James Bond at 40
MARTINIS & BIKINIS
With the release of the 20th edition of the highest grossing franchise in film history, 007 faces new challenges If Bond is showing his age, the 007 label is vintage
At 40 years old, James Bond is showing signs of both midlife crisis and seasoned panache.
The 20th installment of Hollywood's most lucrative film franchise, "Die Another Day," arrives Nov. 22 in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and Spain.
Festooned with celebratory nods to all things Bond, from anniversary merchandising tie-ins to Halle Berry's "Dr. No" bikini on screen, the film should open a revealing window onto the series as a whole. That means items on both sides of the ledger -- the blessing and the curse of any modern franchise.
On the one hand, the film is certain to be the most expensive Bond yet (some reliable industry estimates suggest the production cost upwards of $150 million, though MGM denies it). United Artists, even as it handed Michael Cimino the shovel to dig the company's grave, was freaked out that "Moonraker" would exceed $30 million. It took in $202 million worldwide. Much in Hollywood is relative -- especially when those first matinee grosses come in.
Having overseen "Die Another Day" over the last three-plus years, MGM vice chairman Chris McGurk has heard all sides of the Bond discussion. And he anticipates every skeptical question.
"We feel very comfortable with the budget because we took an extra year to get all of the elements right," he says. "Everything you see, the action sequences, the effects, the locations, all of that spending is on the screen."
"Die Another Day" cost about 10% more than "The World Is Not Enough," McGurk says, meaning somewhere close to $130 million. Even at that hefty sum, the ritual of angst that accompanies each new Bond installment will only be broken by an abject disappointment.
Indeed, the stakes have never been higher. Last time out, "The World Is Not Enough" -- the top grosser to date -- scored $365 million worldwide, $127 million in the U.S. The bigger, more costly "Die Another Day" will have to do even better.
"It's so expensive these days and audience expectations are high -- we have to meet them, exceed them hopefully," says Michael Wilson, co-producer with Barbara Broccoli.
"Our last few pictures have been very consistent in their grosses," Wilson adds. "But we need to go up on this one. The two (competitors) that you know about are 'Harry Potter' and 'Lord of the Rings.' But there's always other Christmas titles, some surprise little films too. It's going to be a very competitive time."
Bond is also particularly beholden to its international demographic, not necessarily a plus in the present unstable era.
"Even in the earliest days," says Wilson, "when the foreign market accounted for a quarter or a third of a film's box office, Bond was 50-50. And now, even today, when it's about a 60-40 split, we're still 75-25."
The story formula, meanwhile, remains numbingly familiar: a debonair Pierce Brosnan employs all manner of gadgets, unshaven villains plot all manner of mayhem, damsels pose in all manner of undress.
Its rote escapism is what gave such bite to Kevin Spacey's complaint in "American Beauty" that his daughter's cheerleading was making his sad-sack character miss the James Bond marathon on TNT.
"People might think writing a Bond film is easy -- you've got Bond, M, Q, Moneypenny, some beautiful girls and a villain," say screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade in the new book "Bond on Set: Filming Die Another Day." "But that's what makes it actually quite daunting. How do you make it all seem fresh and new?"
On the other hand, "The World Is Not Enough" offers a few fresh twists, notably Berry -- just off her Oscar win for "Monster's Ball" -- as Jinx, and snazzy new locations like Iceland, Cuba and North Korea.
The post-9/11 climate, ironically, could make Bond more saleable, a la "The Sum of All Fears." For decades the Bond pics have suffered from a lack of well-defined enemies, compared with the 1960s, when it was easy to spin yarns about Russian encroachment.
Having embraced the subversive assaults from "Austin Powers" and "XXX," Bond remains the ultimate establishment character. Yet he must strike the balance between Powers' anachronisms and Vin Diesel's slacker swagger.
"We believe this is a more real Bond ... a less cartoony Bond," McGurk asserts. "And we love the fact that all of these other characters out there just reinforce the idea that Bond is the original."
Tamahori took that notion to its logical post-modern conclusion, lacing the film with nearly 20 of what he calls "little homages" to previous Bond pics. One room at headquarters, in fact, is littered with relics from "Thunderball" and "From Russia With Love."
One key to opening well and hanging tough in the holiday season will be luring younger women, traditionally not the Bond core, notes MGM marketing chief Peter Adee.
Bond has lately managed to reach younger demos through ancillaries like videogames, he points out. Roughly 20 million Bond-related games have been sold in the past three years.
Spanning all other possible audiences are 24 blue-chip marketing partners, from Ford to Omega watches to Finlandia vodka. Their presence defrays significant marketing costs (11 advertisers coughed up $100 million in TV spots) while seeking to enhance the Bond brand at the same time.
MGM, of course, is pulling out plenty of marketing stops in its own right. Even after swearing off pricey productions like "Windtalkers" and "Hart's War," the Lion knows that Bond is the company's heritage.
"This is the mother of all franchises," Adee says. "And you've got to take care of your mother."
PHOTOS (COLOR): BOND NEVER DIES: Current Bond Pierce Brosnan, center, is surrounded by his predecessors. Not counting Bond spoof "Casino Royale" and the WB-distributed "Never Say Never Again," the Eon/MGM Bond franchise has grossed over $3 billion.
PHOTO (COLOR): STOCK CHARACTERS: The latest Bond girl, Rosamund Pike, and the latest Bond villain, Toby Stephens, in "Die Another Day."
By Dade Hayes
Agent 007 not always where he seems to be
In "From Russia With Love," when Bond and Tatiana Romanova escape from the Russian Embassy in Istanbul through the city's underground cisterns, they must dodge an exodus of rats. The rats were filmed not in Turkey but in Madrid.
