Daniel Craig as James Bond, swaggering and brash British government agent
Madagascar, July 2006
Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
To celebrate Daniel Craig’s 49th birthday today, BAMF Style is looking back to his “birth” in the Bond franchise in Casino Royale, exploring the scrappy summer attire during the dangerous first mission that Craig’s Bond took as a 00 agent.
After the globe-trotting double kills that led to James Bond’s eligibility for 00 status, Bond finds himself in Madagascar, working with bright-eyed and bushy-tailed MI6 agent named Carter (Joseph Millson) as they conduct surveillance on a bombmaker named Mollaka. The eager Carter’s inability to fit in compromises their identities, and Bond is forced to chase after Mollaka while Carter languishes in a mongoose pit.
Unfortunately for 007, Mollaka is played by French freerunner Sébastien Foucan, a parkour pioneer who sees the various cranes, walls, and heights as no obstruction to his getaway. Unfortunately for Mollaka, this Bond doesn’t rely on an arched eyebrow or a well-timed witticism to get the job done…this Bond runs through walls, dammit!
The chase leads to an African embassy, where Bond storms in, steals the ambassador’s pistol, and “violated the only absolutely inviolate rule of international relationships” by killing Mollaka when cornered.
The pre-credits sequence of 007 coolly killing a double agent while reclining in the man’s office was pure classic Bond, but this… this was something we haven’t seen before.
What’d He Wear?
Bond’s Madagascar outfit has received plenty of criticism from fans used to seeing their favorite agent in expensive tailored suits or subdued, fitted casual wear. While I agree that this isn’t the first ensemble I’d pull out of my closet for an evening out, I think Bond’s choice here indicates the franchise’s renewed focus on realism. Casino Royale was on the heels of four Brosnan films where our hero was rarely more informal than a Brioni suit and tie; indeed, his only deviation from a suit in The World is Not Enough was a brown skiing outfit.
In Madagascar, Bond and Carter are surveilling Mollaka at a public fight between a mongoose and a cobra…surrounded by the kind of people who would bet on a fight between a mongoose and a cobra. Even a casual polo and jeans would have immediately pegged Bond as an outsider, compromising the mission before it would even begin. If Mollaka could be tipped off by Carter touching his earpiece, he would surely take notice of a clean-cut Englishman sporting clean, tailored clothing rather than the considerably unfashionable garb here that ultimately serves its purpose.
Bond’s floral-printed cotton sport shirt is short-sleeved with short button tabs at the end of each sleeve to adjust the fit over his biceps as needed. The edge-stitched point collar is fashionably large for 2006, although that may be all that one could call truly “fashionable” about the shirt. The shirt also has a breast pocket on the left and a short vent on each side of the straight hem.
The shirt has seven white buttons down the front placket, but Bond only wears the third button up from the bottom fastened. This may be a sloppy look, but it keeps him airy in the warm climate while preventing the shirt from flapping about too much and impeding his movement during his parkour pursuit.
The floral print consists of abstract light gray ferns on a beige ground, overlaid with sketched brick red floral designs.
The original shirt was made by Academy Costumes in London, according to the digital portfolio on their site. Although it was custom made for the product, Bond fans have no need to fret… Iconic Alternatives has some excellent suggestions for channeling the shirt, including Magnoli Clothiers’ spot-on replica “Madagascar Shirt”, priced at $165.
Bond’s decision to wear a visible undershirt also seems to divide fans watching with a sartorial eye, but it strikes me as a practical decision to catch the abundance of sweat that a situation like this would create. For better or worse, the t-shirt also evokes Bond’s youth and athleticism that have yet to be refined as his character matures.
The fitted t-shirt is light gray heathered cotton with a wide crew neck and very short fitted sleeves with multi-striped bands. The stripes, seen only in set photos since Bond wears his shirt covering them throughout the scene, consist of a series of four bright red stripes in the center, bordered on the top and bottom by a maroon stripe, a gap, and then a thinner maroon stripe. Even if they do go unseen, the colored bands nicely call out the colors in his tropical shirt.
