Princes William and Harry attend James Bond launch

Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:45pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Princes William and Harry were on the red carpet on Wednesday for the world premiere of the new James Bond movie "Quantum of Solace", which sees Daniel Craig reprise the role of superspy 007.

The 40-year-old actor and his co-stars were greeted by hundreds of fans and a sea of camera flashes in central London for the 22nd installment of the Bond franchise.

Craig showed up wearing a tuxedo and his right arm in a sling after a shoulder operation.

Quantum of Solace, which follows on directly from the plot of the last Bond movie "Casino Royale", is released in British cinemas on October 31 and hits theatres in the key U.S. market two weeks later on November 14.

After Craig wowed critics and audiences with his Bond debut in Casino Royale two years ago, Quantum of Solace is expected to eclipse its global box office take of $594 million.

Early critical reaction suggests fans will prefer Casino Royale to its sequel, and Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will be less than pleased to read one senior British critic, the Sunday Times's Cosmo Landesman, conclude his review: "Craig makes an attractive corpse, but Bond is dead."

But movie industry experts believe the popularity of Casino Royale, a lack of alternative Hollywood blockbusters between now and the end of the year and Bond's lasting appeal would make up for mixed reviews and recession fears.

ARMED AND ANGRY   Continued...

<p>Britain's Prince William (L) shakes hands with British actor Daniel Craig at the world premiere of the latest James Bond movie "Quantum of Solace" at Leicester Square in London October 29, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Hird</p>