Madonna news - Nov. 2002
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30 November - Our review of Die Another
Yesterday I went to see Die Another Day in the movie theatre.
I'm not particularly a Bond fan, but I must say I liked this one
(and not just because Madonna happened to appear in it ;-). Since
this is a Madonna site, I'll limit my review to the Madonna elements
in the movie.
'Die Another Day' starts off right away, with Pierce Brosnan on
a mission in North Korea. Soon however his cover is blown and
he gets arrested by the 'bad guys'. Then the opening credits start;
with an speed-up version of Madonna's Die
in the background, we see Bond getting tortured
in a North Korean dungeon. There are some obvious similarities
with the video for the song: Bond is dragged into a room - just
like Madonna is in the beginning of the video - and afterwards
the guards hold his head in the water tank. Once the credits are
done, we jump 14 months into the future. Madonna's song is heard
once more in the movie: when Bond and the Bond girls Jinx and
Miranda are on a party in the Ice Palace, you can hear an uptempo
instrumental version in the background.
It's 45 minutes into the movie when Madonna herself makes her
appearance. Bond arrives for some fencing lessons and when he
enters the room, Madonna is standing there, with her back to him.
Bond points his epee at her and when she raises her own sword
to parry, he evades it. Appreciately Madonna grins:"I see
you know how to handle your weapon well", to which Bond replies:
"I have been known to raise my tip from time to time".
Meanwhile we see two fencers in full action; they turn out to
be Miranda (Rosamund Pike) and Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens).
Madonna first talks about Miranda, with the complementary innuendo.
Then she talks about Gustav and asks if Bond wants her to introduce
him. Before Bond and Gustav get to their fight, they ask Verity
if she wants to place a bet, to which she replies with her already
famous end line "No thanks, I don't like cock fights".
Once they start fencing, we don't get to see Verity anymore. The
cameo is just a few minutes, but it's a cool scene and Madonna
really pulls it off very good. She acts pretty natural for a change
and the scene flows very well. The lesbian innuendo has been largely
exaggerated by the press and stays limited to some double remarks
about Miranda, and some looks between the two girls. As reported
earlier, other lines were cut from the movie.
During the end credits, the Dirty Vegas remix of Die
28 November - DADay drops out of US top 10 but is Oscar contender
After four weeks in the top 10 of Billboard
Hot 100, Die Another Day
slips down to #14. It's still #1 on the sales chart and the Hot
Dance/Club Play chart. As you can see in the ad on the right,
Die Another Day
be up for an Oscar nomination as 'Best Original Song'. The picture
used in the ad is from Madonna's Bond cameo.
27 November - Elton John slags off Bond song
Yet another accomplished musician has slagged off 'Die Another
Day' for being tuneless. During an interview with BBC's Liquid
News last night, Sir Elton John - a self-proclaimed Madonna fan
- has criticised her 007 theme tune. It's the second time this
week that Madonna has been accused of producing a lacklustre soundtrack.
"It hasnt got a tune James Bond themes are usually
very camp and this ones different," he said. John went
on to say: "It is the worst Bond tune of all time."
Harsh words! "They should have gone for somebody like Lulu
and Shirley Bassey, or maybe Im in that league," said
the be-wigged star. But Elton went to great lengths to say that
it wasn't an outright attack on M. "I dont think its
the best Madonna record and Im a big fan. (source:
26 November - Bond composer doesn't like theme song
The man who wrote the musical score for the latest James Bond
flick blasted Madonna yesterday - saying the Material Mom's theme
song for the movie is a double-o dud. Composer David Arnold went
as far as to call the techno-laced ballad, "the worst Bond
song ever." "Ideally, I would have liked to have made
some musical sense of her song, but I couldn't," Arnold,
a Grammy Award winner, told London's Sunday Express. "Die
Another Day," which debuted Friday, is Arnold's third Bond
score, and he assures people won't hear another note from Madonna's
song, which shares the film's title, anywhere else in the movie.
"Nobody has criticized me for not working her song into the
film score," Arnold said. "She got three minutes, I
got 92." Arnold said he wasn't alone in his scorn for Madonna's
song. When Prince Philip heard she was the songstress for the
latest Bond installment, he allegedly asked: "Are we going
to need ear plugs?" (source: NY
~ A bit frustrated, Davy boy?
