The World Is Not Enough’s 10th anniversary (and why it’s a signficiant 007 film)

There are a lot of significant 007 film anniversaries this year. One such anniversary, the 10th since the November 1999 release of The World Is Not Enough, may not get the attention of others (Goldfinger, Moonraker, and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Albert R. Broccoli and Richard Maibuam).

Still, the 19th James Bond movie produced by Eon Productions does deserve some comments. Afterall:

1. It was the last James Bond movie of the 20th Century.

2. It was an attempt to bring some serious drama to the 007 franchise by hiring Michael Apted as director. Apted was primarily known for serious dramas such as Coal Miner’s Daughter and Gorky Park as well as his involvement in the “7 Up” series of documentaries.

3. It was the first 007 film where Neal Purvis and Robert Wade were retained as screenwriters. A decade later, they’re still around and have been hired, assuming the film gets made, to script Bond 23, along with Peter Morgan.

4. It had the longest pre-credits sequence of the series.

5. It would be the last appearance of Desmond Llewelyn (1914-1999) as Q, the master of MI6’s special ordinance department. He died in an auto accident in December, a month or so after TWINE’s release. Feirstein’s final version of the script established that the Llewelyn Q might never be seen again and Apted staged the scene to emphasize that it was the end of an era.

TWINE doesn’t get the highest marks of the series and, got some mixed marks when our parent Web site ranked the Bond movies. It is uneven. On the one hand, the seeming innocent is really the villain (which creates a climatic moment for Pierce Brosnan’s Bond) while we’re treated to the absurdity of Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist.

The film had some odd moments in its production. While Eon Productions liked the work of Purvis and Wade enough to proceed, it also hired Dana Stevens (Apted’s wife) and Bruce Feirstein to do rewrites. Feirstein got a writing credit, but only late in the process (only Purvis and Wade were referenced in the title page of Raymond Benson’s novelization). It would be Feirstein’s last contribution to the series after three consecutive films.

In any case, here’s one of the trailers:

If you pause at the 2:13 mark, you’ll see it only has Purvis and Wade credited as writers.

Here are TWINE’s end titles, which were also a bit of a departure. Composer David Arnold did a long version of The James Bond Theme along with an overture of other music from the film: