wild script – The Strange World of GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies

What do you do while you wait for Bond 20’s premiere or for the next Bond Collectors` Weekend to commence? Why, you examine the many bizarre similarities and space-time continuum opposites between Brosnan`s first two outings as 007. The following list has caused more than one barroom brawl between fans!

Have fun with this list. How is it that talented Bruce Feirstein and one dozen other writers, directors and producers worked with GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies, making them dissimilar films, and yet so bizarrely alike? Am I seeing conspiracy where none exists? Am I drinking too much coffee or watching too many TBS days of 007? Is something seriously wrong with me and the Mrs., authors of the following list of useless trivia comparisons? You be the judge!

PS: Read the whole thing (if you dare!) and at bottom you get a special bonus, “proof” that Brosnan will never make a third James Bond film. (That was a good one.) Have fun!


Cast, Crew & Production:

Both films had title songs and end title songs composed by different artists.

Only the title songs appeared as single CDs.

Both films had stars who are singers themselves, Jonathan Pryce and Isabella Scorupco.

Both were over two hours, even after significant editing down; both made over 350 million at the box office and were advertised and had tie-in products for many millions.

George Lazenby and Sean Connery were rumored for villains, and a rival Kevin McClory was rumored for both films–This did not happen!

Both had excellent re-mixes of the Bond theme prepared for them that were never used in the film score.

In GEYE, Bond plays cards for a hobby. Ricky Jay who plays “Gupta” in TND, throws cards for a living.

Both titles end with a “long I” sound.

Both flicks were turned into “The Making of” books that were not as good as their predecessors, The Making of License To Kill or Roger Moore’s account!

Both were published as movie tie-in novels in England by Hodder as their only hard cover versions, both were published by Charter and Boulevard in the UK and US respectively in soft cover–neither were as good as their predecessors, “License to Kill” or the Wood…even Raymond Benson calls his latest Benson Bond Three and not his fourth James Bond novel!

Both movies were produced by Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Wilson makes cameos in both, not as a villain but as someone employed by the bad guys, and both times his working context involves the government of a superpower nation.

Both movies debuted in odd-numbered years.

Both Brosnan and Feirstein were rumored to have a good relationship with Martin Campbell and a crummy one with Roger Spottiswoode.

All four songs were sung by single acts, not bands; the title songs were both done by single female acts; Tina Turner and Sheryl Crow both have ten-letter names composed of a four letter and a six letter word–The title song of GoldenEye is 4:46 on the movie soundtrack and TND’s song is 4:47 long. The soundtracks had 16 and 15 songs respectively–Both title songs use the word “eye” or “eyes” in them.

Taking away common letters from both titles leaves “GRIMLY SORROW TV” or what might happen when these films move to TBS!

Both had posters with Bond in the middle, gun to cheek, a female on either side, a fiery explosion and movie vehicles pictured; both ad campaigns featured prominent circular shapes in their logos and design; the 007 logo blown up in size and the GEYE satellite path.

Bruce Feirstein gets a main script writing credit on both, though technically speaking, he was the first (and last) author to handle both projects!

Fun cast fact: Hollywood Irish Pierce Brosnan’s first big movie was “Goldfinger” starring Sean Connery; Sean Connery’s first big movie was “Darby O’Gill and the Little People”, where he stars as an Irishman.

Both had Walther guns, BMWs and trading cards tied in to their toys.

Both movies polarized fans who tend to either love or hate the film intensely.

Joe Don Baker was a last-minute replacement in both.

Both starred Brosnan, Llewellyn, Dench and Samantha Bond; both were not influenced much by Albert Broccoli; both reflected 90s sensibilities and are the two most discussed, pictured and advertised Bond films on the Internet; both carried new gun barrel sequences and music for their film and displayed the new United Artists logos and music.

Desmond Llewellyn appears as reading off cue cards in both films.

Only a fan would understand both titles; that GEYE was Fleming’s villa and that the working title or TND, Tomorrow Always Comes was the working title of a Gardner novel. One title was one of the best loved titles by fans, the other, one of the most disliked– both movie titles refer to the villain’s chief tool or weapon.

One had one of the best loved title sequences, the other one of the most disliked by the same technician; same thing for the two title songs and the two end title songs, “Surrender” and “The Experience of Loving!”