Northholt, a military and civilian airport facility near Pinewood in England, was used for Bluegrass Field, Ky., in "Goldfinger" and doubled as the Cuban-style airbase in the precredits sequence of "Octopussy."
Although much of "You Live Twice takes place in Japan, hots of a submarine surfacing beneath a life raft were filmed off the coast of Bermuda.
In "Diamonds Are Forever," the Nevada desert doubled for southern Africa. The southwestern U.S. desert also doubled for India and Afghanistan in "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights," but only in aerial sequences.
Probably the oddest use of locations occurred in "Moonraker." The villain's chateau is located in the arid Mojave. Producer Cubby Broccoli had his crew shoot the scenes in the lush gardens of France, claiming they were imported to Southern California by Hugo Drax.
The Bond team will go literally anywhere to get its shot. For footage of exotic fish in "The Spy Who Loved Me," a crew was sent to Okinawa, Japan.
For the snake attack and the boat chase in "Moonraker," filmmakers shot in Florida, even though the scene was set in South America and the studio work was done in France.
Underwater scenes in "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "For Your Eyes Only" were scripted for Sardinia and Greece, but shot in the Bahamas. The famed opening ski jump in "The Spy Who Loved Me" was set in Austria, but performed in Canada.
More recently, the Bond team used a Swiss dam for the old Soviet Union in "Goldeneye," and shot in Puerto Rico rather than Cuba.
When the government of Vietnam had a last-minute change of mind about allowing Bond into the country to film "Tomorrow Never Dies," the producers turned to Thailand.
"The World Is Not Enough" utilized the vast plains of Spain rather than trying to shoot in Kazakhstan.
For the new Bond adventure "Die Another Day," much of the action takes place in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Filming in the real DMZ was out of the question, so the producers found the next best substitute -- Cornwall, England.
ILLUSTRATION (BLACK & WHITE)
Broccoli: one of the last great showmen
When Albert Romolo Broccoli passed away in 1996, the obits proclaimed him a throwback to Hollywood's golden age. Affectionately known as "Cubby" -- a childhood nickname derived from a comic strip character named Able Kabibble -- Broccoli learned his craft at a time when Howard Hughes was a relative extrovert and Victor Mature was considered box office gold.
A man of grand gestures, Broccoli was a natural player, having cultivated an impeccable social standing in Hollywood, where he had a reputation for hosting sumptuous parties.
"Cubby was larger than life," says Roger Moore, who starred in seven Bond films, "not only in terms of his physical presence, but also in terms of his warmth and generosity. In many ways, he was the last of the truly great showmen."
Cubby prided himself on personal integrity and honor. He once signed Alan Ladd to a multi-picture deal on a cocktail napkin and agreed to the distribution pact for the Bond films by simply shaking hands with United Artists chief Arthur Krim.
Rags to riches
Broccoli was Horatio Alger personified. In his youth, he labored on a relative's farm on Long Island (an uncle introduced America to the hybrid vegetable that bears the family name). He migrated to Hollywood in 1934, hoping to emulate his cousin who was a successful agent.
Within days, Cubby was cavorting with the elite of show business, but couldn't establish a niche. He failed as a salesman in the jewelry and mortuary businesses and by 1947 had been relegated to selling Christmas trees on a corner in Beverly Hills. (His future bride, Dana Wilson, was among his few customers.)
Through sheer determination, he established a successful career as an agent before partnering with Irving Allen to form Warwick Prods. in the 1950s, producing routine but profitable action films. The partnership soured when Allen ignored Cubby's advice and squandered an opportunity to purchase the film rights to Ian Flemings recently published James Bond novels. After the disastrous release of "The Trials of Oscar Wilde" in 1960 (a film deemed too provocative for its sympathetic treatment of homosexuality), the Warwick partnership dissolved and Cubby faced financial ruin.
In desperation, he reluctantly partnered with Harry Saltzman, who now controlled the option on the Bond novels. They formed Eon Prods. and its affiliate Danjaq to bring the 007 novels to the screen. Cubby's reputation for loyalty was demonstrated by his creation of an Eon "stock company" of actors and technicians, many from the Warwick days, many of whom still work on the Bond franchise.
Although the Bond films became a pop culture phenomenon, the odd-couple pairing of Broccoli and Saltzman was always rough going. When Saltzman sold his share of the Bond rights to UA in the mid-'70s, the franchise appeared doomed. However, freed from the tense partnership, Cubby reinvented the series with the blockbuster release of "The Spy Who Loved Me" in 1977.
In ensuing years, he received virtually every important accolade imaginable, from the coveted Thalberg Award to the Order of the British Empire. He nurtured talent within his own family, with daughter Barbara and stepson Michael G. Wilson eventually taking over production of the series.
By the time "Goldeneye" went into production in 1995, Bond was considered by many an anachronism in the post-Cold War era of blue-collar action heroes. But Broccoli proved the theory wrong by reinventing the franchise again for yet another generation. (The Pierce Brosnan pics have each grossed in excess of $350 million worldwide.)
Fittingly, Eon ensures that every Bond film still carries his name above the title. His autobiography (published posthumously) is titled "When the Snow Melts." When questioned about the curious phrase, he referred to an old Hollywood adage that cautions you to see below the surface of the industry's superficiality: "When the snow melts, all that's left is the shit."
Lee Pfeiffer is co-author of "The Essential Bond: An Authorized Guide to the World of 007" (Harper Collins).
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): PARTNERS: Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli strike a pose with director Guy Hamilton on the set of "Diamonds Are Forever."