25 November - Wasn't that Madonna?
Some fans who saw the new James Bond movie 'Die Another Day' over
the weekend may have wondered if that was really Madonna playing
the character Verity. The movie's director, Lee Tamahori, says
Madonna was doing the title song and had mentioned she'd like
to have a small part in the movie, just for fun. Tamahori told
her "'there's this great little part." At the time he
signed Madonna the character was "a little murky," but
he envisioned it as a "quasi-Lesbian, dominatrix fencing
instructor." He says he thought that would be perfect for
her. And, Tamahori told her he'd give her "a smashing costume."
Tamahori enjoyed he cameo. "It's nice when you can just slip
someone into the picture and they just appear and people go 'wasn't
that Madonna?'" the director said. (source: AP
25 November - Madonna and Guy produce Dusty *rumour*
Madonna's film history has never been much to write home about,
particularly when in collaboration with Guy Ritchie, but the Queen
of pop's latest foray into film sees her producing rather than
acting. Previously rumoured to play Dusty Springfield in a biopic
of the singer's life, the star has now decided on a more passive
role, perhaps due to the slating she received for her performance
in the flop Swept Away. Madge will produce the movie about the
legendary sixties icon with husband Guy Ritchie, who will reportedly
also direct. Former EastEnder actress Michelle Collins will play
the British pop sensation. The film is said to highlight the singer's
secret lesbianism and is sure to cause controversy. A perfect
choice, then for Madonna and Guy who are no strangers to film
or personal controversy and are still recovering from press reviews
of their first collaboration Swept Away. The dynamic duo will
be hoping for an improvement with The Dusty Springfield Story
when filming begins next year. (source: PeopleNews
24 November - Download Madonna's DADay cameo
Those who don't intend to watch Die Another Day in the theatres
Madonna's cameo here
. (thanx to MadGuy for the link)
24 November - M's cameo in the DADay reviews
Madonna's all over Die Another Day's reviews. Nearly every review
I have read mentions the theme and cameo. From FilmsInReview.com:
: "Oh, James! Your 20th outing shows off
a lot of stamina and vitality, and get this, Madonna's cameo doesn't
- ..."Bond's instructor happens to be Madonna (well-lit,
un-self-conscious, and speaking in a natural voice)."
- Hollywood Reporter
: "Realizing the franchise is
challenged by youth movies like 'XXX,' the Bond producers raise
the ante so James stays reasonably hip. Madonna sings the title
song and even appears in one of the film's brighter sequences."
- Rolling Stone (Peter Travers)
: "I did like Madonna's
title song, but then she spoils it by 'acting' as a lesbo fencing
master. 'Do you fence, Mr. Bond?' she asks. 'I can keep my tip
up,' he replies. Happily, some things never change." (source:
24 November - DADay chart update
Die Another Day
stable in most charts next week:
US Hot 100: stays at #10
US dance chart: stays at #1 for a second week
UK single chart: stays at #18
Australia single chart: down from #12 to #16
Australia dance chart: stays at #3
24 November - DAD movie conquers box office
James Bond conquered the box office on Friday as MGM's Die Another
Day opened at number one with $15.7M in its first day of release,
pushing aside last weekend's champ Harry Potter and the Chamber
of Secrets which tumbled 62 from last Friday to $10.9M. Die Another
Day should gross $45-50M over the weekend while Potter will place
second with about $35-40M. (source: Boxofficeguru
thanx to AbsMad)
23 November - Madonna's Bond cameo not part of title-track
Contrary to rumor, Madonna did not demand a Die Another Day cameo
when she recorded the film's title track. While the pop singer's
celluloid ambitions are no secret, Launch has confirmed that she
did not strong-arm her way into playing a corset-wearing fencing
instructor in the 40-year anniversary Bond installment. Die Another
Day producer Barbara Broccoli set the record straight. "We
were looking for somebody to do the song and her name came up
and she expressed an interest and we jumped at it. And then she
said, 'Oh, it'd be fun to do a cameo.' And we said, 'Well, we
had a cameo role there,' we gave it to her, and she liked it.
And then she kind of elaborated on it, made it her own, so it
all worked out great. That's exactly how it happened and we're
thrilled to bits and we think she did a great job with the song,
and particularly love her cameo. It was just a small role and
she really made it into something, and I thought she was fantastic.
Great to work with." The electronica-infused Die
single is currently Number 10 on the Billboard
Hot 100 chart. Die Another Day is now playing in theaters nationwide.
22 November - Timberlake aroused by Madonna
Justin Timberlake loves older women and has a crush on Madonna.
