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This article is about the film. For other uses, see World’s Edge (disambiguation).
|Directed by||Neil Blomkamp|
|Produced by||Michael G. Wilson
|Screenplay by||Neil Blomkamp
|Based on||James Bond
by Ian Fleming
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
|Music by||Trent Reznor
|Editing by||Stuart Baird
|Distributed by||MGM/UA Communications Company|
|Running time||131 minutes|
|Box office||$2.2 billion|
World’s Edge (2015) is the twenty-fifth entry in the James Bond film series and the first to star Idris Elba as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film is the first to allude to the fan-theory that James Bond is a cover identity. The theory would be stated explicitly in the twenty-sixth entry.
The film centres on Bond investigating an arms dealer who is collaborating with a terrorist organization in Pakistan. The film was controversial both for its casting choices (including the replacement of Daniel Craig as James Bond with Idris Elba, and the replacement of Ben Wishaw as Q with Don Cheadle), and for its choice of subject material, which was found to be heavily critical of American foreign policy.
The film was produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. World’s Edge was well-received by most critics and was also a financial success, grossing $500.1 million in the US, and $1,520.1 million in non-US markets.
The film opens with James Bond – Agent 007 – assigned to confirm the assassination of a Russian agent working with the Taliban insurgency in a contested village in Afghanistan, before the village is subject to an American drone strike. Bond is able to locate the agent, but does not have a clear shot at him and is not able to confirm the kill before the drone strike.
Bond returns to London where he’s given a new mission. Jonas Aramingo (Sharlto Copley) a South African (now naturalized American) arms dealer is on the verge of securing a 20 billion dollar defense contract with India. MI:6 has received “reasonably accurate” intelligence from the Americans that an Indian Mujaihadeen organization is planning a terrorist attack against the US embassy in order to disrupt the deal, and that the organization is being supplied by the Iranians. Bond’s mission is to tail the “known quantities” during a planned deal, and track the money they use for their munitions back to the source, to confirm. One of the devices that Q issues to bond is a pair of “Google-glass-like” contact lenses, that allow his handlers a live feed of whatever Bond is looking at.
Bond goes to Mumbai and witnesses the Mujaihadeen deal, where he sees the “known quantity” purchase a bomb the size of a suitcase. Rather than follow the money, Bond decides to follow the bomb, chasing the Mujaihadeen through the streets of Mumbai in an intricate car chase. Rather than give up the weapon, the Mujaihadeen activates it, and Bond drives it towards the harbor while trying to defuse it.
The bomb is revealed as a miniature nuclear device, and is unfamiliar both to Bond and to his handlers, Q (Don Cheadle) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris); Q has to invent the bomb in order to figure out how to defuse it. Bond manages to defuse the bomb while it’s only seconds from the Mumbai harbor. He is subsequently arrested by the Mumbai police, and given into the hands of Agent Sitalaksmi Chandrasekhar (Archie Panjabi) for interrogation.
Chandresekhar interrogates Bond, asking about his connections to Aramingo, which makes Bond suspicious. He refuses to answer her questions, though, and she is eventually forced to release him after being pressured by the British government.
Bond goes to meet Aramingo at the Casino Saubhāgyam, a casino housed in a massive yacht off the coast of India (modeled after the real-life Casino Goa). There, Bond meets Honey Chaudhary (Aishwarya Rai), a Bollywood movie star and Aramingo’s companion. Bond flirts with Chaudhary and gets invited to Aramingo’s private gambling suite. He introduces himself as the head of Universal Exports and explains that he’s interested in pursuing a secondary arms contract with Aramingo, forcing Q and Moneypenny (watching on the live feed) to establish a background identity on the fly before Cole Walker, a washed-up former CIA agent and now chief of Aramingo’s security team, can check his credentials.
There is an assassination attempt on the Yacht by unknown assailants; Bond and Walker work together to stop them, with Bond escorting Aramingo and Chaudhary to safety, where they escape on a speedboat, with Bond shooting down a helicopter that is pursuing them. During the fight on the yacht, when he notices the watch on one of the assassins is an American military issue watch, Bond becomes suspicious. He concludes that Aramingo is supplying the terrorists himself, in order to encourage the Indian government to quickly accept his contract.
