The 2006 film is a more or less accurate adaptation of Fleming’s 1953 novel. greater variety of chases and escapes, but the core story remains intact. James Bond must, as a newly appointed MI6 agent, go to a posh casino in Montenegro (in the book, the fictional French town of Royale-les-Eaux) and play cards with Le Cipher (Mads Mikkelsen). Bond is aided by a team of international assistants. In the book, Bond and Le Chiffre play baccarat. Since baccarat is not widely known to modern audiences, director Campbell decided the game should be replaced by poker. It’s a small change that allows a wider audience to follow more carefully.
In a 2012 interview with IGN, Campbell also explained how “Casino Royale” had to remove all references to particular Cold War entities that have long since ceased to exist. Campbell had to remove SMERSH. But that was it. He said:
“The one thing you can’t use in the book – I don’t know how many of you have read it – it was written in 1953 [and] was opposed to the Cold War. In fact, it was the first one that involved SMERSH, and we obviously had to change that. But, essentially, the book remains pretty much intact. The whole game is happening. Le Cipher is the villain, who was the villain there.”