GoldenEye: 25 facts to celebrate its 25th anniversary

Amazingly, it's been 25 years since GoldenEye blasted its way onto the big screen in the USA, rescuing and reinvigorating the James Bond franchise in the process.

Directed by Martin Campbell, the movie showcased Pierce Brosnan in his suave and assured debut performance as 007, pitting him against Sean Bean's nefarious former agent Alec Trevelyan. 

To celebrate this anniversary milestone, here are 25 fun facts about GoldenEye that will leave you both shaken and stirred. (Probably.) What better way to anticipate the release of 25th Bond movie, No Time To Die?


1. This was Pierce Brosnan's first Bond film, but he had originally been tapped to take over from Roger Moore in The Living Daylights.

2. However, contractual complexities with Brosnan's TV show Remington Steele meant he was denied the part, which eventually went to Timothy Dalton.

3. Years later, legal wrangles between distributor MGM and Bond's parent company Danjaq hastened Dalton's departure, allowing Brosnan to re-enter the fold.

4. Brosnan's late wife Cassandra Harris had appeared opposite Moore in 1981's For Your Eyes Only, playing Countess Lisl.

5. Dalton dropped out when series godfather Albert R 'Cubby' Broccoli stipulated that he contractually sign up for several more movies, to make up for the fact that Bond had been absent from the screen since 1989's Licence to Kill.


6. When Dalton declined, the producers, including Broccoli's daughter Barbara, approached Brosnan again and he signed on in June 1994.

7. The title GoldenEye derives inspiration from Bond author Ian Fleming's Jamaican estate, where he originated the character.

8. This would be the final Bond movie produced by Cubby Broccoli, who had birthed the movie series (with Harry Saltzman) with 1962's Dr No.

9. This was the first Bond movie produced in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, reflected in the hammer and sickel iconography of the opening credits scene (designed by Daniel Kleinman), as well as Judi Dench's line as M: "You're a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War."

10. Martin Campbell was selected to direct the movie after Hong Kong legend John Woo (Face/Off) turned down the offer.


11. Budgeted at $60 million, GoldenEye was the most expensive Bond movie up until that point.

12. The filmmakers were unable to use the traditional 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios (originally built for 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me) because the space was reserved (ironically enough) for Sean Connery's King Arthur movie, First Knight.

13. This meant GoldenEye's interior shots had to be completed at a former Rolls-Royce factory in Leavesden, converted into a studio for the means of production.

14. The famous opening dam jump was performed at Switzerland's Contra Dam by stuntman Wayne Michaels, who plunged from a height of 720 feet and set a new record for the highest jump from a fixed structure.

15. In a 2002 Sky Movies poll, this was voted the greatest movie stunt of all time.

16. The traitorous Alec Trevelyan was originally written as Augustus Trevelyan, an older mentor to Bond who was to have been played by Anthony Hopkins.

17. However, the character's backstory was rewritten to make him younger and a physical equal to 007, allowing Sean Bean to take on the role.

18. Hopkins was later on the verge of playing villain Elliot Carver in 1997 Brosnan Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies; however, he reportedly left upon seeing the chaotic nature of the set.

19. GoldenEye was the final Bond movie of veteran special effects supervisor Derek Meddings, who had been with the series since 1973's Live and Let Die, starring Roger Moore.

20. The BMW Z3 roadster featured in the film (albeit briefly) as part of a three-picture deal with the car company (Tomorrow Never Dies showcased the 750iL and The World Is Not Enough, the BMW Z8).


21. This was the first Bond movie to showcase an Omega watch, a brand that 007 has sported in every movie since.

22. Title track 'GoldenEye', performed by Tina Turner and written by Bono and The Edge, replaced a proposed song by Ace of Base.

23. Leon composer Eric Serra wrote the controversial score for the movie, but the brassy injection of the Bond theme during the St. Petersburg tank chase was down to British composer John Altman.

24. GoldenEye was released in November 1995 to critical acclaim, with the noted Roger Ebert observing Brosnan's "sensitive... psychologically complete" take on the character.

25. GoldenEye eventually grossed $352 million worldwide, making it the most commercially successful movie in the series since 1979's Moonraker.


Is GoldenEye your favourite James Bond movie of all time? If not, what is? Let us know @Cineworld. Don't forget that No Time To Die is scheduled for release (at the time of writing) on 2nd April 2021.