Michelle Yeoh’s character Wai Lin from Tomorrow Never Dies was rumored to have been in early drafts of the script.
This is the first movie since Live and Let Die that does not feature Desmond Llewelyn as Q, the gadget man. John Cleese replaces Llewelyn as Q in this film, after Llewelyn died in a car accident in 1999.
Director Lee Tamahori had publicly stated that he wanted to be the first to show 007 having sex and actually went as far as to film some steamy scenes between Bond and Miranda Frost. These scenes did not make the final cut of the movie, but screenshots from the scene can be seen here
The character Colonel Moon is a reference to Kingsley Amis’s 1968 one hit wonder novel, Colonel Sun.
The 20th Bond film marks the 40th anniversary of the Bond movie franchise.
This marks one of the first Bond films to feature a Jaguar automobile (The villain of the film drives it.)
Bond glances at a book in his Cuban contact’s office titled A Field Guide to Birds by James Bond. Ian Fleming came up with secret agent character after seeing the name on the book.
Halle Berry wears an orange bikini when she comes out of the ocean in a scene reminiscent of Honey Ryder in Dr. No.
In addition to singing the title song, Madonna makes a cameo as Verity, Gustav Graves’ and Miranda Frost’s fencing instructor.
Halle Berry is the first actress to come into a Bond movie with an Academy Award.
The cars Zao owns are all updated models of former Bond cars.
Sound effects from classic spy movie The Ipcress File are heard during Bond’s visit to the gene therapy hospital. Perhaps a nod to the fact that Harry Saltzman produced both Bond and Ipcress.
When Bond and M are in the abandoned subway line, there are ads for Player’s Cigarettes on the wall. This is actually a reference to the novel Thunderball, in which Domino is obsessed with the sailor in the Player’s Cigarettes advertisements.
Q mentions in his station laboratory as he hands Bond his new watch: “This is your twentieth, I believe.” in a nod to this being the 20th film occurring on the 40th anniversary.
While filming the steamy love scene, Halle Berry choked on a fig and had to be Heimliched by Pierce Brosnan.
During one of the action sequences, wind blew debris into Halle Berry’s eye. She had to be taken to the hospital, where her eye had to be flushed.
The British Airways flight attendant who serves Bond his vodka martini is played by former Bond actor Roger Moore’s daughter, Deborah.
It being the 40th anniversary of the Bond franchise, there were many references to past James Bond movies in Die Another Day. Here are the references I have found in Die Another Day to other movies.
Dr No Obviously, Jinx’s introduction. Also, the radio beep sound effects can be heard in the scene where Bond escapes from the hospital. The famous painting of the Duke of Wellington that Dr. No owned is sliced by Graves during the sword fight. Graves’ gauntlet could also be seen as a tip of the hat to Dr. No’s metal hands.
From Russia with Love The attache case is seen in Q’s workshop, along with shoes with poison daggers protruding from them. The Chinese Secret Service is filming Bond and the massage girl through a mirror, like SPECTRE was filming Bond and Tatiana in FRWL. In the ice palace sequence, there is a game board (the chess match).
Goldfinger Bond’s Aston Martin Vanquish has an ejector seat. The gas-spraying parking meter is seen in the background of Q’s lab. The new Q comments that, as he learned from his predecessor, “I never joke about my work, 007.” Jinx’s near death in the diamond mine is reminiscent of the laser table scene, and during the finale, Jinx hangs from a ceiling, just like Bond did in his cell in Goldfinger’s Stud Farm. The betting of Gustav’s diamond for the fencing duel was a lot like when Bond bet Goldfinger his gold bar for the golf game. Also, Jinx tries struggles to control the plane, as did Pussy Galore at the end of Goldfinger.
Thunderball Bond switches on the jet pack in Q’s workshop, and uses the rebreather at one point. Also, Bond eats the grape after cleverly avoiding the guards at the DNA clinic, just as Connery did in Thunderball.
You Only Live Twice Bond theme played after Jinx falls back into the water to escape the hospital guards sound similar to the music during Bond’s ‘funeral’. Jinx descends from the ceiling of the fake diamond mine on a rope system similar to that of the ninjas in the volcano crater lair. The name of the ship Bond is on: the HMS Tenby. The use of Japanese swords in the films.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service DNA clinic is kind of like the secluded retreat in OHMSS. Also, “OHMSS” is written on a CD on Moneypenny’s desk as she types a report at the end of the film. Bond escapes from another huge avalanche.
