Tomorrow Never Dies

 Release Details - Credits - Music - Cast - Notes

release details
Date of release: 12 December 1997 (UK), 19 December 1997 (US)
Running time: 120 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Classification: 12 (UK), PG-13 (US)

Presented by: Albert R Broccoli's EON Productions
Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode
Produced by: Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Written by: Bruce Feirstein
Production designer: Allan Cameron
Director of photography: Robert Elswit
Second unit director: Vic Armstrong
Editors: Dominique Fortin and Michel Arcand
Special effects supervisor: Chris Corbould
Stunt co-ordinator: Vic Armstrong
Main title designed by: Daniel Kleinman

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

Main theme: "Tomorrow Never Dies"
Performed by: Sheryl Crow
Written by: Sheryl Crow and Mitchell Froom
Highest chart position: 12 (UK)

End theme: "Surrender"
Music by: David Arnold and David McAlmont
Lyrics by: Don Black.

Additional: "Backseat Driver"
Written and performed by: David Arnold and Alex Gifford of Propellerheads
Usage: The car park chase sequence.

Additional: "It Had To Be You"
Written by: Esham Jones and Gus Kamn
Performed by: Simon Greenaway
Usage: When Bond meets Paris at Carver's party.

Musical notes: The soundtrack album also features a revised version of the James Bond Theme, arranged and performed by Moby, although this is not used in the film. It was also released as a single in the UK.
The video to Sheryl Crow's main theme was directed by title sequence designer Daniel Kleinman.
The British pop group Pulp submitted a potential main theme to the producers. It was rejected but was subsequently used as a B-side to their 1997 single "Help the Aged", albeit with the title changed to "Tomorrow Never Lies".

James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Elliot Carver: Jonathan Pryce
Colonel Wai Lin: Michelle Yeoh
Paris Carver: Teri Hatcher
Henry Gupta: Ricky Jay
Stamper: Gotz Otto
Jack Wade: Joe Don Baker
Dr Kaufman: Vincent Schiavelli
M: Judi Dench
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
Moneypenny: Samantha Bond
Charles Robinson: Colin Salmon
Admiral Roebuck: Geoffrey Palmer
Minister of Defence: Julian Fellowes
General Burakin: Terence Rigby
Professor Inga Bergstrom: Cecilie Thomsen
Tamara Steel: Nina Young
Dr Dave Greenwalt: Colin Stinton
Master Sergeant 3: Al Matthews
Stealth Boat Captain (Scott): Mark Spalding

HMS Chester:
Captain: Bruce Alexander
Firing Officer: Anthony Green

HMS Devonshire:
Commander Richard Day: Christopher Bowen
Lieutenant Commander Peter Hume: Andrew Hawkins
Lieutenant Commander: Dominic Shaun
Yeoman: Julian Rhind-Tutt
Leading Seaman: Gerard Butler
Sonar: Adam Barker

HMS Bedford:
Admiral Kelly: Michael Byrne
Captain: Pip Torrens
Air Warfare Offier: Hugh Bonneville
Principal Warfare Officer: Jason Watkins
Yeoman: Brendan Coyle

First Sea Lord: David Ashton
Staff Officer 1: William Scott-Masson
Staff Officer 2: Laura Brattan
Beth Davidson: Nadia Cameron
Mary Colson: Liza Ross
Jeff Hobbs: Hugo Napier
Philip Jones: Rolf Saxon
Mig Pilot: Vincent Wang
General Chang: Philip Kwok

Tom Wallace: Michael G Wilson
Car Rental Girl: Antje Schmidt
Rival Newsreader: Jeff Harding
Other Carver Newsreaders: Minna Aaltonen, Choy-Ling Man
Vietnamese Villager: Ian Boo Khoo
Second Mig Pilot: Theo Kypri
Carver's Thugs: Neil Finnighan, Romo Gorrara, Terence Plummer, Dinny Powell, Terry Richards, Rocky Taylor

The gunbarrel: The same footage as GoldenEye is used. However, the arrangement of the Bond theme is more traditional than the one heard in that film. The opening is reminiscent of the Marvin Hamlisch's version from The Spy Who Loved Me in that it does not feature the more usual " DA-DA, DUH, DA-DA, DUH" notes.

Using the title: The title is not used anywhere in the film. However, "Tomorrow" is the name of the newspaper that is owned by Carver. It has been reported that the film was originally known as Tomorrow Never Lies - a more obvious reference - but a typing error brought about a change to the last word.

