Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Welcome to our Trivia Facts About The World of GoldenEye section. Troughout the years we'll be posting some unknown trivia facts about the many stories the original plot of GOLDENEYE brought to the screen and videogames. We'll start with the 1995 film released by United Artists and starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.


  • The name "Golden Eye" has a long story that harkens back to fifty years before the film's release. In 1941, British Naval Commander Ian Fleming organized an operation to prevent Adolph Hitler's invasion attempt to the Rock of Gibraltar. The codename of this operation was "Golden Eye" after Carson McCullers novel REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE (made into a film by John Houston). When the Führer lost interest in Gibraltar, the operation was aborted. Three years later, Ian Fleming named his Jamaican estate "Goldeneye" after the book and the cancelled operation. This is where Fleming first penned his first James Bond novel, CASINO ROYALE. In 1989, twenty five years after Fleming's passing, Don Boyd directed a TV biopic where renowed British actor Charles Dance played James Bond's creator. The film's name was GOLDENEYE - THE SECRET LIFE OF IAN FLEMING. The story continued when the name of Fleming's estate was yet again chosen for Pierce Brosnan's onscreen debut as James Bond in 1995, because in 1997 Rareware released the GOLDENEYE 007 videogame for Nintendo 64 based, of course, in the film released two years ago. Since the game was a sizable hit and a legend in the world of videogaming, in 2004 Electronic Arts, then in charge of the James Bond videogame rights, decided to broke all the rules and announced a spin-off videogame where the player wouldn't play James Bond, but a rookie agent dismissed from the British Secret Service in league with Auric Goldfinger. Taking full advantage of the success of the 1997 game, the title chosen for the project was GOLDENEYE: ROUGE AGENT, released for platforms like Playstation 2 and Nintendo Gamecube. Despite the name, the product success was not even close to the Nintendo 64 game. The last time the title was used was in 2010, when Activision released the Nintendo wii remake of GOLDENEYE 007, who followed the same story of the film and the original game, re-adapted for the 21st century by its original writer Bruce Feirstein, this time with Daniel Craig providing his voice and likeness for the role of James Bond.

  • Michael France's first draft for the film was written in 1993, before Pierce Brosnan's choice as James Bond. France, a long time Bond fan, included many interesting scenes excluded in the final shooting script: Bond breaking into the KGB headquarters in Moscow, a SPECTRE-like meeting between Alec Trevelyan (who was a lot older and aristhocratic than Sean Bean's portrayal) and his associates, and a chase including chain-saw attached helicopters (which was finally used in 1999's THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH). This script also meant the return of General Pushkin from 1987's THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS and the inclusion of a strong henchman named Savatier, as well as Alexei Mavienko, a nuclear expert that later would became computer hacker Boris Grishenko. Romaly, Bond's contact in Russia, was finally replaced by bulry CIA agent Jack Wade.  Also, the script included Bond’s secretary Loelia Ponsonby and MI6’s neurologist Sir James Moloney, characters from the Ian Fleming novels.

    Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
  • In early drafts of the script, Natalya Simonova was called Marina Varoskaya. Probably, the name of the character was changed to homage location manager Natalya Smirnova.

  • Pierce Brosnan was originally cast as James Bond for THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, in 1987, but due to contract obligations with MTM for the TV series REMINGTON STEELE, he lost the chance and Welsh Shakespearian actor Timothy Dalton finally portrayed James Bond in that film. However, after Dalton left the series in 1994, the producers considered Brosnan again and finally on June 1st, 1994, at exactly 12.05pm, Brosnan's agent Fred Spector called him to his house in Malibu to bring him the good news: "Hello, Mr. Bond - you've got the part!", he said when Brosnan awnsered the call. The Irish actor would play Bond until 2002's DIE ANOTHER DAY.

    Martin Campbell directing Pierce Brosnan and Joe Don Baker
  • It was director Martin Campbell's idea to make M, the head of the British Intelligence, a woman, a time after Ms. Stella Rimington was named head of the real MI6. Noted character actress Dame Judi Dench made her first appaerance as M, a role she would portray in all subsequent Bond films up to date - and she signed for the next James Bond adventure in 2012!

  • Early drafts of the screenplay includes some scenes and lines that where unused in the final print for various reasons. In the pre credits sequence, Bond was supposed to shoot in cold blood to two guards who where playing a chess match right before jumping into the dam. This scene was re-shoot with the guards watching TV and Bond dogding them, but was again deleted from the film (tough available now in the Ultimate Edition DVD). Judi Dench's M was supposed to smoke a cigarette while giving her briefing to Bond (as we can read in John Gardner's novelization), but, since the actress didn't smoked and felt uncomfortable with a cigarette, Martin Campbell decided that she wouldn't be smoking in that scene. And one of Judi Dench's lines was also reworked - M was supposed to tell Bond that he was a relic of the Cold War "whose boyish charms I might actually have succumbed to ten years ago", but apparently, to avoid the idea of Bond and M having had an old affair, the line was finally modified to "...whose boyish charms altough wasted on me."

