Die Another Day

 Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 20 November 2002 (UK/US)
Running time: 132 mins (UK), 130 mins (US)
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Classification: 12A (UK), PG-13 (US)

Alternative titles: Another Day To Die (Latin America).

Presented by: Albert R Broccoli's EON Productions
Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Produced by: Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Executive producer: Anthony Waye
Written by: Neal Purvis & Robert Wade
Co-producer: Callum McDougall
Production designer: Peter Lamont
Director of photography: David Tattersall BSC
Second unit directed by: Vic Armstrong
Additional units photographed and directed by: Shaun O'Dell, Don King, Arthur Wooster
Editor: Christian Wagner
Special effects supervisor: Chris Corbould
Stunt co-ordinator: Vic Armstrong
Main title designed by: Danny Kleinman

Music by: David Arnold
Orchestrated and conducted by: Nicholas Dodd

Main theme: "Die Another Day"
Performed by: Madonna
Written by: Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzar
Highest chart position: 3 (UK), 2 (US)

End theme: The "Dirty Vegas Main Mix" remix of the main theme.

Additional: London Calling
Performed by: The Clash
Written by: Joe Strummer and Mick Jones (uncredited)
Usage: As Bond arrives in London and Graves parachutes into Buckingham Palace.

Musical notes: Madonna follows the precedent of Sheena Easton and For Your Eyes Only by actually appearing in the movie, although in the form an actual cameo rather than during the titles. A version of the main theme itself is also heard during the film (at the Ice Palace reception), as in From Russia With Love and Live And Let Die.
The soundtrack makes use of a choir for the scenes of Icarus in space. David Arnold had difficulty finding something appropriate for the choir to sing that sounded right. After rejecting the use of Latin or Korean, he finally hit upon a novel solution - the choir is singing a phrase in English - but backwards. The phrase used is "look at the size of that umbrella" - his thoughts on the appearance of Icarus! Elsewhere, the soundtrack features vocals from Natacha Atlas, who can also be heard on the soundtrack album version of the score from The World Is Not Enough, but not in the actual movie.
The soundtrack album features another remix of the Bond theme, this time by Paul Oakenfold, although this is not heard in the movie itself.

James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson: Halle Berry
Gustav Graves: Toby Stephens
Miranda Frost: Rosamund Pike
Zao: Rick Yune
M: Judi Dench
Q: John Cleese
Damian Falco: Michael Madsen
Colonel Tan-Sun Moon: Will Yun Lee
General Moon: Kenneth Tsang
Raoul: Emilio Echevarrķa
Vladimir Popov: Michael Gorevoy
Mr Kil: Lawrence Makoare
Charles Robinson: Colin Salmon
Moneypenny: Samantha Bond
Snooty Desk Clerk: Been Wee
Mr Chang: Ho Ti
Peaceful Fountains Of Desire: Rachel Grant
Verity: Madonna
Creep: Ian Pirie
Dr Alvarez: Simon Andreu
Van Bierk: Mark Dymond
Air Hostess: Deborah Moore
Concierge: Oliver Skeete
Old Man in Cigar Factory: Joaquin Martinez
General Chandler: Michael G Wilson
General Han: Daryl Kwan
General Li: Vincent Wong
General Dong: Stuart Ong
Cuban Waiter: Manolo Caro
Korean Scorpion Guard: Tymarah
Doctor: Paul Darrow
Medic: Lucas Hare
Nurse: Cristina Contes
Reporters: Stewart Scudamore, Bill Nash, James Wallace, Ami Chorlton

The gunbarrel: The same gunbarrel footage is used as in the previous 3 movies, although it has now been augmented by a CGI bullet that flies towards the audience, indicating that Bond is now such a good shot that he can fire right down a gun barrel... The music starts off as a more traditional arrangement than in David Arnold's two previous scores, before going very techno.

Using the title: Bond notes that Graves has lived "To die another day" when he confronts him in the Ice Palace shorty after working out his real identity.

