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Miranda Frost: "This is crazy. You're a double O."
James Bond: "It's only a number..."
―James Bond and Miranda Frost.

Die Another Day is the twentieth James Bond series made by EON Productions and the fourth and final film to star Pierce Brosnan as MI6 agent James Bond. It was released in 2002 and produced by Bond veterans Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. It is the first film not to feature Desmond Llewelyn as Q since Live and Let Die (1973) after his death from a car accident in 1999, days after The World Is Not Enough was released.

Die Another Day, being the twentieth Bond film and also being released the year of the Bond film's "40th Anniversary," pays homage in some sort of way to every previous official James Bond film [1]. It also additionally references several Ian Fleming novels as well as novels by other official Bond authors.

The story begins in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea with a spectacular high-speed hovercraft chase and continues via Hong Kong to Cuba and London where Bond meets up with the two ladies who are to play such important and differing roles in his quest to unmask a traitor and to prevent a war of catastrophic consequence. Hot on the trail of the principal villains, Bond travels to Iceland where he experiences at first hand the power of an amazing new weapon before a dramatic confrontation with his main adversary back in Korea where it all started.

Although not officially acknowledged as a second adaptation of Fleming's novel, Moonraker, Die Another Day includes plot elements from the book that go beyond the fact the movie contains references to numerous past films and books. In the novel, a Nazi adopts a new identity, Hugo Drax, and becomes a popular British multi-millionaire. He then donates millions to create a "Moonraker" missile which is supposed to be for Britain's protection but is actually meant to destroy London. The parallels between that plot and Die Another Day's plot are apparent. In addition, the club called Blades, a fencing club in this film, was featured as a card club in Moonraker and Bond and the villain have different forms of "duels" in those locations. Lastly, the character of Miranda Frost was originally named Gala Brand, the same name as the Bond girl in the original Moonraker novel. This makes Die Another Day the first Bond film since 1989's Licence to Kill to adapt substantial elements from Fleming's stories.

Die Another Day is the first Bond film to acknowledge borrowing a major element from a non-Fleming novel; according to the DVD release, the Korean villain, Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, is named in honour of Colonel Sun, the villain in Kingsley Amis's Bond novel of the same name.

Plot summary

The plot, reminiscent of Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever and GoldenEye, involves billionaire businessman "Gustav Graves", who through Cuban genetic engineering, is actually a North Korean Colonel (Colonel Moon) who in the pre-title sequence was supposedly killed by Bond. The film's title, Die Another Day, refers to Colonel Moon surviving his first encounter with 007. Upon meeting later in the film Bond comments, "So you live to die another day."

Moon's scheme involves the construction of an orbital mirror system made of diamonds that will supposedly focus solar energy on a small area to light the Arctic nights. In truth the orbital mirror system is actually a superweapon designed to clear a path through the minefield in the demilitarized zone that separates North Korea from South Korea.

Q demonstrates the Aston Martin Vanquish's features.

Bond, with the aid of NSA agent Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson, defeats Colonel Moon, whose other major technology is an exoskeleton equipped with a high-voltage electric weapon, and prevents global catastrophe. Along the way, he beds both Jinx and Moon' assistant, the blond "ice queen" Miranda Frost. Frost, in a succession of twists, is first revealed to be working for MI6, then later as a double agent for Moon.

Unbeknownst to Moon, Bond had not only survived their Arctic encounter, but had covertly boarded the plane in North Korea. On board, after Moon murders his father General Moon, Bond attempts to shoot Graves but is foiled by a henchman and opens a window instead; causing the plane to depressurize. Donning the mechanical exoskeleton, Moon and Bond fight hand-to-hand as the aircraft spirals out of control. After seemingly defeating Bond by electrocution, Moon attempts to evacuate the plummeting aircraft by parachute. Bond reaches out and yanks the parachute's release cord; causing Moon to be pulled through a hole in the fuselage. As Moon desperately clings onto the edge of the chassis, Bond reaches out and activates the suit's electric defenses causing Moon to shock himself. He loses his grip and is sucked - along with the controls for the Icarus - into the plane's jet engine.