By Lee Pfeiffer
Fleming, Bond cut from the same cloth
Ian Fleming and his invention, James Bond, were brothers under the skin, so much so that agent 007 might be viewed more as the author's alter ego than a fanciful figment of his imagination.
As Bond lived life on the edge as a British spy, Fleming himself had been second in command of British intelligence during World War II, masterminding myriad schemes to outwit the Nazis. Fleming, like Bond, was dashing, Savile Row-dressed, and a connoisseur of fine food, fast cars and beautiful women.
His original vision for Bond was not Sean Connery, but songwriter-turned-actor Hoagy Carmichael, to whom Fleming bore a passing resemblance. "Hoagy was the person that Fleming had in his mind," says Doug Redenius, president of the Ian Fleming Foundation. "Tall, thin-faced, exaggerated jaw line, waspy hair kind of combed back to one side -- Carmichael's name was thrown into the hat to screen-test before (Sean) Connery."
Fleming might have been attracted to Carmichael's hipster insouciance, but his own life could not have been more different. A former journalist, Fleming became a close associate of British spymaster Sir William Stevenson, whose Ultra Network had broken the German diplomatic code in 1939. "Fleming wrote from experience," says Redenius. "Goldfinger's raid on Fort Knox was inspired by a plan, never put into action, to steal Vichy French gold from Martinique."
Ironically, Fleming's resourcefulness and bravado during the war did not carry over into his first stabs at fiction. His marriage to Lady Anne Rothermore immersed him in the kind of high-brow social circles that considered works like "Diamonds Are Forever" and "The Man With The Golden Gun" akin to outlandish fairy tales.
"He had been trying to create something quite literary that his wife's friends would not sneer at," says Fleming biographer Andrew Lycett. "They were part of a literary clique -- Evelyn Waugh, Somerset Maugham and this sort. But they had a kind of disdain for Fleming's work."
If the literary Brahmins of his day engendered an insecurity in the otherwise self-assured Fleming, his tony upbringing provided a recipe for success: the schooling at Eton, his natural powers of observation, an affinity for adventure, and the talented older brother -- a writer -- with whom Fleming felt the need to compete.
"He had the last laugh," adds Raymond Benson, the author of the most recent six James Bond novels -- a series that has continued since Fleming's death in 1964. "He has sold millions of copies, though unfortunately he died before the big earnings."
Novelist Mickey Spillane, who created the Mike Hammer character, was a fan of Fleming's books, already published in Britain, and canvassed his own publisher, Signet, to sign the British novelist.
"I suggested they buy Fleming's books," says Spillane, who wielded immense influence in 1953 as the bestselling author on the planet. "I enjoyed reading his books. He was different. It was like reading comicbooks again."
Fleming had created a new kind of spy, adding sex and swagger to a frequently strait-laced prototype. "The great thing about James Bond was that he was not a gentleman, he killed people, he drank, he had sex," says bestselling British spy novelist Ken Follett.
Adds Lycett, "Before Fleming, the spies of the First World War era were the embodiment of British public school virtues of decency and heroism, like (novelist) John Buchan of 'The Thirty Nine Steps.' Not very realistic."
Even the name Fleming created -- James Bond -- was meant to differentiate the new hero from the archaic spy hero. "Ian Fleming said he didn't want his character to have one of those fancy names, like, for argument's sake, Peregrine Malruthers," says Lycett. "He needed something to reflect his new gritty character -- a simple name."
After decades of being out of print, Flemings work is being reissued in America. Penguin Putnam has just released "Casino Royale," "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger," with more releases planned in 2003. The deluxe editions, featuring 1940s-inspired original cover art that pays homage to the original, may inspire another budding writer as Follett says he was inspired.
"Ian Fleming changed my life," says Follett, whose 25th book, "Hornet Flight," comes out in a few weeks. "I read my first James Bond when I was 12 years old, and I was completely blown away. I wanted to be James Bond. As time went by, I realized I would never have icy blue eyes and a rather cruel mouth, so I decided to write instead. I couldn't live them, so I thought I would write them."
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): LADIES MAN: Like his creation James Bond, Ian Fleming worked for British intelligence and had a way with the ladies.
By Cliff Rothman
Secret agent 007 may epitomize the one-man army, but it has taken the talent of thousands behind the scenes to realize his 20 Eon-produced adventures over the past 40 years. Many in what is called the Bond Family have made remarkable contributions to the film industry as well as to the world of Bond. Here are just a few who have played a part in creating the secret agent's cinematic legacy.
Terence Young director
"Terence was Bond." -- Ursula Andress
Young, who helmed three of the first four Bonds ("Dr. No," "From Russia With Love," "Thunderball"), introduced Sean Connery to tailored suits, casino etiquette and fine wine. More importantly, he created the mix of danger, sex and elegance that swept the world into a frenzy of Bond mania. Born in Shanghai, China, and educated at Cambridge, Young studied to become a priest until he began writing film reviews and, later, screenplays. During WWII, he was twice wounded in action. Bond provided the perfect match for Young's sensibilities. He left the series in 1965 when he was not allowed to become a producing partner with Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.
Maurice Binder title designer'
Binder's title sequences were an indelible part of the Bond formula for nearly three decades and 13 films. He created the original gun-barrel opening for "Dr. No" and its flashy titles. He returned to the series with Thunderball and began his tradition of naked, undulating women set against backdrops of colorful exotica. Back in the '40s, Binder, an avid collector of modern art, created ad campaigns for Columbia, overseeing photo shoots and drawing posters for movies including "Gilda" and "The Lady From Shanghai." By the late '50s, he was designing titles. Broccoli and Saltzman discovered Binder's artistry while watching the 1961 Stanley Donen film "The Grass Is Greener." (Binder also created the hypnotic openings of such later Donen films as "Charade" and "Arabesque.")
