"To Introduce our Guest Star, that's What I'm Here to Do..." The Hensonverse Fan Contribution Thread

The NHL as of 2024(East):
IMG_6658.jpeg
 
NHL relocations since the PoD:
1980: Atlanta Flames->Calgary Flames
1982: Colorado Rockies->New Jersey Devils
1995: Quebec Nordiques->Phoenix Coyotes[1]
1996: Winnipeg Jets->Colorado Avalanche
1997: Edmonton Oilers->Houston Roughnecks
2000: Pittsburgh Penguins->Atlanta Thrashers[2]
2002: Buffalo Sabres->Portland Navigators[3]
2008: New York Islanders->Cleveland Monsters[4]
2011: Florida Panthers->Edmonton Oilers[5]
Notes:
[1]The Nordiques were purchased by Peter Karmanos in 1994 and moved to America West Arena(which was built for hockey ITTL). Due to Karmanos’s obsession with all things Red Wings, their jerseys will look something like this(the shoulder patch will be two hockey stick-shaped cacti crossed). Sorry for butterflying the Kachinas.
[2]Because the NHL only adds two teams here, Columbia purchases the Pens out of bankruptcy in 1999.
[3]Paul Allen purchased them from the NHL in 2002; attendance was declining because of the Mariners’ move to Buffalo.
[4]After Norm Green sells the North Stars to Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner in 1992, the league implements stronger background checks on prospective owners. This means John Spano never buys the Islanders, so without the lucrative TV deal he signed, they move in 2008.
[5]The Panthers go bankrupt in 2009.
 
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@newsgeeking: please do not post partial contributions here. The NHL stuff is fine, but please take it to a PM until you have a fully completed post before putting it here. This thread is for completed posts only, not running drafts.
 
War (good God, y'all) What is it Good For? The Hollywood Box Office (say it again)!
Top 10 War Movies of the 2000s
From Five and Five: Top and Honourable Netsite, July 7th 2020

5) Chosin (2005)


Released by Columbia Pictures and directed by Edward Zwick, this historical epic/war film tells the tale about a squad of US Marines and their fight to escape a Chinese encirclement during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in Korea, in spite of the challenges posed by the difficult terrain, the bitter Korean winter taking it’s toil on both man and machine as well as the prejudices many of the characters hold towards three of the main characters, Terrence Howard’s Private First Class Henry Travis, Tyrese Gibson’s Private Nathaniel Jameson and Derek Luke’s Private Cameron Franklin, in spite that the US military is undergoing a desegregation process, with Arliss Howard’s Captain Aldrich very intolerant, with even Brad Pitt’s Gunnery Sergeant Fuller, Steve Zahn’s Corporal O’Malley and Sean Patrick Flanery’s PFC Durand, who are not outright full-on bigots, displaying varying casual attitudes of intolerance mixed in with respect for their skills as Marines.

The violence is intense, with characters not only sustaining horrific injury from enemy fire, but there’s a scene (which we don’t recommend anyone eat anything while watching) with Marines being treated for frostbite, and doctors cutting off the frozen limbs.

But no words can describe how the Hans Zimmer score just makes your heart sour when Durand, wordlessly, embraces Franklin, relieved to be alive, after Durand and Franklin (who having been forced to survive together) manage to escape and fight their way back to friendly lines.

Although historians will debate over the varying degrees of historical accuracy, Chosin is a great film, and a great look into what many considered a long forgotten conflict[1].

4) Samar (2008)

Released by 20th Century Studios and directed by Shaun Bakerson-Drake, this depiction of one of the greatest last stands in history, during WW2’s Battle of Leyte Gulf, is stunning to behold, with amazing production design and cinematography, intense battle sequences and an amazing score by James Horner.

Produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, with Cameron’s production company Lightstorm Entertainment cooperating with Bakerson-Drake’s production company, The Torch Entertainment Productions, Samar focuses on multiple viewpoints, one on the Japanese high command as they plan to attack the American landings at the Philippines by luring away Admiral Halsey’s Third Fleet, one on the perspective of Haruhiko Yamanouchi’s Admiral Takeo Kurita as he makes his way with his fleet towards Leyte, one on the perspective of Scott Glenn’s Clifton “Ziggy” Sprague as he leads “Taffy 3”, one on Zahn McClarnon’s Ernest Evans as he commands the USS Johnston, one on James Marsden's Petty Officer Second Class Patrick Van Cleave as the audience's view amongst the crew of the Johnston and one on Colin Hanks' Lieutenant Gordon Brooks, pilot of an Wildcat on board the USS Gambier Bay.

Like with Cameron’s Titanic, the film does a spectacular job in bringing the USS Johnston, the central ship of the story, to life by using authentic sets (built with the help of scans of the USS Kidd museum ship), miniatures developed by Thunderbird Studios and the CGI of Digital Domain.

And despite the multiple characters, the script did manage to balance them out well and make good use of the 176-minute runtime, making a great hit and adding another feather to Bakerson-Drake’s cap, although many critics tried to poke holes at any little bit they could find, including at how “Hollywoodized” many lines and actions were in the film (despite the fact that much of the events in the film really actually happened and the quotes in the film were actually said at the battle!)[3].

3) Angels of Death (2002)

Released by Warner Bros. Pictures and (the second one on this list) directed by Shaun Bakerson-Drake, it was the first theatrical production produced by his The Torch Entertainment Productions after it was founded the previous year.

Set on the Eastern Front of the Second World War, Angels of Death gets the look and feel of the Eastern Front right and is inspired by real events with many of it’s characters taking inspiration from real Soviet snipers, as it tells the story of Rachel Weisz’s Tatiana Komova, who suffers tragedy when the Germans arrive at her town and kill her family, before she joins the Red Army, in which she eventually becomes a sniper under the guidance of Natalya Shakirova (played by Sophie Marceau), and Alexei Vavilov (played by Jamie Bamber).

Of course, after Tatiana and Natalya becomes renowned in their efforts, the Germans aren’t taking their actions lying down and send in Major Erik Wolf (played by Christopher Lambert), a German sniper who is tasked by his superior Colonel Roland Adler (played by Karel Roden) to take out the titular “Angels” in the midst of the Battle of Stalingrad, leading to a game of cat-and-mouse as Tatiana seeks the opportunity to take out Adler, who she identifies as being responsible for killing her family.

An atmospheric, thrilling, if somewhat dramatised film, it does quite a good job at bringing to attention events on the Eastern Front, an event rarely covered in Western media[4].

2) Going Over the Top (2009)

A co-production between Working Title Films, StudioCanal, Constantin Film AG, and Universal Pictures, this WW1 film directed by Paul Greengrass depicts two British (Daniel Radcliffe as Henry Marson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as William Collings) and two German soldiers (Daniel Brühl as Georg Moldenhauer and David Kross as Johannes Petermann) as they experience combat and life within the Trenches of the Western Front from their sides.

Greengrass manages to cave a magnificent story as we watch both sides, with the movie cutting from the British side to the German side at varying times in the film to give perspective on how despite the fact that the two sides are opponents to each other, they actually have a lot in common, in that they were kids who signed up for the adventure of serving their country, only to be brought into what can only be described as “hell on Earth”. And oh boy, does Greengrass manage to capture the conditions correctly. Worth putting on your list of favourite WW1 films if you have one[5].

1) Trafalgar (2005)

Produced by Scott Free Productions, StudioCanal and Pathé and distributed by Paramount Pictures and directed by Ridley Scott, this depiction of the events of the most infamous battle in naval history, on the 21st of October 1805, rightfully takes the top spot on this list due to it’s authentic portrayal of Napoleonic warfare at sea and it’s uniqueness.

