Will Yun Lee plays a character named Colonel Moon. There is a James Bond novel by Kingsley Amis, written (under the pseudonym Robert Markham) shortly after Ian Fleming's death, titled "Colonel Sun". It was Amis' only Bond novel. The full name of Colonel Moon is Colonel Moon Tan-Sun, making the connection to Amis' novel even more explicit.
The book that 007 picks up from the Cuban sleeper, along with a revolver, is "A Field Guide to Birds of the West Indies", written by James Bond. Ian Fleming, an avid birdwatcher, named Bond after the author.
After the release of this movie, Pierce Brosnan was approached by a man in a Dublin bar who asked to shake his hand. Brosnan complied and then cracked up when the man quipped, "That's the closest my hand will ever get to Halle Berry's arse."
Pierce Brosnan disliked the gadgets and overblown effects of this film. He suggested to the producers, that the franchise go back to its more low key, darker roots. Coincidentally, after Brosnan left, the next Bond film was the low key and darker Casino Royale (2006), which was stripped of gadgets and extravagant visual effects and stunts.
A spin-off was planned, featuring Halle Berry's character Jinx as the lead. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote for two months, and even a director was hired (Stephen Frears). However, after the low box-office performances of other female-character-driven action films like Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) (they weren't failures, but they only managed to make a small profit worldwide), MGM pulled the plug on the project. Halle Berry has said that she would love to return as Jinx in another Bond movie. She has allegedly said that she would like to do it so much, she would do the role for free.
When confronting Bond (Pierce Brosnan), Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) says, "I know all about you, 007. It's sex for dinner and death for breakfast." The line "Death for breakfast" is the title of chapter eleven in the Ian Fleming novel "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Other novel references: the cigarette poster of a sailor seen behind John Cleese, is referenced in "Thunderball", the basic plot is from "Moonraker", and the sheet of protective glass between Bond and M (Dame Judi Dench) references "The Man With The Golden Gun".
This is the first Bond film to feature an Aston Martin as the Bond car since The Living Daylights (1987). Although Pierce Brosnan drove a vintage Aston Martin in GoldenEye (1995), it is not shown to be anything other than a private car, with no special features other than a fax machine.
Halle Berry's bikini scenes were shot in Cadiz, and were not sunny and warm as they appeared on-screen, but quite the opposite. Berry had to be wrapped up in thick towels in-between takes, to avoid catching a chill.
The use of hovercraft by the North Korean Army, to circumvent the minefields of the Demilitarized Zone, is entirely fictional. However, the science show Mythbusters (2003) tested the concept, and found it plausible.
According to the book "The Bond Legacy", it was decided to delay production of this movie in order to have a 2002 release date, to coincide with both the 40th anniversary of the first James Bond film (Dr. No (1962)) and the 50th anniversary of the writing of the first Bond novel (Casino Royale).
The frozen lake in Iceland that is the location for some car chases, does not freeze very often naturally. This is due to its closeness to the sea, and its high salt content. When the filmmakers had troubles getting the Icelandic lake to freeze properly, they considered filming the car chase scenes on ice in New Zealand. To rectify this situation, the river that links the lake to the sea was dammed, and within two days, the entire lake was frozen to a depth of over two meters (six and a half feet). Once they solved that problem, filming could take place in Iceland as planned.
One of the problems the crew encountered when shooting the North Korean segments in England, was that there were only two fully qualified stuntmen of Asian descent in the UK. To get round that, they tapped local martial arts clubs for more talent.
When Q explains how the Vanquish works, he is explaining technology that the U.S. Air Force is actually developing for use in a new "daylight" stealth aircraft. However, the "invisibility" capability is only useful at extreme distance (several miles), and would not in any way be as good as depicted on the car in this film.
After the Virtual Reality training simulation, Q remarks that Bond isn't supposed to shoot his chief. Bond replies that, "If you check the video playback, you'll see that it's a flesh wound", a possible reference to John Cleese's role as the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), where after losing an arm in a sword fight, he remarks that "it's only a flesh wound".
The opening titles sequence, showing Bond's torture by North Korean jailers, is the first sequence which is part of the story for a Bond movie, and not just a separate aesthetically designed title sequence.
It was the last Bond film to use the famous "gun barrel" sequence before a pre-titles sequence as usual. In Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012), the sequence was placed at the end of those films (a radically different version of the sequence was used at the end of the pre-titles scene in Casino Royale (2006)). However, the beginning gun barrel sequence was brought back for Spectre (2015).
One of the few Bond films to openly use alternate source music, in this case, The Clash's "London Calling". The previous film to do this was A View to a Kill (1985), which utilized The Beach Boys' "California Girls".
The second signature James Bond theme, the 007 theme composed by John Barry had not been heard since Moonraker (1979) until this movie. An electronic version of the 007 theme was re-worked by Composer David Arnold, and was heard during the car chase on ice sequence.
Although the production went to Cuba to source locations, they were unable to shoot there, due to U.S. legislations, so Cuba was re-created in a combination of Pinewood Studios outside London, England, and Cadiz, Spain.
The fuchsia crystal dress Jinx wears during the Ice Palace party, was designed by Donatella Versace. Costume Designer Lindy Hemming saw a similar Versace design in a fashion magazine, and requested Donatella to make one to Halle Berry's specifications.