    Alec Trevelyan kills a soviet scientist in a
    shot cut from the final print.
  • The Making-of Featturete GOLDENEYE: THE SECRET FILES shows a shot of the soviet scientist falling dead on a table after being shot by Alec Trevelyan in the film's pre title sequence. In order to avoid problems with the censors, the shot didn't remain in the final cut.

  • Martin Campbell was the only director in the history of the franchise to launch two different actors as James Bond. He wouldn't only be responsible of the world fame of Pierce Brosnan in GOLDENEYE, but eleven years later he would direct Daniel Craig's first outing as James Bond, CASINO ROYALE.

    Pierce Brosnan and Kate Gayson.
  • Filming of GOLDENEYE started on January 16th, 1995 - exactly 33 years after Sean Connery shot the famous "Bond, James Bond" introduction for the very first time in DR NO. Incredible enough, Kate Gayson, daughter of Eunice Gayson who played Sylvia Trench (the girl whom Connery's Bond introduces himself with his immortal line) makes a short extra appaerance in the casino scene in GOLDENEYE.

  • Right before the production for the film started, Pierce Brosnan had his hand injured while trying in a domestic accident. His son, Christopher, doubled his right hand in four moments: pulling on the Aston Martin DB5 handbrake, opening the glove compartment of the DB5 revealing a bottle of Bollinger, using the laser gun at the beginning in Arkangel, and cutting the floor of the train with the laser beam of the Omega watch.

  • GOLDENEYE shares two things in common with Kevin McClory's unofficial Bond film NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983): a laser watch, and actor Billy J Mitchell, who portrayed Capt. Pederson in the 1983 film and Admiral Farrel, Xenia's victim, in GOLDENEYE.

  • Simon Crane (stunt coordinator) and Wayne Michaels (pre credits bungee jump performer) played Françoise Brouse and Bernard Joubert, the Tiger Helicopter pilots murdered by Xenia.

  • In the nerve gas plant, when Bond shoots the lock of the upper storage containing the gas barrels so that they fall over the Soviet soldiers, the barrels plopped down instead of springing forward. A pneumatically-operated conveyor belt was added so that the barrels could be thrown forward. Needless to say they were made of lightweight foam so that the poor stuntmen playing the soldiers wouldn't be seriously injured.

    The soviets soldiers are crushed by metal
    barrels at the beginning of the film
  • Since GOLDENEYE had an international cast with Dutch (Famke Janssen), Polish (Izabella Scorupco), German (Gottfried John), French (Tcheky Karyo) and Scottish (Robbie Coltrane and Alan Cumming) actors and actresses, voice coach Andrew Jack had the hard task to make sure all the actors mentioned, who played, Russian characters had an uniform accent.

  • Born in Poland in 1970, Izabella Scorupco started her career as a singer in Stockholm. GOLDENEYE was her first English-spoken film. And even when it was a big step in her career, the shooting demands seriously compromised her relationship with Polish-born ice hockey player Mariusz Czerkwski. Maybe as an in-joke, in the first draft of the TOMORROW NEVER DIES script, Bond tells Jack Wade that Natalya “married a hockey player.”

  • Actors Sean Bean and Pierce Brosnan would also work together in 2010’s PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTENING THIEF.

  • GOLDENEYE wasn’t the only Bond adventure to feature agent 006. In Ian Fleming’s novel, ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVCE, we are told that agent 006 is an Ex-Royal Marine Commander who “disputes” Bond for the love of Mary Goodnight, the new young secretary working for the 00 section. In 1965’s THUNDERBALL, Sean Connery’s Bond assists to a full briefing where all the 00 agents are present. He sits on the seventh chair, making us assume sitting next to him is yet another agent 006.

  • Famke Janssen’s portrayal of Xenia Onatopp wasn’t her only participation in the world of cinematic spying. In 2002, she played femme fatale Rachel Wright in the film I SPY, starring Owen Wilson and Eddie Murphy and based on the 60’s TV series.

    Pierce Brosnan wears a three-piece
    Brioni suit in GOLDENEYE
  • After using trademark watches as Rolex, Seiko, Breitling and Tag Heuer, GOLDENEYE marks the beginning of the long association between James Bond and Omega watches. In all the subsequent films of Pierce Brosnan, James Bond would sport an Omega Seamaster watch, as well as in Daniel Craig's Bond film CASINO ROYALE.

