began, so in several shots his hands were doubled by his 22 year old son Christopher Brosnan, who was the third assistant trainee on the second unit. These include: pulling on a hand-brake in the Aston Martin DB5, flipping open the glove compartment to reveal a bottle of chilled Bollinger champagne, using the laser in the opening bungee jump and cutting through the floor of the train with the laser in 007's wristwatch.
The literal translations of some of the movie's foreign language titles include Operation GoldenEye (Greece); 007 Against GoldenEye (Brazil); 007 and the GoldenEye (Finland); Gold Eye (Slovenia / Slovak); James Bond 007 - GoldenEye (Germany); The Eye of Fire (French Canadian) and Agent 007 GoldenEye (Italy).
Product placements, brand integrations, promotional tie-ins and sponsorships for this movie include Perrier Mineral Water; British Airways; IBM Computers; Parker Pens; Jack Daniel's Black Label scotch whiskey; Omega Watches, James Bond wears an Omega Seamaster watch; BMW, the first part of their three picture deal featuring the BMW Z3 roadster convertible; Smirnoff Vodka; Yves Saint-Laurent; Sharper Image; British Telecom and Nintendo's spin-off video-game, GoldenEye and later Electronic Arts's GoldenEye: Rogue Agent.
First 007 movie in the series to feature a female - Judi Dench - in the role of M, head of the UK's security agency MI6 (Foreign Intelligence). Dench's character was reportedly inspired by the career of Stella Rimington, former Director-General of the UK's MI5 (Domestic Intelligence) and first woman to head that organization. Lois Maxwell, who played the character Moneypenny in Bond movies from 1962-1985, had made the suggestion of having M as a woman in 1985. Martin Campbell revived that idea for this movie.
The previous 007 movie, Licence to Kill, used a contest advertising campaign to help generate interest for the film. The winner of the contest was promised a cameo role in the next James Bond picture. Unfortunately, due to many production issues, work on GoldenEye did not begin for many years. Nevertheless, the contest winner was given a scene after the long delay. She does not have a speaking part, but you can see her in a lovely gold and black evening dress looking over Bond's shoulder as he plays Baccarat against Xenia Onatopp.
This was the first time a German sports car, in this case the BMW Z3, was used as the primary Bond vehicle. The product placement of the BMW Z3 Roadster has been considered to be one of the most successful in film history according to "The Hollywood Reporter" and the book "Product Placements" by L. Kinney and B Sapolsky. It reportedly cost $3 million but recouped the company $240 million in advance sales, partially due to exposure in the news media. A limited edition "007 Model" of the BMW Z3 was sold out in a day of it going on to the market. This picture represented the first of a three picture deal with BMW to promote their cars.
The World Premiere of GoldenEye was held on 13th November 1995 at New York City's famed Radio City Music Hall. This was the first for any Bond film to be held in New York and the second in the USA for an official series Bond pic after A View to a Kill and third overall for any Bond movie after that movie and Never Say Never Again. The after-premiere party was held at New York's Museum of Modern Art. The British and European Royal Premiere was held on 21st November 1995 at London's Leicester Square Odeon Theatre in the presence of British Royal Prince Charles. The post-premiere party was held at the Imperial War Museum. Pierce Brosnan boycotted the French Premiere in support of Greenpeace and in protest of that country's nuclear testing in the South Pacific. The premiere was then canceled. The French military had supplied the frigate FS La Fayette and a Eurocopter Tiger helicopter for use in the movie.
Nails had to be attached to the tires of the Ferrari F355 for the skid in the car chase with James Bond's Aston Martin. This Ferrari was actually rented and, after colliding with 007's car, had to be repaired overnight at a cost of $80,000.
The first draft of GoldenEye contained four action sequences that all ended up in future Bond films. Bond and Marina, later renamed Natalya, escaping from a Nuclear explosion underground and another scene with them avoiding helicopters with giant buzz saws both ended up in The World Is Not Enough. The American Government and Mi6 to attempting destroy the space based weapon Tempest, renamed GoldenEye, ended up in Die Another Day as the attempt to destroy the Icarus weapon. Last, the free fall sequence ended up in Quantum of Solace.
General Leonid Pushkin, James Bond's ally in The Living Daylights, was in the first draft of Goldeneye and was to play a major part in the film. Just like in The Living Daylights, he was to be used as a pawn in the major villain's scheme.
Wade asks Bond if he knows anything about birds. This is a reference to the source for Bond's name. Ian Fleming took the name from a book titled 'Birds of the West Indies', by the ornithologist James Bond.
First of two appearances by Joe Don Baker as Bond's CIA counterpart Jack Wade, who would also appear in Tomorrow Never Dies. Wade was created as a replacement for Felix Leiter, who had lost his leg (and presumably retired from field work as a result) in the previous Bond movie Licence to Kill.
A three-issue comic book adaptation of this film by Topps Comics was planned to be released, but by unknown reasons this comic book tie-in was cancelled after the first issue had been published, which carried a January 1996 cover date.
The 'Goldeneye' title has been used extensively in the James Bond filmed universe. It was used in the title of: the 1995 James Bond movie GoldenEye; a 1989 television biopic of Ian Fleming, Goldeneye; the James Bond video game GoldenEye and its remake GoldenEye 007 as well as another Bond video game, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, which used this name to take advantage of the popularity of the first game, but had a wholly different story. These all make 'Goldeneye' the most ever used phrase for a title in the filmed James Bond universe.
The small single-engine aircraft flown by James and Natalya (tail number N96816) is a 1984 Cessna 172P with a Lycoming O-320 series, 180 horsepower engine. As of December 2011, it was privately registered to an individual in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Swedish pop music group Ace of Base was originally slated to perform the title theme song. Ace of Base recorded the song, written by the band's own Jonas Berggren, but it was pulled out of the project by their then record label. Ace of Base later re-wrote the lyrics to the song, renaming it "The Juvenile", and put it on their album, "Da Capo", released in Europe in late 2002. The song was even released as a single off of that album in Germany in December 2002. With the lyrics, the words 'The Juvenile" replaced 'The Goldeneye', both having the same number of syllables whilst the lyric "Tomorrow's foe is now a friend" clearly refers to Alex Trevelyan.
006, Alec Trevelyan, was originally named Augustus Trevelyan, and written as a much older character and a former mentor of Bond. The producers were keen to hire Anthony Hopkins for the part, but he turned it down. Alan Rickman also turned down the role, stating that he was tired of playing villains. Finally, Sean Bean was cast after the part was rewritten--but elements of the original idea survive in the finished version, though instead of the character remembering the 1940's, his parents managed to escape execution but committed suicide some time later, when Alec was a small child.
Xenia was far less over the top in the original screenplay. She killed men by using her hands to induce heart attacks instead of using her legs to strangle them. The latter method was mentioned in The Living Daylights, when Q describes a female KGB assassin who strangles men with her hands or thighs. Moneypenny comments: "Why James, she's just your type!" The scene where Xenia kills Admiral Farrell with her thighs during sex marks the first explicit sex scene in a Bond movie.