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If you know where to look, HBO Max is a treasure trove for alternate cuts of movies you might happen to know and love. But sometimes, the differences aren’t as clearly labeled, which would happen to be the case with 2006’s Casino Royale. As it turns out, the slightly longer, and definitely nastier uncut version of the film is currently available on the platform, but only until the end of July.
Fangoria Editor in Chief, and known James Bond aficionado, Phil Nobile Jr., took to Twitter and notified the world of the buried treasure that’s been hiding under people’s faces for the past couple of months. While it’s not a difference that changes the plot or specifics of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s initial Bond adventure did find the nastiness of two key fights dialed down for US and UK audiences, as the pre-title fight sequence and Bond’s stairwell fight with some assassins later in the film were trimmed for audiences in both countries.
This uncut version has kicked around on home video for some time, finally coming to the US in the recent 4K home release of director Martin Campbell’s 2006 blockbuster. But apparently HBO’s various streaming platforms have had Casino Royale’s pure and untamed form in its library for some time, along with the 1967 spoof film based on that same Ian Fleming novel, as well as the second Daniel Craig film, 2008’s Quantum of Solace. To think that Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre whipping 007’s crown jewels with a knotted rope was a go with the censors, but smashing a baddie’s head into a door and some leg twitches needed to be cut.
Unfortunately, the differences have come up at a time that doesn’t leave Bond fans old and new many days to enjoy Casino Royale’s somewhat newfound brutality. While HBO Max is a relatively fresh platform, even the new kid on the block has to shed some titles, as the movie was actually part of the HBO library in the earlier HBO Go/HBO Now days. And as any fan of a particular franchise will tell you, the disappearance of titles without a proprietary home is an uncertain prospect when it comes to where/when we’ll see them again.
That’s all in the future though, as you can still stream Casino Royale 2006, Quantum of Solace, and Casino Royale 1967 as they’re all available on HBO Max. Don’t sleep on them too long though, as these Bond films will be leaving the platform promptly, as of July 31st. So if you want to check them out before it’s too late, you’ll want to also check out the 7-day free trial that’s currently being offered.