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Trivia / GoldenEye

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The movie:

  • Actor-Shared Background: Some of Bond's demons parallel Pierce Brosnan's: Bond lost his wife in On Her Majesty's Secret Service; Brosnan was married to a Bond Girl (Cassandra Harris starred in For Your Eyes Only) and lost her to cancer. Bond alludes to this in GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough, without making a big point of it.
  • Backed by the Pentagon:
    • The French Armee de l'Air provided a prototype Eurocopter Tiger and its testing ship, the FS La Fayette, for its Monte Carlo scenes.
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    • Subverted by the actual Pentagon, however, who declined to support the film in an earlier draft as it was suggested that the murder of the Admiral at Xenia's thighs (with the Admiral originally being American) was an unflattering portrayal of American military personnel. The Admiral was quickly changed to be French-Canadian.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Sean Bean was a candidate to play Bond in the late 1980s.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Operation GoldenEye (Greece)
    • 007 Against GoldenEye (Brazil)
    • 007 and the GoldenEye (Finland)
    • Gold Eye (Slovenia/Slovak)
    • James Bond 007 - GoldenEye (Germany)
    • The Eye of Fire (French Canadian)
    • Agent 007 GoldenEye (Italy).
    • GoldenEye: The Return of Agent 007 (Latin America).
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: Part of the St. Petersburg tank chase was filmed on site. They faked all of the relevant statutes and treasures and smashed replicas on a UK Backlot, but that didn't stop a few breathless "They're destroying our art!" newscasts in Russia.
  • Deleted Scene: Several:
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    • Prior to the bungee jump, Bond severs the communication lines (this makes it into the video game though).
    • More of Bond and Wade driving through St. Petersberg.
    • A different introduction to Valentin Zuckovsky, involving an arms dealer.
    • A scene with Boris and Ouromov on the train.
  • Development Hell: Not nearly as bad as most examples, but it took 6 years for Licence to Kill to get a follow-up due to legal problems, the longest tenure between two Bond films to date. Pre-production for a third Timothy Dalton film started in 1990, but then production company Eon sued distributor MGM/UA (whose new owner, Italian fraudster Giancarlo Paretti, wanted to sell broadcasting rights for the 007 library at cut-rate prices) and the movie entered a standstill only solved in 1992 (after Parettie was ousted from MGM and arrested for fraud), with Dalton's contact expiring one year later and the actor opting to leave the role as pre-production for GoldenEye rolled in 1994, despite the first drafts of the script being written with him in mind. Thus, Pierce Brosnan got the job he could have gotten if he'd been released from his Remington Steele contract in 1987.
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  • Fake Brit: The very British James Bond is played by Irishman Pierce Brosnan.
  • Fake Russian: There's a lot (plus one Fake Georgian):
    • The Georgian Xenia is played by the Dutch Famke Janssen.
    • The Russian Boris played by the Scottish Alan Cumming.
    • The Russian General Ourumov is played by the German Gottfried John.
    • The Russian Defense Minister Mischkin is played by the Turkish-Greek-raised-in-France Tchéky Karyo.
    • The Russian Zukovsky played by the Scottish Robbie Coltrane.
    • The Russian Natalya is played by the Polish-born-raised-in-Sweden Izabella Scorupco.
  • In Memoriam:
    • The film was dedicated to effects supervisor Derek Meddings, who died before the film came out.
    • The Attract Mode of the pinball game includes the message "Dedicated to the Memory of Jack Bushell."
    • Alec Trevalyan shares a surname with John Trevalyan, the Secretary of the British Board of Film Censors when the first Bond films came out and the one who thus green-lit them despite critics at the time thinking it was too violent and raunchy, and who had died shortly before Licence to Kill was made (a decade earlier, but Licence was the last Bond film before this one).
  • Method Acting: Before filming the sequence in the sauna where Bond hurls her into the walls, Famke Janssen encouraged Pierce Brosnan to run her into the wall as hard as he could, and actually insisted he do it, citing that the walls were padded; Cue irony as Famke promptly managed to break a rib after Brosnan did as she demanded, the very damage her murderous thighs are meant to do in-movie.
  • The Other Darrin: Samantha Bond replaced Caroline Bliss as Moneypenny and Judi Dench replaced Robert Brown as M, becoming the first woman in the role. Dench was the only actress from the Brosnan films to go on to Daniel Craig's.
  • Production Nickname: Alec Trevelyan's dark coloured locomotive in the movie was nicknamed on the set as "Darth Train". The front of the train even somewhat resembles Darth Vader's helmet.
  • Real Life Writes the Hairstyle: Pierce Brosnan had long hair and a beard at his photocall, as he had been cast in a Made-for-TV Movie adaptation of Robinson Crusoe.
  • Romance on the Set: It's been reported that Pierce Brosnan and Famke Janssen were extremely attracted to each other during production (and both director Martin Campbell and producer Michael G Wilson allude to it on the DVD and Bluray commentary track, suggesting that there were a lot of 'secret desires' between the pair). Nothing ever "happened" as far as anyone knows, bur it sure explains their strong on-screen chemistry. Naturally, however, the British tabloids took this and ran with it, despite Brosnan being in a long-term relationship with Keely Shaye Smith and Janssen actively being married at the time.
  • Star-Making Role:
    • This is where Famke Janssen's filmography started to snowball, with her next major appearance being in Bryan Singer's X-Men Film Series. She had however stated a desire to avoid being typecast following GoldenEye, and reportedly received dozens of 'evil villainess' roles following her turn as Xenia; to avoid this, she used her turn in GoldenEye to gain numerous indie roles, including a spot on a Woody Allen film.