According to The Undershirt Guy, sourcing images from The Bond Experience, it’s reasonable to speculate that Daniel Craig was wearing a Diesel brand t-shirt for these scenes. Unseen in the film, the back yoke is printed with a stylized black “777” crowned in an ornate black design. The “lucky 777” imagery might be a little too on-the-nose for Casino Royale, but credit is due to the shirt detectives for doing this homework!
Magnoli again comes to the rescue, this time with a $45 replica “Madagascar T Shirt” that nails everything from the fit to the color of the distinctive sleeve bands. Magnoli describes its replica as having “a decorative print design on the upper back” to reflect the Diesel shirt.
Bond’s tan linen trousers are one of the simplest elements of the outfit. The loose fit is ideal for avoiding sticky sweat in Madagascar’s warm tropical climate. These pants have a very casual drawstring waist rather than belt loops or side adjusters and two back patch pockets.
A more refined Bond might have opted for chinos or cream jeans similar to the ones he would later wear in the Bahamas or in Haiti during Quantum of Solace, both appropriate for the climate and context of this scene.
Many retailers like H&M offer similar and affordable ultra-casual linen pants like this pair in the summer, just in time to provide the perfect lightweight layer for a trip to the beach. Cubavera also offers an affordable linen/rayon blend designed more for a day in paradise than a day chasing terrorists.
The unstructured, lightweight trouser waistband would provide little of the needed support for Bond to holster his 22-ounce Walther P99, so he wears a wide black web belt with a flat steel slider-style buckle, fastened tightly enough around his waist to secure the holster in place despite not fitting in congress with his trousers. Perhaps the slipping belt taught 007 a lesson about wearing better-fitted trousers in the future…
This is the first appearance of Bond’s “cognac” brown suede Vega IB339 holster, a right-hand-draw IWB holster meant to be worn inside the waistband (in case you couldn’t tell what IWB stood for…) In fact, Casino Royale marks the cinematic Bond’s first use of any holster except the variety of shoulder rigs that followed him from the first few books through Dr. No up to Die Another Day. You can read more about the Vega IWB holsters worn by Craig’s 007 at James Bond Lifestyle.
A modest gentleman like Bond tends to keep his choice of undergarments an onscreen mystery, but this more brazen, unpolished 007 chasing down a terrorist on a hot summer day is prone to slipping up. Or, at least, his trousers are prone to slipping down a bit, revealing what appears to be white cotton underwear.
Apropos his ostensible cover in Madagascar, most of Bond’s clothing looks like he could’ve cobbled it together from a bargain bin. However, he put some investment into his footwear, as one should during a set-piece that calls for extensive running and jumping. Bond clearly wears a pair of Converse Jack Purcell OTR shoes in a shade of russet brown leather that Converse calls “chocolate and paprika”, worn with beige socks.
The shoes are an intriguing cross between ankle boots and the active-focused sneakers that Converse is known for, with the “OTR” designation standing for “On the Road”. The soles are black rubber, including the rubber toe bumper and external heel cup, which the wardrobe team seemingly modified to conceal orange accents. They lace up with brown laces through eight brass eyelets, extending down onto toe cap for a narrower fit over the bridge.
More information and helpful reviews can be found at James Bond Lifestyle, where “Brendan” commented: “They’re a bit warm for the summer (Craig must have been dying in his scenes) and require a bit of breaking in.” The eagle-eyed team at Iconic Alternatives has identified several pairs of brown leather ankle boots and sneakers that reflect the look and spirit of Craig’s Converse footwear from the Madagascar sequence, and I highly recommend checking out their suggestions for channeling this now-discontinued shoe.
Bond may have been concerned about Carter blowing their cover, but his decision to wear a big, brand new Omega wristwatch would have also drawn some suspicious eyes. Through these early, action-oriented scenes of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig wears an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Size” 2900.50.91 chronometer on a black rubber strap, a sportier alternative to the blue-dialed Seamaster Professional that he would wear with his suits and formalwear.
Bond’s Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean has a 45.5mm stainless steel case, black bezel, and a black dial under domed anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The actual watch worn by Craig, no. 81084716, was auctioned by Antiquorum in April 2007, fetching $213,000.
On his definitive blog exploring clothing of the Bond films (and beyond), The Suits of James Bond, blogger Matt Spaiser offers his own takes on this outfit.