'Madonna gives off this sex energy that is incredible. I was completely
aroused in every way when we met,' (source: PeopleNews
21 November - The Queen doesn't know our queen
Madonna had been practicing her curtsey before she met the Queen,
but she was apparently left chuckling by a comment Her Majesty
made. The star, dressed in demure black and dripping with diamonds,
met the Queen. But it was the Queen's apparent lack of an idea
of who she was that left the pop diva giggling. When the Queen
was told that Madonna had performed the theme tune for the 20th
Bond movie - Die Another Day - she said "Oh really, did you?"
Once the Queen had moved down the line Madonna couldn't contain
herself anymore and had to giggle. (source: Gay.com
20 November - Swept Away video release
lists that Swept Away will be released on DVD and VHS in the US
on February 11th, 2003. (thanx to Madonnarama)
20 November - Guy likes Bond-age gear
Guy Ritchie wishes Madonna would wear her kinky Bond clothes on
her days off. He told me he loves his wifes leather bondage
gear, which she wears for her cameo role in Die Another Day. In
the film the Queen of Pop plays lesbian fencing instructor Verity
and wears a stunning black leather basque which laces at the back.
Guy told me: "When I saw her in that, I thought 'phwoar'.
I wish she'd wear things like that at home." Material Girl
Madge, who also sings the theme tune for the flick, is joined
by Pierce Brosnan as 007 in a fencing scene. One of Madonna's
scripted jokes never made it into the final film. We don't get
to hear a rude comment which she uses about her stunning screen
pupil Miranda Frost, played by Rosamund Pike. The scrapped line
was: "She doesnt beat around the bush believe
me, I've tried." Director Lee Tamahori said: "It was
never shot because we figured it was hurting her character to
have too many of those double entendres." At the premiere,
Madonna said: "I think Pierce is one of the sexiest Bonds."
She met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh before the screening.
But Madge and Guy then ducked out of the film early and gave the
aftershow party a miss. Perhaps she decided to take her work home
with her after all and have an early night with Guy. (source:
19 November - More on DADay premiere
The world premier of the 20th James Bond film lit up central London
on Monday night, with two firsts at such events: Queen Elizabeth
II joined the superstars, and the venue was Royal Albert Hall.
Large crowds gathered outside the London landmark to watch the
'Die Another Day' actors show up, including Pierce Brosnan, the
suave 007; his new lady, Oscar winner Halle Berry; and Madonna,
who sings the movie's theme tune and plays the cameo role of fencing
instructor Verity. [...] Madonna, who arrived with her husband
Guy Ritchie, was dressed conservatively in a knee-length black
cocktail dress and took the time to make sure she knew how to
greet the queen. Madonna practiced her curtsey in front of co-star
John Cleese, and afterward said: "The queen asked me about
Bond. I have never met her before, but surprisingly I wasn't nervous."
Royal Albert Hall was transformed into a glittering ice palace
for the evening, similar to the lair of the latest Bond villain,
Gustav Graves, played by Toby Stephens, the son of veteran actress
Dame Maggie Smith. (source: AP
18 November - Queen of pop meets Queen of England at DADay
Tonight the premiere of Die Another Day was helt in London. The
entire cast, including Madonna, attended the event, as well as
the Queen of England. BBC
reports: "Her Majesty's Secret Service agent James Bond has
had a royal appointment with the Queen at the première
of his latest spy movie. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh met
James Bond star Pierce Brosnan at the charity screening of Die
Another Day at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The venue was
transformed into an ice palace for the evening, in homage to the
lair of Bond villain Gustav Graves, played by Toby Stephens. Madonna,
who has a cameo role, attended with her husband.
Stars from the movie Halle Berry, Judi Dench, John Cleese, Rosamund
Pike and Madonna attended the screening. Actors from classic Bond
movies also attended, including three former 007s Timothy Dalton,
George Lazenby and Roger Moore. Fans watched the stars and the
royal party arrive for the premiere in grandstand seats which
are being erected around the red carpet, along with huge screens
to capture close-ups of the VIPs. Some of the world's most glamorous
cars featured in the Bond films were also on show outside the
Die Another Day marks the 20th film in the series, and as ever
it features spectacular stunts performed around the world. "I
think it is a really fine film. I'm very proud of it," said
Brosnan. He said the long-lasting appeal of the film was because
"from a male perspective we all want to be him. Even I would
like to be him." Producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
said they were honoured the film had been chosen as the annual
Royal Film Performance. "James Bond is the epitome of all
things British," they said in a statement. Brosnan, has confirmed
he has signed up for a fifth Bond movie. "I was asked to
come back for a fifth before we started Die Another Day. The answer
is yes," he said. The film, which cost $142m, is released
on 20 November." Photos courtesy of Yahoo
18 November - The Verity lines that you won't hear
Australians will see the new James Bond film Die Another Day on
December 12, but without a classic 007 franchise line which was
to have been delivered by Madonna. The 44-year-old pop icon appears
in an uncredited cameo in the film, wearing a leather outfit which
looks more bondage than Bond. She plays, in the words of director
Lee Tamahori a "filthy, lesbian, dominatrix fencing instructor".