There’s just no other film quite like it and only a director such as Ridley Scott would have been able to pull off such a movie, with such high praise by the critics for it’s performances of Guy Pearce’s Horatio Nelson, Brian Cox’s Thomas Hardy, Tchéky Karyo’s Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, Alfred Molina’s Federico Gravina[6] as well as the intense battle sequences, it’s production design, the cinematography, the impressive Hans Zimmer score and the authentic look, feel and sounds of Napoleonic warfare at sea[7].

Five Honourable Mentions:
  1. Downfall (2004). Released by Constantin Film AG and directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, this film about Hitler’s final days in the the Führerbunker in Berlin, while still debated, is notable for Bruno Ganz’s critically acclaimed performance as the infamous dictator, Bernd Eichinger’s screenplay and of course, the numerous parody videos on the internet[8].
  2. The Red Badge of Courage (2007). Released by MGM and directed by Ron Howard, the third adaptation of Stephen Crane’s 1895 war novel, starring Shia LeBeouf as Henry Fleming, is just spectacular to behold in it’s battle sequences and it’s critically acclaimed performances.
  3. They Fought Alone (2009). Released by TriStar Pictures and directed by David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt in a biopic about Wendell Fertig, the civil engineer turned resistance leader in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion[9].
  4. Midway (2006). Released by Columbia Pictures and directed by Roland Emmerich, an all-star cast[10] populate this passion project[11] about the Battle of Midway.
  5. 73 Easting (2003). Released by Universal Pictures and directed by John McTiernan, Tom Clancy finally gets around to his first original screenplay about three US captains (who clash with their Vietnam veteran superiors) leading the assault on the Republican Guard at the Gulf War’s Battle of 73 Easting, “the last great tank battle of the 20th century”[12].


[1] Chosin (the same one mentioned here) receives positive reviews and is a box office hit, not to mention earning accolades (the Academy Awards especially) and sparking a surge in more Korean War films to be greenlit.
[2] Other cast members of Samar include Mark Rolston as Rear Admiral Ralph Ofstie, Tom Sizemore as Commander Leon S. Kintberger, Eion Bailey as Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland, Donnie Wahlberg as Commander William Dow Thomas, Michael Fassbender as Lieutenant Robert Hagen, Lucas Till as Gunner’s Mate Third Class Paul Henry Carr, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Jisaburō Ozawa, Clyde Kusatsu as Shōji Nishimura, Jun Kunimura as Kiyohide Shima, Sonny Chiba as Tomiji Koyanagi and Hiroyuki Sanada as captain of the Yukikake.
[3] Receives positive reviews and makes a decent profit, not to mention being quite received well by historians for it’s depiction of the Battle of Samar (despite the odd one or two historical inaccuracy here and there) as well as winning Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and nominated for Best Original Score at the Academy Awards.
[4] Received mixed reviews, in which critics will take note on the acting not being up to scratch, and thus will barely make $98 million out of it’s $68 million budget.
[5] A commercial and critical success which earns many accolades from the BAFTAs and the Academy Awards.
[6] Other cast members include in the main cast include Jeremy Irons, Orlando Bloom, David Thewlis, Jude Law, Kenneth Branagh, Clive Owen, Michael Sheen and Heath Ledger.
[7] Critically well received and earning many accolades from the BAFTAs and the Academy Awards, the film will be make around $216 million out of it’s budget of $150 million.
[8] Pretty much the same film as OTL.
[9] In OTL, this film was in discussion as late as August 2000, and Fincher stating that he wanted to direct it in January 2009, with Brad Pitt attached to play the role of Fertig.
[10] Cast members of this Midway (which is pretty similar to OTL, but with a few scenes changed and different scenes included) include Zachary Quinto as Richard “Dick” Best, Karl Urban as C. Wade McClusky, Hugo Weaving as John S. Thach, Dennis Quaid as Edwin T. Layton, Woody Harrelson as Chester Nimitz, William Baldwin as Raymond Spruance, Mark Rolston as William Halsey, Hiro Kanagawa as Isoroku Yamamoto, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Chūichi Nagumo and Yuji Okumoto as Tamon Yamaguchi.
[11] Yes this passion project of Roland Emmerich had been in his mind since the 1990s and William Goldman was interested in the project, but when executives at Sony Pictures balked at the proposed budget, he instead had to direct The Patriot and put the project on hold until he had to raise the money independently, and thus only began development in 2017.
[12] In OTL, Tom Clancy had been in negotiations with Universal Pictures in 1992 to write his first screenplay, 73 Easting, the rights of the story being secured by Vecchio Productions, who was set to have been co-produced with McTiernan's own Tongue River Productions.
 
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Actual quotes from the Battle of Samar:

“This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.”

“Brace yourselves boys, we’re sucking them into ack-ack range!”

“(when Johnston is crippled and near sinking) Fire on that cruiser. Draw their fire on us and off the Gambier Bay.”

“(as the Japanese Centre Force finally calls it a day and runs) Damn it, they’re getting away!”

The fact that OTL Hollywood isn’t all over this fight is either baffling or disappointing.
 
Media conglomerates as of 2024(Part 1)
ABCUniversalComcastTime ColumbiaTriad EntertainmentWalt Disney Entertainment
HeadquartersNew YorkPhiladelphiaAtlantaNew YorkBurbank
CEOBob IgerBrian RobertsMichael EisnerMira Velimirovic
Primary studioUniversal PicturesWarner Bros.Columbia PicturesParamount PicturesMGM, Walt Disney Pictures
Secondary studioHollywood PicturesOrion PicturesTriStar Pictures20th Century Pictures, Fox FilmsFantasia Films, Hyperion Pictures
Arthouse studioCaravan PicturesRepublic PicturesScreen GemsPinnacle Pictures, Searchlight PicturesWildside Pictures
Broadcast networkABCThe WBCBSPFNNBC, Telemundo
General entertainment networkUSA NetworkMoveitTBSPFXHyperion Channel
Family networksKid KingdomNickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, NeptuneCartoon CityCube, PFN Family, VixxenDisney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney Toontown, Teen Disney
Sports networksESPN(80%)Golf Channel, SpeedCBS Sports Network, NBA TVNBC Sports Network
Media conglomerates as of 2024(Part 2)
View attachment 905056
The table glitched, so I had to post the rest as an image.
So… media consolidation (5 companies owning the entire industry) still happens?
 
Remember to Let Her Into your Heart
Interview with Judith Barsi and Heather O'Rourke
From Fresh Air with Terry Gross, first aired August 15th, 2009

Guest post by @MNM041 with assistance from @Plateosaurus, @Nathanoraptor and @nick_crenshaw82
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Barsi and O'Rourke attending the 2005 Academy Awards.

TG:
Hello and welcome again to Fresh Air, I'm Terry Gross. With me today is actress Jude Barsi, who most recently lent her voice to Disney's Haunted Mansion, as well as her partner, Heather O'Rourke[1], who also contributed to Haunted Mansion having written a large chunk of that film's screenplay. We’re here to talk about their work and the story behind their relationship. Jude, welcome back. Heather, thank you for joining us.

JB: Thanks for having us Terry.

HO: Hello.

TG: We last spoke with Jude back in ‘96 and it's obvious to see that quite a bit has changed since then.

JB: Nah, I'm still pretty much the same. (Laughs)

TG: Jude, you've also recently ventured into writing and directing with Damsel, a deconstruction of classic fairy tale tropes, which came out in 2002. What was the experience like there?