Iceland had a noticeable increase of tourist interest in year following the film's premier, mostly from people seeking to stay in an ice hotel, such as shown in the film. No such structure exists in Iceland, which is not nearly cold enough for such a building in the first place, despite its name.
When Q (John Cleese) walks behind the invisible Aston Martin in the otherwise abandoned underground station, due to the light refraction effect, he appears briefly to do a "silly walk", a reference to a sketch that Cleese did for Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969).
The Aston Martin and the Jaguar were completely stripped of engine and running gear. These were replaced by V8 engines, four-wheel-drive kits, and four-speed automatic transmissions from Ford Explorers. This was to help them perform on ice.
Although it ranked fifth in the box-office on its opening weekend in South Korea, there was protest at the movie's depiction of Americans giving orders to the South Korean Military. The film dropped out of the top ten by its second week, and one theater in Seoul pulled it from the screens in response to the protests. Some smaller theaters that usually get second-run movies refused to pick it up.
The magazine with the picture of Gustav Graves, that Bond reads on the British Airways flight, is the real in-flight magazine for British Airways. Called "High Life", the edition seen was for November 2002. The magazine interviewed Toby Stephens, the actor who plays Graves, about his part, and included an article on all previous Bond movies, and their respective stunts.
The character Wai Lin, played by Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), was originally supposed to make her return, aiding Bond in Hong Kong, but no arrangement could be worked out with her, and she was replaced by Chinese Intelligence Agent (and hotelier) Chang. Wai Lin's presence is confirmed by an extra on the DVD release concerning the writing of the script: Barbara Broccoli is shown leafing through an early script, and it clearly contains lines for Wai Lin.
The movie's title song "Die Another Day", sung by Madonna, debuted in the U.S. charts on October 19, 2002, and peaked at the number eight spot. The song was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and a Golden Raspberry Award (Razzie) for Worst Original Song. Pop legend Sir Elton John called it the "worst Bond tune ever".
Aged thirty-three, Toby Stephens was the youngest main Bond villain to date. Stephens was sixteen years younger than Pierce Brosnan, who was forty-nine at the time. This is not the first time a Bond actor was older than the main villain. In 1985, Sir Roger Moore, at fifty-seven, was also sixteen years older than his main villain Christopher Walken, who was forty-two at the time. In Moore's first outing as Bond in Live and Let Die (1973), the main villain was played by Yaphet Kotto, who was thirty-four, being the first Bond villain actor to be younger than the Bond actor. Brosnan has been older than all of his main villains, except for Jonathan Pryce in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
Pierce Brosnan's knee injury, which he incurred in the opening hovercraft segment, prompted the production to stop shooting for seven days. This was the first time any Bond movie has had to shut down production due to injury.
The name of the hotel that James Bond visits in Hong Kong is The Rubyeon Royale Hotel: "Ruby" for the 40th anniversary of the Bond film series; "Eon" for EON Productions, producers of the franchise; and "Royale" for "Casino Royale", the first Ian Fleming James Bond novel.
The device used to identify Bond in the beginning, is a Sony Ericsson P800 mobile phone, making it the first appearance of a smartphone in a Bond film, and although Bond gadgets usually precede reality by being unrealistically capable for the time when their respective films are released, this pre-iPhone-era device, actually did have the potential to perform the task, had it just been given some custom programming.
Filming had already begun, when Lee Tamahori decided he wanted a car chase through the ice palace set. His Set Designer Peter Lamont had to rebuild the set with steel girders to support the cars racing around it.
The hovercraft chase sequence was filmed near a working airport. Pilots were understandably nervous about seeing gunfire and explosions at an airport, so a schedule had to be worked out whereby filming could take place whenever the airport wasn't too busy.
The movie set a new record for merchandising, with one hundred twenty million dollars worth of deals, with twenty-four various companies for product placement and/or tie-ins. These include: Aston Martin Vanquish, Jaguar XKR convertible, 2003 James Bond Edition Ford Thunderbird, and Ski-Doo snowmobile; Bollinger champagne, Finlandia vodka, Heineken beer, 7-Up, and Ty Nant curvy PET bottles; Revlon cosmetics 007 Color Collection; Brioni suit tailoring; Electronic Arts video game 007: Nightfire (2002); British Airways and Samsonite luggage; Mattel 007 Barbie Collector's Edition set; Omega Seamaster Swatch watches; Phillips Electronics Philishave Sensotec and Norelco Spectra shavers; Kodak cameras; Vodaphone and Sony Ericsson mobile phones; VISA credit cards; Energizer batteries; Phillips heart rate monitor; Sony security systems, television cameras, and laptop PCs; and retail outlets Circuit City and Best Buy.
Halle Berry wasn't the only member of the cast and crew to do well at the Oscars during filming. Sound recordist Chris Munro also won the Oscar for Best Sound for his work on Black Hawk Down (2001). The award was presented to him by Halle Berry.
While many of the stylistic elements of the Pierce Brosnan-era Bond films ended with this, his final film in the franchise, several survived to the Daniel Craig films. The film's two most prominent product-placement agreements, with Ford (and its Premier Automotive Group, which then included Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo) as well as Omega watches, remained in the subsequent two Craig films. It's also the only Brosnan film in which BMW vehicles are not featured; Ford snapped up the product-placement rights primarily to showcase its significant number of new models introduced near the time of the film's release, in particular the "invisible" Aston Martin Vanquish Bond drives. The Vanquish marked the beginning of a new era for Aston Martin after years of languishing; infused with Ford's capital, and designer Ian Callum's widely acclaimed new look, the Vanquish was a critical and sales success. Its appearance in the film earned it the number three spot on the list of Best Film Cars Ever compiled by a British magazine. Also, Ford had acquired the two highest-volume British auto manufacturers, Jaguar and Land Rover, and wanted to feature their vehicles in the film as well. The oldest Ford clearly visible, is the 1957 Fairlane convertible that Bond drives in Cuba. Finally, Jinx is briefly seen driving the one American car Ford wanted featured, its retro-styled (and ultimately short-lived) Thunderbird.