According to the script, she was to have introduced her protege
Miranda Frost, played by British newcomer Rosamund Pike, to Bond
(Pierce Brosnan) with the potentially immortal words: "She
doesn't beat around the bush believe me, I've tried."
Ahem. In the end, however, Tamahori demurred. "It was never
shot, because we figured it was hurting her character to have
too many of those double entendres," said the New Zealander.
"We cut one of them and two never made it. We never even
shot them. We figured it was overloading it too much." Just
how Madonna came to appear in Die Another Day is a moot point.
She says MGM "kept begging me and begging me and begging
me" to write the title song, which she eventually did. "When
I handed them the song, I started sort of talking to the director
a lot and he was showing me a lot of footage of the movie and
then he kind of said, 'Oh, it would be really cool if you could
do a cameo'," Madonna says. "Somehow they talked me
into that, too. They are very persuasive over there at MGM, so
I did it." Tamahori, 51, has been begging, too, to differ.
"Her people agents, managers, whatever came
and said she'd very much like to play a cameo in the movie. That
was the way it was presented to me. She never came to me and said,
'Look, the studio is bothering me to be in the movie and I don't
want to, but they're paying me a lot of money to do it'. "I
thought she'd be great to do a cameo in it and then when I met
her she had some kind of reluctance. She said, 'I'd be very happy
to be in the picture but I don't really care. If you've got nothing
for me I am not going to be upset about it'." (source: Herald
18 November - Autobiography might never hit print
Madonna's memoirs may never hit print. The pop queen is still
under contract to write her memoirs after signing a deal in 1992
- but she has no plans as yet to sit down and write about her
life. The book was to be released as the second part of two-book
£1million publishing deal with Random House UK that Madonna
signed 10 years ago. The first book was Sex published in 1992.
Madonna, however, it seems is too busy writing children's books,
which she is testing out on her daughter, Lourdes. (source: Gay.com
18 November - Update DADay charts
This week's chart positions for Die
Canada: #1!! (her 17th Canadian #1!!)
And the single now tops the Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the US,
which means it's Madonna's 28th no. 1 dance hit! Congratulations!!
17 November - Madonna on the set of DADay
A former Olympic fencer who got a bit part in Die Another Day
has revealed what life was like with Madonna on the set of the
Bond film. Richard Cohen says Madonna put off her one scene time
and time again adding thousands to the budget:
"Throughout filming, there has been one constant topic: will
Madonna show up? She is said to have put off her one scene time
and time again, adding thousands to the budget, and gossip on
the set is that fee will be half a million pounds for just one
day's shooting. In the end she is slated to appear on the last
day of filming - well into July and the movie has to be released
in November. She is 44 now, a mother of young children: how will
she look? The whole set is to be 'closed' for her; no visitors
and definitely no Press, and her dressing rooms shut off from
the cast. On the day she is due to make her long-awaited appearance,
the rest of us turn up, as usual, at 7am......At 8am I am....aware
of an eeerie silence on set: Madonna has arrived. She wanders
nochalantly across the fencing room in a black Versace outfit
which includes a figure hugging corset which she will later ask
Bind to do up for her. Her black leotard is so skin tight it looks
like cling-film. Her arms, muscular as a gymnast's, are bare,
and as she saunters across stage she casually licks a red lolly.
She hasn't said a word yet, but she has no need to. It is an unusual
experience; the magnetic pull of stardom. None of us can help
ourselves, everyone is looking at her.
A few minutes pass, then Brosnan appears and the two stars eye
each other, like boxers weighing up who has the heavier punch.
Madonna is playing the part of Verity, the club's head coach.
Originally, she was to be one of Bond's ex-girlfriends but she
objected to being his cast-off and on-set gossip has it that she
re-wrote her lines and his, remodelling herself as a lesbian,
beyond Bond's reach.
She brightly refers to 'my innuendo scene' and it is soon clear
why. Bond strides in and asks her if can have a lesson from her.
Madonna has her back to him, but turns to answer. Bond points
his epee at her and when she raises her own sword to parry, he
evades it. 'I see you know how to handle your weapon well,' Madonna
says appreciatively. 'I have been known to raise my tip from time
to time', Brosnan replies. Carry on 007.
