GoldenEye is the seventeenth James Bond film in the series franchise and was directed by Martin Campbell. The film was significantly delayed thanks to legal disputes that dragged on for six years and as a result, Timothy Dalton had resigned from portraying the espionage agent which resulted in Pierce Bronson assuming the role as the titular character. This film also resulted in a major casting change with Judi Dench becoming the first female M.
This film is also the first one in the franchise that was not based on any elements from the Ian Fleming's James Bond novel series.
A mysterious crime lord known as Janus has masterminded the hijacking of the "GoldenEye", a powerful Russian satellite weapon with devastating and crippling powers over all electronics! With Janus holding civilization itself as hostage; only James Bond can stop him!
But Janus is one cunning foe who truly knows Bond inside and out. Once a former 00 agent known as Alec Trevelyan, Janus is a former ally and friend turned bitter enemy. James Bond may have finally have met his match against a man who is just as cunning, just as skilled, and even more ruthless than he. But if Bond fails, who is left to save the world?
- Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
- Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan
- Izabella Scorupco as Natalya Simonova
- Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp
- Joe Don Baker as Jack Wade
- Judi Dench as M
- Gottfried John as General Arkady Grigorvich Ourumov
- Robbie Coltrane as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
- Alan Cumming as Boris Grishenko
- Tcheky Karyo as Dmitri Mishkin
- Desmond Llewelyn as Q
- Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny
- Minnie Driver as Irina
- Serena Gordon as Caroline
- Although this is the first original James Bond film with no story elements from Ian Fleming's novels, the name of GoldenEye is from the nickname of his beachfront house in Jamaica where he wrote the vast number of his novels. Fleming named the estate after the code name of a contingency plan created by the SIS in the event of a Nazi invasion of Spain during World War II; a plan which he helped devise.
- Although this was Pierce Brosnan's first appearance in the role of James Bond, it was not the first time he was offered the part of the British secret agent. In actuality, he had accepted the role nearly ten years earlier only for his contractual obligations with NBC resulted in Timothy Dalton being chosen instead. Ironically, Dalton had been Eon Productions' first choice for the role but had been unavailable due to filming commitments when Brosnan suddenly became available due to NBC cancelling his television series, Remington Steele following the fourth season and with it, with his contract to exclusively star in the show for additional three seasons would be negated. However, when NBC learned that Brosnan was being offered the role of James Bond; they reversed their decision and offered to extend the Remington Steele series as well as completely rearranging their shooting schedule to allow Brosnan to star in both. Producer Albert R. Broccoli flatly refused believing that "James Bond will not be Remington Steele and Remington Steele will not be James Bond," and that Brosnan would only be accepted if Remington Steele remained cancelled. NBC famously decided to renew Remington Steele for a fifth season (only to cancel it after a mere six episodes) and the legal wrangling and delays allowed Timothy Dalton to complete his project and was thus available to serve as the new James Bond for the next set of movies.