JB: That's right, Damsel was probably one of the funest experiences I've had while working on a movie. I just loved getting the chance to write and direct for the movie. I loved getting to work with Steve Buscemi, he was awesome. It was just incredible and I loved every second of it. I especially loved playing the only Disney princess to have tattoos, that was [bleep]ing awesome.

TG: Indeed, if you don't mind me asking, how similar would you feel you are to your character Rebekah?

JB: Well, as I'm one of the people who came up with Rebekah I'd say pretty similar. I mean, I probably don't have the capabilities of pulling off the scams she's pulled, but that's about it.

HO: She's only saying that because she doesn't want to be suspected by the police.

JB: (Laughs) Oh, hush you.

TG: The same year Damsel was released, you also made a rare appearance in a live-action project, with Meet The Joneses: The Guest. That was when you two came back into each other's lives.

JB: Yeah, while I didn't have to wear any oversized tentacles on my head, it certainly was another example of why I prefer doing voice work. Studios need to learn that not everything needs to be a goddamn franchise.

HO: That right there is the same thing Don Mancini told me when I asked him why he wasn't coming back.

TG: Is it true that you two became an item while filming that movie?

JB: We've never been a fan of describing it that way but yeah, things started between us around the end of production. We'd known each other long before that, given she's Drew's best friend[2], but I didn't know much about her before working on that movie.

TG: I see, she's another "survivor of child acting" as you once put it.

JB: That health scare she had was a blessing in disguise.

HO: I'll be the first to tell you that I had it much easier than a lot of my friends.

JB: She never had to deal with creeps who wanted to see her tits the way I or Samantha did. I think at first I was kind of jealous of her, in the same way I was with Samantha, that she had the life I wished I had.

HO: Yeah, I only ever got a glimpse into the ugliest parts before I took a break from acting. In a weird way, I always felt kind of bad for that. Like whenever I listened to one of my friends vent about the horror stories, I genuinely felt bad because I couldn't relate. I know that sounds insane but that's how I felt.

TG: So Jude, what led you to star in one of her movies then?

JB: I just got over it. (Laughs) I mean, Heather always tried to be nice whenever we hung out and a part of me just felt so bad that I was resentful. She's like this big, excitable kid that you can't help but feel happy around her. So, when she offered me a role, I figured, “If Drew likes her, I should at least be nice to her.”

TG: And how exactly did you become a couple?

HO: This woman saved my life.

JB: (laughs) I wish you would stop saying it like that.

HO: Why? It's pretty much what happened.

JB: You're so dramatic sometimes.

TG: What exactly are you both referring to?

HO: Okay, so I've talked about this before but I suffer from real severe imposter syndrome[3]. Having a lot of people chalk my success up to luck, it affects you.

TG: And you worried that they may be right?

HO: Exactly. Even after Meet The Joneses came out, and I had people comparing me to these horror legends, I had this fear that I didn't deserve it, and I just started pressuring myself that my follow up had to be great. This eventually led me to start drinking to calm my nerves. I hid it well enough that I didn't even think anything was wrong. I always thought that since I wasn't showing up to the set drunk it wasn't affecting me. I wanted to be a director people took seriously. I also have this desperate desire for people to like me and as a result, I refused to let anyone see how stressed I was getting.

TG: Was the fact that Jude had recently come off her own directorial features a factor in this?

HO: Yeah, she already had two great movies under her belt. Making this more confusing and stressful was that around this time I was also slowly starting to realize I was bi. That made some early interactions between us weird, because I couldn't tell if I was into her or if I wanted to be her.

JB: (laughs) You really are the only person that would ever say that.

HO: Jude is blessed with the ability to not give a single [bleep] about what anyone thinks about her. It's one of the many things I love about her.

JB: Well, either way, Heather may have been good at hiding her issues, but that doesn't mean I couldn't see it.

TG: And you felt like you had to help her?

JB: Yeah, I could tell Heather was having issues, and I wanted to be there for her.

HO: She could tell I was spiraling and reached out to me more times than I probably deserved.

JB: Don't talk like that.

HO: I would basically try to shut down any attempt from her to get close to me, until one day, towards the end of production, in August I wanna say, she just went to my hotel room with Drew, and found me drunk off my ass. I saw the writing on the wall that the movie probably wasn't going to do well, and I was crying my eyes out in the fetal position because I was scared that I was gonna be a joke forever.

JB: Eventually, Drew and I managed to get Heather to a point where she admitted she needed to quit drinking. I ended up being by her side throughout a lot of it just because my own family history with alcohol made me worry about her, but eventually I realized I started to realize that it went deeper than just worry.

TG: That was when you realized you had feelings for her?

JB: Yeah, and I think that realization was terrifying for both of us.

HO: It was especially terrifying for me because I had only ever dated guys, and I found myself worried about all the ways I could screw it up.

TG: In what ways?

JB: I told you about this before in our last interview but Heather also knew about my “type”, how most of the people I dated were too much like my dear old Dad. Heather worried that her issues with the bottle made her too much like my type.

HO: Long story short, because of this, I kept worrying that I might [bleep] this up somehow and I don't want to be the reason someone I care about is going to therapy. Then there was the fact that I was technically still Jude's boss at the time, and I didn't want the press to hound her about that.

JB: I had to keep reassuring her in the early days. We ended up finding out eventually that Heather has ADHD, which results in her brain often going a mile a minute. As a result, she'd overthink every little thing and worry about what she could be doing wrong.

HO: Jude ended up getting me into marijuana, which has helped me regulate things. She's just about the one person I know always has faith in me.

TG: Heather, your relationship with Jude also led you to becoming a mental health activist as well.

HO: Yeah, it was part of why I ended up directing those PSAs Jude did with Kurt [Cobain][4]. I think before Jude and I started dating, I kept looking at the comparatively privileged upbringing I had compared to Jude and Drew, and I thought I didn't have a right to complain.

JB: Which I made sure to tell her was complete bull[bleep]. It's not a competition. If you have problems, you shouldn't be afraid to get help for them[5].

HO: I know that she finds it annoying when I say this, but she really did save my life. I've been sober for about seven years now.

JB: I do find it annoying, but I never get tired of how much of a romantic she is.

TG: Did your involvement with Jude play any factor in your decision to sign on for Haunted Mansion as a writer?

HO: Yes, and-

JB: She wrote all my [bleep]ing best lines.

HO: Well, I don't know about that, but I will say that it was a big part of the reason. Writing funny lines for Jude was fairly easy, especially considering I think she's the funniest woman in the world.

JB: Oh, you are such a sap.

HO: You love it.

JB: (Laughs) Sometimes, I feel like I'm dating a Disney princess, so you can certainly see why she was a great fit for Haunted Mansion.

TG: On the subject of family films, you two have recently announced that you were working on one together.

HO: Yeah, A Dinosaur In Central Park - which I’m co-directing with Shawn Levy. It’s a spiritual follow on to my episode of Primeval. It's about a young boy who finds a baby dinosaur in Central Park - Jude plays the main character’s mom.

JB: When you first described that premise, I fully thought it was going to be an animated movie and I was gonna voice the dinosaur.

HO: (Impression of Stryker from Land Before Time) Yeah, but I knew you were starting to get sick of doing voices like this.

JB: (Laughs) Sometimes I regret showing you how to do that voice.

HO: It also came from the fact that Jude and I are moms now.

JB: Yeah. God, that's still so weird to say.

TG: I was just about to get that. Many people were shocked when Jude announced her pregnancy back in 2007[6].