The movie departs from the usual Bond formula in several ways. Die Another Day begins with an action set-piece which, instead of a comic ending, ends with Bond captured by the North Korean army, after which he is tortured for fourteen months, depicted in a stylized manner through the title sequence. The movie also shows some attempts to improve the appeal of Bond to a younger audience, featuring two separate scenes of Bond surfing, a more contemporary soundtrack (by David Arnold), and extensive use of The Matrix-style slow-motion pans. Critical reaction to the film was mixed, even allowing for the typical disdain of action films (and of sequels) held by many reviewers. Many saw it as a retread of old ideas from the Roger Moore era that did not mesh with more "modern" takes on the genre such as 24 and The Bourne Identity, and scoffed at the attempts to appeal to a younger audience; supporters of the film counter that the so-called "retread of old ideas" was simply the film paying homage to earlier Bond films, adding that Bond's incarceration and torture at the start of the movie sufficiently broke the pattern of recent Bond films.

Some also felt that the extensive use of CGI special effects detracted from one of the major appeals of the older films—that the stunts, however preposterous, were actually performed. The quality of the CGI effects in some scenes was also criticized; compare the action sequence at the beginning (Bond's near-escape in Northern Korea using hovercrafts) and the parachute-assisted surfing stunt at the end.

The Film is also criticized for its unrealistic approach too, with its plot which was largely considered "far fetched" An idea aided by elements such as the Genetics Clinics, The Ice Palace, and the invisibility cloak on the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish fitted by Q Branch.

Marketing for the film was also criticized by some fans. In previous Bond films (with the exception of On Her Majesty's Secret Service) the actor to portray Bond is undoubtedly the top-billed star with all other actors in a supporting role; however with Die Another Day Bond girl Halle Berry had been elevated to co-star status with Pierce Brosnan; at least one of the film's posters gives Berry equal billing with Brosnan.

The film also elicited poor opinions across the Korean peninsula, with the North unhappy with its portrayal as a brutal, war-hungry state, whilst many South Koreans were offended by a romantic scene conducted in a Buddhist temple and a scene where an American officer issues orders to the South Korean army in the defense of their own homeland.

Regardless of these criticisms, Die Another Day took in $456 million in ticket sales worldwide, making it the highest-grossing Bond film until Casino Royale was released in 2006.

Die Another Day was the first movie since Live and Let Die not to feature Desmond Llewelyn, who had died in 1999 just after the release of The World Is Not Enough. John Cleese, formerly of Monty Python's Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers took over the role of Q; however, it is clear that he is playing a different character (who had been introduced as Q's assistant in The World Is Not Enough). Cleese's Q refers to "his predecessor" in one scene.

Cast and Characters



See: Die Another Day (soundtrack)

Vehicles & gadgets

Main articles: List of James Bond vehicles and List of James Bond gadgets

  • Aston Martin V12 Vanquish - The car is equipped with all the usual refinements including front-firing rockets, hood mounted guns, and passenger ejector seat in homage to the original Aston Martin DB5 driven by Bond in Goldfinger. The car was also equipped with an adaptive camouflage device, that allowed it to become invisible to the naked eye at the push of a button (although it could still be detected in infrared.)
  • Jaguar XKR - While not technically a Bond car, this car was driven by the criminal Zao. Like Bond's car, it came equipped with guns mounted on its hood, missiles, and it could launch mortar shells.
  • Ford Thunderbird — Although only in the movie for a short period of time, the vehicle was marketed as a Bond car. Jinx drives the 007 Ford Thunderbird to the entrance of Graves Ice Palace and Mr Kil's PA drives it away.
  • 1957 Ford Fairlane convertible - When Bond departs Raoul's villa, he borrows his convertible when 007 requests a fast car.
  • Glass Shattering Ring (Official name: Ultra-high frequency single digit sonic agitator) - This ring, given to Bond by Q-Branch, emits a high pitch sound that shatters any glass it's near.
  • Rebreather - Seen only briefly (when Bond is swimming under the ice), the rebreather is along the same design as the one in Thunderball, allowing the user a short supply of oxygen.
  • Watch - Seen in the pre-title sequence, the watch included a concealed explosives detonator, activated by turning the bezel. Later in the movie he receives another watch, which is revealed to contain a laser powerful enough to cut a hole in the frozen surface of a lake.
  • Surfboard - Also seen in the pre-title sequence, Bond's surfboard includes a trick compartment which houses a Walther P99 (and silencer), 2 bricks of C4 explosive and a GPS equipped knife.