The novel approach: There is little overt use of material from Fleming. However, there do appear to be similarities between Gustav Graves and Hugo Drax from Fleming's "Moonraker"; both are supposedly members of the British establishment with benevolent schemes but are ultimately revealed to be something quite different. More explicit references to "Moonraker" didn't make it into the movie; the country club where the fencing sequence is set is called Blades (the name of M's gentleman's club from the novel), but it is not named on-screen. Similarly, Rosamund Pike's character was originally announced as being called Gala Brand, the name of the heroine from "Moonraker", but this was changed before filming actually began as a result of script changes that made the character less like the one in the book. Indeed, the resulting character of Miranda Frost is actually more reminiscent of Vesper Lynd, the heroine from "Casino Royale", an MI6 agent who was revealed as a traitor.
As part of the celebratory nature of the film (see mainly under "Continuity"), the film does provide some other nods towards Fleming. In Cuba, Bond pretends to be an orthinologist, inspired by a book called "Birds of the West Indies". This is a real book by a real ornithologist called James Bond and was the source from which Fleming took the name of his secret agent when writing "Casino Royale". Later, we see old posters for Players cigarettes in the abandoned tube station. This is a reference to "Thunderball", since that film's heroine, Domino, was enamoured of the sailor who appeared on the box of this particular brand. The name of the villain - Colonel Moon - is also an explicit nod to the first non-Fleming Bond novel, Kingsley Amis's "Colonel Sun" (indeed, some sources suggest that in early versions of the script the character was called Colonel Sun - which would have been appropriate given the nature of the Icarus device). Although possibly not deliberate, the adaptive camouflage of the Aston Martin is very similar to one of the extras on the Q Branch Jaguar driven by the literary Bond in "The Facts Of Death" by Raymond Benson.
There are further nods to Fleming in some of Miranda Frost's dialogue - she mentions the phrases "sex for dinner" and "death for breakfast", which recall chapter titles in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (the latter is a direct quote, but the former is actually "Love For Dinner" in Fleming).
As with the last two movies, Die Another Day was novelised by Raymond Benson.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The character seen as Major Boothroyd's assistant has now taken over as Q. In a nod to the derivation of the code name, Bond actually refers to him as "Quatermaster". MI6 is still based at Vauxhall Cross as in the previous Brosnan movies, and we see that Bond has his own office in this building as he did in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (the office actually appears during the virtual reality training sequence, but it must be assumed that this is representative of the real world).
MI6 also has additional premises in London in an abandoned tube station accessed from the south bank of the Thames, by Westminster Bridge. The precise role of this base is unclear; Q claims that this is where Q Branch develops its technology, but that seems unlikely given the absence of white coated technicians and it seems to be acting more as an archive (see also "Other trivia"). The station is called Vauxhall Cross (after the location of MI6 headquarters) and is fictional. The map seen places it on the Picadilly Line, between Green Park (called Dover Street on the map, which was the old name of this station until the entrance was changed) and Hyde Park Corner. There is actually an abandoned tube station here called Down Street but that station is in the tunnels still used on the line whereas Vauxhall Cross is clearly an abandoned branch.
MI6 has an evaluation centre in the Falklands, which is where M is planning to send Bond after his recovery from North Korea.
MI6 has a presence in Cuba in the form of Raoul. He doesn't represent a formal "Station" in the same way as many previous outposts, but is a sleeper agent who seems to have been all but forgotten about. However, Bond knows of him and activates him in order to gain his help. When Bond arrives at Raoul's cigar factory he says that he represents Universal Exports, the cover name for MI6 used in many previous films.

Locations: North and South Korea and the demilitarised zone between them (Bond arrives in North Korea on the Puk'chong coast and Graves later makes use of Pyongong airbase in the North); Hong Kong (where Bond stays in the Rubeyon Royale Hotel); Cuba (Havana and Isla Los Organos, where Alvarez has his clinic); London; Iceland.