Toby Stephens played James Bond in three BBC Radio adaptations of Ian Fleming Bond novels: Dr. No (2008, opposite David Suchet as Dr. No), Goldfinger (2010, opposite Sir Ian McKellen as Goldfinger and Rosamund Pike as Pussy Galore) and From Russia with Love (2012).
The London underground tube station platform, where Bond meets with M, is not a real one. It's simply too difficult to transport all the necessary equipment down there, so Production Designer Peter Lamont built one on a soundstage.
Miranda Frost refers to Bond at one point as "a blunt instrument." Ian Fleming, on more than one occasion, had described his idea of James Bond as a "blunt instrument wielded by a government department."
The literal translations of some of this film's foreign language titles include: "Death Can Wait" (Finland and Italy); "A New Day To Die" (Brazil), "You Die in Another Day" (Portugal); "Another Day To Die" (Argentina, Peru, and Venezuela); "Death Comes Tomorrow" (Poland); "Don't Die Today" (Czech Republic); "Die Another Time" (Hungary); and "Die, But Not Today" (Russia).
Lee Tamahori cut a scene where Verity (Madonna) and Miranda (Rosamund Pike) were closer than it is shown in the movie: "I shot some moments with Madonna giving Rosamund little touches, but I didn't want to turn the film into a male fantasy thing. Madonna still has all these little looks with Rosamund, which was enough."
First time that James Bond sports a beard in a James Bond movie. Pierce Brosnan is shown having more than just a few day's growth after being held captive for a considerable amount of time. The closest shave prior to this was the James Bond send-up Operation Kid Brother (1967), where Sir Sean Connery's brother Neil Connery had a beard spoofing his brother's James Bond image.
Along with Skyfall (2012), this is the only Bond film to feature four Oscar-winning or Oscar-nominated actor and actresses: with winners Dame Judi Dench and Halle Berry, and nominated John Cleese and Rosamund Pike, though only the first three received their nominations prior to this film's debut.
The futuristic weapon that Colonel Moon uses during parts of the chase after the opening sequence, did really exist when the movie was made, at least in prototype form. It's a Heckler & Koch O.I.C.W. (Objective Individual Combat Weapon), a weapon developed as the future's infantry assault rifle as part of the U.S. Army's "Soldier 2000" program. It consists of a grenade launcher mounted on top of a "regular" 5.56mm (.223) caliber assault rifle, as well as a digital camera within the optic sights. This digital camera is supposed to be linked to a display within the soldier's helmet, enabling him to look and shoot around corners, as well as transmitting live footage of a combat situation to his troop commander or a higher superior.
The date for the film's theatrical opening in the U.S., coincided with the 39th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A 1960 Playboy Magazine interview with Kennedy, in which he said he read the James Bond novels, is credited for boosting Bond's popularity, leading to the making of the movie franchise.
Vehicles featured include: a silver Aston Martin V12 Vanquish; a Russian Antonov An-124 airplane; Jinx's drives a red 2003 coral Ford Thunderbird in Iceland; 007's drives Raoul's brown and white Ford Fairlane in Cuba; Zao's green Jaguar XKR for car chases in Iceland; two Switchblade Gliders, a.k.a. P.H.A.S.S.T. (Programmable High Altitude Single Soldier Transport); a Sunseeker 48-50 speedboat; an Ilyushin Il-76 airplane; Gustav Grave's Ice Dragster; a black Notar MD-600N helicopter for an escape from the Antonov; Osprey Hovercraft; and black and yellow Bombardier Ski-Doo MX ZREV snowmobiles.
Trailers for this movie were played at screenings of Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), due to an out-of-court settlement among MGM, Danjaq, and New Line Cinema. All promotional materials (including online trailers) bearing the movie's original title were withdrawn in late January 2002. MGM and Danjaq, which control the James Bond license, obtained a cease-and-desist order from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) arbitration panel on the grounds that New Line Cinema was attempting to trade on the James Bond franchise (specifically Goldfinger (1964)) without authorization. The matter went to arbitration, and the film was known briefly as "The third installment of Austin Powers" until the matter was settled on April 11, 2002. MGM agreed that New Line Cinema could use the original "Goldmember" title, on condition that it had approval of any future titles that parodied existing Bond titles.
Sequences featuring a North Korean beach, were partly filmed at Holywell Bay near Newquay, Cornwall, England, over several evenings in February and March 2002. The local Holywell surf hut was transformed into a North Korean pill box, and a small forest of pine trees were planted in the dunes behind, to mimic a remote shore.
In Goldfinger (1964), the original "Q" (Desmond Llewelyn) tells James Bond (Sir Sean Connery) that he never jokes about his work while introducing the ejection seat feature of the "first" Aston Martin. His successor (John Cleese) also reminds James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) that "like his predecessor" never jokes about his work while introducing the invisibility feature of the "newest" Aston Martin.