JB: Yeah, I know. It was weird for us when it happened. We'd been living together for a few years by that point. I came by the set for The Wendigo and I saw Heather with the child actors. She's really good with kids, which is always something I really liked about her. I remember I came to set, and I think I saw Heather personally climbing up a tree to help one of the kid actors who had climbed up and was too scared to climb down on their own.

HO: I told them not to wander off like that.

JB: I'd never thought about having kids. My own childhood was so [bleep]ed up that it never really felt like a logical step forward… but Heather once told me she wanted to be a mom, and after seeing her with the kids, I ended up thinking that I could see myself having kids with her.

HO: When she told me that, I panicked. We both knew adoption would be an uphill battle because we're not married and surrogacy wouldn't be an option with my health history.

JB: I suddenly blurted out that I'd be willing to do it. After a few months of planning, we were preparing to become Moms.

TG: And how did your pregnancy affect your home life?

JB: Well, Heather already worships the ground I walk on, but during my pregnancy she basically treated me like I was made of glass and she was worried I'd shatter. I'd normally think that was annoying, but it made me feel better about my decision, because I kept thinking, “She's going to be a really good Mom.”

HO: She randomly told me that at one point, and I think I cried when I heard that.

JB: You definitely did.

HO: Well, it was just important to me because I wanted you to feel like it was worth it to just go through all that.

JB: I know, I love you for that.

HO: I think becoming parents was part of what inspired us when it came to writing Dear Old Dad last year, at least on my end.

TG: How so?

HO: Well, I had this fear that I was going to turn into the main character at some point. I already work a lot and I think the notion that I would end up missing out on Jonah's life, it terrified me.

JB: And to clear, she really is a good mom. She had no reason to be worried about becoming that.

HO: Thanks honey.

TG: Jude, if you don't mind me asking, did you ever have similar worries about how you'd be as a parent.

JB: Yeah, I mean, I had this worry that I was just too damaged to connect with a kid. Heather kind of helped me through that.

HO: I wouldn't really say I did much. I just pointed out that there are a lot of young people in the industry who saw Jude as a mentor figure. Especially former child stars. Bridgette is a big example, she really helped Jude work through the fears she was having.

TG: That's Bridgette Andersen[7], right?

JB: Yeah, I met her while we were both working on an episode of High School Sucks back in ‘96, three weeks after our first interview now that I think about[8].

HO: Yeah, I suppose I should mention that I'm far from the first person Jude's helped out of a dark place. Whenever Jude sees someone who's struggling, she always tries to reach out.

JB: You make me sound like I'm Wonder Woman.

HO: She could tell that Bridgette was having issues and she helped get to go to rehab.

JB: Then I got Heather to agree to put her in a few of her movies.

HO: Bridgette is an absolute trooper by the way. She actually told me exactly how she wanted to die in both of her appearances in the Meet The Joneses movies.

JB: I think she's got a future behind the camera too.

HO: Yeah, she really does.

TG: Back on topic, Heather, are your fears of being absent in your child's life the reasons behind your comments about wanting to take a break from filmmaking.

HO: Yeah. I suppose I should clarify that I'm not planning on doing that immediately, I still have a few projects lined up, but between those fears and all just not wanting to go through burnout. I still got a bit left before that too. I'd say it also had a bit to do with something Karen told me.

JB: Oh right, did I forget to mention that my girlfriend is just casually friends with Karen [bleep]ing Carpenter. She's actually the reason I got to meet her. It was [bleep]ing cool.

TG: How did that come about?

HO: How'd we become friends or how'd I play a part in her meeting Jude?

TG: Both if you don't mind.

HO: Well, when I was a still a student at NYU, I ended getting a job as a set designer for one of 7 Year Bitch’s music videos, we were shooting in Long Island for reasons I can't really remember, but because of that, Karen Carpenter and Debbie Harry ended up dropping by the set. I knew they were mostly there to talk to the band, because I knew they worked out the production deal for them, but I couldn't resist the urge to introduce myself.

JB: Didn't you say one of them knew who you were?

HO: Vaguely. At one point during the conversation Karen looked me up and down and said, “Hey, aren't you the little girl from Poltergeist?” I think I almost fainted after that.

JB: Which was also my reaction when you took me backstage to meet her after one of her live shows in 2005.

(Heather and Jude both laugh)

HO: Back on topic, Karen and I became friends through our working relationship. I've used her music for three of my movies so far, and since she owns the masters to all her music outright. She is without a doubt, one of the nicest people I've ever met.

JB: She [bleep]ing rules.

TG: So, you said your friendship with Carpenter influenced your desire to step back eventually?

HO: Yeah, she told me she was worried I was overworking myself. She told me, “You keep working yourself like this, you and Jonah are gonna have a lot of catching up to do.” I do think she meant to make me worried about how present I am, but that ended up being what happened. I think it ended up being a wake up call for me because it made me reexamine how much parenting duties both covered.

JB: Yeah, so I'll end up being the breadwinner pretty soon.

(Heather and Jude laugh)

HO: Terry, I'm just going say it right now. God willing, I'm going to marry this woman some day[9].

JB: Yeah, I know I started this interview by saying that I'm a hell of a lot happier than I was back in ‘96.

TG: I certainly can tell. We'll need to take a short break. We’ll be back in a few minutes to speak more with Jude and Heather. This is Fresh Air on NPR.

— — — —

[1] This is a sort of sequel to a post from the main timeline, entitled Hey Jude.
[2] This was mentioned in a previous post about Heather. During the hiatus she had after a health scare, Drew was essentially the only famous friend she maintained contact with.
[3] This is an idea I came up with due to the fact that I had unintentionally given Heather a lot of lucky breaks, and felt like it would be fairly easy for someone in her position to fall into these traps.
[4] Credit to @Geekhis Khan for that idea.
[5] A message to anyone reading this: take care of yourself, no matter what they are, your problems are valid.
[6] Jonah ends up being born December 27th of that year, sharing a birthday with his other Mom.
[7] This person: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgette_Andersen Andersen's tragic death by a heroin overdose is prevented here.
[8] Anderson appears as one of the young girls Jude's character “baited” as it was put in the original “Hey Jude” chapter.
[9] @Geekhis Khan had indicated that same sex marriage is likely legalized around the same time. Since Jude and Heather live in California, that day for them ends up coming in 2013.
 
Last edited:
Sorry if this one feels a bit like fluff, but I've had this one on the back burner for a while and finally felt like I was ready to post.
 
At @Nathanoraptor's suggestion, I've made some edits to my most recent guest post, including changing the details of the family film that Jude and Heather were discussing and moving up the birth of their son.
 
The New New Bond
Bloodfire (2006)
From the Secret Agents Wiki Netsite

Infobox
Director:
Christopher Nolan
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli
Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein
Cinematographer: Wally Pfister, Hoyte van Hoytema
Editor: Lee Smith
Composer: David Arnold
Running Time: 144 minutes
Budget: $150 million
Box Office: $463.5 million
Rating: T
Production Companies: Syncopy Inc., Eon Productions
Distributed by: United Artists
Release date: 14th November 2006 (London), 16th November 2006 (United Kingdom), 20th November 2006 (United States)

Bloodfire is a 2006 spy film, the twenty-fourth in the Eon Productions James Bond series, the first to star Henry Cavill as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond and the first to be an original story, but with elements from the works of Bond author Ian Fleming. Directed by Christopher Nolan from a story from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein, with later collaboration from Christopher and his brother Jonathan Nolan, Bond joins MI6 and works to stop a plot by a rogue MI6 agent from using a biological weapon in London to launch a new Cold War.