Both were especially popular in Japan, where TND did better than Titanic in its opening weeks.

Both films had controversial score composers; David Arnold for being a great bond composer who some thought erred with Shaken Not Stirred and with using the Bond theme and Barry riffs too much; Eric Serra for being a poor Bond composer who did not use the Bond theme enough! Both Serra and Arnold join John Barry and Bill Conti in having a last name with just one more letter than in their first name!


Teaser Sequences.

006 hides and observes the villains in one teaser sequence, 007 in TND.

When we first see Bond, he says nothing until he acknowledges the first victim he punches unconscious with one punch to their head–He then cracks a joke afterwards–Both jokes refer to bodily habits; using the bathroom or cigarette smoking.

Bond steals the plane for his escape in both teasers after first riding upon another vehicle to get there–He dumps the pilot out of each plane sometime before escaping into the title song.

Both teasers involve a Russian who General who orders soldiers not to shoot their weapons.

In TND, not knowing his location is about to be blown up, a villain chases Bond’s getaway plane, in GoldenEye, Ourumov knows his location is going to be blown up and halts the chase of Bond and his getaway plane.

Both teasers are in or near Russia in a frozen locale with ice and snow–Both films will end in a warmer climate elsewhere.



Brosnan sliced open a body part while both films were in production and needed to hide that fact for both his finger and lip during filming.

Brosnan visibly pulsates his jaw in GEYE and visibly pulsates his eyelids in TND.

A shaken not stirred vodka martini is ordered by Bond in both movies.

Bond apparently has no money and does not need to eat anything or order a meal in either film.

Bond uses explosives working on timing devices in both films to take out the villain’s headquarters…both explosions do only a partial job of destruction which Bond must afterwards finish!

Valentin Zukovsky was shot in the leg by Bond but that did not stop him. Mr. Stamper is knifed in the leg by Bond–without slowing him down much either.

Bond and friends destroy at least one space satellite in both films.

Bond smokes in neither film.

Bond uses an ejector seat in both movies to save his life.

Bond speaks his “native” French in one film and his “native” German in the other–in both films, Bond speaks in these languages to incidental movie characters who are helping him with his car!

Bond comprehends one other non-English language in each film; Russian in GEYE and Danish in TND.

Bond shuts off Carver’s power source in Germany and the radar station’s power source in Cuba. Both serve as only temporary measures, which serve mostly to anger the villains, more than ever.

Bond gets down to cases and solves both problems in 48 hours once the main plot gets rolling.

Bond only says “Bond, James Bond” one time–He says it each time to a villain or villainess.

Bond comes into physical conflict with more than one person in each film without killing them dead.

Bond meets the villain’s gal in both films and at that time the two of them order something to drink.

Bond is on at least three boats and ships in each film–if we disregard the submerged wreck of the ship Devonshire in TND; the first craft in both films is a privately owned fishing boat or yacht–the next in each film is a small-sized speedy craft–the next is a large boat that is motionless in the water while Bond is aboard!

Bond is stripped to the waist in both films…each time, he is in water and also has a misbegotten seduction take place at that time–further, he is handcuffed in one film by Wai Lin and legcuffed by Xenia Onatopp in the other!

We see Bond using three planes in both movies–the first was stolen for escape; the second is his flight to the mission and the last he moves away from at speed!

Bond uses body parts other than his hands to influence flying vehicles in both films by banging his head into instruments and steering with his knees.

He wears Brioni suits in both and a black, not white, tuxedo jacket in both.

After a dramatic pause, Bond says the one word, “Commander” in both films to a villain or villainess.

In one movie, Bond quips, “How original.” In the other, Bond quips, “Very novel.”

Bond’s female passenger criticizes his driving skills in both films.

Bond clutches a rope or chain like Tarzan in both films; once just after escaping the villain with his heroine; once just after losing the heroine to the villain; once he swings into glass to avoid machine gun fire, the other time he shoots glass with a machine gun after his swing; he also dangles from a bungee to enter a villain’s HQ in one flick and angles from a rope to leave a villain’s HQ in the other!

Bond dodges numerous machine gun bullets in both and uses machine guns himself in both.

In GEYE, a villain looks at Bond’s Omega and wonders if Bond is still using Q’s old and supposedly outdated spy watch; in TND, two years later, Q has learned nothing from Bond’s presumed report of the incident since Wai Lin also criticizes Bond’s Omega and says, “the Chinese have made improvements!”