The ice chase sequence, which lasts just over two minutes on-screen, took four weeks to film, with the cars doing no more than twenty miles per hour, being filmed with under cranked cameras, so that when the film was projected at normal speed, the cars would seem to be going at high speed. Close-ups and control filming was done on sets created in an airship hanger in England.
According to the book "The Bond Files", a UK actors' strike potentially threatened filming during December 2001. However, EON Productions allegedly struck a deal with the UK Actors' Equity Union, which meant that production could proceed regardless of the outcome of the dispute, had it not been resolved.
Gustav Graves' diamond mine and giant greenhouse was partly filmed at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, and a re-creation at Pinewood Studios, which housed five thousand plants. They had to be watered twice a day.
Location Manager Simon Marsden had to negotiate long and hard with the appropriate authorities to secure permission to film Gustav Graves' parachute jump over Buckingham Palace. His negotiations were further complicated by the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The action was shot at first light, before the regular crowds of tourists would have made it impossible.
The V12 engine, in the Aston Martin Vanquish, was switched with a small block Ford V8 to make room for machine guns, et cetera. The six-speed sequential transmission was also changed to a threr-speed automatic transmission.
The final James Bond film of the franchise featuring the recurring actors and actresses playing their characters. Apart from Dame Judi Dench, who continued to play M in the next three films of the franchise, along with Daniel Craig's James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), and Skyfall (2012). Even though Dench managed to play her character for a decade more than the other recurring actors and actresses playing their characters, since they've all played their first part together in GoldenEye (1995).
The Ice Palace in the film was inspired by the real-life Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Kiruna, Sweden. Producer Barbara Broccoli first saw a photo of it in a magazine while travelling on a plane, and thought it would make a good set piece for a Bond movie. The location is two hundred kilometers (one hundred twenty-four miles) north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Ice hotels, or similar structures like an Ice Palace, Ice Museum, Snow Castle, or Ice Castle have existed in Norway, Finland, Canada, Romania, and Russia, but such a building has never existed in Iceland, where some of the ice palace footage was shot.
Only five cars in this movie do not belong to either Ford, or Ford's Premier Automotive Group (Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo). There are two Ferrari F355s, a Porsche 911, a Mercedes-Benz SL, and a Lamborghini Diablo. All of these cars (except possibly the Mercedes-Benz) get damaged, destroyed, or dropped out of the back of a plane. It is also worth noting that none of the other manufacturers' cars are examples of the latest models, whereas Ford is using all of its latest, or prototype models.
Shortly before the film opened in the territory, a 20th Century Fox Korea spokesmen anticipated the ill feeling towards the film, and said: "There are some misunderstandings about the movie. The enemy described in the movie are extreme nationalists, not North Koreans." But Lee Tamahori poured fuel on the fire by saying: "To hell with North Korea. It's a basket-case country, and the sooner its leaders all roll over and die, the better." This caused the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland to issue a statement calling for an end to the screenings, and saying the film was a "dirty and cursed burlesque aimed to slander North Korea and insult the Korean nation." Korean-American actor Rick Yune tried to quell the controversy by saying: "The enemy in the movie is not North Korean, but the individual he plays." He also went on to say that "the movie has nothing to do with Bush's characterization of North Korea in January 2001, as part of an 'axis of evil', because the story was written four years ago." Meanwhile, south of the border, a national boycott was attempted, on the grounds that the film depicted South Korea as a U.S. colony, and activists claimed boycotting the film was necessary in order to protect national pride.
As always with the James Bond franchise, several rumors anticipated the making of this movie. Some said that former President Bill Clinton would play the part of a politician, and that the whole movie would be shot in Ireland, as a kind of tribute to Pierce Brosnan's homeland. In these rumors, the plot would be about the kidnapping of the British Prime Minister in Dublin, and the villain would be an American, played by Kevin Spacey. Of course, none of this gossip was proven true. Published reports in 2001 indicated that Whitney Houston was being considered for the role of Jinx. At the pre-production stage, Saffron Burrows and Salma Hayek were considered for roles. It was also rumored that Billy Connolly was asked to play the part of a villain in the teaser sequence, but turned it down. According to television news reports on November 11, 2002, Sir Sean Connery filmed a cameo as James Bond's father. However, this has been denied by Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, who later said on record it would be pointless to spend the money and effort to get Connery, and then not use his scene. Some other rumors said that the movie would be called "Beyond the Ice" or "Final Assignment". Despite that, one rumor that linked Director Brett Ratner to the production was true, but the producers preferred a non-American director.
Pierce Brosnan used a Walther P99 with a fake suppressor and custom-made leather holster. Ten of these models were supplied by Bapty UK, all in the same serial number range. Serial #B8041837, B8041841, B8041852, B8041854, B8041861, and B8041868.
Zao is not a Korean name. However, it is a Chinese name, and North Korea and China have been friends for many years. So, it's possible that someone emigrated from China to North Korea, married, had a son, and named him "Zao".
The Jaguar driven by Zao is not a production car, but only a prototype, supposedly showcasing the next generation XKR. The design was changed, however, so the car in the film will never see production.
