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Tomorrow Never Dies
25th Anniversary 1997-2022


Tomorrow Never Dies 25th Anniversary 1997-2022

At the end of July, Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh moved to the ‘007 Stage’ at Pinewood Studios, which was being used for the first time in the series since The Living Daylights, a decade earlier. The underwater unit captured the scenes for the film’s climax on board Carver’s stealth vessel. The final shooting script for Tomorrow Never Dies was dated August 18, 1997 and credited to Bruce Feirstein, based on screenplays and revisions by David Campbell Wilson, Nicolas Meyer, and Daniel Petrie Jr. The final script had some 127 added scenes included, and 149 deleted from the first draft, with very little of the original script remaining. Principal photography ended on September 5th, leaving just three months of post-production before the film was due in cinemas. The job of crafting the footage from five different units into a coherent story fell to Dominique Fortin [the series’ first female editor since Thelma Connell, who was ultimately replaced on You Only Live Twice (1967)] and Michel Arcand, with Director and ex-editor Roger Spottiswoode overseeing the process with the two Canadian-born editors.

Reprising his role as CIA liaison Jack Wade, American actor Joe Don Baker makes his third and final appearance in the James Bond series in Tomorrow Never Dies | American stage magician, actor and writer Ricky Jay (1926-2018) played cyber-terrorist and arms dealer Henry Gupta | American actor Vincent Schiavelli (1948-2005) played the German professional assassin Dr. Kaufman.

ABOVE: AN ECLECTIC CAST (left) Reprising his role as CIA liaison Jack Wade, American actor Joe Don Baker makes his third and final appearance in the James Bond series in Tomorrow Never Dies. (centre) American stage magician, actor and writer Ricky Jay (1926-2018) played cyber-terrorist and arms dealer Henry Gupta. (right) American actor Vincent Schiavelli (1948-2005) played the German professional assassin Dr. Kaufman.

Long-time James Bond composer John Barry (1933-2011) [pictured below left] had been in discussions with the producers to return to the series after a ten-year gap. Ultimately, Barry could not agree terms. However, he recommended composer David Arnold after meeting him and hearing some of the tracks for his upcoming album of James Bond covers Shaken And Stirred: The DAVID ARNOLD James Bond Project (1997).

John Barry | Shaked and Stirred: The DAVID ARNOLD James Bond Project | Propellerheads/David Arnold On Her Majesty's Secret Service CD single

David Arnold recorded his score for Tomorrow Never Dies over six months, beginning on May 31, 1997 - and also collaborated with Alex Gifford of Propellerheads for the track ‘Back Seat Driver’, which accompanied the frenetic car chase in the Hamburg car park. Arnold and Gifford had also recorded a new version of John Barry’s ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, which was one of the highlights of the Shaken And Stirred album. The track, which also appears on the Propellerheads 1998 album Decksandrumsandrockandroll,  was released as a single (pictured above right) in the UK, and peaked appropriately at number (00)7 in the chart on October 18, 1997.

David Arnold & David McAlmont | Sheryl Crow Tomorrow Never Dies poster |  Moby James Bond Theme

David Arnold had written a proposed title song for Tomorrow Never Dies called ‘Surrender’ with lyricist Don Black and singer-songwriter David McAlmont [pictured above with Arnold], who recorded the demo (the pair had previously collaborated on Shaken And Stirred album with McAlmont performing the Shirley Bassey classic ‘Diamonds Are Forever’). The theme was also interpolated into Arnold’s score for Tomorrow Never Dies, with the song ultimately recorded by popular Canadian singer k.d. lang. However, there were many other submissions for a title song from other artistes including Pulp, Saint Etienne, Marc Almond, and Sheryl Crow. The producers chose Sheryl Crow's song for the main titles, and Arnold's composition was used over the end titles. As had been the case with John Barry’s score for Thunderball in 1965, David Arnold was still composing and recording music for Tomorrow Never Dies when it came time to assemble the soundtrack album in readiness for its November 25th release date. Consequently, the original 1997 A&M album only reflected two-thirds of the finished score. Just over two years later a second soundtrack album was released by Chapter III Records and included seven more tracks from the rest of the film. The 2000 album dropped Sheryl Crow’s title song and ‘James Bond Theme (Moby’s Re-version)’, which had been recorded by the popular American musician, songwriter, singer and producer Richard Melville Hall - known professionally as Moby. The techno remix of Monty Norman’s ‘James Bond Theme’ featured dialogue samples of Pierce Brosnan from GoldenEye (1995) and Sean Connery and Gert Frobe from Goldfinger (1964) and was a big international hit reaching #1 in Iceland! (and also the top spot in the UK Independent Chart). The track was used during the promotion of Tomorrow Never Dies, but not heard in the film.