The novel approach: The film features no Fleming material. It was novelised by Raymond Benson, who worked from an early version of the script and so features substantial extra material including background to Carver and scenes in which Wai Lin conducts her investigations before we meet her in the actual film.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: Judi Dench and Samantha Bond both return as M and Moneypenny, following their introductions in GoldenEye. Bond's relationship with M appears to have softened since the earlier film. Desmond Llewellyn makes his 16th appearance as Q. It was also intended that Bill Tanner would also return from GoldenEye, although actor Michael Kitchen proved to be unavailable so his part was given over to Charles Robinson, played by Colin Salmon. Robinson is not named on screen; his surname is given in the credits, with his forename in publicity material for the film. This also states that Robinson is M's Chief of Staff, but this was not confirmed on screen and indeed was later contradicted by the return of Tanner in The World Is Not Enough. Raymond Benson's novelisation of the movie reflects the early version of the script that it was based on by retaining Tanner.
MI6 Headquarters itself does not feature in the film, with Bond receiving his briefing from M in her official car. Most of the other London scenes take place at the Ministry of Defence building, the exterior of which was represented by Somerset House, in the Strand in central London. As such, a Minister of Defence appears for the first time since The Living Daylights and it seems that Freddie Gray has finally moved on.

Locations: A terrorist bazaar on the Russian border (according to an on-screen caption); various locations in around the South China Sea (the Devonshire is sunk in Chinese territorial waters, 11 miles from the coast, but this is contradicted later in the film when Bond apparently does his HALO jump into Vietnamese territory); Oxford and London, UK; Hamburg, Germany; Saigon, Vietnam.

The villain: Elliot Carver is a world-wide media baron, the owner of the Carver Media Group Network (CMGN). His holdings include the "Tomorrow" newspaper (which publishes across Europe with French and German lanuage editions called "Demain" and "Morgen") and a television news network, as well as a software division (which deliberately releases bug-ridden software to force its users to upgrade). Carver's media centre is based in Hamburg, with an Eastern headquarters in Saigon. At the start of the film, CMGN is celebrating the launch of its final satellite, providing worldwide coverage, although the Chinese have refused broadcast rights.
We learn little of Carver's background, although it is mentioned that when he was 16 he started working for a newspaper in Hong Kong. Early versions of the script contained more detail, revealing that he was the illegitimate son of a British newspaper baron and this was retained in Raymond Benson's novelisation. Carver is married to a woman called Paris, an old-flame of Bond's, until he had her killed for betraying him.
Carver's plot is not a complex one. Using a stealth ship that is undetectable by radar or infra-red, and by manipulating the situation through his media interests, he aims to start a war between Britain and China. As part of this, a cruise missile will be launched at Beijing, killing China's leaders and bringing his ally General Chang to power. Chang will then grant him broadcast rights in the country. Of course, Bond intervenes and Carver gains a gruesome death involving the Sea Drill device.
There are several other villains working for Carver. Henry Gupta is an American computer "techno-terrorist" who started as a student radical at Berkeley in the 60s but provides computer expertise to Carver's plan until he out-lives his usefulness and is shot by his employer. Gupta is played by Ricky Jay, an acclaimed close-up magician.
Carver's main henchman is Stamper, a German heavy who has eyes of different colours. In early versions of the script it was explained that his nervous system is reversed so that he feels pain as pleasure. However, this is not made clear in the finished film, although it does explain why he doesn't mind being stabbed. Stamper is killed when the cruise missile that he is standing on explodes. Stamper was the protogee of another German employee of Carver's, a professional assassin called Dr Kauffman, whose speciality is the "celebrity overdose", although he too is killed by Bond.

The girl: Colonel Wai Lin of the Chinese People's External Security Force (the Chinese equivalent of MI6). We find out absolutely nothing about her apart from the fact that she is a skilled agent (particularly adept at martial arts) who grew up in a rough neighbourhood. She is investigating General Chang following the disappearance of some stealth material from one of his bases. She followed a lead to Carver in Hamburg where she attends his party under the cover of an employee of the New China News Agency.

Bond's conquests: Three - Professor Inga Bergstrom, Paris Carver and Wai Lin.