Plot

In the pre-title sequence, James Bond (Henry Cavill) is a Royal Navy Special Boat Service operator with the 30 Special Forces Unit[1], which has been assigned to conduct a raid on a rebel compound deep within the Democratic Republic of the Congo to rescue an MI6 agent, Alan Carver (Jamie Bell), who was on the tail of a terrorist known as Renard (Claudio Santamaria), leader of the terror group known as Vulpius, before being caught.
After infiltrating by river, Bond and 30 SFU manage to get through to the compound, and fight their way through. The 30 SFU secure the site for intel while Bond finds Carver, who has been severely tortured.
Even though Bond tries to save him, it is too late and instead, Carver relays to Bond that “Vulpius will have Bloodfire”, but also warns Bond that his cover was blown by someone within MI6, someone known as Janus. Before he dies, Carver tells Bond the password for his personal computer at his home containing more information on Vulpius.

Days later, the 30 SFU are soon called upon to rescue hostages on board the cruise liner Atlantic Star[2], off the coast of Spain, being held by terrorists from Vulpius, who state that unless their demands are met, they will destroy the liner with a set of bombs they have onboard.
30 SFU infiltrate the liner via Royal Navy submarine and work their way through the lower levels, to find that the devices are seemingly fake, to which Bond’s commanding officer believes to think that the terrorists are bluffing, although Bond is unsure and thinks that the devices are meant to be found, meaning that the real bomb is still out of sight.
While 30 SFU rescues the hostages, Bond then finds out that Renard himself is onboard the vessel and heads over to confront him, despite receiving orders not to engage until they have a fix on the bomb.
Bond gets into an intense fight with the terrorist leader, until Bond overpowers him. However, when Bond tries searching for the detonator for the device, the terrorist leader mocks him and tells him that he entrusted it to Janus, who triggers it.
The bomb explodes, causing the liner to go up in an ablaze, and one explosion knocks Bond out as he falls into the sea.

After the title song, armed operatives enter a former Soviet biological weapons facility named Sovblisk-7 and manage to steal a particular biological weapon from the facility.

Later, at the Copenhagen Opera House in Denmark, “Mr. Cochrane” (Cillian Murphy), a representative from an unnamed criminal organization[3], meets with Grigori Pavelovich Alexeyev (Ciarán Hinds), a former Soviet KGB general who arranged for the theft of the weapon, codenamed Bloodfire, on the behalf of Janus after receiving backing from Mr. Cochrane’s organisation (namely the armed operatives) in exchange for a sum of $560 million.

Meanwhile, Bond wakes up in hospital, learning that his comrades have been killed or injured and many of the hostages died. Dismayed with how things have gone, Bond goes on a leave of absence and visits his ancestral home in the Scottish highlands, where he reunites with his paternal aunt Charmian (Annette Badland)[4].

He takes time relaxing, but finds himself restless with inaction, until a woman who only goes by the name of "M" (Emma Thompson), arrives to speak to him in regards to offering him a position with “Universal Exports” so that he can go hunt down Vulpius and stop whatever they have planned, for another attack is due via a weapon codenamed Bloodfire, which catches Bond’s attention, remembering the dying words of the MI6 agent in the Congo. M offers him a Universal Exports card and leaves, telling him that she hopes to have her answer by the end of tomorrow.
After thinking it through the evening, Bond manages to locate and find Universal Exports, and sneaks his way past security, straight to M’s office, where he learns that she is in charge of the 00 Section of the Secret Intelligence Service/MI6.

Impressed, M has one of her top agents, Trevor Burton/006 (Paul McGann), assigned to mentor him, while Bond is placed on a “probationary” stage.

Introduced to M’s Chief of Staff Bill Tanner (Colin Salmon), Bond then uncovers Carver’s personal computer and with Burton’s help, manage to uncover Carver’s files, namely his discoveries that several of the terrorists responsible for the recent attacks, including the one in charge of the hijack of the Atlantic Star, were paid though a bank account in the Bahamas, the bank itself being owned by Zacarias Greene (Mathieu Amalric), the CEO of Greene Enterprises, a multinational conglomerate involved in environmental issues.

Determined to investigate Greene’s links to Vulpius and the recent theft at Sovblisk-7, M has Bond and Burton head down to Spain (after receiving their equipment from Q (Dominic West), the head of MI6’s Q Branch, and Q’s assistant Smithers (Tobias Menzies), accompanied by MI6 field agent Eve Moneypenny (Thandiwe Newton).
They reach Madrid where Greene is holding a business party at his private villa to which Bond identifies Greene and Alexeyev, as well as a woman also watching the party from afar.
At the Casino de Madrid, Bond not only meets Greene and Alexeyev, but the woman whom she identifies herself as Katya Zukova (Clémence Poésy) and Greene’s wife Solange (Caterina Murino), who is living in an unhappy marriage.
After defeating Greene in Baccarat, Bond charms and romances Solange, learning that Greene is about to head to Algeciras for a business deal, so later, Bond and Burton infiltrate the villa, finding shredded documentation of payments made to the terrorists responsible for the attacks as well as the money having been received from a figure named Janus, which Bond realises must be the same Janus who is the mole at MI6.
Leaving the villa, Bond is detected by the guards and a struggle takes place, with Eve providing vital assistance to help them escape.

The next morning, Bond receives an invitation from Greene to take part in a private race at one of his racetracks, that he has arranged, with Bond to drive an Aston Martin DBR9 against Greene himself in a Porsche 911 GT3, so Bond has Burton and Eve go to uncover more information.
Burton heads to plant a tracking device on Alexeyev’s private plane at an airfield, while Eve heads to Greene’s private yacht in Algeciras.
After putting a tracking device on Alexeyev and Greene’s cars, and sneaking onboard the yacht, Eve manages to access Greene’s computer, uncovering blueprints for a biological weapon dispersal device, and an email to Janus detailing that the device will be ready to receive Bloodfire at “the train station outside Lille”. Eve is then captured by Dietrich (Clemens Schick), Greene’s chief of security.

Despite Greene’s efforts, Bond wins the race, and escapes the track to head to the rendezvous given by Eve, only to find himself surrounded.
Surrendering, Bond is knocked out.

Waking up, Bond and Eve are tied to chairs near the villa's swimming pool, finding Solange having been killed by Dietrich, as well as Burton captured. Interrogated by Alexeyev, Bond and Eve are defiant until Alexeyev has Dietrich “take care of Burton”, dragging him inside the villa, before addressing Greene that until everything is in place for London, he cannot afford any more leaks, and has Dietrich kill Greene, who is thrown into the swimming pool.

Eve tries to get free, only to be shot in the process and thrown into the pool along with Bond, before Alexeyev has the villa burned down with Burton inside. It seems like Bond and Eve are about to drown, until Katya Zukova (who had been observing from a distance), rescues them. However, the villa burns down completely, thus Bond is unable to rescue Burton.
While patching up Eve, Bond learns from Katya that she has been on the trail of Alexeyev, who is suspected of having been behind the theft at Sovblisk-7, and to find out who Janus really is, for whispers are amounting that Janus is planning a coup in Russia.

So Bond finds out that the tracking device planted by Eve, pinpoints Alexeyev at a high speed train station near Lille, the same location that Eve found that the Bloodfire device will be ready.
After arranging for Eve to catch a flight to London, Bond and Katya head to the train station, where they find that the Bloodfire device is ready and operational and is being loaded onto a high-speed train. Boarding it, they travel through the Channel Tunnel and stop off at a station in the Southeast of England, where Bloodfire is soon put onboard a converted lorry.

Bond and Katya make their way to try and put an end to the scheme, only to be caught and surrounded with Burton revealing himself as Janus, much to the surprise of Bond.

Burton reveals to Bond and Katya that he had faked his death, and has been Janus for six years, organising terrorist attacks through Alexeyev and Greene “as a warm-up to the main event”, the deployment of Bloodfire in London, to which once he has a coup arranged for Alexeyev to take power in Moscow, he’ll manipulate the narrative in that Vulpius was sponsored and backed by the new USR government in such a way that tensions will renew between the West and the USR, relaunching a new Cold War. Plus, if he claims “the credit” for the death of Janus, whom he’ll use a double in the role, he’ll be credited as a hero for saving the 00 Section, as the British government has been seeking to disband it, and he’ll also save his own job, for M had been seeking to dismiss him.

So, Burton has Katya taken by Dietrich, to be framed as Janus, but before he can have Bond killed, UK Special Forces and armed police arrive on scene (having been alerted by Eve contacting MI6 on the situation). A battle rages, with Bond taking advantage to try and stop the lorry, only for Dietrich to drive away with Katya restrained in the passenger seat.
Alexeyev attacks Bond, only for Bond to wound him.

Soon, Bond gets his Aston Martin V8 Vantage (which he had arranged to be delivered on scene) to pursue them, only to be pursued by Burton in his Jaguar XK.
An extensive car chase takes place on the motorway, with Burton and Bond bashing their cars in the process, before Katya manages to free herself from her bonds and attack Dietrich, causing the lorry to crash over a bridge into a river, after clipping Burton’s Jaguar. Bond stops and heads over to the sinking lorry, jumping in to save Katya, succeeding and reaching shore only to find Burton there, intent on achieving revenge on Bond for foiling his plot.

An three-way fistfight ensures, between Burton, Bond and Katya, before Burton manages to subdue Bond and put Bond at gunpoint, preparing to kill him when Katya throws a knife into his back, killing Burton.

Later, Bond is debriefed by M at MI6, congratulating him for foiling Burton from unleashing Bloodfire on London, as well as revealing that Alexeyev has been arrested and is to be taken to the USR to be imprisoned. M also welcomes Bond to MI6, revealing that Bond’s actions have earned him a place into the 00 Section, and assigns him a codename, 007.
Afterwards, Bond meets Katya at his Aston Martin, and after his offer of dinner is declined, he instead takes her to the airport for her to catch her flight back to Moscow in his Aston Martin, with Katya giving Bond her number “in case he needs a friend” and a kiss before leaving.

Smiling, Bond drives off. And the film ends with a Gun barrel sequence.

Cast

Henry Cavill as James Bond/007.
Paul McGann as Trevor Burton/006/Janus.
Clémence Poésy as Yekaterina “Katya” Zukova.
Caterina Murino as Solange Greene.
Thandiwe Newton as Eve Moneypenny.
Ciarán Hinds as Grigori Pavelovich Alexeyev.
Mathieu Amalric as Zacarias Greene.
Clemens Schick as Dietrich.
Claudio Santamaria as Renard.
Cillian Murphy as “Mr. Cochrane”.
Emma Thompson as M.
Colin Salmon as Bill Tanner.
Dominic West as Q.
Tobias Menzies as Smithers.
Annette Badland as Charmian Bond.
Jamie Bell as Alan Carver.

Production

After the release of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger in 2001, Eon Productions were now in the midst of deciding where to take the Bond franchise from there, for Ralph Fiennes had made perfectly clear that it would be his last performance as Bond.

In an interview in 2022, producer Michael G. Wilson explained the conundrum, “After Ralph departed, we decided that we couldn’t recast his Bond, then do any of the short stories from the For Your Eyes Only collection. For one thing, they were not substantial enough to hold up a movie on their own. Nor could we combine them into one movie, for trying to make them all into a plausible movie would have been a whole complete mess. And finally, we couldn’t skip over and do Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice and The Man with the Golden Gun, for Blofeld and SPECTRE were still held up in the legal dispute raging between Kevin McClory and Eon[5]. Plus, by around 2000, when we were doing Dr. No and Goldfinger[6]. we felt that we weren’t doing anything too new with those films. Don’t get me wrong, we had fun with Fiennes, doing Casino Royale and adapting the Fleming novels more closely and doing a retrospective look on them, but we were at the risk of going stale by sticking with Bond in the 50s and 60s, so we figured that it was time for something new and the decision was made for us to relaunch Bond into a whole new continuity, set in the 21st Century”.

Although there were growing voices from the fandom to go back to doing Bond in the vein of Connery and Moore, going down that route was a non-starter, “The Basil Shagwell films and Lord Albion films, had basically satirised all those tropes that the Connery/Moore films were best known for, with a lot of reliance on computer-generated imagery and plots that delved within the realms of fantasy a lot of the time. So we couldn’t go back to the whole ‘Old New Bond’ thing, even if we wanted to, not to mention that we reckoned that in light with the rise of terrorism in the world, especially after the Bismarck attack in 2002, frivolity didn’t feel all that appropriate[7]”, Wilson explained.

So with the decision to reboot taken, Eon hired Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein to write the script and develop the story of what was then known as Bond 24 in 2002, with initial drafts including a media tycoon, an oil baron, an entrepreneur/philanthropist, an industrialist and an 00 agent as villains, while plots and the macguffins were said to be quite “varying” and “all over the place”, with “not one of them sticking in such a way that it gripped us”.

But troubles with script and story lead to delays, not to mention that many directors were considered to take Bond into a new direction, with Alex Proyas, Ang Lee, Louis Leterrier, Marc Foster, Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Danny Boyle, Tom Hooper, Paul King, Mike Newell, Matthew Vaughn and Guy Ritchie considered as well as Martin Campbell (who previously directed 1994’s Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale and 1996’s To Live and Let Die), Roger Spottiswoode (who previously directed 1997’s Ian Fleming’s Moonraker), Philip Noyce (who previously directed 1998’s Ian Fleming’s Diamonds are Forever) and Michael Apted (who previously directed 1999’s Ian Fleming’s From Russia with Love) among those looked at before Barbara Broccoli brought to Eon’s attention, Christopher Nolan, director of 2000’s Memento, 2002’s The Keys to the Street[8] and 2004’s The Prestige[9].

Impressed with his work and feeling he had the appropriate cred to bring Bond in a different direction, as well as challenging and engaging the audience in new ways, whilst still paying homage to iconic elements of the Bond franchise, plus his reliance on practical stunts and effects rather than on computer-generated imagery, Broccoli managed to convince Eon to give him a call.

Even though reluctant to direct a Bond movie, Nolan was intrigued by what Wilson and Broccoli were pitching to him, a chance to bring Bond into the 21st century and they agreed with his notion on updating Bond to modern sensibilities while also continuing to explore Bond's character traits and maintain the overall darker, grittier tone found in Ian Fleming's novels.

And thus the announcement was made in February 2005, with Nolan as director of Bond 24.

Immediately getting to work, Nolan included his brother Jonathan onto the writing team, where they immediately got attracted to the idea of a 00 agent as a villain and worked in elements of a post-Cold War world as well as writing in the use of biological weapons as the macguffin of the film, in light of the Bismarck bombing which had increased fears of more usage of dirty bombs, chemical and biological weapons in future terror plots at the time.