The locations depicted in the film (North Korea, Cuba, and the Hong Kong SAR Region of China) are the remaining vestiges of Communism. The Hong Kong setting featured a Chinese Agent from the People's External Security Force (which was first seen in Tomorrow Never Dies 1997)) although the Hong Kong SAR has a separate legal system as opposed to mainland China. The setting of Bond films in Communist countries was featured in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) (Red China), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), and For Your Eyes Only (1981) (Moscow, Albania), Octopussy (1983) (East Germany and East Berlin), A View to a Kill (1985) (Siberia), The Living Daylights (1987)(Czechoslovakia and Soviet-occupied Afghanistan), GoldenEye (1995) (Arkangelisk, Soviet Union during the pre-title teaser), and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) (Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam).
Live and Let Die (1973) was the first James Bond movie to feature the word "die" (or a variation of it) in the picture's title. Later films in the official film franchise would be called Die Another Day (2002) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). The theme song for Quantum of Solace (2008), by Alicia Keys and Jack White was called "Another Way To Die", and Licence to Kill (1989) referenced death, as did the title of Ian Fleming's short story "From a View to a Kill" (1960). Several post-Fleming James Bond novels have had titles that have referenced fatality. These include "Win, Lose or Die" (1989), "High Time to Kill" (1999), "The Facts of Death" (1998), "Trigger Mortis" (2015), "Nobody Lives for Ever" (1986), and "Never Dream of Dying" (2001). Moreover, "Double or Die" (2007) and "A Hard Man to Kill" (2009) are the names of a Young James Bond novel and short story, respectively.
Paul Darrow, known for playing Kerr Avon in Blake's 7 (1978), plays Bond's doctor. He is the grey-haired man in the white coat, seen in the scene in which Bond is traded, and when Bond is drugged and taken away on a stretcher.
The novelization of this movie was written by Raymond Benson, based on the screenplay by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Like the movie, the novel also featured many references to past Bond movies and novels. A few months after its publication, it was announced that Benson was retiring as the official James Bond novelist, and Ian Fleming Publications (owners of the Bond literary franchise) announced that the series was going on hiatus. A new series of Bond novels by Charlie Higson was launched in 2005, although these books focus on Bond's adventures as a teenager. As a result, the novel for this movie is, for the time being, the final literary adventure featuring Bond as originally conceived by Ian Fleming, although the publisher released another "adult Bond" novel to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Fleming's birth in 2008, "Devil May Care". One of the speed chases in the movie over the ice glacier, has inspired the chase in the same type of destination in The Fate of the Furious (2017), The Fast and the Furious franchise has been inspired by Bond, since they derived the tankers of gas from Licence to Kill (1989), and blowing up the house with a package from Shaw, from Skyfall Lodge blowing up.
The Royal Charity World Premiere of this movie was held on November 18, 2002, at London's Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London, England, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The venue was transformed into an ice palace for the night. The Gala Charity Premiere Benefit was also the The Royal Annual Film Performance of 2002, the 56th, and the first for a Bond movie. It was also the second to be resided over by Queen Elizabeth II, who had attended the premiere thirty-five years earlier for You Only Live Twice (1967). The Gala Charity Premiere Benefit was held in aid of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (C.T.B.F.), of which the Queen is patron. A parallel premiere was also held on the same night at London's Leicester Square's Empire UCI Theatre.
Due to Philips products being known as Norelco in the U.S., the Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care (DAP) unit of Philips, provide Bond shaving with a Philishave Sensotec shaver in non-U.S. prints and a Norelco Spectra shaver for the U.S.
The main poster was the first in the history of the Bond franchise to feature a Bond Girl, Jinx, photographed as prominently as Bond himself. This was presumably because Halle Berry won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role the same year this movie premièred in theaters, and thus had an exceptionally high profile at the time. (Nonetheless, only Pierce Brosnan received above-the-title billing on the poster or in the film. As contractually mandated by EON Productions for all Bond films starting with GoldenEye (1995), the actor portraying Bond is listed on the first actor "card" in the credits, immediately followed by a second card reading "as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in", followed by a third card listing the film name.)
The Switchblade was based on a workable model called "P.H.A.S.S.T." (Programmable High Altitude Single Soldier Transport). Kinetic Aerospace, Inc.'s Lead Designer, Jack McCornack, was impressed by Lee Tamahori's way of conducting the Switchblade scene, and commented, "It's brief, but realistic. The good guys get in unobserved, thanks to a fast cruise, good glide performance, and minimal radar signature. It's a wonderful promotion for the P.H.A.S.S.T."
Graves' plane was a twenty-foot wide model, that was controlled by a computer. When the plane flew through the Icarus beam, engineers cut the plane away piece by piece, so that it looked like it was burning and falling apart.
Originally planned to be shot on the beach in Cádiz, the final love scene was filmed in a specially created "Buddhist" temple on the West coast of Wales. The appearance of religious artifacts in the love scene would later cause a publicity storm.
The casting of Halle Berry as the lead Bond Girl drew headlines around the world, but necessitated further late changes to the structure of the story. This is most apparent during the Ice Palace scenes where Bond yo-yo's in and out of the villain's lair, breaking Albert R. Broccoli's rule of "never going back to the same place twice."
According to a report printed in the Daily Mirror newspaper on January 6, 2001, Edward Woodward was being "lined up" to take over the role of M in this movie (which, at the time the article was printed, had the working title "Beyond the Ice"). According to the Mirror article, a subplot was planned for the film, which would have seen Dame Judi Dench's M retiring.
The painting that gets slashed during the swordfight between Bond and Graves is a reproduction of Thomas Gainsborough's famous "Blue Boy" from 1770. The original "Blue Boy" hangs in the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California. The reproduction was hand-painted by Lyons Corner House Fine Art Reproductions in London, England.