Madonna, though physically adept, has trouble with the moves and
the scene requires several takes. As the two stars wait for the
camera to be set up again they talk together easily. Later Brosnan
confesses that on their first meeting backstage he had started
to hum her early hit, Like A Virgin, at which she turned on him
and said accusingly: 'Don't diss me!' But that seems forgotten
now. Then Madonna turns to fencing. 'Have you had a go at this
yet?' she asks. 'It's great. Gives you a womderful workout.' Brosnan
'Right. Next take' an assistant director breaks in. This time
it's the corset scene. 'I seem to have come....undone' says Madonna,
playing the line for all it's worth before collapsing into a fit
of giggles. Later, she urges Bond to take on Graves in a fencing
bout. 'I think you will provide stiffer opposition.' More giggles.
By now she is handling her epee with real deftness. When the director
finally says he is satisfied she walks past me and I say inanely:
'You could become a good fencer, you know'. She gives me the briefest
of glances: 'Gee. Wow!' It is 5pm and, breaks apart, she has been
on set for eight hours. Now it's a wrap. Her fight scene is over.
(source: Mail On Sunday, thanx to Madonnarama)
16 November - IMDB interview with Guy
Movie site IMDB
has an interview with Guy Ritchie, talking about Swept Away, and
about working and living with Madonna. Read
16 November - Should Madonna give up doing films?
Can we finally draw a line under Madonna's movie career? After
the humiliating withdrawl of Swept Away from British screens last
week, you'd imagine she might finally beat her retreat from an
arena in which she's tasted nothing but failure and embarassment.
The unprecedently hostile reception accorded to Swept Away in
America - where it earned a derisory $500,000 on a $25million
outlawy - must have been particularly galling, especially since
her director was 'him indoors'.
Frankly, the unanimous critical pasting was a little extreme:
she wasn't less or more awful than she usually is, and her suntan
in the movie was eerily, almost mechanically awesome. Even so,
the audiences who didn't stay away found her patently unable to
justify their love. I suspect the Material Girl herself personally
cancelled the UK release, thus sparing herself a second media
drubbing in the country she now calls home. Can you blame her?
Life's too short. Nonetheless, it is remarkable how long she has
persisted in the delusion that she might make a good movie star
material. You can tell the company she wishes she could keep by
the names she checked in Vogue: Garbo, Grace Kelly; Marilyn; Jean
Harlow; Lana Turner, Lauren Bacall and Rita Hayworth.
Trouble is, movie stars are born more often than they are made,
and that seductive camera magic isn't fairly aportioned at birth.
You've got it or you haven't.
The mistake Madonna makes is in thinking that a charisma that
depends on large stage gestures and provactive, broad brush MTV
visuals can translate into a harsher realm of merciless close-ups,
long takes, repeated line reading and a consistent maintenance
of emotional tone. What Madonna has, in musical terms, is also
rare and considering her talents have helped transform the lives
of girls and women since the mid-1980s, you'd think that she might
be happy with that. Ah, but here comes Bond number 20, Die Another
Day, for which she has done quite a nifty title song - the kind
of thing she really does excel at - plus a peek a boo cameo in
the movie itself as the mistress of a fencing club. If she maintains
that ratio of decent music and miniscule appearances, we can all
be grateful. (source: The Guardian, thanx to MadMax)
16 November - Madonna speaks in 2004
It looks like all the hoo-ha over Ulrika Jonnson's autobiography
will do nothing to stem the flow of celebrity memoirs no
lesser person than Madonna is writing a book, to be called Madonna
Speaks. It'll be in the shops by 2004. 'No-one knows much about
it, but it has got a release date of 2004 and it is certainly
an autobiography,' said a spokesman for Secker and Warburg, who
are to publish the tome. Apparently, the Material Mom signed a
two-book deal in the early 90s, the first being the controversial
bondage coffee table book Sex, and the second of which was her
life story. The second never appeared, though, and seems to have
been forgotten about until now. Get ready for some serious score-settling.
16 November - Mo is a moo-vie success
Posh is a cow and so is Camilla, Madonna and Kylie, according
to a new survey that shows farmers are naming their cattle after
celebrities. The National Farmers' Union study, which interviewed
200 farmers in England and Wales, finds that rather than using
traditional names farmers are naming their herd after stars of
pop, film, sports and royalty. Beckham has replaced Buttercup,
Denzel has trampled on Daisy and Madonna is more likely to moo
than Marigold. (source: Ananova
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