  • GOLDENEYE meant a change of trademark for Bond’s lifestile beside watches, too. From this film on, Bond changed his classic British Savile Row suits for Brioni’s Italian tailored clothes. Founded by Nazareno Fonticoli and Gaetano Savini in 1945, Brioni provided clothes for artists like Robert Wagner and Clark Gable. 007 would use Brioni’s suits from GOLDENEYE to CASINO ROYALE.

  • Another minor but high sounding change was in Bond’s car. For the first time, Agent 007 would take a BMW German made vehicle over the British models of Aston Martin and Lotus (Driven by Sean Connery and Roger Moore respectively). Still, Bond’s alliance with BMW only lasted for three films: GOLDENEYE (BMW Z3), TOMORROW NEVER DIES (BMW 750il) and THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (BMW Z8).

  • Bond’s BMW Z3 design was kept in secret until the film’s release. Even tough Q describes a lot of explosive gadgets like Stinger Missles, Paratuches and Radar System, only the latter is seen in the film. One would suppose that this was due to budgetary reasons.

    Bond's Aston Martin beats Xenia's Ferrari
    during a top speed race at the Grand Corniche
  • GOLDENEYE marks the return of the classic Aston Martin DB5. The car hadn't been used since 1965's THUNDERBALL. Still, the car's number plate is two digits different from Sean Connery's car: BMT 214A instead of BMT 216A.

  • The contract with Ferrari included a clause that stated that Xenia’s Ferarri 355 had to lose against Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. Something that can’t be possible in real life, since Bond’s car top speed is 148.2 mph, while Xenia’s car has 186 mph as top speed.

  • GOLDENEYE is not Title Designer Daniel Kleinman's first job in the world of 007: six years before, he also designed Gladys Knight music video for "Licence to Kill", the main title song for Timothy Dalton's second and last outing as James Bond. Kleinman, who was the first designer who used CGI elements on the 007 main titles, would also work in the James Bond films until 2006's CASINO ROYALE.

  • For Pierce Brosnan's third Bond film, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, Robbie Coltrane reprised his acclaimed role of arms-dealer-turned-Bond-ally Valentin Zukovsky from GOLDENEYE.

  • GOLDENEYE co-screenwriter Bruce Feirstein would not only write the screenplay for TOMORROW NEVER DIES and THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, but he would also work with Electronic Arts and Activision for the James Bond videogames EVERYTHING OR NOTHING, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (based on the 1963 film), and the recent GOLDENEYE 007 (the remake of the 1997 game) and BLOOD STONE.

  • Recently, an apparently rejected GOLDENEYE soundtrack by Michael J. Lewis surfaced on the net. However, many film soundtrack experts claimed it's a fake made by fans and it wasn't even considered by EON.

  • Third Bond actor Roger Moore paid a visit to the GOLDENEYE set at Leavedsen and greeted Pierce Brosnan and producer Michael G Wilson, who co-wrote the last three Moore 007 adventures: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981), OCTOPUSSY (1983) and A VIEW TO A KILL (1985).

  • The music band Ace of Base wrote a song called "The GoldenEye" for the film. Since it wasn't considered, the band slightly changed the arrangements and the lyrics to the song, now renamed "The Juvenile".

  • The “James Bond Theme” version Eric Serra composed for the tank chase sequence was considered not appropiate for such a thrilling sequence that composer John Altman was hired to make a composition that could fit that sequence. While Serra’s original version remained in the GOLDENEYE soundtrack (Track 10 – “
    A Pleasant Drive
    in St. Petersburg”), Altman’s version wasn’t released, and only a cover version performed by The City Of Prague Phillarmonic Orchestra is available on the disc BOND BACK IN ACTION 2 as “
    Tank Drive
    in St. Petersburg”.

  • GOLDENEYE was the last film long time producer Albert R "Cubby" Broccoli saw before his death in 1996. His heirs in the Bond franchise, daughter  Barbara Broccoli and stepson Michael G Wilson, would not also dedicate the following film, 1997's TOMORROW NEVER DIES, to his memory, but also would mantain the tradition to keep the late producer's name in every following Bond film credits.

  • GOLDENEYE was the highest grossing film in the worldwide box office since 1979’s MOONRAKER.

Sources: THE MAKING OF GOLDENEYE by Garth Pearce; KISS KISS BANG BANG by Alan Barnes and Marcus Hearn; THE ESSENTIAL BOND by Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worral.

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