The villain: Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, a hardline North Korean army officer and the son of a more moderate general. He was educated at Oxford and Havard, an unsuccessful attempt by his father to build a bridge between North Korea and the West. He is initially involved in illegal arms smuggling in exchange for conflict diamonds (diamonds which are sold by warlords in African countries - Sierra Leone in the case of the movie - in order to finance their activities - a trade that is supposedly banned internationally). Colonel Moon is seen as such a threat by the West that Bond is sent to assassinate him and the Colonel is supposedly killed. However, he escapes and makes use of experimental gene therapy - in effect a DNA transplant - and re-emerges as a Westerner called Gustav Graves. There is a side effect from the therapy in that Graves can no longer sleep. Graves emerges on to the international scene shortly after Moon's supposed death; his official biography lists him as an orphan who went from working in a diamond mine in Argentina to discovering diamonds in Iceland after learning engineering (although the diamond mine is faked using conflict diamonds). He becomes wealthy as a result, but donates half his earnings to charity and is working on the Icarus space programme supposedly for the good of mankind, leading to him being knighted. He is seen as a flambuoyant adventurer, with an ambition to become a fencing champion and has political connections in the UK making MI6's investigations into him difficult. His real plan is to use Icarus to allow North Korea to take over the entire Korean peninsula and then Japan. He is killed when Bond throws him out of his aircraft - straight into one of its engines...
Colonel Moon has a henchman in the form of Zao, whose precise role is unclear but is regarded as an international terrorist. His face is scarred with diamonds as a result of an explosion engineered by Bond and is set for the same gene therapy as Moon in order to turn him into a German industrialist. However, the process is interrupted by Bond, leaving him bald and white skinned. He is killed by a falling chandelier in Graves's Ice Palace.
The Colonel has another companion, in the form of Miranda Frost, who acts as his publicist and is an MI6 agent who has supposedly infiltrated Graves's organisation after three years working in cryptography. However, she is actually a double agent who was on the Harvard fencing team with Moon. She won the gold medal for fencing at the Sydney Olympics by default when the actual champion suffered a fatal drugs overdose thanks to Moon.
Moon/Graves has other associates - Mr Kil, a security officer who is killed by Jinx, and Vladimir Popov, the scientist behind Icarus.

The girl: Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson, an NSA agent who crosses Bond's path as part of her mission to Zao. She was born on a Friday 13th, partly inspiring her nickname. The character appears to have been subject to a name change at some point since some sources (including the soundtrack album) refer to her as Jinx Jordan.

Bond's conquests: Two, Jinx and Miranda Frost.

Gadgets: After three films in a BMW, Bond is back in an Aston Martin, namely a Vanquish (a silver grey one with registration KE02 EWW). Like the BMWs in Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough it can be remotely controlled (and like the first of these it also includes vocal instructions to the driver). However, its main feature is adaptive camouflaging, which effectively renders it invisible. Other features include an ejector seat (recalling the Aston Martin from Goldfinger), rockets (incorrectly refered to as torpedoes) and machine guns, thermal imaging, extending spikes from the tyres for driving on ice (as the Aston Martin in The Living Daylights) and a close in weapon system to destroy weapons that are aimed at the car.
Q also presents Bond with a ring containing a "sonic agitator" which uses sound waves in order to shatter bullet proof glass. It has been suggested that this gadget was included in order to allow Pierce Brosnan to wear his wedding ring, given that he had married subsequent to The World Is Not Enough. Other gadgets used include a watch with a detonator, another watch containing a laser (as in GoldenEye), a minature rebreather (as in Thunderball), a combat knife concealing a GPS beacon and a surfboard with a concealed compartment allowing weapons to be carried. We also see that Q has developed a high tec virtual reality training system that is used to test Bond on his return to service.
The Q Branch archive is filled with gadgets from earlier movies including the attache case and Rosa Klebb's knife shoe (From Russia With Love), the jet pack (Thunderball), the Indian rope, Acrojet and crocodile submarine (all Octopussy) and Snooper (A View To A Kill)
The villains also have the fair share of gadgets, principally including the first gadget laden car to be used by a villain, namely Zao's green Jaguar XKR which features thermal imaging, machine guns, rockets, mortars and a giant ramming device. In addition, Graves has the control unit for Icarus built into a special suit that also has a self defence mechanism in the form of the ability to inflict 50,000V of electric shocks. We also see that Jinx has some gadgetry at her disposal since the detonator for the explosives she uses at the Cuban clinic is in the form of a mobile phone.

Recurring characters: Colin Salmon makes his third consecutive appearance as MI6 man Charles Robinson. If the virtual reality simulation is representative of reality, Robinson appears to be combat trained.

Continuity: With Die Another Day being the twentieth movie and celebrating 40 years of Bond films, it features a deliberate policy of referencing its predecessors. A number of these are very obviously deliberate, whereas others are subtle and could just be the movie unintentionally reusing elements of the Bond formula in the same way as earlier films. But the following is a list of probable references which appear reasonable...

