Tomorrow Never Dies
Tomorrow never dies poster 1

Directed by

Roger Spottiswoode


Pierce Brosnan
Michelle Yeoh
Jonathan Pryce
Teri Hatcher

Music by

David Arnold

Preceeded by


Followed by

The World Is Not Enough

Tomorrow Never Dies is a 1997 spy film and the eighteenth installment in the James Bond film series. It is the second to star Pierce Brosnan as James Bond and also stars Michelle Yeoh as Bond's love interest, Wai Lin, Jonathan Pryce as the antagonist Elliot Carver and Teri Hatcher as Carver's wife, Paris. The film also sees Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn and Samantha Bond reprise their roles as M, Q and Miss Moneypenny respectively and introduces Colin Salmon as Charles Robinson, M's Chief of Staff.


MI6 agent James Bond 007 (Pierce Brosnan) infiltrates a terrorist arms bazaar on the Russian Border and sets up a camera which transmits video of the event to the MI6 staff at the Ministry of Defence. Among those watching are M (Judi Dench), Deputy Chief of Staff Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon) and Admiral Roebuck (Geoffrey Palmer) and Russian General Bukharin (Terence Rigby). Robinson is able to identify some of the terrorists present, including Japanese chemical expert Satoshi Isagura (Khan Bonfils) and American techno-terrorist Henry Gupta (Ricky Jay). Gupta is there to purchase a stolen GPS encoder. Robinson decides to fire a missile up the Khyber Pass at the bazaar so as to “in one strike, take out half the world's terrorists.” Robinson orders Bond to get to safety while the Admiral orders the H.M.S. Chester to fire a missile. Bond argues with Robinson, pointing out an L-39 Albatros carrying Soviet SB-5 nuclear torpedoes which the missile will detonate, subsequently devastating Russia with nuclear fallout. Robinson orders that the missile be aborted but it too far out of range. With no other choice, 007 springs into action.

Bond ignites a shootout between himself and the terrorists, eventually knocking out the Albatros pilot and hijacking the plane. He manages to take off just in time as the missile impacts and destroys the bazaar, killing multiple terrorists. However, Gupta manages to escape in a jeep with the encoder. Bond is pursued by another terrorist (Theo Kypri) piloting a MiG and an aerial dogfight ensues. The Albatros pilot, sitting in the back, regains conciousness and attempts to strangle Bond, forcing him to fly the plane by steering the control stick with his knees. Bond then manages to outsmart the other pilot and disappear from his view; what the pilot doesn't know is that Bond is actually flying directly beneath him. Bond hits the ejector button and launches the Albatros pilot into the plane above, causing it to explode and kill both terrorists. As Bond flies away, he radios the concerned MI6 staff to “ask the Admiral where he'd like his bombs delivered.”

In the South China Sea, the British frigate H.M.S. Devonshire is flown over by two Chinese MiGs, who warn the crew that they have entered Chinese territorial waters. However, Captain Richard Day (Christopher Bowen) and Lieutenant Commander Peter Hume (Andrew Hawkins) believe that they are in international waters and declare that they wil retaliate if they are attacked by the Chinese. In reality, Gupta has been using the GPS encoder to make the crew of the Devonshire think they are somewhere else. The Devonshire is also being stalked by a large black stealth ship under the command of the big blonde German Stamper (Götz Otto). Stamper uses the huge Sea-Vac Drill to burrow a hole in the hull of the Devonshire, causing it to begin to rapidly sink. Before giving the order to abandon ship, Captain Day sends a message to Admiralty that they have been torpedoed by the Chinese. As the MiGs again fly past the sinking Devonshire, the stealth ship fires a missile at one of the planes, destroying it and killing the pilot (Vincent Wang).