Vic Armstrong stunt performer and coordinator, second unit director
Armstrong's father trained racehorses for actor Richard Todd in Buckinghamshire, England. When a stuntman used some of the elder Armstrong's horses for the film "Arabesque" (1966), 20-year-old Vic ended up riding one and soon found himself working on a variety of movies, including "You Only Live Twice" (1967), in which he was one of the ninjas sliding down into Blofeld's volcano. He performed stunts on two other 007 films before becoming a stunt coordinator. He has served as second- unit director on three of the Pierce Brosnan Bond pics, bringing to life such complex scenes as 007's rooftop motorcycle chase in "Tomorrow Never Dies" and the Q boat scene in "The World Is Not Enough."
Peter Hunt editor, supervising editor, second unit director, director
Hunt changed the way we watch films. His innovative cutting altered the prevailing view of structured montage editing, ushering in a style often copied and rarely equaled in action films. London-born Hunt spent school holidays working with a relative who made documentaries. After army service, Hunt became a film editor, eventually working with future Bond director Lewis Gilbert on "Ferry to Hong Kong." Young recommended Hunt for "Dr. No," and Hunt ultimately served as editor or supervising editor on the next four Bond pics. Hunt made his directing debut with 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," revered by many James Bond fans as one of the best films of the series.
Ted Moore director of photography
The colorful and seductive look of the Bond films is largely the creation of Moore, the South African-born cinematographer who lit the early films with a bold, saturated look. Moore, who was decorated for bravery flying combat missions for the Royal Air Force in WWII, became a camera operator and worked on "The African Queen" (1951) and Broccoli's early hit, "Hell Below Zero" (1954) before graduating to cinematographer. When Broccoli partnered with Saltzman to produce the Bond films, Moore came onboard, photographing seven of the first nine 007 films.
Ken Adam production designer
Vast underground grottos, volcanic rocket bases, submarine-eating supertankers -- these are just a few of the opulent creations of the two-time Oscar-winning production designer. Adam's family fled Germany when the Nazis came to power, and in 1941, Adam joined the Royal Air Force, becoming the only German national to fly combat missions for the British. After the war, Adam landed a job as a draftsman at Riverside Studios, where he rose rapidly to art director. He created a wonderfully modern look for seven Bond films, merging his knowledge of classical architecture, antiques, modern design and innovative metallic finishes.
Peter Lamont set decorator, production designer
As director John Glen remarked, "What Peter doesn't know about what is required for a Bond movie isn't worth knowing." Born in London in 1929, Lamont won a scholarship to art school. After a stint in the armed services, he became a set decorator, then joined the art department for "Goldfinger," for which he produced the blueprints of the Fort Knox set. Saltzman, impressed with Lamont's work, invited him to remain with the 007 team. He worked on the next eight Bond films. With 1981's "For Your Eyes Only," he graduated to production designer. Lamont was responsible for bringing a more realistic look to the Bond films after the fantasy of "Moonraker." Since then, Lamont has designed seven 007 films.
John Glen editor, director
No one will ever forget the image of James Bond sailing off a snow-crested cliff during the opening of "The Spy Who Loved Me," nor the image of Bond being shoved out of a plane without a parachute in "Moonraker." Both scenes were helmed by the man who directed more Bond films than any other -- John Glen. Glen entered the cutting room in 1947, working on "The Third Man." Editor Hunt asked Glen to join the 007 crew for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." Besides directing the film's spectacular ski and bobsled action, Glen also edited the film. Impressed with Glen's abilities as an action-sequence director and editor on "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker," Broccoli hired Glen to direct "For Your Eyes Only." Glen remained 007's director for the next four films, overseeing the transition from Roger Moore to Timothy Dalton.
Lindy Hemming costume designer
Hemming brought the wellturned-out Bond look into the 1990s with beautifully styled Brioni suits. She has equal flair for outfitting Bond women with dramatic attire including the Cruela DeVille-inspired outfits worn by Famke Janssen in "Goldeneye" (1995) and the bejeweled gown elegantly displayed by Sophie Marceau in ' "The World Is Not Enough." Among the Oscar winner's creations for "Die Another Day" is an homage to Ursula Andress' famous bikini from "Dr. No" worn by Halle Barry.
John Cork and Bruce Scivally co-authored "James Bond: The Legacy" (Abrams).
PHOTO (COLOR): TITLE MEISTER: Maurice Binder's fanciful opening credits brought title design to a higher level on 13 Bond films.
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): CLASS ACT: Sean Connery's favorite Bond director, Terence Young, left, with "Thunderball" cast member Luciana Paluzzi.
PHOTO (COLOR): WUNDERKIND: Ken Adam is responsible for the production design on seven Bond films.
By John Cork and Bruce Scivally
Barry: Bond's signature music maestro
Every composer who has ever scored a James Bond movie agrees: 007 owes a huge debt to John Barry.
Barry was a hot name on the English instrumental-rock scene when he got the call in June 1962 to arrange the theme for the first Bond film, "Dr. No.", He went on to score "From Russia With Love," "Goldfinger," "Thunderball" and eight more of the increasingly action-packed and profitable films in the UA franchise, establishing a formula from which subsequent composers dared to stray only at their own peril.
"I once referred to it as million-dollar Mickey Mouse music," Barry recalls, "and Harry Saltzman (then one of the producers) called me into the office and went red in the face. I wasn't putting it down; I meant music that followed the action, on a huge scale. There was no other way of doing it."
