Daniel Craig’s Best James Bond Love Story Made His Other 4 Movies Worse

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Summary

  • Vesper Lynd’s love story with James Bond in Casino Royale significantly impacted the other four Daniel Craig Bond films.
  • Director Martin Campbell made a bold choice in having Bond fall in love, setting up an arc that subsequent films couldn’t replicate.
  • Craig’s later Bond movies attempted to recreate the Vesper Lynd storyline but failed to capture the same level of romance and intimacy.


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Although the love story between Vesper Lynd and Daniel Craig’s James Bond was one of the memorable aspects of Casino Royale, it did make his other four movies worse. Initially, the companions between the Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan era were portrayed more as assets than as equals – it was very rare for Bond to fall for someone. Even in the early moments of Casino Royale, Bond’s tryst with Solange Dimitrios is merely a way to learn more about Alex Dimitrios and his connection to Le Chiffre. However, a certain meeting on a train to Montenegro in Casino Royale changed all of that.

In Daniel Craig’s first James Bond film, director Martin Campbell made a decision unseen in any previous Bond movie. From pre-Daniel Craig James Bond movies, and especially 2012’s Skyfall, it is established that Bond is a man who does not spend time worrying about building relationships or emotional attachments. His parents abandoning him at a young age made him the perfect candidate for the 00 program and helped him become the ruthless, cunning spy who saved the world many times over. When Campbell made the bold choice for Bond to fall in love, it set up an arc that made it impossible for the other Craig Bond girls to follow.


Vesper Lynd Was Impossible For Bond To Follow

James Bond and Vesper Lynd standing together in Casino Royale

From the moment Vesper Lynd comments to James Bond that “I’m the money,” it is clear she is not a run-of-the-mill “Bond girl.” From their first conversation over dinner on the train, it is clear Lynd is Bond’s equal, intellectually and stylistically. She is not someone to used for information and tossed aside. In fact, it is Vesper who believes that MI6 looks for “maladjusted young men,” and may even see someone as brutish as James Bond as beneath her. However, she ultimately breaks her promise after the two build a rapport that had not existed between Bond and his female counterparts for decades.

In introducing someone who can match wits with Bond from the very beginning, Casino Royale allows the two to make an instant connection with one another. That connection is only heightened during the tension of the poker game with Le Chiffre and the trauma bonding they share when Bond is forced to kill terrorist Steven Obanno and his henchmen in front of Vesper. Instead of the cold, calculating Bond that existed previously in movies, this version of Bond comforts Lynd when she is shaken and holds her when she is terrified.

Craig’s Later Movies Copied The Vesper Lynd Story

An image of Vesper kissing Bond's hands underwater in Casino Royale

The Vesper Lynd arc remains James Bond’s strongest love story, but it also remains impossible to live up to in any other Daniel Craig installment. In Quantum of Solace, the “Bond girl” formula was tried again with miserable results as Bond had no chemistry or connection with Camille Montes. Especially after the emotional toll of Vesper’s story in Casino Royale, Camille never seemed to make a connection with Bond. In Skyfall, Bond has a one-night stand with Sévèrine aboard a boat; however, she ends up being killed the next morning at the hand of Silva.

Related: Casino Royale’s Vesper Lynd Actor Bombed Her First James Bond Screen Test

The last two Craig movies attempted to repeat the story in Spectre and No Time To Die. Bond met Madeleine Swann in Spectre and the two begin a relationship. No Time To Die informs the audience they have a daughter together. The two share an enormous amount of screen time, but it doesn’t compare to the romanticism Bond and Lynd build in their most intimate scenes in Casino Royale.

In trying to replicate the intimate relationship and bonding Bond and Lynd shared in Casino Royale, the subsequent Craig movies set themselves up to fail. James Bond’s first, and perhaps only, love of his life perished in a flooded elevator shaft in Venice. Bond never moved on from Vesper. As hard as the James Bond directors tried, the best chance Bond would ever have at a deep romantic connection died along with Vesper Lynd.