How will 'Man of Steel' measure up?
'Casino Royale' (2006)
It may, at first blush, seem like the $431 million dollar gross "Die Another Day" racked up means that the 007 franchise didn't need to be rebooted following Brosnan's fourth and final outing. However, 2006's "Casino Royale" pulled in nearly $600 million and, creatively, is a far better film. Martin Campbell came back to direct "Casino" (he also introduced Brosnan's Bond in "GoldenEye," the high-water mark for Brosnan's version of the character) and gave us a look at 007's early double-0 career, including starting the film with the suave superspy getting his licence to kill. Those extremely invested in the franchise might complain about substituting the novel's baccarat with poker and Judi Dench as M when it was made clear in "GoldenEye" that 007 predated her in MI6, but those are quibbles. There was a lot of talk after Daniel Craig was cast about how he couldn't possibly pull his weight in the franchise, but Campbell and Craig silenced everyone. "Casino Royale" made Bond more than viable for the 21st Century. And now, after last year's "Skyfall," there seems to be no stopping the Blonde Bond.