    • Subverted with Izabella Scorupco, who turned down high profile lead roles in The Mask of Zorro and L.A. Confidential after the success of this film to focus on raising her family. She's had a few supporting roles since this film, but never seemed interested in being a major star.
    • The second one for Pierce Brosnan. He was already famous when GoldenEye was made, but after Remington Steele (which put him on the map), he lapsed into mediocrity. Bond revitalized his career greatly, to the point where he's had of the most successful post-Bond careers.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • Bond pulls a few stunts in his old companion the Aston Martin DB5 while street-racing Femme Fatale Xenya in a Ferrari F355. While impressive by 1965 standards, the chassis and suspension of the DB5 would have never held up to a modern GTI, leave alone a F355. To film the chase, the F355 had to be modified, otherwise it wouldn't drift. Maybe this is the reason Q retires the Aston and gives Bond a BMW instead.
    • The movie came out in 1995. Natalya goes to an IBM office so she can contact Boris via the internet, and gives the sales rep a purchase order as a rather clever lie to use their connection. Computers using 500 megabyte hard drives, with 14.4 kbps modems, seem woefully underpowered today, but probably were of decent specs at the time in post-Soviet Russia.
    • Bond's digital camera, and the on-board computer in his car, which he used to send a picture of Xenia that MI6 analyzed on the spot, are within current smartphone or tablet capabilities.
  • Underage Casting: Trevelyan is the son of Lienz Cossacks and wants revenge against the British government for their betrayal. Sean Bean was born in 1959, making him way too young to have remembered this (lampshaded with a throwaway line). It makes more sense when you realise that the character was meant for an older actor.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: All Bond films are a product of their time, but this one stands out as being particularly dated to 1995, featuring a mid-1990s plot laden with computers, Hollywood Hacking, and the early Internet. Plus, there are a lot of post-Cold War themes unique to the time period.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Before Pierce Brosnan was cast, Paul McGann had discussions about playing the role of James Bond had Brosnan turn down the offer.
    • Elizabeth Hurley and Elle Macpherson were considered for the role of Natalya Simonova before Izabella Scorupco was cast.
    • John Rhys-Davies was set to reprise his role as General Pushkin from The Living Daylights when Dalton was still on, but the character was replaced with Defense Minister Mishkin.
    • The producers originally asked John Woo to direct, as early drafts had a significant number of action scenes. Woo declined, though said he felt honored by the offer. The action scenes from those drafts were recycled throughout Pierce Brosnan's run as the character.
    • Even after a six-year hiatus between this film and Licence to Kill, Timothy Dalton was initially interested in reprising the role of James Bond for just GoldenEye and not for any further films. Despite their great working relationship and friendship, producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli wanted Dalton to commit to a four to five-film contract, which Dalton was unwilling to do. Not wanting to be contractually obligated to stick around for longer than he was willing to, Dalton announced his resignation from the role in April 1994.
    • Reportedly, the part of Trevelyan was originally written to be an older character, a mentor to Bond who went to the dark side. Apparently the producers wanted to cast either Anthony Hopkins or Alan Rickman in the part, but both turned it down. An older character would make sense, given the timeline for the execution of the Lienz Cossacks in the wake of the Second World War. (When the part was re-written for a younger actor, the script skirted the issue by suggesting that Alec’s family survived the massacre, with his father committing suicide years later. “But my father couldn’t let himself or my mother live with the shame of it.”) There was also talk of the older Augustus Trevelyan as having been a previous M, rather than an equal 00 agent.
    • A subversion from a previous example. Pierce Brosnan was originally chosen to replace Roger Moore as James Bond but wasn't able to get out of his Remington Steele contract leading to Timothy Dalton getting the part.
    • The Rolling Stones were offered the chance to sing the title song, but declined. Ace of Base recorded a song that wasn't used.
    • Loelia Ponsonby, James Bond's secretary in the early novels, was written in the first draft. Miss Moneypenny originally was not meant to be in this film.
    • Prior to the production delays that resulted in the film not being released until six years later, it was originally assumed that the next Bond film after 1989's Licence to Kill would have been released in 1991 or 1992. According to the book The Bond Files, the film, had it been made at that time, may have carried the title Property of a Lady. Presumably the film would have had a completely different storyline given that GoldenEye was informed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, events that wouldn't have truly kicked in yet at the time the 1991-92 film entered production.
    • To bring the series into The '90s, the producers thought of new concepts for the series, such as a period piece set in the 1960s, a female 007, or a black James Bond. Ultimately, they chose to return to the basics of the series, not following the sensitive and caring Bond of the Dalton films or the political correctness that started to permeate the decade.
  • You Look Familiar: Joe Don Baker, who plays Jack Wade, earlier portrayed the villain Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights.

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