James Bond: “It won't look like a suicide if you shoot me from over there.”
Dr. Kaufman: “I am a professor of forensic medicine. Believe me, Mr. Bond, I could shoot you from Stuttgart und still create ze proper effect.”
―James Bond and Dr. Kaufman
Tomorrow Never Dies is the eighteenth James Bond film made by EON Productions, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. It was released in 1997, by producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and was also the first Bond film made after the death of veteran producer Albert R. Broccoli. The film is dedicated to his memory, and beginning with this production and in each subsequent Bond film, the first credit reads: "Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions Limited presents..."; the word "Limited" was removed in the later films.
The film begins at a terrorist arms bazaar somewhere on the Russian border. MI6 has sent James Bond into the field to survey trades and purchases by the terrorists. One terrorist identified, Henry Gupta, has purchased an American GPS encoder. Upon viewing the evidence of these transactions taking place Admiral Roebuck orders a missile strike upon the position, however, it later transpires that the terrorists have a Soviet nuclear torpedo setup on a plane. Bond, using diversionary tactics, steals the plane with the torpedo and escapes as does Gupta with the GPS encoder.
The encoder is later used by corrupt media mogul Elliot Carver as an attempt to provoke conflict between the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom as an exclusive marketing device to launch his new worldwide television network. The encoder is used to send a British frigate, the HMS Devonshire, off course in the South China sea where Carver's own stealth ship, based on a Navy concept ship, the USS Sea Shadow, sinks it while also shooting down a Chinese fighter plane sent out to investigate the stray warship. When the survivors of the sunken frigate are found to have been killed using Chinese ammunition, a Royal Navy taskforce is sent to the region.
As tensions between the two countries mount, Bond is sent by M to investigate Carver after MI6 identifies a spurious signal sent from one of Carver's communications satellites at the time the warship was sunk. During the investigation, Bond seduces Carver's wife, his old flame Paris Carver, as a result of which her husband orders her death. Meanwhile, Bond is both rivaled and assisted in his mission to stop Carver by the Chinese secret agent Wai Lin.
The two search several areas large enough for Carver to hide his stealth craft and get lucky on the last cove. They board the boat and plan to plant explosive charges to disrupt its radar cover, thus making it visible to the British fleet. Lin is captured and Bond sneaks inside. Carver reveals his ultimate plan: he will launch one of the stolen British missiles into China, provoking a war. The new conflict will be covered by his media group and he will bid for exclusive rights to media coverage in China when his secret partner General Chang takes control of the Chinese government and miraculously ends the conflict. Bond is able to take Henry Gupta hostage; Carver kills Gupta openly after the tech-expert tells his boss that the preparations are complete. However, Bond retaliates by detonating a grenade he earlier planted, causing a huge explosion. The boat, now visible to radar, is attacked by the British and Chinese navies.
Carver orders Mr. Stamper to 'kill those bastards' (referring to the intruders) and proceed with the missile launch. With the boat disintegrating around them, Bond fights through several of Carver's henchmen and corners the villain. Bond activates the sea drill hanging nearby and forces Carver into its path killing him. Stamper has chained Lin and dangles her over the indoor pool; when she passes Bond some detonation fuses to sabotage the missile, Stamper drops her in the water. Bond and Stamper fight briefly and Bond traps the thug's ankle under the missile. With Stamper holding him in front of the missile's engines, he hopes that Bond will burn and die with him. Bond is able to cut the straps on his pack and he plunges into the water just as the missile launches and the detonators destroy it and Stamper. Under water, he rescues Lin, breathing air into her lungs with a kiss. The two surface just as the stealth boat sinks. They are later picked up by the British Navy while sharing a romantic moment in a lifeboat.
Cast and Characters
- Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode
- Produced by: Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli
- Written by: Bruce Feirstein
- Cinematography by: Robert Elswit
- Composed by: David Arnold
Vehicles & gadgets
- Aero L-39 Albatros
- Aston Martin DB5 - Seen at the university, Bond uses it to drive to MI6 headquaters.
- BMW R1200 motorcycle - Stolen in Saigon, Vietnam, for a chase, ridden by both James Bond and Wai Lin.
- BMW 750i - Used in Germany, the car has a security system disallowing access without first being disarmed via the mobile telephone; the glove box security system is fingerprint-controlled. Armament includes sunroof rockets, deployable caltrops (out of the rear bumper), re-inflatable tyres, and a wire-cutter hidden under the BMW logo on the hood. The car may be remotely operated via Bond's mobile phone.
- Ericsson JB988 mobile telephone - Has several functions: a stun gun, a fingerprint scanner, an electronic lockpick, and a remote-control for the BMW 750i, with a small LCD screen for seeing the roadway when operating remotely.
- Omega scuba diver's wristwatch - Taken from a Chinese safehouse, used to remotely break a glass jar holding a hand grenade.
- Walther P99 - Taken from the same Chinese safehouse, Bond replaces his trademark Walther PPK with the Walther P99. Since the Tomorrow Never Dies Bond has used the Walther P99 in every subsequent film until Quantum of Solace.
- Gerber Mark 1 - A boot knife that Bond wears on his upper left chest as a backup. He stabs Mr. Stamper with it shortly before chaining him to the firing mechanism of the stealth boat's onboard missiles.
In 1997, BMW offered a special promotion where the 750i and the R1200 could be purchased for $149,000 CAD.