Film locations

Shooting locations


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See Die Another Day (novelisation)

Jinx spinoff

Berry's performance was heavily criticized by many reviewers and fans, though ironically she won an Academy Award for Best Actress (for Monster's Ball) in the midst of filming, making her only the second actor after Christopher Walken to be an Oscar-winner at the time of their appearance in an official Bond film (Judi Dench also won an Oscar in 1999, but this was after her debut in the series). Regardless of these criticisms, the character of Jinx was nonetheless considered popular enough for MGM to announce plans for the first-ever James Bond spin-off movie based upon the character and starring Halle Berry. Stephen Frears was attached to direct. MGM abruptly cancelled production in late 2003 to focus on the next James Bond film, Casino Royale. Some film critics have speculated that the cancellation may have been connected to the box office underperformance of several female-led action films in 2003, most notably Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. However, according in some interviews Berry has not ruled out a possibility of Jinx spin-off.


Being released on the 40th anniversary of the James Bond franchise, there were many references to the past 19 James Bond movies in Die Another Day.

Tributes in Die Another Day
Film Original Scene Die Another Day Scene
Dr. No Honey Ryder's introduction and bathing suit. Jinx's intro scene and swimsuit.
From Russia with Love SPECTRE filming James Band and Tatiana Romanova in Istanbul. (This is also the scene used to screen-test potential new James Bond actors ever since.) The Chinese Secret Service film Bond and the massage girl through a mirror.
Goldfinger Bond bets Auric Goldfinger his gold bar for the golf game. The betting of Gustav's diamond for the fencing duel.
Goldfinger As he demonstrates a gadget-filled vehicle's capabilities to 007, Q tells Bond he never jokes about his work.
Thunderball Bond switches on a jet pack inside Q's workshop.
You Only Live Twice Tiger Tanaka refers to M having a secret subway train. The aforementioned underground trains which were referred to in You Only Live Twice are shown.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service James Bond escapes from an avalanche in Switzerland. Bond escapes from another huge avalanche.
Diamonds Are Forever Gustav Graves says "Diamonds are forever. But life isn't." before the fencing duel. In a magazine ad for Gustav Graves' company, the caption at the bottom says, "Diamonds are forever."
Live and Let Die Mr. Big's drug crops blow up on the island of San Monique. The Icarus laser blows up the minefields.
The Man with the Golden Gun The layout of Scaramanga's "trick house" used for duels. Bond goes through the secret entrance at the DNA replacement hospital, he passes through a room with colorful spinning mirrors.
The Spy Who Loved Me James Bond skiing off a cliff and emitting a parachute with the Union Jack on it. Graves lands outside Buckingham Palace in a Union Jack parachute.
Moonraker Jaws' boat going over the Iguaçu Falls. Colonel Moon's hovercraft falls down by a large waterfall.
For Your Eyes Only Sheena Easton, the singer of the theme song, appears in the film's opening credits. The singer of the theme song, Madonna, cameos in the film.
Octopussy The acrostar jet and the crocodile sub are in Q's workshop.
A View to a Kill Max Zorin watches Silicon Valley from his aircraft before it flooded. Graves watches over the destruction that he wreaks from the front windows of his plane.
The Living Daylights James Bond drives a jeep into the rear of a soviet aircraft in Afghanistan. Bond and Jinx drive into Graves' cargo plane to stowaway.
Licence to Kill Bond going renegade and having his "License Revoked" by M. M says "Licence Revoked", the original title of Licence to Kill.
GoldenEye Bond escaping from the train by cutting through the floor with his watch laser. Bond using a laser in his watch to cut through a section of ice.
Tomorrow Never Dies Wai Lin sticks a shuriken star into a guard's throat as he finds her

on the stealth boat.

Jinx throws a knife straight into a guard's throat just as he comes through a door.
The World Is Not Enough The sprinkler system starts after the bomb kills Sir Robert King at MI6 Headquarters. A sprinkler system comes on in the scene at the gene therapy lab.
Multiple films Ernst Stavro Blofeld changes his appearance and assumes a new identity until Bond locates him.[2] Col. Tan-Sun Moon changes his appearance and takes a new identity until Bond locates him.