Initially, gadgetry was going to make a introduction into the script, but Nolan elected to drop the heavy usage of gadgets from his script, feeling that many of the gadgets in the script were there “for the sake of having gadgets” and that their usage were “cop-outs for Bond to get out of tricky situations, rather than him relying on himself”, and leaving only the minimal amount for this film only, with only an Omega SeaMaster watch (equipped with an high intensity light on the dial, an garrotte wire, akin to Red Grant's watch in 1963's From Russia with Love)[10], a microchip implant, binoculars with digital camera, night vision, thermal vision functions and a mobile phone issued by Q Branch, along with a Browning Hi-Power pistol and a Walther PPK.

As for the title of the movie, names like At Your Service, Risico, Janus, Licence to Kill and Everything or Nothing were considered until Bloodfire was chosen by June 2005.

To replace Ralph Fiennes as James Bond, names like Daniel Craig, Dominic West[11], Dougray Scott, Sam Worthington, Hugh Jackman, Rupert Friend, Karl Urban, Eric Bana, Matthew Rhys, Christian Bale, Goran Višnjić, Alex O'Loughlin, Julian McMahon, Ewan McGregor[12], Orlando Bloom, Tom Hiddleston, Tobias Menzies, Clive Owen, Gerard Butler, James McAvoy, Sam Heughan, Rupert Penry-Jones and Jamie Bamber were considered.
Bale declined to take the role because he didn’t want to commit to a franchise that was “very British” and thought James Bond represented “every despicable stereotype about England and British actors”[13], Craig declined due to prior commitments with Star Trek: Discovery, while Clive Owen wanted gross profit points, which Eon and United Artists rejected[14] and Goran Višnjić was rejected for being unable to master an British accent[15].

The search was then narrowed down to Butler, Penry-Jones, Bamber, McAvoy, Heughan and Henry Cavill, before Nolan chose Cavill for the role, despite Eon’s concerns that the 22-year old Cavill was much too young.
Then on 18th October, 2005, Eon Productions and United Artists introduced Cavill at a press conference at HMS President, after Cavill boarded a Royal Marines Rigid Raider from HMS Belfast, flanked by Royal Marines, announcing him as the sixth actor to portray James Bond[16].

Being the youngest compared to Sean Connery’s 32, George Lazenby’s 29, Roger Moore’s 45, Sam Neill’s 39 and Ralph Fiennes’ 32, criticism arose from fans and critics, feeling that Cavill did not fit with the ideal image of Bond in their minds, with many newspapers running headlines of “Bond, Baby Bond” on account of his age, and internet chat rooms feeling that Eon was making a mistake in choosing someone so young for the role and vowed to boycott the film in protest, although there were those who did believe that he had both the looks and the potential.

The next casting was for Katya Zukova, the main Bond girl.
In earlier drafts, before the role was written as a Russian FSB agent, the character was originally an CIA agent named Pamela, with Angelina Jolie to be strongly considered for the role. Another draft included Doctor Scarlet Fields, a scientist specialising in chemical and biological weapons.
Actresses Olivia Wilde, Eva Green, Audrey Tautou were in contention for the role[17], before Clémence Poésy was chosen for the role.

For the role of the main antagonist Trevor Burton (a name lifted from a planned prequel developed for The Living Daylights[18]), Eon considered Jason Isaacs, Robson Green, Dominic West, Dougray Scott, Liam Neeson, Sean Bean and Paul McGann (Neeson, Bean and McGann having been contenders for the role of Bond[19] in Casino Royale), before Nolan asked Paul McGann if he wanted the role.
Initially reluctant, McGann agreed after Nolan pitched to him that Burton would be “a Bond villain like none Bond had faced before”.

To replace Pete Postelwaithe as M, Emma Thompson was cast, making Bloodfire to be the first film in the series to have a female M, while to replace Desmond Llewelyn (who had passed away in 2004) as Q[20], Bond contender Dominic West was chosen.

Initial drafts had Moneypenny already as Secretary to M, but with Nolan entering the film, the role was rewritten to have her as a MI6 field agent, as Nolan felt that the original character in the films was “just part of the background” and felt more excitement in rewriting her character into being more involved in the plot.
Names like Jodhi May, Shelley Conn and Rhona Mitra were considered before Thandiwe Newton was chosen (replacing Caroline Bliss as Moneypenny).

Other casting choices included Ciarán Hinds as Grigori Alexeyev, Mathieu Amalric as Zacarias Greene, Clemens Schick as henchman Dietrich, Caterina Murino as Greene’s wife Solange, Colin Salmon as M’s Chief of Staff Bill Tanner, Tobias Menzies as Smithers and Cillian Murphy as the mysterious “Mr. Cochrane”.

Filming

As with all his films, Nolan refused to utilise a second unit, in order to keep his vision consistent throughout the whole movie, even if this practice raised eyebrows with Eon.

Filming began on the 6th of January 2006 before being concluded on the 20th of September.

The raid on the rebel compound in the Congo was filmed at Black Park in Buckinghamshire[21], while Ardverikie House and it’s estate up at Kinloch Laggan in Scotland were used to film Bond’s ancestral home[22], while the Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell, London, was used as the exterior of the Universal Exports building.

Further filming took place at the Copenhagen Opera House in Denmark, various locations around Madrid (one in particular being the Casino de Madrid), Gibraltar (standing in for Algeciras), the Le Mans Circuit (for the racing sequences), exterior shots of the Channel Tunnel, the Nene Valley Railway (for the train station scenes), the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire and the Itchen Bridge in Southampton (for the car chase scenes on the motorway and the lorry crashing into the river), as well as Heathrow Airport (for the film’s final scenes) and the British Army's Stanford Battle Area in Norfolk (for certain exterior scenes at Sovblisk-7)

Sound stages at Pinewood studios, including the 007 Stage, were utilised for filming the rest of the film, mainly, interiors of the Sovblisk-7 facility, several levels onboard the Atlantic Star as well as scenes onboard the high-speed train, supervised by production designer Nathan Crowley.

Effects

Long time veteran special effects and miniature effects supervisor Chris Corbould returned for his twelfth Bond film[23], with Paul Franklin as visual effects supervisor.

Miniatures were made of the Atlantic Star, the Royal Navy Trafalgar-class submarine deploying Bond and 30 SFU, and the closed city of Sovblisk-7 (which were matched with filming at the Stanford Battle Area).

The second movie in the three-film deal with Ford Motors’, Aston Martin’s owners[24], after Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger utilised the Aston Martin DB Mk III as per the original book, Bloodfire sees James Bond utilise Aston Martin's recently released V8 Vantage as his main car, while Jaguar, Ford Motors’ other subsidiary[25], provided their latest Jaguar XK model for Trevor Burton’s car.

Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin’s auto racing team in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, provided the film crew with around 3 Aston Martin DBR9s for the racing sequences, with AMR driver Darren Turner doubling for Bond.

Daniel Kleinman, the Bond title designer since 1994[26], designed the Bloodfire title sequence.
On the request of Christopher Nolan, who felt that they did not fit with the film's spirit, Kleinman did not include woman silhouettes for the titles, the first time since 1962’s Dr. No, but instead utilised a silhouette of Bond going through "phases", namely a military uniform being swapped out for a suit, his assault rifle swapped for a Walther PPK, all emphasising Bond transitioning over from a military environment straight into the world espionage. The sequence held heavy emphasis on foxes (referencing Vulpius and Renard), two-faced masks (referencing Janus) as well as aerosol particles, cells and microbes, which emphasised the Bloodfire biological weapon.

