Patrick Brennan has fun writing his headlines for 1997’s ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
After the huge success of GoldenEye, expectations were high for Tomorrow Never Dies, but production was chaotic and shooting began without a finished script.
Pierce Brosnan’s second of four Bond movies, the villainous media mogul Elliot Carver was to be played by Anthony Hopkins, who dropped out, and was replaced with Jonathan Pryce.
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode, the film also stars Michelle Yeoh as the lead Bond girl and Chinese agent Wai Lin and Teri Hatcher as Carver’s wife Paris (a role that Spectre’s Monica Bellucci auditioned for), an unusual character in the world of Bond for having had a previous, off-screen relationship with 007.
The film is dedicated to the long-time producer Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli who died in 1996, and the soundtrack is the first of five Bond movies to be composed by David Arnold.
The film’s best sequence is the pre-titles one: Bond is at a terrorist arms bazaar, spying, when back in London a testy admiral (played by Geoffrey Palmer) overrides M (played by Judi Dench) and orders a missile to be fired at the bazaar.
However, Bond sees a nuclear torpedo attached to one of the planes there, and the missile strike would surely cause it to detonate. Bond has no choice but to attack the bazaar and hijack the plane.
As the missile strikes, Bond’s plane is seemingly engulfed in flames but emerges intact, only to be attacked both by another plane and the co-pilot in the seat behind him, who Bond had previously knocked out. Bond kills two birds with the one seat by ejecting the pilot behind him into the enemy plane, destroying it, and flies to safety.
The technology-hued title sequence is accompanied by Sheryl Crow’s competent theme song, but David Arnold’s preferred song, ‘Surrender’ by K.D. Lang, is the one woven throughout the movies score and plays in full over the end credits.