They came not just for a new Bond movie, not even a new Bond - but a whole new take on the 007 legend.
By Greig Watson
Entertainment reporter, BBC News
And the fans who shouted at, beckoned to and begged signatures from the stars spoke volumes for the place the character has in the nation's heart.
Fans queued for hours to gain a signature from the new 007
Of the thousands who turned out in Leicester Square for the 21st Bond film, many had travelled across the country to be part of the enduring movie magic that surrounds 007.
Karl Auzins, from Wolverhampton, had booked into a hotel so he could fully enjoy the premiere.
"I have seen the stars and the atmosphere has been superb. We are all off to see a late showing of the film itself," he said.
"It's different to other action movies. It's British for a start and that gives it a real flavour that stands out from the crowd.
For hundreds of fans it was a chance to get close to their hero
"It has shown it can last. Kids want to be James Bond even when they grow up but no one wants to be Harry Potter for long."
'Smooth and sophisticated'
Amer Shoib had only travelled from Wembley, north London, but would have come further if necessary.
"Bond is smooth, suave and sophisticated - the best movie hero there is," he said.
"I had my picture taken with the man and it doesn't get much better than that.
"So long as they keep reinventing him, I don't see why he can't go on and on."
Steven Morris, from Colwyn Bay in north Wales, is a veteran of Bond premieres.
"This is my sixth. I had the privilege of attending the last Roger Moore premiere, the two Timothy Dalton's and two of Pierce Brosnan's. They were all very special," he said.
"I had wanted Robbie Williams or Clive Owen to play the part but when I found out Daniel Craig had got it and he is from Chester, just round the corner from me, I was pleased."
June Vernon accompanied her son and grandson from Chester: "I like the Bond movies. Some people say they are for the boys but I don't hold with that.
"They are brilliant entertainment and you just have to look at the way the people are getting excited about it to see how much it means to them."
Dan Thomas and Steve Spring got the train from Northampton and despite only catching the briefest sight of the stars, were still happy.
Steve said: "We are here for the late shows and came along to sample the atmosphere. It's such a buzz when a new Bond comes out.
"From this film we are looking for a more serious approach. Let's hope the makers have learnt that Bond and computer graphics don't mix.
"You can push that envelope, between the amazing and the unbelievable, only so far with 007. Invisible cars are too far."