Steven Obanno: Lord’s Resistance Army Commander in Casino Royale
Steven Obanno is a commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army of Uganda, who’s associated with the infamous criminal syndicate, Quantum. Played by Ivory Coast actor Isaach De Bankolé in the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale.
Steven Obanno is a key fighter within the Lord’s Resistance Army and has connections to crime syndicate, Quantum through the enigmatic Mr. White. He entrusts $101,206,000 to Le Chiffre, a banker who looks after the finances of terrorists, and who he met through Mr. White.
However, a failed stock shorting scheme, thwarted by James Bond’s intervention at the Miami Airport, results in Le Chiffre losing Obanno’s investment. Without informing Obanno or Mr. White, Le Chiffre plans a high-stakes poker tournament at the Casino Royale in Montenegro to regain the lost sum.
When Steven Obanno discovers his funds are missing, his rage is an understatement. Intent on exacting retribution from Le Chiffre, he and his bodyguard head to Montenegro, forcing their way into Le Chiffre’s hotel suite, catching him and his mistress Valenka off guard.
Obanno confronts Le Chiffre, demanding an explanation for the vanished sum. Le Chiffre pleads for his life, outlining his plans to win back the funds at the poker tournament. Obanno then procures a machete from his bodyguard and threatens to chop Le Chiffre’s arm off.
Realizing Le Chiffre needs both hands for the upcoming game, Obanno threatens to amputate Valenka’s right arm instead. But when Le Chiffre doen’t react, Obanno halts the blade, advising Valenka to look for a better suitor before leaving the hotel suite.
In the hallway, Steven Obanno and his bodyguard spot Bond and Vesper Lynd nearby. Noticing the hearing device in Bond’s ear, the bodyguard attacks, but Bond flips him over a stairwell, leading to his death.
Obanno retaliates, wielding the hidden machete, and a brutal fight ensues between Obanno and Bond. During the struggle, Obanno tries to grab Bond’s Walther P99 pistol, only to be thwarted by Vesper, providing Bond the advantage he needs to subdue and eventually strangle Obanno to death.
Mathis then hides their bodies in the car trunk of one of Le Chiffre’s henchmen, Leo, effectively framing him for the killings. Le Chiffre weeps in relief upon discovering Obanno’s death.
Isaach De Bankolé
Isaach de Bankolé, born Zachari Bankolé in 1957 in the Ivory Coast to Benin parents, is a seasoned actor known for his roles in various films. Having grown up with a diverse cultural background and being bilingual in Yoruba and French, he moved to Paris in 1975. Despite initially pursuing studies in physics, mathematics, and aviation, a chance meeting with director Gérard Vergez prompted his shift to acting.
Bankolé has since contributed to over fifty films. Notable roles include playing a taxi driver in Night on Earth (1991), a hitman in Ghost Dog (1999), Steven Obanno in Casino Royale (2006), and Timothy in Manderlay (2005). More recent performances include a River Tribe Elder in Black Panther (2018), and lead roles in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), and The People We Hate at the Wedding (2022).