Barry's distinctive style mixed jazz and pop influences with traditional orchestral arrangements. "You had to come up with an orchestrational palette that would cut through all the sound effects," he explains. "Strong, solid brass chords; sustained strings to retain the tension; and percussion, of course. It was an overall mood, all sinister minor-key stuff."
Says Marvin Hamlisch, who scored "The Spy Who Loved Me": "I was there basically to continue the tradition. You have to make sure that, within the score, there's a little wink in your eye. Partly you're taking it seriously and partly you're sending it up. There's a real fine line there."
An integral part of the formula has been the "James Bond Theme," written by Monty Norman for "Dr. No," reinvented time and again in dozens of contexts -- from guitar in "From Russia With Love" to more sedate strings in "A View To A Kill" and synth-driven rhythm tracks in "The Living Daylights."
Bill Conti remembers screening "For Your Eyes Only" with producer Cubby Broccoli and director John Glen and being reminded that, "when James goes into action, we've got to play his tune. And I, as a James Bond fan, said, 'Of course. Naturally.' I couldn't think of using anything but that."
And, on every film, there is the inevitable attempt to manufacture a hit title song. When Shirley Bassey belted out Barry's "Goldfinger," the standard was set; the album even kicked the Beatles out of the No. 1 spot on the charts.
Barry scored 11 of the first 15 Bonds while also winning Oscars for such radically different scores as "Born Free," "The Lion in Winter" and "Out of Africa."
His last Bond (which involved a collaboration with the Pretenders) was "The Living Daylights" in 1987. He remains close with the Broccoli family but has no desire to revisit the world of 007. "It's changed so much," he says. "They were great days. It was crazy and wonderful."
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): UNIQUE VOICE: John Barry was a hot name in the English rock scene when he got the call to arrange the theme for "Dr. No."
By Jon Burlingame
Theme authorship still murky
It's one of the most recognizable tunes in movie history. But in recent years, controversy has swirled about "The James Bond Theme." Who really wrote it?
Monty Norman, the British songwriter who scored "Dr. No," the first 007 film, has always received sole credit for the music. Yet John Barry has suggested in interviews over the years that he had written at least parts of it. Barry went on to score 11 subsequent Bond films.
The issue came to a head when Norman sued the Sunday Times of London over a 1997 article that stated Barry had written the Bond theme. The case went to trial last year and Norman was awarded libel damages of £30,000 ($48,000) plus court costs. The jury did not rule on the specifics of musical authorship.
The facts: Norman scored "Dr. No," but with the issue of a main theme still unsettled late in post-production, Barry was brought in at the last minute. He agreed to arrange, orchestrate and perform the "Bond Theme" for a fiat fee, no credit and the promise of future work.
Trial testimony indicated that the first several notes of the "Bond Theme" (the famous guitar riff) were derived from an earlier Norman song, "Bad Sign Good Sign," penned for an unproduced musical. "Everything else amounts to arrangement and orchestration," insists Norman's lawyer Simon Smith.
Barry acknowledged using some of Norman's material. But according to Times lawyer Wayne de Nicolo, the paper's musical expert maintained that the theme overall "was substantially more the product of the creative work of Mr. Barry." The dramatic bass line, twangy-guitar sound and punchy bop brass that accentuates the song's later elements were cited as Barry trademarks of the era.
By Jon Burlingame
Madonna title tune gives 'Day' a pre-release boost
The Material Girl meets Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Madonna's title song for the new Bond film, "Die Another Day," started racing up the charts from the time it was leaked to a New York radio station in late September.
The synth-pop track is the least conventional 007 theme ever, a four-minute piece of dance electronica whose cryptic lyrics contain references to Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis and death. The string arrangement (by Michel Colombier, who composed the score for Madonna's last film, "Swept Away") is its only concession to traditional scoring. Her co-writer and co-producer was French producer Mirwais.
The singer-actress also has a cameo in "Die Another Day" as Bond's fencing instructor. As for the tune, she told CNN's Larry King that "James Bond needs to get techno." On MTV, she claimed that the song was about "destroying your ego."
Anita Camarata, exec VP of MGM Music, says the studio wanted an artist who "would understand the relationship between the song and the film. With every artist, you're taking a chance, but Madonna has an extraordinary track record. She really captured the essence of the film. She helped set up the story with her song."
"Die Another Day" has already out-performed the title songs from the last five 007 pics.
The song has been in the works for several months. Colombier, a veteran film composer who had worked with Madonna on her "Music" album, says that in March he received an MP3 of the song from Mirwais and was asked to "bridge it to the tradition of Bond." He wrote several arrangements and flew to London to record with an orchestra of 60 strings. Madonna was in the booth, urging the players to make the tracks "sexier," he says.
"It was a complete production job," says Colombier. "The way that it comes out is completely Mirwais."
PHOTO (COLOR): SONGSTRESS: Madonna gets punchy during video shoot for the "Die Another Day" title tune.