Meanwhile, in Hamburg, Germany, Stamper's boss, British media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) is editing the next edition of his newspaper Tomorrow. He alters his initial headline from “British Sailors Killed” to “British Sailors Murdered.” He is then contacted by Stamper, who is on his way to take care of the survivors from the Devonshire. Carver reminds him to make sure that he uses the “right kind of ammunition.” Stamper makes his way to the docking bay of the stealth ship, where the surviving sailors have swam to in search of help. Instead of assisting them, Stamper mercilessly mows them down with a machine gun.

The following morning, Bond is “brushing up on a little Danish” with Danish professor Inga Bergstrom (Cecile Thomsen) at Oxford Uniersity when he receives a call from Miss Moneypenny (Samantha Bond) informing him of the crisis forming at the Ministry of Defence. Bond heads over in his Aston Martin DB5 and walks in on M and Admiral Roebuck arguing with the British Minister of Defence (Julian Fellowes). Roebuck wants to retaliate against the Chinese, while M wishes for more time to investigate. Bond hands them the morning edition of Tomorrow, revealing that the sailor's bodies were found riddled with Chinese ammunition. This prompts the Defence Minister to authorize Roebuck to take action, leaving M with only the forty-eight hours it will take the British fleet to get in to position to investigate.

Bond, M, Robinson and Moneypenny depart in M's limo, where they note that there was no way that the Carver Media Group could've known about the sailor's bodies unless they were involved. M asks Bond what he knows about Elliot Carver; after Bond lists off some information, M reminds him that he had a previous relationship with Carver's wife. She orders Bond to travel to Hamburg to attend the launch of Carver's new global satellite network where he is to find Carver's wife and gleam information from her.

Bond flies to Germany and is met at the airport by Q, who introduces Bond to his new BMW 750iL, which can be remote controlled via Bond's new cellphone. That night, posing as a banker, Bond arrives at Carver's party, where he is introduced to Carver, Tamara Steel (Nina Young) and Beth Davidson (Nadia Cameron-Blakey) by Carver's PR Lady (Daphne Deckers). Carver is distracted by the presence of a lovely Chinese lady named Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh) from the New China News Agency, who confesses to him that she sneaked into the party. Carver offers to give Wai Lin a job at his Beijing branch. Bond slips away and finds Carver's wife Paris (Teri Hatcher), who slaps him in the face upon seeing him. Bond and Paris join up with Carver and Wai, where Paris explains that Bond briefly dated her roommate in Zurich to explain their familiarity. Carver is suspicious of Bond, however, and has Stamper's men escort him into a soundproof room and beat him up. Bond manages to outwit the heavies and knocks them all out while Carver begins to make a speech. Bond deicdes that it's "time for a station break" and shuts off the power to Carver's broadcast, causing him to fly into a rage and fire his PR Lady.

Bond returns to his hotel room at the Atlantic Hotel, where he takes vodka shots while he waits for Carver to send more men to kill him. However, instead of assassins it is his Paris who arrives. She tells Bond how much she missed him and they begin to kiss passionately as Bond removes Paris' dress. Back at the Carver Media Center, Gupta shows Carver some audio he picked up from Bond and Paris' conversation; Paris' line "Tell me James, do you still sleep with a gun under your pillow?" Realizing that Paris knew more than she was letting on to him, Carver tells Gupta to arrange a meeting for Paris with "the Doctor."