Brosnan is criticized in both films for not being a physically imposing Bond though he gets into more brutal fights and kills more people using knives and heavier guns than in previous Bond films.

Bond is uncertain of both heroines’ allegiance during their first encounters.

Bond drinks straight liquor from a glass in both films.

In both films, Bond is intimate with a woman who wears a necklace during that movie scene. For Both films and all six women, Bond makes love to each on screen one time only.

Bond bites two women with his teeth in TND. Bond is himself bitten by Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye–Xenia bites Bond’s lip in their fight scene until he bleeds in GEYE–in real life a stunt man bled Bond’s lip during filming a fight scene in TND!

Bond empties and loses or discards a Walther in both films.

Bond uses a machine gun and dodges numerous machine gun bullets in both films.

Bond does not know M has read the report of Trevelyan’s death in GEYE–Bond does not know M knows about his relationship with Paris Carver in TND.



Sean Bean was considered for the role of Bond himself, Jonathan Pryce asked to be considered to sing the title song; Sean Bean’s henchman was the former Colonel Ourumov, Pryce played the former Colonel Juan Peron in Evita!–Both men have light colored hair–Both die in their films while located in Communist countries and both are ultimately killed by their own devices–both are covert devices a one-time underwater radar antenna mast and a one-time underwater grinding submersible.

One villain damages a communist country to cover his tracks–He then plans to hurt England and steal power and money–The other villain hurts England to cover his tracks, so he can steal power and money from a communist country!

Bond says the final words to both villains just before he kills them–Both scream as their death overtakes them.

Both villains are pursued by Bond across two continents.

Bond casts doubt on Elliot Carver’s plot during their last meeting, with his two henchmen present, before their final showdown. Carver prophesies that as his plot succeeds, he will “Reach more people than God.” Bond casts doubt on Alec Trevelyan’s plot during their last meeting, with his two henchmen present, before their final showdown. Travelyan prophesies that as his plot succeeds, he will “Have more money than God.”

Alec Travelyan tells Bond, “God didn’t give me this face. You did, when you set those timers for three minutes.” Elliot Carver tells Bond, “I didn’t write my late wife’s obituary. You did, when you asked her to betray me.”

Both villains arrange Bond’s death using a helicopter without being present themselves, in both instances, the heroine’s life is threatened at the same time by the same helicopter and Bond improvises a rescue, both rescue methods see the helicopter blown to pieces.

Both villains holds the heroine hostage at gun point; disdain their intelligence and abilities, and then taunts Bond that they have his woman now

One villain sought to destroy mass communications and electronic media, the other to foster mass communications and electronic media.

The GoldenEye weapon works on a principle of thermonuclear pulse defeated by the chip stolen back by Bond in A View To A Kill; Tomorrow Never Dies involved the manipulation of space vehicles which Bond had helped defeat in Dr. No!

Both villains had mobile headquarters that were hidden by water on or near islands!

Both movies have villains refer to an American movie, since Zukovsky’s girlfriend sings “Stand By Your Man” from Coal Miner’s Daughter and Carver’s competitor emblazons “The Empire Strikes Back” for a newspaper headline.

Both feature an English villain who leaves his native country to live elsewhere and then seek to wreak havoc on only England and one other, Communist nation. Both villains need to steal a special helicopter from France or special computer equipment from America to achieve their ends, though!

Both villains are seen for one scene only in their moving headquarters of a stealth boat or stealth train; the only other vehicles Carver and Trevelyan are referred to as using are helicopters.

Both Carver and Trevelyan admonish Bond for being too late; Trevelyan to Bond in their first dialogue together, Carver to Bond in their last dialogue together!


Henchmen & Minor Villains:

Both villains had henchmen who were generals, Chang and Ourumov. Both Generals considered themselves the old guard of their nation and sought to take leadership of their country!

Bond was associated directly or indirectly with both villains before the present day of the film; in one, Bond has crossed oaths with the villain’s henchman Ourumov, in the other, he has crossed paths been with his wife, Paris.

By accident, the floor collapses under Natalya and she plunges to where the henchmen are waiting. Henchmen shoot the floor from beneath Bond and Wai Lin’s motorcycle intentionally yet they escape.