By Jon Burlingame
Dr. No (1962)
The James Bond Theme (Monty
Performed by: John Barry and Orchestra
Album charted: 7/27/63, reached #82
From Russia With Love (1963)
From Russia With Love (Lionel Bart)
Sung by: Matt Monro
Album charted: 5/2/64, reached #27
Goldfinger (John Barry-Anthony
Sung by: Shirley Bassey
Single charted: 1/30/65, reached #8
Album charted: 12/12/64, reached #1
Thunderball (John Barry-Don Black)
Sung by: Tom Jones
Single charted: 12/11/65, reached #25
You Only Live Twice (1967)
You Only Live Twice (John Barry-Leslie
Sung by: Nancy Sinatra
Single charted: 6/24/67, reached #44
On Her Majesty's Secret
We Have All the Time in the World
(John Barry-Hal David)
Sung by: Louis Armstrong
Album charted: 2/7/70, reached #103
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
DiamondsAre (John Barry-Don Black)
Sung by: Shirley Bassey
Single charted: 1/29/72, reached #57
Live And Let Die (1973)
Live And Let Die (Paul and Linde McCartney)
Sung by: Paul McCartney & Wings
Single charted: 7/7/73, reached #2
The Man With the
Golden Gun (1975)
The Man With The Golden Gun (John,
Sung by: Lulu
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Nobody Does It Better (Marvin
Hamlisch-Carole Bayer Sager)
Sung by: Carly Simon
Single charted: 7/23/77, reached #2
Moonraker (John Barry-Hal David)
Sung by: Shirley Bassey
Album charted: 8/18/79, reached #159
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
For Your Eyes Only (Bill Conti-Michael
Sung by: Sheena Easton
Single charted: 7/25/81, reached #4
All Time High (John Barry-Tim Rice)
Sung by: Rite Coolidge
Single charted: 7/2/83, reached #36
A View To A Kill (1985)
A View To A Kill (Duran Duran-John
Sung by: Duran Duran
Single charted: 5/18/85, reached #1
The Living Daylights (1987)
The Living Daylights (Pal Waaktaar-John
Sung by: a-ha
Licence To Kill (1989)
Licence To Kill (Narada Michael
Walden-Jeffrey Cohen-Walter Afanasieff)
Sung by: Gladys Knight
Goldeneye (Bono-The Edge)
Sung by: Tiaa Turner
Single charted: 11/25/95, reached #102
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Tomorrow Never Dies (Sheryl CrowMitchell
Sung by: Sheryl Crow
The World Is Not Enough (1999)
The World Is Not Enough (David
Sung by: Garbage
Die Another Day (2002)
Die Another Day (Madonna-Mirwais)
Sung by: Madonna
Single Charted: 10/x/02
Sources: Billboard; Joel Whitburn's Record Research;
Capitol Records' "The Best of Bond...James Bond"
Bonded to franchise role
Playing 007 a high-water mark, and difficult to live down
While the character of James Bond has evolved over 40 years in an attempt to link his indelible persona with current events, he remains forever tied to the early '60s zeitgeist of Playboy magazine, the Cold War and Camelot.
Even John F. Kennedy, possessed of a keen intellect, listed "From Russia With Love" among his alltime favorite books. The president, himself no slouch with the ladies, no doubt viewed Bond as the ultimate fantasy figure: a manly man of impeccable style and epicurean tastes; an unapologetic cad nevertheless capable of making the most cultivated woman swoon; a resourceful agent who could master state-of-the-art gadgetry yet rely on his wits alone.
This kind of strength, suavity and sophistication add up to the ultimate franchise role, and the one meal ticket on which any actor could retire. Of the five actors who have played 007, Scan Connery -- to many the quintessential Bond -- might have had the biggest love-hate relationship with the role.
Playing Bond was fun for the Scottish star until sci-fi and gadgetry took over and there was less to do as an actor. He says his fee was puerile and the films were planned ass-backward, with release dates locked in before scripts were finished and proper location schedules secured. And yet even Connery couldn't quibble with these fanciful exercises in espionage kickstarting a career that until then had featured such credits as "Lilacs in the Spring" and "Darby O'Gill and the Little People."
Shot in the arm
In Connery's day, when the franchise first found its groove with "Dr. No," "From Russia With Love" and "Goldfinger," shattering the British cinema's cycle of dreary kitchen-sink dramas, the Bonds were refreshing, stylish and trend-setting. Connery credits Terence Young, who directed the first two editions, with molding his character and establishing its essential elan.
"Terence's contributions were enormous because he was always a great bon vivant and we shared great chemistry, having worked together previously on a dreadful film called 'Action of the Tiger,'" recounts Connery. "He was my role model. He frequented all the clubs, and he was very much up on the latest shirts and blazers and was very elegant himself. He got me a rack of clothes and, as they say, could get me to look convincingly dangerous."
George Lazenby, the Aussie unknown who was overwhelmed by the experience of replacing the iconic Connery for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969), naively walked away, believing the franchise was dead after the success of "Easy Rider." He has struggled since as an actor. Yet some consider "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" the most impressive Bond pic, balancing hard-hitting action with rare emotional depth, thanks to its fidelity to the Ian Fleming novel.
First-time director and former Bond editor Peter Hunt played Svengali to Lazenby, much as Young did with Connery. However, Hunt had a falling-out with his star on the third day of shooting due to a misunderstanding on the set, and the two never spoke again.
"I was on my own," says Lazenby, who was cast for his swagger and natural athletic ability. "But I'm proud of that final death scene. I did the first take with tears and Hunt instructed the assistant editor to tell me that Bond doesn't cry."
Just hit the marks
Roger Moore, who was originally on the shortlist for "Dr. No" with Connery and Patrick McGoohan ("Secret Agent" and "The Prisoner"), on the other hand was more than happy to introduce a more off-the-wall approach to Bond. He'd already achieved stardom as a dashing, urbane man of adventure in TV's "The Saint," making the transition to Bond was less than a stretch.
By his own admission, Moore plays everything the same, relying on his easygoing manner and good looks. "As Spencer Tracy said, 'Say the lines and hit the marks.' As Lee Marvin said, 'Say the marks and hit the lines.' I carried somewhere between," says Moore, who also holds the record for seven pics in the franchise.
Timothy Dalton -- who interviewed for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" but felt he was too young for the role and didn't dare step into Connery's shoes -- was eager to inject more seriousness into his Bond by returning to the Fleming novels. "It immediately makes you an international film star, so you've got to take it seriously," says Dalton, a classically trained actor.
