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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 April 2007, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
BA cuts Branson from Bond movie
Richard Branson
Sir Richard was seen in Superman Returns and TV series Friends
British Airways has removed a shot of Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson from the in-flight version of the James Bond movie Casino Royale.

Sir Richard was seen briefly in the original film, passing through an airport security scanner, but can only be seen from behind in the new edit.

"Many films are edited in some way on board," said a BA spokesman.

Daniel Craig's debut last year as 007 became the most successful Bond movie at the worldwide box office.

Sir Richard was given a cameo after supplying a plane for use in the film.

The British Airways edit also obscures the tail fin of a Virgin plane that was seen in the original.

BA's entertainment team vets films and television shows for flights on grounds of taste and suitability.

"We do reserve the right to edit films, and many films are edited in some way on board," said a spokesman.

Daniel Craig
Casino Royale was hailed as a reinvention of the franchise
Virgin Atlantic spokesman Paul Charles told the Associated Press: "We think passengers should see the whole film and nothing but the whole film."

The two firms have a history of rivalries and run-ins, stemming all the way back to Virgin's launch on the competitive trans-Atlantic routes in 1984.

Casino Royale made more than $450m (225m) at cinemas last year, surpassing the previous best for Bond - $431m (215m) for Die Another Day in 2002.

The 21st official James Bond movie is based on Ian Fleming's first novel about the spy, published in 1953, and shows how he acquires his licence to kill with its 00 prefix.

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