^ BB was released in summer 2005 and Craig was cast that October. While Eon had started work on the script earlier, it was initially envisaged as Pierce Brosnan's 5th outing as 007, not as an origin story. It was re-tooled in light of not just Begins but the Jason Bourne series.
This isn't exactly controversial stuff, Eon have never denied the influence of Begins on CR.
Edit - from the horse's mouth: http://www.mi6-hq.com/news/index.php...2&t=mi6&s=news
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Paul Haggis, who has been brought onboard "Casino Royale" to polish the first draft script by Neal Purvis and Rober Wade, has confirmed a major influence on the direction of the next James Bond film.
"Casino Royale" is set to take 007 back to the early days in his career as an agent with a licence to kill.
Speaking to a Canadian news site, Haggis said he's excited about sculpting the iconic secret agent into a much darker Bond.
"We're trying to do for Bond what Batman Begins did for Batman," he said, referring to the feature film prequel released this past summer that explained Batman's metamorphosis.