"Whatever one says or whatever one would like to do, you have to deal with the concrete," he adds. "I think everyone who has played Bond has suddenly realized that the role overtakes the individual."
The latest Bond incarnation, Pierce Brosnan -- first denied the role when he couldn't get out of his "Remington Steele" TV contract in '86 -- says playing Bond has been the dream of a lifetime. After all, he first decided to become an actor in London watching Connery light up the screen in "Goldfinger."
"For me, it's been the greatest joy," says the actor who's making his fourth appearance as Bond in "Die Another Day." "It's allowed me to go off and establish my own company (Irish DreamTime) and make smaller, more personal films, and to have longevity in this career."
And yet any actor who has played Bond more than once remains forever linked with the character.
While Connery hasn't exactly been typecast over his long and varied career, it really was not until his Oscar-winning turn in "The Untouchables" (1987) that he finally achieved box office success outside the Bond franchise.
Brosnan, who recently committed to a fifth Bond film, has chosen to seize the day. "I just hope that (my Bond) is truthful and believable, having the time of his life killing people, drinking martinis and shagging his way through the high society of every country he goes to."
PHOTO (COLOR): LESS IS MOORE: With Lois Chiles in "Moonraker," Roger Moore's minimalist approach relied on charm and good looks.
PHOTO (COLOR): RSC PEDIGREE: Timothy Dalton, who performed with the Royal Shakespeare Co., might have been too serious for the Bond image.
PHOTO (COLOR): ONE-SHOT WONDER: George Lazenby, with Diana Rigg in 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," shocked the industry when he announced his maiden voyage as Bond also would be his swan song.
By Bill Desowitz
B girls: bodacious, bad and irresistible
Alternately resourceful, vulnerable, dangerous and always deliriously sexy, the women of Bond have thrilled audiences around the world as much as they have sparked fiery gender political debate.
Former Bond girl Maryam D'Abo, writer-producer of the AMC documentary "Bond Girls Are Forever," spoke with 11 Bond actresses and uncovered both sides of being the babe in a 007 film -- celebrated by some, stigmatized by others.
Whether they played cultivated ingenues or voluptuous assassins, several actresses admitted that while they felt honored to be part of the sorority, they also faced the inevitable Bond girl "curse," a result of being seen as women cast more for their physical attributes than for their thespian training.
Italian actress Luciana Paluzzi noted that after she'd played villainess Fiona Volpi in 1965's "Thunderball," she wasn't taken seriously by the local filmmaking cognoscenti.
"To do a Bond picture is a blessing, but it's also a curse," she told D'Abo. "Because when I went back to Italy... the Fellinis, Antonionis and Viscontis of the time, they didn't want to have anything to do with me .... They were all very nice, but when it came to one of their pictures -- no."
Says D'Abo: "The film industry didn't want to use her because she'd been in this action movie. In the '60s it was so new and like a comic strip."
While many actresses in the earlier Bond films boosted their profile, few went on to high-flying careers. The only Bond femme to graduate to Academy Award respectability is Kim Basinger, who played opposite Sean Connery in 1983's "Never Say Never Again" and subsequently nabbed an Oscar for her supporting turn in "L.A. Confidential" (1997).
But as times have changed so has Bond. Today, two Oscar-winning actresses -- Judi Dench and Halle Berry -- inhabit 007's world, a reflection that the stakes are higher than ever for MGM's biggest franchise, and the fact that in today's world, actresses like Berry, Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz freely divide their time between mainstream diversions and more challenging fare.
"As an actor these days, you can wear different hats," says D'Abo, who played a cellist in 1987's "The Living Daylights." "You can go from TV to film and from action to serious roles."
As for the Bond pics, the women's roles adjusted both with the times in which the films were made and with the men who played Bond.
The Connery films from 1962's "Dr. No" through 1971's "Diamonds Are Forever" may have had dozens of floozies who were ready to fall into bed with Bond, but they also featured their fair share of tough, headstrong women.
The very first Bond temptress, "Dr. No.'s' Honey Ryder, played by Ursula Andress, was a feisty blonde and avid diver. Honor Blackman flew planes and got to show off her judo moves as Pussy Galore in 1964's "Goldfinger." At the end of the decade, Diana Rigg proved a formidable mate to George Lazenby's 007 in 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," and Jill St. John showed off her own brand of sassiness in "Diamonds."
"It was very much a '70s (Bond film) and I think we were all starting to take charge of our lives and I was happy to portray that," says St. John, who also relished the part's sex appeal. "I wanted to look glamorous."
But when Roger Moore came aboard as Bond, the women seemed more vulnerable and needed rescuing more often. They were marked with a preternatural beauty and cool, with casting often favoring former models over pedigreed actors.
"At the time, the Bond films were quite different from today," says Maud Adams, the ex-model who made her Bond debut in "The Man With The Golden Gun" and was the only actress to return in another major Bond girl role in 1983's "Octopussy." "Women were generally portrayed as damsels in distress. As an actress it's not really the most wonderful part to play, but I was also fairly new to the profession and I knew that this was a very decorative part."
Lois Chiles ("Moonraker") remembers it wasn't very cool to play a Bond girl given the politics of the time.
"We did an interview with Camille Paglia that didn't make it in the film," says D'Abo. "She was saying things like, 'The critics didn't get the Bond girls, but they're fabulous!'"
The more recent films have reactivated the female character. Michelle Yeoh, for instance, did her own stunts as martial arts dynamo Wai Lin in 1997's "Tomorrow Never Dies."