Dr No: Halle Berry comes out of the sea wearing a bikini and knife belt very reminiscent of Ursula Andress's celebrated introduction. However, the subsequent scene between Bond and Jinx then seems more reminiscent of Bond's meeting with Fatima Blush in Never Say Never Again. A bizarre sound effect mimicing the one from the original gun-barrel sequence can be heard when Bond escapes from the medical room on the warship (it is immediately after Bond tells the nurse "Thanks for the kiss of life"). Although not a Bond reference, another sound effect, this time during the Cuban clinic sequence is reminiscent of the brain-washing effect from The Ipcress File (as produced by Harry Salzman). The car that Bond drives in Cuba is reminiscent of the way that he drives in Kingston in the first film (although it is not the same model - it is a Ford Fairlane here, whereas the earlier film featured a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air).

From Russia With Love: The character of Raoul is reminiscent of Kerim Bey, and his cigar factory is similar to the rug bazaar. Within Q Branch, Bond plays with the attache case and its knife (the very first gadget) and sniffs Rosa Klebb's shoe. The Chinese attempt to film Bond's liaison with an enemy agent from behind a one way mirror in a hotel room in the same way as SPECTRE. The dialogue in Bond's meeting with Jinx ("My friends call me Jinx" - "Mine call me James Bond") is essentially the same as when he meets Tatiana Romanov.

Goldfinger: Bond drives an Aston Martin with an ejector seat. The scene when Q briefs Bond also references its famous predecessor ("...You're joking" - "Like my predecessor, I never joke about my work"). The entire fencing match, where Bond challenges the villain to a sporting contest to win an item of merchandise close to the villain's heart, recalls the golf match against Goldfinger, albeit a more physical version. The climax features an aircraft decompressing, sucking the villain out whilst the Bond girl battles to control it. Jinx is strapped to a table and is threatened with an advancing laser beam. After surfing, Bond removes his wetsuit (or should that be drysuit?) to reveal dry clothes, although unfortunately not a tuxedo...

Thunderball: Bond uses the rebreather that debuted in the earlier film and Q Branch includes the jetpack (and it still works!). After distracting some guards at the Cuban clinic and invading a patient's room, Bond takes a grape in a sequence that mirrors his actions in Shrublands.

You Only Live Twice: The soundtrack in the final scene between Bond and Jinx is very reminiscent of the theme of the earlier film.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Cuban clinic seems reminiscent of Blofeld's brainwashing set up at Piz Gloria. Bond is seen in his office at Secret Service HQ. David Arnold's soundtrack includes elements from the OHMSS theme.

Diamonds Are Forever: Diamonds feature heavily, as does diamond smuggling and a space based weapon system. Graves almost says the name of the earlier film: "Diamonds are for ever...yone". The actual title can be seen as a sub-heading in the article on Graves that Bond reads on the plane. The glass floor of Graves's office at the Ice Palace is reminiscent of Willard Whyte's apartment.

Live And Let Die: The destruction of the minefield by Icarus resembles the explosions of the poppy fields from the earlier film.

The Man With The Golden Gun: Colonel Moon demonstrates a weapon to Bond by destroying the aircraft that 007 was intending to use to leave, in a similar way to Scaramanga. The villain has a device that converts solar energy to a destructive laser weapon.

The Spy Who Loved Me: Graves uses a Union Flag parachute. The sound effect of Icarus sounds very like the attack on HMS Ranger. Cars fall from the sky and stay up ended near an innocent bystander.

Moonraker: The plunge of the hovercraft over the waterfall at the start of the film is shot in a similar way to Jaws's mishap in the Amazon.

For Your Eyes Only: There are echoes of the climb up St Cyril's when Bond hangs from the cliff of ice, with a rope slipping and 007 dropping further down the cliff.

Octopussy: The plot of the movie revolves around a hardline Communist overcoming more moderate colleagues in order to use a superweapon on a border with the West prior to a large ground invasion. The Q Branch sequence features the crocodile submarine, Acrojet and extending Indian rope from the earlier movie.

A View To A Kill: Snooper can be seen in the Q Branch sequence.

The Living Daylights: The opening shot through the gunbarrel, showing the beach defences of North Korea, looks very like the equivalent opening shot of Gibraltar. The climax involves a large cargo plan from which vehicles are dispensed. Bond is chased across ice in his Aston Martin, which has extending spikes from its tyres.