The route diagram on the station wall in the unused tube station, where Q introduces Bond to the new Aston Martin, indicates that the station is on the Piccadilly line, and that the next station is Hyde Park Corner, followed by Knightsbridge, et cetera. Reference to the current tube map, suggests that this station is Green Park (the station before Hyde Park Corner). However, there is a real unused station on the Piccadilly Line between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner. It was called Down Street, and was closed in the 1930s. It was used during the war as temporary Cabinet War Rooms, and later by the Railway Executive as offices. Even today, much of the internal infrastructure is complete, but it could not be used in the way shown in the film, because although the station is closed, the tracks through it are still in normal daily use by Piccadilly line trains.
When Lee Tamahori was brought on-board, he demanded several changes to the script, most notably adding the CGI kitesurfing stunt sequence. Some of his more risqué suggestions, such as having a dozen PVC cat-suit clad girls chasing Bond back to his car at the Ice Palace, would be dropped from the final cut.
In his flight back to England from Cuba, Bond is reading in-flight magazine High Life. There is a caption that says "Diamonds Are Forever, but life isn't". Diamonds Are Forever (1971) was the seventh film in the James Bond film franchise by EON Productions, and the sixth and final EON film to star Sir Sean Connery as MI6 Agent James Bond.
While the film negative went through the traditional photochemical printing process, the entire first reel, including the opening pre-title sequence, was digitally graded instead. The digital lab (Framestore CFC) also worked on the Hovercraft battle sequence, creating a gritty look with enhanced explosions through to Bond's eventual release from captivity, as well as a key sequence that would normally have required sky replacements.
Following her Best Actress win at the 2002 Oscars, Halle Berry became the first Academy Award winner to be an official franchise Bond Girl, she won the award while shooting this movie Kim Basinger (Never Say Never Again (1983)) won her Oscar for L.A. Confidential (1997) long after she had been a Bond Girl in a non-official Bond film.
Sequences where James Bond travels in First Class aboard a passenger plane, and where he holds onto the front wheel of the plane as the landing gear deploys, and finally walks from the aircraft after it has landed, were filmed in March 2001 in British Airways engineering bases at Heathrow Airport, using greenscreens and a fan. They were cut from the final film.
Only Pierce Brosnan Bond film to not feature the classic Aston Martin DB5. Although he does not drive it in The World Is Not Enough (1999) (except in a deleted scene), it is visible via an infrared imaging camera at the end of that film.
Alleged working titles included "Cold Fusion", "Black Sun", and "Beyond the Ice". The ice theme forms a major part of this movie's marketing, yet no such icy wording formed the movie's eventual title. Several James Bond stories evoke snow, cold, or ice. These include the 1984 James Bond comic "Polestar", and the John Gardner James Bond novels "Icebreaker" (1983) and "Cold" (1996), and episodes of James Bond, Jr. (1991) are called James Bond Jr.: Avalanche Run (1991) and James Bond Jr.: The Thing in the Ice (1991).
At the North Korean airbase, Bond and Jinx attempt to assassinate Colonel Moon using a sniper rifle. Yet, they are very visibly not carrying this weapon when they parachute into enemy territory. However, this is a goof, and not a point of trivia.
Madonna: As Verity, the fencing instructor, making this the first Bond film to feature a cameo by the performer who sings the theme song. Her uncredited cameo was the final scene shot during principal photography. When James Bond introduces himself to Gustav before they fight, Madonna was originally to introduce him with the catchphrase, "Bond. James Bond." However, it was later decided that fans would prefer the line coming from Pierce Brosnan.
Michael G. Wilson: As General Chandler, this is Wilson's first credited cameo performance in a Bond film. He can also be seen in an uncredited cameo as a man leaning against a car in Cuba. Wilson has made an uncredited cameo in every EON Productions Bond movie since The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), as well as an early one in Goldfinger (1964). His first screen credit for acting though, was not for this movie, but for All the Way Home (1971).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
First love scene between James Bond and Miss Moneypenny in a James Bond movie, albeit in a virtual reality sequence. The lovemaking scene with Bond and Jinx is considered to be the first time in the franchise to show 007 having sex, as opposed to a post-coital scenario. This scene had to be trimmed for the American market. Previously in the franchise, a sex scene in GoldenEye (1995) did not have Bond in it. A Bond sex scene appeared in Never Say Never Again (1983) which is not part of the official EON Productions franchise.
In honor of the franchise's 40th anniversary, there are references to each of the previous nineteen official EON Productions Bond films, including: Dr. No (1962), Jinx (Halle Berry) walking out of the sea in a bikini, wearing a white belt and a diving knife. The synthesizer sounds from the opening credits play when Bond escapes the MI6 hospital. The gun that Jinx has to surrender to Miranda on-board the plane is a Beretta Cheetah. In Dr. No (1962), the Armorer remarks to 007 that the Beretta made a good woman's pistol. During the "Kiss Of Life" scene, David Arnold's film score includes samples of the same electronic sounds heard in the gun barrel sequence of Dr. No (1962). In that film, Bond asks if the government house sent him a car. He uses the name "Universal Exports" in order to be patched through. In this movie, Bond claims he is from Universal Exports, asking about the Delectados (cigars), in order to gain access to the contact in Cuba. From Russia with Love (1963), the shoe with the poison-tipped blade is seen in Q's station laboratory. There is a knife concealed in a briefcase. In the ice palace sequence, there is a game board (the chess match). Enemy spies are behind a one-way mirror in a hotel room with cameras. Graves' engineer is seen holding the Icarus control, and petting it like a cat. When they first meet, Jinx tells James her name, and adds, "My friends call me Jinx." Bond replies, "Mine call me James Bond." In From Russia with Love (1963), Tatiana Romanova introduces herself, and adds, "My friends call me Tania," and Bond gives the same reply. Goldfinger (1964), Jinx is nearly cut with a laser in Mr. Kil's laboratory. The rest of the fight scene is also a tribute. Bond once again drives a gadget-laden Aston Martin, specifically with a passenger ejector seat. The new Q comments that, as he learned from his predecessor, "I never joke about my work, 007." The scene where Bond and Graves fence for money, only to see Bond up the stakes for one of Graves' diamonds, is suggestive of the golf match between Bond and Auric Goldfinger. The golf match had originally been for money, until Bond throws down a gold brick to "up the stakes". Bond is threatened with death in a depressurizing plane. Bond and Jinx receive electric shocks from a villain, Oddjob was killed by electrocution. In the pre-title sequence, Bond removes a wetsuit to reveal ordinary clothes underneath. Thunderball (1965), the jet pack in Q's workshop. Bond uses a pen-like underwater breathing system. After Bond comes through the window of the medical facility in Cuba, he grabs a few grapes, as he did before making his exit from a room in the medical center in Thunderball (1965). You Only Live Twice (1967), scenes of the Icarus unfolding in space, are shown on screens in the Ice Palace. Jinx descends from the ceiling of the fake diamond mine on a rope system similar to that of the ninjas in the volcano crater lair. The name of the ship Bond is on: the H.M.S. Tenby. The use of Japanese swords in the films. Bond's death is faked (or exaggerated) in both films to free up 007's maneuverability. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), "OHMSS" written on a CD on Moneypenny's desk as she types a report at the end of the film. Bond escapes from another huge avalanche. During the ice field car chase, the score references the opening to this movie's theme. Just as Zao escapes from the Cuban clinic, a few notes of the theme music from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) can be heard. Diamonds Are Forever (1971), while fencing with Bond, Graves says, "Well, diamonds are for everyone." Much of the plot involves diamonds and smuggling them. A large satellite is uncovered in space and has the power to harness the sun's rays and project them as a fine laser to destroy any given target. In the "High Life" magazine article for Gustav Graves' diamond company, the caption at the bottom says, "Diamonds are forever, but life isn't." A villain changes his appearance. One character calls another "Bitch!" in a single line. This was, famously, the first strong curse word used in a Bond film. Live and Let Die (1973), the laser causes row upon row of explosions across a vegetated area, in this case, detonating thousands of land mines, and is reminiscent of the destruction of Kananga's poppy fields. Bond uses a revolver like he used on the island of St. Monique (in lieu of his traditional Walther-made pistol). The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), the corridors in the secret area of the Gene Technology Department, in the Cuban hospital, contain rotating mirrors and objects, much like Scaramanga's fun house. The field office of MI6 is on a ship in Hong Kong Harbor. Bond retrieves a diamond from Jinx's navel (bullet in the belly dancer's navel). There is a solar-powered superweapon. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Graves uses a Union Jack parachute. The Ice Palace resembles, in some ways, Stromberg's Atlantis hideout. When Madonna's character is introduced, a few bars of "Nobody Does it Better" is heard. Moonraker (1979), Colonel Moon's hovercraft falls down by a large waterfall in a manner similar to Jaws' boat going over the Iguaçu Falls. Bond surfaces in a bubbling pool of water surrounded by much interior vegetation, similar to the scene with the giant python in Drax's headquarters. Both movies have characters named Chang. Bond's sword fight with Graves is much like the fight with Chang in the glass factory. Bond and a villain fight over a parachute. For Your Eyes Only (1981), the scene as Bond hangs onto the ice cliff (before it collapses) resembles the climax near the monastery, especially as the rope slips and Bond drops some distance further down the cliff, although this time, it was all performed from a vehicle. The yellow diving helmet in Q's lab. Octopussy (1983), the crocodile submarine and the AcroStar MiniJet are visible in the background in Q's station laboratory. Upping the stakes on a bet with the villain. Jinx's backward fall to escape, echoes Magda's exit from Bond's suite. Q's coil of "magic rope" being kept on the lowest shelf in the Q lab, along with the five-pointed knife. A View to a Kill (1985), Bond is suspended over a cliff on the wire and hook, much like the Russian guard in the Siberian chase. The hatch from the back of the car is used much like the ski from the snowmobile. Graves watches over the destruction that he wreaks, from the front windows of his aircraft in the same way that Zorin watched Silicon Valley from his aircraft before it flooded. The electronic snooper is in Q's lab. Bond's cover is blown by his picture being taken and run through a facial recognition program. The Living Daylights (1987), cars exit the rear cargo hold of the plane. Bond's Aston Martin had retractable