Both films focus on a minor villain handling a subplot, Zukovsky and Kauffman, who are played mostly for laughs.

Bond kills the main villain a few moments before the main henchman, Boris and Stamper, die.

As with the main villains, technically speaking, Bond does not kill Boris or Stamper; they are destroyed by the villains’ own weapons–both were stolen weapons; the liquid nitrogen in the stolen GEYE site in Cuba and the stolen missile from the ship?

Both films continue the tradition of the last few films as having at least one blond-hair, Aryan looking villain or henchman.

Henchman, not the main villains, steal special computerized equipment utilizing satellites as essential to the plot; both the henchman who steal computer equipment steal it from a locale in or near Russia that is demolished within minutes of the theft; the terrorist bazaar and Severnaya; both men die with one bullet shot into their forehead while Bond is in the same room!



At first meeting, Bond is unsure of the heroines’ allegiance–thinking Natalya might work for the KGB and Wai Lin might want to work for Carver.

The main villain makes a pass at both heroines.

Both films have a female character, (Paris Carver and Natalya Simonova) aloof to Bond initially and even tries to strike or resist him; they then tell Bond that his job is too dangerous and prohibits their relationship; then they urge him not to go after the bad guy in the morning, then after sleeping with him that night, they both change their mind and help him on his mission the next day!

Both movies have heroines who receive a gun from Bond; he directs them where to go and what do to in the final battle scenes–both comply and both know how to handle their weapons with skill.

Both heroines reside in Communist countries to which Bond encourages their loyalties and helps and protects their people!

Both heroines use personal computers in a way Bond is unable to so they can locate the villain’s location for the final showdown–our brilliant Bond, however, is able to give them both clues so each then can locate the villain’s base location in under sixty seconds!

The last danger is averted in GEYE when Natalya rescues Bond with helicopter from plunging into a satellite that was submerged a few minutes before; the last danger of TND has Bond rescuing Wai Lin from drowning while they are both submerged!

Both movies have Bond and the heroine in “impossible” stunts; neither sliding down a satellite or the helicopter jump into a building roof look like one could survive.


Other Bond Women:

Both films have at least one woman who wears a black dress.

Dutch actresses played in both films.

Bond is intimate with three women in both films–two of these women have dark hair; the third one has light hair, red or blonde–The two brunettes in each film are depicted as more intelligent and more combative.

The “light hair” women are throwaway characters who are less astute; one; probably the most English of the women Bond has been with ever, meets with Bond for the first time outside of England to evaluate his fitness for the Secret Service; Bond uses her and discards her to the frustration of M; the other, one of the most obviously foreign women Bond has been with ever; meets Bond in Oxford, England as a regular dalliance to instruct him and Bond discards her because M is impatiently waiting for him!

In one movie, Bond turns down the main villainess then kills her afterward; in the other movie, Bond accepts the villain’s wife and the villain kills her afterward!



In both GEYE and TND, Bond has a missile fired at one of the planes he flies–One missile downs his vehicle, the other nearly downs his opponent’s vehicle.

Bond uses his Aston Martin in both movies; presumably the same car; neither is depicted as a Q branch vehicle and neither has gadgets greater than a champagne compartment; both are driven at the insistence of a red hair woman; in GEYE Caroline tells Bond he is driving too fast and should slow down before Bond makes love; in the other, Moneypenny tells Bond he needs to hurry up and drive faster to the Ministry of Defense right after Bond has made love.

Bond drives motorcycles in both films–both bikes are stolen vehicles and both bikes are discarded by Bond after their use–one smashes into a wall beneath the a helicopter, one smashes into the bottom of a cliff face.

In one movie, Bond uses the biggest, sturdiest vehicle possible, a tank…in another, Bond uses the tiniest and most vulnerable, half a motorbike.

In one movie, Bond dives out of a plane wearing a parachute, in the other, Bond dives into a plane not wearing a parachute.

In both movies, product placements are spilled and knocked over during a vehicle chase in second third of the film. Both products are made outside the UK which Bond has never traditionally ordered without a strong liquor chaser on the side.



M is criticized for being a female head of the Service by English characters in both movies.

M’s “balls” are referred to in both films despite her lack of them; in GEYE, M states that Bond is “dead wrong” that she doesn’t have balls to decide to send a man to his death; in TND, M states that the lack of them is an advantage to making decisions!