Licence To Kill: Bond is released from active duty, but that does not prevent him from pursuing his own agenda, focussed on getting revenge.

GoldenEye: Bond has a watch containing a laser. A character is believed killed in the pre-credits sequence, only to return as the main villain, albeit in a different form. A villain is also disfigured following an explosion set by Bond. The bullet in the gun-barrel sequence is reminiscent of the one in the titles to the first Brosnan movie.

Tomorrow Never Dies: Bond uses a remote controlled car. Jinx's leather outfit, complete with cable, is similar to Wai Lin's, although the Chinese Colonel's descent in Hamburg when dressed like this is mirrored by Bond as he descends the dome covering the supposed diamond mine.

The World Is Not Enough: David Arnold's soundtrack re-uses elements from his score for the previous theme ("Going Down The Pipeline" during the Antonov sequence, and the final scenes with Bond and the girl featuring very similar music). Jinx escapes from the Cuban clinic in a Sunseeker speedboat that is very similar to the one used by the Cigar Girl in the pre-credits sequence to the previous movie.

Cameos: Producer Michael G Wilson makes his customary cameo and is credited for the first time - he plays General Chandler and can be glimpsed in the US situation room in South Korea. However, he also appears briefly earlier in the film when he can be seen in Cuba, leaning against a car as Bond crosses a street.
Oliver Skeete, the dreadlocked concierge who brings Bond his message at Blades Club, is a minor celebrity in the UK as a show-jumper.
The air hostess who serves Bond as he flies into London is played by Deborah Moore, the daughter of a certain Roger Moore...

Cuts: The US version of the film apparently lost a couple of minutes from the love scene between Bond and Jinx in order to secure a lower rating. All versions lost a sequence where Bond flies into London holding on to the undercarriage of the aircraft, apparently in an attempt to avoid immigration. Also, the original version of the love scene between Bond and Miranda - featuring one of the Icelandic hot springs - was rejected and refilmed.

I didn't catch the name?: Bond uses his trademark introduction when he meets Graves at Blades.

Vodka Martinis: We don't actually here Bond order one "shaken, not stirred", but he does actually drink one when flying into London (due to turbulence he quips to the air hostess that it was a good job he ordered it shaken). Later at the Ice Palace he orders one with ice (if the barman can spare any...).

Gambling: Bond does not gamble in the movie, unless one counts the fencing match since there is a wager at stake.

Bond bits: Bond takes the identity of a diamond smuggler called Van Bierk when he attempts to assassinate Colonel Moon. However, when this goes wrong he is captured and held by the North Koreans for a period of 14 months. Later, he smokes for the first time in the Brosnan movies (although it is a large Roger Moore style cigar, rather than cigarettes). Bond has the ability to stop his heart (shades of rival 60s spy Derek Flint) and we see that he sleeps with his gun under his pillow (something he did in Thunderball and mentioned again in Tomorrow Never Dies).

Other trivia: Judging by a tube map on the wall, the disused railway station used by MI6 is Vauxhall Cross on the Picadilly line. The name is clearly a nod to Vauxhall Cross being the location of MI6's main headquarters (both in reality and the movies). However, it is already close to an underground station (just called Vauxhall). It is also clear that the disused station is south of the Thames - and the Picadilly line only stays to the north.

Anything else?: The title sequence is directly part of the story, featuring continuing action from the movie as well as the usual graphics. This is not something that has been used since the very first film Dr No (with the footage of The Three Blind Mice), but it is much more extensive here.
Q comments that he thinks that Bond's new watch is his twentieth, a reference to Die Another Day being the twentieth (official) movie.
The article on Gustav Graves that Bond reads as he arrives back in London is written by Gregg Wilson - a reference to Michael G Wilson's son who worked on the film as script supervisor.
John Cleese's history as part of the Monty Python team is acknowledged as Bond leaves the virtual reality trainer and tells Q that he caused "only a flesh wound", referencing a well known sketch from Monty Python And The Holy Grail. It has also been suggested that the fact that Q's legs wobble as he walks behind the invisible car is a nod towards the famous Monty Python sketch in which Cleese portrays a member of the Ministry of Silly Walks.

The Bond Film Informant was compiled by Matthew Newton. © Copyright MJ Newton. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission unless otherwise stated.

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