As the next day dawns, Paris hurriedly gets dressed but Bond tells her to stay at the hotel and wait for him to return as he can get her out of the country in four hours. Paris tells Bond about a secret lab on the top floor of the Media Center, which Bond subsequently breaks into and discovers Gupta's secret vault, where he has stored the GPS encoder. Bond swipes it but is disturbed by someone trying to open the door. He pulls his gun on the individual, revealed to actually be Wai Lin. Suddenly armed guards arrive, prompting the two to split up to try and escape. Bond manages to get away via the printing press, but as he drives back to the hotel, he receives a call from Carver, who tells him that he knows about him and Paris. Bond races back to his hotel room, but is too late; Paris lies dead on the bed. A CMGN reporter (Minna Aaltonen) on the television states that Mrs. Carver was found dead in a hotel room along with the body of an unidentified male companion, at which point Bond realizes that he is not alone in the room. He turns around to face Doctor Kaufman (Vincent Schiavelli), who is holding him at gunpoint. However, before Kaufman can execute Bond, he is contacted by Stamper over an earpiece, who tells him that his goons cannot break into Bond's BMW (due to the reinforced glass). Bond offers to call the auto company to remotely unlock the doors, but Kaufman chooses to do it himself. This is a trick by Bond, however, as he makes Kaufman dial in the code that shoots an electro-shock into him, allowing Bond to overpower him. Kaufman begs for his life, stating that he was "just a professional doing a job," to which Bond replies "Me too" before executing him with a bullet to the face. Bond then returns to the car park, where he manages to escape from Stamper's goons after a gadget-laden car chase which culminates in the BMW flying off the roof of the car park and crashing into Avis auto shop.


Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, British MI6 agent 007.

Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin, a Chinese spy sent to halt Carver's plans. She is Bond's main love interest.

Jonathan Pryce as Elliot Carver, a British media mogul who plans to start a war between Britain and China in order to boost ratings. He is the main antagonist of the film.

Teri Hatcher as Paris Carver, Carver's wife and an old flame of Bond's.

Götz Otto as Richard Stamper, Carver's loyal henchman.

Ricky Jay as Henry Gupta, an American techno-terrorist in league with Carver.

Vincent Schiavelli as Dr. Kaufman, a professional assassin and Stamper's mentor.

Philip Kwok as General Chang, a Chinese general working with Carver to replace the government.

Joe Don Baker as Jack Wade, a CIA officer who acts as an ally for Bond.

Geoffrey Palmer as Admiral Roebuck, a high-ranking member of the British Navy who wants to destroy Beijing in retaliation for the sinking of the HMS DEvonshire.

Cecile Thomsen as Inga Bergstrom, an Oxford professor who was teaching Bond how to speak Danish until he seduced her.

Judi Dench as M, the head of MI6 and Bond's superior.

Desmond Llewelyn as Q, the MI6 quartermaster.

Colin Salmon as Charles Robinson, M's Chief of Staff.

Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny, M's secretary.


The title of the film was originally intended to be Tomorrow Never Lies as a reference to Elliot Carver's newspaper Tomorrow. The title was inspired by the song Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles and is the first Bond film title not to draw from the life or works of Ian Fleming. When the title was faxed to MGM, an error caused the title to come out as Tomorrow Never Dies. MGM decided that they preferred the Dies title to the Lies title and chose to use it as the final title for the film. Tomorrow Never Lies was used instead of the actual title in a song submitted by the band Pulp which was rejected.


See also: Tomorrow Never Dies (soundtrack) and Tomorrow Never Dies (song)

The theme song for Tomorrow Never Dies was performed by American singer Sheryl Crow. The k.d. lang song Surrender was originally set to be the theme song but it was replaced by Crow's song. Surrender is used over the end credits and it's melody is weaved throughout the score.

The score for the film was composed by David Arnold in his first contribution to the series. He was recommended to the producers by long-time series composer John Barry after Barry heard Arnold's work on Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project.

In Other MediaEdit

A novelization of the film was written by Raymond Benson, who at the official continuation author at the time.

The film was also adapted into a third-person shooter video game in 1999.


Tomorrow Never Dies never gets enough respect. As a well made, exciting, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride action film, it never fails, but it does disappoint somewhat at being a Bond film, as the focus really is more on action this time round. Yeoh's character Wai Lin is widely considered to be one of the very best Bond girls, competent to the point where she may be more capable than our dashing hero. Elliot Carver is divisive villain; it all comes down to whether or not you enjoy his scenery-chewing performance. And it has possibly the best of all David Arnold's Bond scores.