- London, England
- Hamburg, Germany
- Saigon, Vietnam
- South China Sea
- Somewhere near the Russian border. - A terrorist arms bazaar takes place here during the films opening sequence.
- Pinewood Studios / Albert R. Broccoli's 007 Stage
- Frogmore Studios, Hertfordshire
- HMS Dryad, Royal Navy training establishment, for interior filming of Type 23 frigates.
- Hamburg, Germany
- Oxford, England
- IBM building, Middlesex, England, used as set for the headquarters of Elliot Carver's media group.
- RAF Lakenheath, what was described as "U.S. Airbase in South China Sea" was actually filmed at the USAF base in Suffolk, hence the LN markings on the F-15s
- Bangkok, Thailand, used as a stand-in for Saigon, Vietnam. The Vietnamese government refused filming in Vietnam, and Bangkok was used as a last-minute shooting location.
- Phuket, Thailand, the chain of islands were used in a previous Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun — the location doubled for a chain of volcanic islands off the Vietnamese coast.
- Fox Baja Studios, Mexico — Stealth ship and British fleet exterior sequences (studio was built for the previous movie shot there, Titanic).
- Stansted Airport, Essex Titan Airways Hanger Stansted Airport. Used during the testing of Bond's new BMW where Q tries to explain the fundamentals of driving using the mobile phone.
- Upon seeing a several stories-tall image of Elliot Carver adorning his skyscraper, Bond remarks that Carver, "...appears to have developed an edifice complex." This line makes a play on the well known "Oedipus complex" phrase, but the proper diagnosis for someone like Carver would be having a Narcissus complex, an extreme personality disorder of which intense self-worship and undue self-esteem are the primary symptoms.
- It has been suggested that the character of Elliot Carver is (very loosely) based on Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation exerts power across many continents, and to some degree, Charles Foster Kane from Citizen Kane, not to mention media magnate Ted Turner.
- A business report from one of Carver's executives about "releasing software full of bugs which will force users to upgrade for years" is a shot against Microsoft and co-founder Bill Gates.
- When filming began the script wasn't finished.
- The film was originally titled Tomorrow Never Lies, a reference to Elliott Carver's newspaper Tomorrow. However, it was then the subject of a typo and the producers liked the alternate title so much they adopted it.
- This was the final Bond film-to-date to be released directly through United Artists; parent company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer would assume co-production and distribution beginning with the next film.
- Teri Hatcher's scenes had to be filmed quickly because she found out she was pregnant a few days after she got the part.
- A March 10, 1997 report in the New York Daily News on the production of the as-yet untitled film (then being referred to as Bond 18) indicated that several titles were being considered for the film, including: Shamelady, Avatar, Shatterhand, Zero Windchill and the title considered most likely — Tomorrow Never Dies. The rumored title Shatterhand is interesting as this is the alias used by Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Ian Fleming's original novel of You Only Live Twice which, like Tomorrow Never Dies, also has strong oriental ties.
- Teri Hatcher accepted the role of Paris Carver simply to fulfill her husband's dream of being married to a Bond girl.
- Several inconsistencies exist in the representation of the Royal Navy. Type 23 frigates do not carry land attack cruise missiles as depicted in the first moments of the film; the missile that is fired is fitted to Type 23s but is the Harpoon anti-shipping missile. The encounter with the stealth ship is also of poetic licence, in the real world an aircraft carrier would also have been present, and a wealth of options to engage the stealth ship would have been open to the naval commander. (This stems from only one ship model being built for the movie to save costs and time.) Rather than shelling the stealth ship, he could have also used a helicopter, both systems being carried by Type 23 frigates.
- The Harpoon launch footage described above was used again in Die Another Day as a supposed anti-satellite missile launch.
- According to Pierce Brosnan in an interview published in the December 2005 issue of Playboy, Monica Bellucci tested for the role of Paris Carver. Daphne Deckers, who portrays the PR Lady, later confirmed this at the premiere of Spectre (film) in Amsterdam. She saw Belluci the same day she herself auditioned. Belluci went on to star in Spectre.
- The third Bond film to show Bond in his Royal Navy uniform. Here, he not only has his Commander stripes but the insignia of Fleet Air Arm Aviator (indicating he must have served in the FAA). He also has a Parchutist Badge with wings (unusual for a Royal Navy personnel but probably awarded as part of a Special Forces parachutist course). Bond's decorations again differ from You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me. Here they are: Order of the British Empire (OBE), Distinguish Service Cross, Campaign Service Medal (1962), UN Former Republic of Yugoslavia Medal, NATO medal for Former Yugoslavia and, Rhodesia medal.
Opening Title Sequence
|Bond and Wai Lin bring down a chopper||Bond shows Q how to drive an RC vehicle|
|Bond ejects his jet passenger|
|James Bond films|
Dr. No (1962) - From Russia with Love (1963) - Goldfinger (1964) - Thunderball (1965) - You Only Live Twice (1967) - Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
| George Lazenby |
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Live and Let Die (1973) - The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) - Moonraker (1979) - For Your Eyes Only (1981) - Octopussy (1983) - A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) - Licence to Kill (1989)
GoldenEye (1995) - Tomorrow Never Dies (1998) - The World Is Not Enough (1999) - Die Another Day (2002)
Casino Royale (2006) - Quantum of Solace (2008) - Skyfall (2012) - Spectre (2015) - Bond 25
Casino Royale (1954) - Casino Royale (1967) - Never Say Never Again (1983)