  • Die Another Day is the first James Bond film in which Bond was captured and tortured by a foreign power.
  • A number of items inside Q's lab appeared in previous James Bond films, including such memorable gadgets as the rocket belt, shoe with poison-tipped blade, Acrostar minijet, and the alligator boat among many others.
  • It has been suggested that Richard Branson was the inspiration for the Graves character.
  • The character Wai Lin, played by Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies was originally supposed to make her return, aiding Bond in Hong Kong, but no arrangement could be worked out with the actress and she was replaced by Chinese Intelligence agent (and hotelier) Chang. Wai Lin's presence is confirmed by an extra on the DVD release concerning the writing of the script: Barbara Broccoli is shown leafing through an early script, and it clearly contains lines for Wai Lin. She would have become the first lead Bond girl to make a return appearance had this happened.
  • On Bond's flight to London, the flight attendant who serves him a vodka martini is played by Roger Moore's daughter, Deborah Moore.
  • There is a deleted alternative Bond and Miranda Frost Love scene but in a Hot Tub instead of the Bedroom scene.
  • The magazine with the picture of Gustav Graves which Bond is reading on his flight to London is actually the real November 2002 in-flight magazine for British Airways. The magazine does in fact have an interview with Toby Stephens about playing the role of Graves.

Bond's "Birds of the West Indies" as featured in Die Another Day

  • The book A Field Guide to the Birds of the West Indies by James Bond, the ornithologist whose name inspired Ian Fleming[3], is picked up by Bond in a scene in Havana. Bond also claims to be an ornithologist when Jinx asks him what he does.
  • A few weeks before the film was released, TV news reports broke the story that Sean Connery had filmed a cameo appearance in this movie, possibly as Bond's father. The producers of the film strongly deny any such appearance had been considered, let alone filmed, so the origin of this news report remains a mystery. A decade later, the exact same rumour emerged regarding Connery allegedly appearing in Skyfall as Bond's father, that, however, was reportedly actually considered.
  • The title is taken from a poem by A. E. Housman: "But since the man that runs away/Lives to die another day...". However, in the context of the film the title's meaning is given in the theme song as Bond refusing to give up during his months of torture.
  • According to a report printed in the Daily Mirror newspaper on January 6, 2001, actor Edward Woodward (best known for his TV series Callan and The Equalizer) was being "lined up" to take over the role of M in Die Another Day (which, at the time the article was printed, had the working title Beyond the Ice). According to the Mirror article, a subplot was planned for the film which would have seen Judi Dench's M retiring.[2]
  • During many parts of the movie (most notably the action sequences; i.e. the fight scene at the Cuban clinic) some of the bars of John Barry's theme from On Her Majesty's Secret Service can be heard repeatedly intertwined with the other background music.
  • This is the first occasion in which the lead villain is played by two different actors within the same film.
  • The flesh wound comment refers to the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which John Cleese co-wrote and starred in.
  • The supposed anti-satellite missile launch is actually footage of a Harpoon anti-ship missile being launched from a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate. No naval vessel or sea launched weapon has this capability. The footage is the same as used at the beginning of Tomorrow Never Dies.
  • As Bond makes his escape from the medical ship in Hong Kong Harbor, a sound cue from the very beginning of Dr. No is inserted amid the soundtrack.
  • Upon giving Bond the customary watch for the mission, Q remarks that this is the twentieth time Bond has had to be given a watch. This is a reference to the fact that Die Another Day is the twentieth Bond film.
  • Die Another Day was the first (and so far only) Bond film in which the bullet fired from Bond's Walther PPK in the gun-barrel sequence is visible.
  • Following the 9/11 attacks, makers of fantasy-related media scrambled to develop stories that explained why, for example, Superman was unable to prevent the attacks. Filming of Die Another Day began in December 2001, making this the first Bond film made after 9/11. The plot element of Bond having been held captive for more than a year provided a rationale for 007 not having been present for the attacks. The event is alluded to by M when she tells Bond that, since he was taken captive, "the world has changed."
  • M remarks that Bond had cyanide and in responds, he says he threw it years ago. Cyanide appears to be a standard for SIS/MI6 agents as mentioned in Skyfall which disfigured Raoul Silva when he chewed on it.




External links


  1. [1]
  2. Although Blofeld's change of appearance is primarily due to different actors taking the role, On Her Majesty's Secret Service specifically refers to him undergoing some cosmetic alterations before changing his name, while Diamonds Are Forever introduces an element of plastic surgery as Blofeld assumes another identity. Blofeld substantially changing his appearance is also referenced in Fleming's novels.
  3. Salvador, R.B. & Tomotani, B.M. 2015. The birds of James Bond. Journal of Geek Studies 2(1): 1-9. Available from: https://jgeekstudies.org/2015/05/10/the-birds-of-james-bond/