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CASINO ROYALE
July 23, 2013  | By David Bianculli

AMC, 8:00 p.m. ET

 

With this 2006 movie, the James Bond franchise was rebooted yet again, introducing Daniel Craig as the actor who still plays Bond today. This film recycles the title of the one Ian Fleming novel whose rights were sold elsewhere prior to the establishment of the “official” cinematic Bond franchise, starting with the inimitable Sean Connery. That’s why, on the CBS anthology drama series Climax! in 1954, Barry Nelson got to play American spy “Jimmy Bond” in a TV adaptation of Casino Royale. It’s also why the same title was sold for a star-studded (and delightful) Bond spoof movie in 1967, in which David Niven played a retired James Bond pressed back into service. If you discount the satirical Casino Royale, but count the tacky TV version, that means Craig is following in the footsteps of Nelson, Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. Which, if my count is correct, makes him actor number 007 to play 007.

 
 
 
 
 
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