Aramingo and Chaudhary go to an estate in the Punjab, near the Pakistani border. Bond meets with agent Chandresekhar again, who explains that she’s received CIA intelligence that the assassins were part of a Pakistani terrorist organization, operating out of a small village in Azad Kashmir. Bond is informed by his superiors that his mission is over, and continued MI:6 involvement in India is too high-risk to continue. Bond decides to take a leave from MI:6 and goes to Punjab to meet with Aramingo again; when he arrives, he discovers that Q, correctly intuiting that Bond intends to investigation, has taken a leave as well and has come to India to help.
Before the investigation can proceed, Aramingo’s estate in Punjab is destroyed by a nuclear suitcase-bomb. Aramingo and Chaudhary are dead, and Walker is presumed dead. Bond and Q investigate Walker, after reviewing the feed from Mumbai and realizing that he was present near the arms deal. They investigate Walker’s background while agent Chandrasekhar, on her own, travels to the village in Azad Kashmir. She discovers a secret American drone base there, just as Bond and Q find out that Walker’s washout from the CIA was faked. Bond contacts Chandrasekhar, but too late. The drone operation turns on itself, destroying the village and the base, and killing agent Chandrasekhar.
Realizing that Walker is probably still alive, and that the assassination attempts were part of an active CIA operation to simultaneously cover up their drone operations and justify military intervention into Pakistan, Bond pursues Walker to a disused CIA safehouse in Yerevan, Armenia. Bond completely disconnects from MI:6, with the intention of killing Walker. There is a protracted sniper battle between the two in Yerevan, with Bond eventually killing him.
There is a brief coda, in which the CIA pressures MI:6 to hand Bond over for prosecution and imprisonment, but Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) forces the CIA liaison to assert that Cole Walker was not a part of any active CIA operation and that the terrorist attacks he undertook in India and Pakistan were undertaken as an individual, so MI:6 was within its authority to intervene.
- Idris Elba as James Bond: an MI6 agent assigned to investigate potential suppliers of Indian terrorist groups.
- Archie Panjabi as Sitalaksmi Chandresekhar: agent with the Indian Special Services and later Bond’s love interest.
- Sharlto Copley as Jonas Aramingo: an arms dealer working closely with the Indian government.
- Tom Hardyas Cole Walker: An American former CIA agent and chief of Aramingo’s security.
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Honey Chaudhary: Bollywood film actress and Aramingo’s girlfriend.
- Ralph Fiennesas Gareth Mallory, M, head of MI:6.
- Naomie_Harris as Eve Moneypenny
- Don Cheadle as Q: MI6’s “quartermaster”, who supplies Bond with multi-purpose vehicles and gadgets useful in the latter’s mission.
After Daniel Craig’s last outing in the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, the producers decided to go with a radical reimagining of the series, with the changes typified by the casting of Idris Elba as Bond. Keeping the realistic spycraft and technologies in the previous installments (Blomkamp in interviews stated that Bond should be just “fifteen years ahead” of current technologies), but with a vastly different approach to global politics. Blomkamp described what he wanted as preserving James Bond as a noble but dangerous anti-hero, and at the same time taking the opportunity to be critical of the engines of politics that made a figure like Bond necessary.
In Autumn of 2014, following Daniel Craig’s announcement that he would not be back for another Bond movie, and a general disinterest in Sam Mendes, producers attached Neil Blomkamp for the 25th Bond installment, with the intention of putting Tom Hardy in the role of James Bond. Blomkamp insisted on reading Idris Elba for the role, and while the producers were initially skeptical, Barbara Broccoli “was greatly impressed by [Elba].” However, Michael G. Wilson remained uncertain.
Fan response to the possibility of Elba in the lead role was mixed but vehement, and MGM concluded that audience interest in Elba was significant.
World’s Edge enjoyed significant positive critical response on its opening weekend, despite what was seen as a lagging box office. It remained in theaters for an unusually long sixteen weeks in order to recoup American box office receipts, but earned a record breaking 1.5 billion in worldwide, non-American revenues, making it one of the highest overseas-earning films of all time.
The movie was panned by Steve Doocy on the Fox morning show Fox and Friends for being “viciously, poisonously anti-American.”. Idris Elba famously responded to questions about the Fox and Friends response by shrugging and saying, “Fuck those guys.”.
The box office was high enough that Elba was contracted for two more Bond films following the release of World’s Edge, scheduled for release in 2017 and 2019.