Music

The soundtrack for Bloodfire, released by Decca Records, featured music composed by David Arnold, his sixth soundtrack for the Bond film series[27] (the score being orchestrated and conducted by Nicholas Dodd), while David Bowie[28], who had starred as Nikola Tesla in Nolan’s The Prestige, performed the title song, “Bloodfire”, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 79th Academy Awards.
Unusually in a Bond film, the “James Bond Theme” was only played during the end credits, making Bloodfire the first film to not feature the "James Bond Theme" in its entirety until the very end of the movie.

Reception and Legacy

Bloodfire premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on the 14th of November 2006, two days before it’s release in the United Kingdom on the 16th and six days before it’s release in the United States on the 20th, and would gross around $463.5 million at the box office, against a budget of around $150 million.

In terms of critical reception, critics praised Henry Cavill’s performance as Bond, calling him “a Bond to look forward to”, as well as the direction of Christopher Nolan, and the script diverging from usual Bond tropes, making Bloodfire “even more of a breath of fresh air after Ralph Fiennes’ take”, although many felt that the scenes between Bond and Katya Zukova “could have been better”, and the other antagonists, Greene and Alexeyev, were “underdeveloped”, compared to Trevor Burton.

Nonetheless, the success of Bloodfire lead to the green-light for a sequel.

[1] Based on No. 30 Commando/30 Assault Unit, Ian Fleming's unit during the Second World War, in which the commando types and their wartime experiences provided one of the many basis for James Bond.
[2] In OTL's Casino Royale, instead of an attempted bombing of the Skyfleet prototype, there would have been a hijacking of a cruise ship in Cape Town, but this was scrapped after Eon Productions were unable to secure filming locations in South Africa.
[3] Due to copyright issues of the time, this organisation could not be identified as SPECTRE.
[4] Mentioned in the You Only Live Twice novel, Charmian Bond did appear in an an Bond 15 script made by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson by around the time of The Living Daylights, which was rejected by Albert B. Broccoli, as even though he liked the script, he felt audiences were not ready to see a rookie Bond (no doubt that he was influenced by the box-office failure of Young Sherlock Holmes).
[5] Yes, the infamous dispute between Kevin McClory and Eon Productions which dated all the way back to Ian Fleming writing up Thunderball in 1961, born from a collaboration between Fleming, McClory, Jack Whittingham, Ivar Bryce and Ernest Cuneo. Initially, Fleming had solely claimed himself as the sole author, resulting in McClory going to the High Court for breach of copyright, leading to the matter being settled in 1963, and thus McClory and Whittingham being credited. Then, in 1964, a deal was made between Eon Productions for McClory to produce Thunderball, and soon, McClory worked on developing a second adaptation of Thunderball in the 1970s, which lead to a ruling that McClory owned the sole rights to SPECTRE and Blofeld, thus, Eon Productions had to remove them from The Spy Who Loved Me and replace them with Karl Stromberg, and thus why John Hollis's character in the pre-title sequence in For Your Eyes Only is uncredited and unidentified. McClory's attempts to adapt Thunderball a second time continued on until he was eventually able to get Never Say Never Again made in what became known as "the Battle of the Bonds". Afterwards, a sequel was planned, S.P.E.C.T.R.E, before that idea was scrapped and McClory tried to adapt Thunderball again with Warhead 2000 AD by around the 1990s, only for it to be scrapped. In the end, it wouldn't be until 2013, after Kevin McClory died in 2006 (on the 20th of November, four days after the British release of Casino Royale), when McClory's heirs would sell the Thunderball rights to Eon, and SPECTRE and Blofeld would be reintroduced into the Eon series with 2015's Spectre.
[6] Since I've already selected who is directing the other Ralph Fiennes Bond films (since Geekhis Khan only described Martin Campbell as directing Ian Fleming's Casino Royale), I've decided that Ian Fleming's Dr. No and Ian Fleming's Goldfinger (which I've taken the decision to add "Ian Fleming's" to the titles as a way to distinguish the films from their predecessors) is directed by Renny Harlin.
[7] This is a similar feeling in OTL, in which Eon Productions felt that after the September 11th attacks, Die Another Day delved too far into the realms of fantasy, on a level not seen since Moonraker, and thus they needed to "go back to reality".
[8] After Following, Memento and Insomnia, Nolan had adapted Ruth Rendell's novel of the same name into a screenplay and was planning to direct it for Fox Searchlight, only to choose to direct Batman Begins with Warner Bros. instead.
[9] Nolan had planned to direct this film in around early 2003, before production of Batman Begins was accelerated, thus meaning he had to wait until afterwards.
[10] Due to Lindy Hemming being costume designer, she will still be introducing the Omega SeaMaster as the replacement watch for Bond's Rolex Submariner. Also in this film, Bond utilises the watch as an improvised knuckleduster, like in OTL's Casino Royale.
[11] He was considered for the role of Bond around 2005, when the search for replacing Brosnan was on for Casino Royale, and somehow, he had heard a rumour that Brosnan was going to return (even though this was impossible, as Brosnan's deal was for 4 films and that had been fulfilled by Die Another Day), so he ruled himself out.
[12] Was offered the role, but due to already being cast as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, he feared being typecast, so he passed on the role.
[13] True! Plus, he felt he already "played a serial killer" in American Psycho.
[14] Yes, this was true as well. Plus, Clive Owen was of the opinion that Sean Connery was the definitive Bond.
[15] Apparently, this was why he was rejected in OTL.
[16] Same event occurred when Daniel Craig was announced to portray Bond.
[17] Olivia Wilde and Audrey Tautou were in contention for Vesper Lynd in OTL, only for Eva Green to win the part.
[18] The character of Burton Trevor/Bart Trevor, would later be reworked into Augustus Trevelyan/Alec Trevelyan for Goldeneye.
[19] Neeson declined to play Bond, initially claiming he was not interested in starring in action films, but later admitted that his then-girlfriend, Natasha Richardson, would not have married him if he had agreed to play Bond. Bean had been a second choice for Eon for playing Bond in what would become Goldeneye if Timothy Dalton did not return, only for Pierce Brosnan to be given the part, and the producers instead giving Bean the role of Alec Trevelyan, while McGann had been given an audition and impressed the producers, but MGM demanded Brosnan for the role.
[20] With a different direction for the Bond movies, Desmond Llewelyn does not die in a car crash in 1999, but instead lives a bit longer, but still passes away, albeit more peacefully.
[21] The Black Park was used to film the scenes in Uganda for OTL's Casino Royale.
[22] Another addition to the Bond 15 script would have been Bond's ancestral home. In OTL, this idea would eventually appear with Skyfall Lodge in 2012's Skyfall.
[23] Corbould worked on Bond as far back as A View to a Kill, as an uncredited special effects technician, and worked his way up to special effects supervisor.
[24] Ford Motors owned Aston Martin from around 1987 to 2007.
[25] Ford also owned Jaguar from 1989 till 2008.
[26] In OTL, Daniel Kleinman became the Bond title designer for Goldeneye after Maurice Binder's death in 1991, so in TTL, Kleinman designs the titles for 1994's Casino Royale and following Bond films onwards.
[27] In OTL, David Arnold started his work on the Bond franchise in Tomorrow Never Dies after John Barry recommended him to Barbara Broccoli due to Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project, so in TTL, I reckoned that after maybe John Barry does Casino Royale in 1994 and another film composer does To Live and Let Die in 1996, David Arnold will compose for Ian Fleming's Moonraker.
[28] In OTL, David Bowie had actually been considered to play Max Zorin in A View to a Kill, but instead decided to play Jareth in Labyrinth instead because he disliked the script and in his own words, "didn't want to spend five months watching my stunt double fall off cliffs".
 
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