Tomorrow Never Dies A&M Records 1997 release Tomorrow Never Dies Chapter III Records 2000 release

The score for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) has been released three times on CD. The original 1997 A&M album (far left) only featured tracks from the first two-thirds of the film. A 2000 release from Chapter III Records (left) expanded the track selection to include music from the entire film, but dropped the vocal performances of Sheryl Crow and k.d. lang. A 2022 25th anniversary double-CD release from La-la Land Records (right) presented an expanded and remastered version of the complete score.

Tomorrow Never Dies La-La Land Records 2022 release

In recognition of Albert R. Broccoli's insistence that every James Bond film produced by EON Productions should bear the name of the character's creator, Ian Fleming (even when the film contained no real connection to any Fleming novel), it was decided by his family that all subsequent Bond films should also bear Broccoli's name. Consequently, the opening titles of all James Bond films beginning with Tomorrow Never Dies have started with the line “Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions presents”.

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) World Charity Premiere

ABOVE: (left) The souvenir brochure for the World Charity Premiere of Tomorrow Never Dies held in aid of King George's Fund For Sailors on Tuesday December 9, 1997. (top right) Beginning with Tomorrow Never Dies all James Bond films have started with the line “Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions presents” in recognition of the producer who (with Harry Saltzman) brought 007 to the big screen. (bottom centre) Pierce Brosnan arrives at the ODEON Leicester Square. (bottom right) Shirley Bassey was one of the invited guests and James Bond alumni who included ‘Golden Girl’ Shirley Eaton, and Burt Kwouk who had also appeared in Goldfinger (1964), followed by Casino Royale and You Only Live Twice  in 1967.

Tomorrow Never Dies had its World Charity Premiere at the ODEON Leicester Square, on December 9, 1997; followed by an after-premiere party at Bedford Square, home of original Ian Fleming publisher, Jonathan Cape. Unusually, the premiere was not attended by any members of the Royal family, and proceeds from the charity event were donated to the King George's Fund For Sailors. Tomorrow Never Dies went on general release in the UK and Ireland on 12 December and, in most other countries during the following week. Budgeted at $110 million (almost double that of GoldenEye), Tomorrow Never Dies went on to gross over $333 million worldwide. Despite its script problems, the final film remains popular with fans, and was made at a time the industry was embracing the possibilities of Computer-Generated Imagery. There are some minor CGI effects in Tomorrow Never Dies (notably the enhancement of skylines) but nothing that detracts from the story and visuals as they would in 2002's Die Another Day made four years later. Pierce Brosnan’s second James Bond film was the first to be heavily promoted on the Internet, and became the first of the series to be released on a special edition DVD in the USA in 1998 - with many behind-the-scenes featurettes and promotional materials, which would become standard on later releases. The original DVD release is unique in that it also includes as a special feature an isolated audio track containing David Arnold’s complete score without dialogue or effects.

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, Geoffrey Palmer as Admiral Roebuck and Judi Dench as M in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

25 years on Tomorrow Never Dies still stands up as an enjoyable entry in the series, featuring the character of James Bond more in the style of the Sixties interpretations. Falling somewhere between Sean Connery’s and Roger Moore’s interpretation of Ian Fleming’s secret agent hero, Pierce Brosnan proved popular at the time and remains so to this day. Brosnan’s portrayal of James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies won him the 1997 Saturn Award for Best Actor; introduced in 1976, the Saturn awards are presented annually by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films to honour the top works in science fiction, fantasy, and horror in film, television, and home video. Pierce Brosnan was also nominated as Best Actor for GoldenEye (1995) and again for Die Another Day (2002). Daniel Craig was similarly nominated for playing James Bond in Casino Royale (2006) and Skyfall (2012).

Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh publicity portraits Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

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