How to Get the Look
In a final defense of this outfit, this is James Bond’s first mission as a 00-agent. He’s a rough and tough Bond who’s up for the job, not yet mastering the balance between sophisticated sartorialism and carrying out his tasks as his style continues to evolve. Most importantly, Daniel Craig is able to pull it off!
- Gray-and-red-on-beige floral-printed cotton sport shirt with large edge-stitched point collar, front placket, breast pocket, straight hem with side vents, and button-tab adjustable short sleeves
- Light gray melange cotton crew-neck short-sleeve t-shirt with red multi-striped arm bands
- Tan linen loose-fitting trousers with drawstring, back patch pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black web belt with flat steel slider buckle
- Converse Jack Purcell “OTR” brown leather ankle boot-sneakers with eight brass eyelets and black rubber soles
- Beige socks
- White cotton underwear
- Vega IB339 suede cognac IWB holster for Walther P99 pistol
- Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Size” 2900.50.91 on a large black rubber strap
Iconic Alternatives included affordable options for channeling this outfit, as well as three others made famous by 007, in the July 2016 feature article: “4 Ways to Wear the James Bond Linen Trousers”
The Madagascar sequence involves plenty of gunplay, although the first prominent instance of 007 handling a firearm is the incredibly cool scene where Mollaka runs out of ammunition in his Heckler & Koch USP Compact. The gun clicks empty just when he would’ve had Bond dead to rights. Out of bullets and any other feasible option, he tosses the pound and a half of steel at Bond, but our hero deftly manages to not only duck out of the way, but also catches the pistol in his right hand… and tosses it right back at him… all while on top of a crane!
The chase eventually leads to the embassy of the fictional nation Nambutu, ostensibly Mollaka’s home country. Non-Nambutian that he is, Bond is forced to sneak in using the effective espionage method of leaping over a wall.
Once inside, 007 storms through the passageways until he finds Mollaka finding sanctuary in the office of a Nambutu ambassador (Valentine Nonyela). The ambassador opens his desk to reveal a black epoxy-finished Browning Hi-Power Mark III semi-automatic pistol, which Bond grabs and simultaneously uses to pistol-whip the ambassador.
With several no-nos already racked up, Bond then grabs Mollaka and storms him through the halls of the embassy, keeping the armed embassy guards away with defensive tactics such as shooting fire extinguishers to distract them and, finally, pushing Mollaka out a window and following him outside. Bond finds himself surrounded by embassy guards aiming WASR-3 rifles at him, and the bruised ambassador steps out and demands: “Listen to me!”
Bond realizes his predicament. He releases Mollaka from his grasp, holds the Hi-Power off to the side, and engages the safety before dropping it to the ground.
Lest we forget, Bond still has his Walther P99 holstered. His extensive use of the Hi-Power may have been just enough to distract viewers from remembering that Bond has his own gun that goes mostly unused throughout the sequence. One swift move of his hand leads to two skillful shots – one to execute the terrorist Mollaka and the other to puncture a gas tank, causing a non-lethal explosion just distracting enough for 007 to get safely away with Mollaka’s bag.
Of course…the MythBusters team had their own ideas about Bond’s escape method. On the 95th episode, “James Bond, Part 1,” the team explored whether a 9mm round could really ignite a propane tank as seen in Casino Royale. Unfortunately for our heroic agent, not only did the tank not explode, but the 9mm round did not even pierce the tank. It wasn’t until they upped to shotgun shells that the tank would even pierce, and it took a high-powered M134 Minigun – loaded with a mix of tracer and incendiary 7.62x51mm NATO rounds – that the tank exploded in the manner seen on screen.
One only wonders what kind of holster and belt Bond would have needed to effectively carry an 85-pound minigun, but it likely would have hindered his progress climbing over those cranes!
Do Yourself a Favor and…
And don’t forget to wish Daniel Craig a happy birthday!
According to Mollaka’s cell phone and security footage of Dimitrios in the Bahamas, this scene was set on July 6, 2006. Coincidentally enough, I was in Las Vegas with my family that whole week. Where were you on July 6, 2006?