spikes in the tires controlled by a switch labelled "traction". When Bond is driving Graves' rocket car, he drives through a patch of trees, and the outriggers are sheared off, just as the outriggers on the Aston Martin are sheared off by trees in The Living Daylights (1987). Licence to Kill (1989), the plot idea of Bond going renegade, although this time it is less through choice. M rescinds Bond's licence to kill. Bond uses a rifle as a sniper. When Bond disarms the Chinese "masseuse", she has her weapon concealed in exactly the same fashion as Pam Bouvier. A projectile misses Bond's car when it passes underneath. The hanging yellow laser controller in Kil's lab is the same as the one that operates the trap door over the shark tank in Krest's warehouse. Bond puts the Alvarez Clinic ticket inside his right jacket pocket, and later pulls it out of the left one. In Licence to Kill (1989), Bond puts his airplane ticket first into his inner left jacket pocket, only to inexplicably remove it later on from his inner right jacket pocket. GoldenEye (1995), Bond's watch contains a laser, which he uses to cut through a section of ice, reminiscent of his escape from the train by cutting through the floor. Jinx sets the timer for the bomb at the gene therapy lab in Cuba, to three minutes, the same three minutes that Bond set the timers for in the chemical weapons lab and later Trevelyan set the timers for on the bullet train. Bond is betrayed by a fellow Agent. A man is killed by a falling ice chandelier, reminiscent of Trevelyan's death in GoldenEye (1995). Bond says to Jinx that "the cold must have kept you alive". In GoldenEye (1995), Bond tells Natalya Simonova that being cold is what keeps him alive. The opening title sequences feature a gold eye that opens. Jinx makes a dive from the DNA compound wall into the sea, which is very similar to Bond's dive from the dam in GoldenEye (1995). The U.S. command bunker in South Korea has computer monitors suspended from the ceiling, looking very similar to the monitors suspended from the ceiling in the Severnaya control room in GoldenEye (1995). Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Jinx throws a knife straight into a guard's throat just as he comes through a door. This is similar to a scene on the stealth ship, where Wai Lin sticks a shuriken throwing star into a guard's throat, just as he finds her (this scene is deleted from the 12-rated Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) UK releases on VHS and DVD). Remote control car. Jinx descends on grappling lines, reminiscent of Wai Lin's entrance and escape. Bond escapes by being tethered and running down a wall similar to Wai Lin's escape. There is a fake headline on Miss Moneypenny's computer. In the pre-credits sequence in North Korea, Bond jumps onto a hovercraft and spins round firing missiles, much like the pre-credits sequence of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), where Bond spins a military jet and uses its guns and missiles. A Chinese character is called Chang. The footage showing a ship launching the anti-satellite missile, is exactly the same footage used in the opening scene of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), where the ship launches a cruise missile against the terrorist camp. Bond's car "speaks" with the same voice in both films. The World Is Not Enough (1999), Bond dives over Graves as they fence to do a forward roll as he lands, in a manner similar to the shoot-out between Renard's men and him, where he dives through a closing door and rolls to the other side. As Bond dives to safety from Colonel Moon's flamethrower on the hovercraft, the shot of his dive from in front, is almost identical to another scene where Bond is diving from an exploding bomb with Christmas. The use of a geodesic dome. The World Is Not Enough (2000), Bond's training program is essentially the same as the second level of the game. Some of the incidental music (minus, of course, the James Bond Theme, which is used in every film) is re-used in this film, notably at the end, as Bond beds Jinx. The cars Zao owns are all updated model of former Bond cars. Q mentions in his station laboratory as he hands Bond his new watch: "This is your twentieth, I believe," is a nod to this being the twentieth film occurring on the fortieth anniversary.
First villain in a James Bond movie to be played by two actors. Toby Stephens and Will Yun Lee played Gustav Graves and Colonel Moon, respectively. They are supposed to be the same person with two manifestations, due to the genetic operation.
The title is derived from a phrase from the poem "A Shropshire Lad" by A.E. Housman: "But since the man that runs away / lives to die another day". In this movie, James Bond says to Gustav Graves, "So you live to die another day", because at the start of the movie, it was believed that the villain, under his alternate persona, had been killed.
The region one DVD release commentary reveals that the movie was inspired by the original Ian Fleming novel "Moonraker", as the previous adaptation of Moonraker (1979) left out many elements from the book. The only element of the novel to survive to the end, after a fashion, was the duel between Bond and Graves in a club called Blades. In the original novel, Bond and villain Drax have a different sort of duel in Blades, a game of cards. This is the first Bond film since Licence to Kill (1989) to take inspiration from a Fleming novel. The character of Miranda Frost was originally named Gala Brand. This was the name of the Bond girl in Fleming's novel "Moonraker". Other than the duel between Drax and Bond surviving into this movie from Moonraker are: the theme of the villain having plastic surgery to conceal his real identity (in the novel, a grenade exploded in Drax's face), and the villain posing as a patriot by creating a space device claiming to help the government, when it is actually a weapon.
Originally, the main Bond girl was to be Gala Brand from the novel "Moonraker", and Jinx was going to be the traitor. This was turned on its head once Halle Berry got involved, though, with Jinx becoming the main Bond girl, and Brand becoming the traitor.
This is not the last film of the original timeline, despite reports to the contrary, because in the following film, Casino Royale (2006), even though the Producers used the first Ian Fleming story, Dame Judi Dench reprised her role as "M" as a continuation of this film, and continued to play the part for two more movies.
The uniforms which James Bond and Jinx wear in the climax action sequence have small tags in Korean which says, "Changcheon 1(il) dong dae". It means these are uniforms of Republic of Korea Reserve Forces of Changcheon-dong in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, part of South Korean Armed Forces.