In both films, M shows genuine remorse at the prospect of losing Bond.

M holds a drink in her hand as she assigns Bond both of his missions.

M thought 006 was killed in the teaser of GEYE, though he was not, and believes the same of 007 during the teaser of TND.

M accepts with rectitude that 006 gave his life at the beginning of GEYE; Bond feels terrible about his mistakes in 006’s death and M offers him forgiveness–at the end of TND, M says the villain gave up his life to cover up Bond’s success in the mission!

M sends Bond on both adventures while asking for discretion–in neither movie does she send Bond after consulting the Minister of Defense or the PM.

Both the control rooms M is in have screens that go blank after explosions hit the scene she are viewing.



Q gives Bond one device in both films, a belt or a cell phone, which Bond quips he is familiar with until Q points out the innovations inside.

Q insists in both movies that Bond return his equipment in pristine condition.

Q gives Bond two BMWs, both have missiles on board; one uses all points radar and the other has a radar tracking system; both have all the “usual refinements” plus something Q is “particularly proud of”–both have devices Bond used before, missiles were in Dalton’s Aston Martin and self-inflating tires were used For Special Services.

In GEYE, Q hands Bond his airplane ticket just before Bond gets on the plane from England to his mission–in TND, Q fills out Bond’s car ticket just after he steps off his airplane from England to his mission!


Other Characters:

The “good guys”, miles away from the villain’s headquarters in Tomorrow Never Dies and knowing Bond is inside but unable to see if bond is inside, help Bond destroy the stealth ship. In GoldenEye, the “good guys” are yards away from the villain’s headquarters and are watching Bond in desperate danger, but do nothing to help him!

Jack Wade is a gardener in GEYE and dresses in TND like he was working out in the garden–GoldenEye was written by John Gardner!

Jack Wade does not speed the plot but actually slows the tempo of both films and puts Bond into a situation sub-plot that two scenes after lead to his capture by the villain.

Moneypenny’s repartee is less lighthearted than Lois Maxwell’s in both films and begin and end in both movies on strongly sexual overtones.

Both movies have Russian officials, the Minister of Defense and General Bukharin, who work towards the detriment of the movie villains.

The character listed in the credits as M’s Chief of Staff, is informal and friendly with Bond in both movies, also he is competent, yet in each movie he misses a vital detail visible onscreen in the control room, that Bond is able to spot and further the plot.


Odds & Ends:

Sophisticated fingerprint or voice code locks are used in both movies to hide the computer equipment needing to be stolen; neither is ultimately effective.

Both Judi Dench, “M”, and Geoffrey Palmer, “Admiral Roebuck”, who are at odds in TND, play husband and wife in the British comedy show, “As Time Goes By”.

Our daughter, named Alexandria, was seven months old when she first saw Alec Trevelyan in the theaters. Our son, Benjamin Elliot, was seven months old when Elliot Carver in TND came out on video.

Both movies debuted in Winter.

I saw both films in Gainesville’s Litchfield theater with Kees Boer–Kees owned acquired preview copies from MGM of both movies before they were sold in video stores–I borrowed both copies from him on at least two occasions.

I went broke discussing both GEYE and TND with Steve Kulakoski on the phone long distance–Both our wives got upset when we bought all the merchandise available from the two movies.


Bonus: My Prophecy Fails: You Only Star Twice or why Brosnan can only be in Two Bond Movies!

Pierce Brosnan starred in 2 American TV series; Manions of America and Remington Steele.

Manions was made into a sequel so Brosnan was in it 2 times.

When tapped to play Bond, Remington Steele was renewed under contract and got a 2nd wind with Brosnan in the title role.

Brosnan, of course, was replaced by Timothy Dalton, who made only 2 Bond films.

The Living Daylights had 2 early poster releases, one with a Brosnan-like Bond character and one with Timothy Dalton!

One of Brosnan’s 2 loves and mothers of his children starred in a Bond movie, the other one commented on Bond for Entertainment Tonight.

After Remington Steele ended the 2nd time, when tapped for the Bond role a 2nd time in the 90s, Brosnan could say, “I am lucky to have fallen in love 2 times in my life, and that is enough for any man.”


“James Bond Will (Did!) Return!”

Leave a Reply