Gadgets: A cigarette lighter that doubles as a grenade. A mobile phone containing a fingerprint scanner, lock pick and a 20,000 volt security system (activated by entering "Recall-3-Send" on the keypad). As in GoldenEye Q supplies Bond with a BMW, although here it is an executive saloon in the shape of a 750iL. As well as being fully bullet proof, the car features a comprehensive security system (giving electric shocks to any unauthorised users attempting to open the door), a vocal warning system and a fingerprint activated safe. It can deploy tear gas and drop spiked tyre shredders from the rear bumper and has a wire cutter that extends from the bonnet plus re-inflating tyres. Q also mentions that it has machine guns and GPS tracking, but these devices aren't featured on screen. However, the most novel feature of the car is that it can be remotely controlled from Bond's mobile phone. The registration of the BMW is BMT-214-4, which is very close to that of Bond's Aston Martin in GoldenEye (which was BMT 214A). The car meets its end when Bond guides it from the roof of a multi-story car park into a hire car shop.
Wai Lin is also seen to use gadgetry: a Batman style harpoon/climbing rope and a lock-pick concealed in an ear-ring. There are other devices in the Saigon safehouse, including a flame-throwing dragon statue and a fan that launches a web of darts. From here Bond acquires a watch that contains a small remote controlled explosive, as well as a new weapon in the shape of the new Walther P99, which he uses instead of his more traditional PPK at the end of the film (and he notes that he has asked Q for one of his own).

Recurring characters: Joe Don Baker makes a brief appearance as Jack Wade, the CIA agent that he played in GoldenEye.

Continuity: Bond is still driving an Aston Martin DB5 as his personal car, as he did in GoldenEye.
When Bond is working with Wai Lin in Saigon he shows confusion when faced with a keyboard featuring Chinese characters. This appears to contradict Bond's claim in You Only Live Twice that he gained a first in Oriental languages at Cambridge university. Raymond Benson's novelisation of the movie suggests that Bond was lying when he mentioned this since it contradicts the background of the literary version of the character.

Cameos: Producer Michael G Wilson makes his customary cameo appearance. He plays Tom Wallace, the vice president of CMGN in charge of special projects, seen in a video conference with Carver. He's the one instructed to blackmail the US President with a video tape of his encounters with a cheerleader.

Cuts: The final version of the film lost the end of the Hamburg car chase; after the BMW crashes into the Avis office Bond was originally seen remarking that "the keys are in the car". The shot was seen in some early teasers and a documentary about the making of the movie. Further cuts were made to the film in the UK in the shape of two shots where Wai Lin was seen to use a throwing star, due to the British Censor's sensitivity over martial arts weapons. There were also apparently cuts to a scene where Bond stamps on a man's face. The British video release then suffered further editing through a reduction in the impact sound in the some of the fight scenes, particularly where Wai Lin takes on General Chang's men in the bike shop, and a similar reduction to the sound of Carver's death scream.

I didn't catch the name?: Bond introduces himself to Carver at the Hamburg party.

Vodka Martinis: Paris orders Bond a "Vodka martini, shaken not stirred" at the Hamburg party. He later drinks neat Vodka when alone in his hotel room. Martini even gets a mention in the lyrics of the theme tune.

Gambling: None on Bond's part, although Carver does imply that he once beat Sir Angus Black, the British beef baron, at cards, leading to him running Mad Cow Disease stories (although he was later paid by the French to keep them running).

Bond bits: Bond is learning to speak Danish. He also speaks some German but is confused by the symbols on a Chines computer keyboard (see Continuity).
During Bond's mission to the terrorist arms bazaar, he has the code name "White Knight". He later uses the cover of a being banker (under his own name) to attend Carver's Hamburg party.
Paris Carver was an old girlfriend of Bond's until he left her because she got "too close". The circumstances of their relationship are not made clear on-screen (there's more in the novelisation), but this was before she met Carver. She clearly knows his occupation and notes that he used to sleep with a gun under his pillow (as we saw him do as far back as Thunderball).
Bond appears in naval uniform for the third time (following You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me). It is possible to make some interesting observations about his career in the Royal Navy from the emblems and medal ribbons that can be seen (see Bond and the Navy).

Other trivia: The main action of the movie takes place over a period of 48 hours. There is due to be an election in Moscow the following week.
During Bond's mission to the terrorist arms bazaar, Robinson has the codename White Rook, Admiral Roebuck is the Black King and the Captain of HMS Chester is White Bishop.

Anything else?: The film is dedicated in loving memory of Albert R "Cubby" Broccoli, since it was the first since his death. This marks the only time that his nickname has been used in a credit. Broccoli had previously "presented" every previous film and his name was retained through the introduction of a new opening credit proclaimining "Albert R Broccoli's EON Productions present..."
The name Wai Lin is derived from the Mandarin for "Patriotic for the country".

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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