The Production Of Casino Royale Had To Be Careful Not To Set Off The ‘Austin Powers Alarm’

Keeping “Casino Royale” firmly in the realm of reality wasn’t too much of a challenge for the Bond brain trust. With Craig’s commitment to the gritty material — and of course, a rock solid director on deck — the Bond franchise was born anew.

While Craig himself found his own way to bring the character into the 21st century, other developments were spurred by an aversion to the “Austin Powers” films. The actor told The Guardian that there was an “Austin Powers alarm” on the set of “Casino Royale.” That limited the use of gadgetry and spiffy, semi-aquatic cars — not only in Craig’s inaugural film, but in most of those that came after. Even with the introduction of a new Q (Ben Whishaw) in “Skyfall,” the new Bond films kept the gadgets subtle. They even made a dig at the “exploding pens” and other kooky memorabilia that previous Bonds used. It was all in an effort to abandon the things that “Austin Powers” had skewered so liberally. “If something’s been parodied as much as that, there’s a reason for it,” Craig explained.

That’s not to say that those gadgets and cars didn’t have their place in other Bond films. “I love the fact that Roger Moore drives a Lotus into the water and it becomes a submarine. It’s a great movie moment,” Craig added. But “Casino Royale” was a very different movie — one with a very different mission.

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