Diamonds Are Forever Gustav Graves says “Diamonds are forever. But life isn’t.” before the sword fight. Also, the Icarus looks similar to Blofeld’s satellite, and scorpions torture Bond. In a magazine ad for Gustav Graves’ diamond company, the caption at the bottom says, “Diamonds are forever.”
Live and Let Die The scene where Icarus blows up the minefields is similar to the scene where Mr. Big’s drug crops blow up. Bond uses the same revolver used on the island of St. Monique.
The Man with the Golden Gun The doctor that Jinx shoots talks about himself as if he were a great artist, just like Scaramanga did. The Icarus controls looked a bit like the controls for Scaramanga’s laser, and when Bond goes through the secret entrance at the DNA replacement hospital, he passes through a room with colorful spinning mirriors, reminiscent of Scaramanga’s hideout. The Field office of MI6 is on a ship.
The Spy Who Loved Me Graves lands outside Buckingham Palace in a Union Jack parachute. The Ice Palace resembles in some ways Stromberg’s Atlantis hideout.
Moonraker Moon’s hovercraft falls down by a large waterfall in a manner similar to Jaws’ boat going over the Iguaçu Falls. Bond surfaces in a bubbling pool of water surrounded by much interior vegetation, similar to the scene with the water python in Drax’s headquarters. Bond’s sword fight with Graves was much like the fight with Chang in the glass factory. The guy that assists Bond in the hotel in DAD is named Chang. Bond and a villain fight over a parachute.
For Your Eyes Only The singer of the theme song (Madonna) appears in the film, as Sheena Easton did in FYEO. The scene as Bond hangs onto the ice cliff (before it collapses) resembles the climax near the monastery, especially as the rope slips and Bond drops some distance further down the cliff, although this time it was all performed from a vehicle.
Octopussy The acrostar jet and the crocodile sub are in Q’s workshop. Jinx uses her charm to disarm some soldiers. Also, the rope that could support a person that was being tested in Q’s lab is in the new Q lab scene.
A View to a Kill Bond surfs away from the tidal wave in a similar fashion to Roger in the pre-title sequence. The robot dog from the end of the film that spies on Bond and Stacy in the shower is by Bond’s feet when he enters Q’s lab in DAD. Also, an ‘ice maiden’ motif is used during the credits sequence, as it was in AVTAK. Graves watches over the destruction that he wreaks from the front windows of his aircraft in the same way that Zorin watched Silicon Valley from his aircraft before it flooded.
The Living Daylights The start of the pre-title sequence echoes TLD. The ice chase may be a reference too, but it was not very close to the one in TLD. Also, cars fly out of a plane in mid-air, like the jeep does in TLD.
License to Kill The plot idea of Bond going renegade, although this time it is less through choice. Bond uses a rifle as a sniper. M says, “License Revoked” – the original title of License to Kill. Also, Q’s suitcase full of goodies that he brings Bond in Isthmus City is in the background of Q’s lab.
GoldenEye Jinx’s backwards dive looked similar to Bond’s from the dam, the bullet flying at the audience in the gunbarrel opening, and Bond goes to Cuba. When Zao is killed by the chandelier, there is a camera view reminiscent of Trevelyan’s death. Bond’s watch contains a laser, which he uses to cut through a section of ice, reminiscent of his escape from the train by cutting through the floor. Jinx sets the timer for the bomb at the gene therapy lab in Cuba to three minutes, the same three minutes that Bond set the timers for in the chemical weapons lab and later Trevelyan set the timers for on the bullet train.
Tomorrow Never Dies Bond calls his invisible Aston Martin Vanquish towards him, like he did with the BMW in TND. Also, the way Jinx and Bond strafe around Graves’ plane is reminiscent of Bond and Wai Lin in TND. Also, the entire “Gun Under The Pillow” scene. Jinx throws a knife straight into a guard’s throat just as he comes through a door (this is similar to a scene on the Stealth Ship where Wai-Lin sticks a Shuriken throwing star into a guard’s throat just as he finds her, but this scene is deleted from all Tomorrow Never Dies releases on VHS and DVD).
The World is Not Enough When all hell breaks loose at the gene therapy lab, a sprinkler system comes on, like it did in the MI6 HQ. Bond dives over Graves as they fence to do a forward roll as he lands, in a manner similar to the shoot-out between Renard’s men and himself where he dives through a closing door and rolls the other side. As Bond dives to safety from Moon’s flamethrower on the hovercraft, the shot of his dive from in front is almost identical to another scene where Bond is diving from an exploding bomb with Christmas. The use of a geodesic dome.