"It changed with Michelle; she was much more realistically dressed and there's more of the '90s grit," says D'Abo.
BOND BABES AT A GLANCE
Honey Ryder: Ursula Andress set the standard for all future Bond women as the sexy seashell diver who emerges from the waves in "Dr. No" wearing just a bikini and a knife.
Pussy Galore: Bond literally flips for "Goldfinger's" pneumatic pilot, played by Honor Blackman, when she subjects him to one of her judo moves; Pussy later converts to his side.
Kissy Suzuki: Japanese secret service agent, played by Mie Hama in "You Only Live Twice," poses as Bond's wife in a covert mission and manages to thwart his advances -- for a while.
Plenty O'Toole: Vegas gold digger, played by Lana Wood in "Diamonds Are Forever," ditches her boyfriend and hooks up with Bond, but loses out on a night with 007 after she's hurled out of a window.
Mary Goodnight: MI6's bumbling Far East expert, played by Britt Ekland in "The Man With The Golden Gun," spends too much time sleeping in closets to do her name any real justice.
Dr. Holly Goodhead: Lois Chiles' CIA agent-astrophysicist impresses Bond with her ability to commandeer a spaceshuttle in "Moonraker" and with her propensity for gravity-free lovemaking.
Octopussy: Maud Adams, in 'her second perf as a Bond girl (she played villain Scaramanga's lady in "The Man With The Golden Gun"), inhabits the title role as the lithe leader of a ring of acrobatic female smugglers.
Lupe Lamora: Jealous druglord moll in "Licence To Kill," played by Talisa Soto, helps Bond into his nemesis's den in the hope that 007 will save her from her seamy underworld.
Xenia Onatopp: "Goldeneye's" sadistic Russian assassin, played by Famke Janssen, takes shrieking delight in being on top as well as crushing her lovers (Bond included) between her thighs.
Dr. Molry Warmflash: Serena Scott Thomas gives Bond a thorough physical as the comely MI6 nurse in "The World Is Not Enough." -- Sharon Swart
PHOTO (COLOR): DUTCH CRUSH: Netherlands-born Famke Janssen played Xenia Onatopp in 1995's "Golden Eye."
PHOTO (COLOR): D'ABO
PHOTOS (COLOR): GIRL POWER: From left: Michelle Yeoh (Wai Lin) at world preem of "Tomorrow Never Dies" at the Odeon Theater in London; Denise Richards (Christmas Jones) draws attention at "The World Is Not Enough" preem at the Bruin theater in L.A; Izabella Scorupco (Natalya Simonolva) graces "Goldeneye" after-party at N.Y.'s MOMA; and Maria Grazia Cucinatta (Cigar Girl) at the "World" bow.
By Sharon Swart
LICENSE TO SHILL
The economy may be in free fall, but the Bond market is booming, at least when it comes to Agent 007. The release of "Die Another Day" will result in the kind of media blitz not seen since the early days of Bondmania.
The promotional partners tied in to "Day" represent an eclectic, high-profile range of companies. Aston Martin, now owned by Ford, balked at having 007 drive its DB5 back in 1964, but now is enthusiastically returning to the fold, with its new Vanquish replacing Bond's BMW as the agent's vehicle of choice. The latest Ford Thunderbird and Jaguar models also will feature prominently in the onscreen action.
Revlon, capitalizing on the presence of company cover girl Halle Berry as the series' latest femme fatale, is launching an entire line of cosmetics called the 007 Color Collection.
British Airways is the official airline of James Bond, though neither the new film's title nor the world-famous gun-barrel logo appears in the airline's promotions, an obvious tactic to prevent nervous travelers from associating BA with any hint of violence.
Bond's martinis will be shaken, not stirred, with Finlandia vodka, and Bollinger once again provides the bubbly for 007's more seductive occasions.
"Die Another Day" boasts 24 major promotional partners on a global basis. "In terms of the number of partners and support, this is the biggest campaign," says Mary Goss-Robino, MGM senior VP of worldwide promotions. "Our support on this film is almost double what has been done in the past .... We have a number of partners that have retail exposure that gets us in front of billions of eyeballs; Best Buy, Circuit City, Phillips, Norelco and Revlon have huge retail presence."
007 stock rises
In 1995, when the return of James Bond to the screen in "Goldeneye" after a six-year absence was considered a risk, MGM and Eon found little enthusiasm among corporations to be associated with the franchise. With the Bond pix once again representing the Midas touch for promotional partners, the studio now can be selective about which products get the benefit of the 007 seal of approval.
Keith Snelgrove, VP of global business strategy at Eon -- the production outfit behind the Bond pictures -- estimates the companies will spend more than an aggregate $100 million on their Bond campaigns, addition to MGM's own marketing blitz, reportedly about $30 million.
It's a far cry from the days of "Goldfinger," when director Guy Hamilton refused to include Gillette products in a sequence because he felt it would be unseemly. However, with recent Bond pix toting budgets north of $100 million, the line between artistic integrity and practical concerns has become much fuzzier.
"In today's very competitive movie environment, these additional marketing monies have become a necessity," says Snelgrove. He adds, however, that the Bond image still boasts a unique allure. "We have a proven track record," he says. "Associating with 007 sets these companies apart -- and way apart, I might add -- from their competition."
Snelgrove denies published reports that promotional partners pay large sums of cash to the company in return for product placements.
"There are actually very few partners who we get direct cash from, and the monies are not huge," Snelgrove says. "The benefit of placement and promotional partners are their help from a product and technical support level, as well as the ad dollars our partners spend promoting their product and our film."
Goss-Robino says both MGM and Eon are sensitive to any perceived backlash that might come from malting the promotions so extravagant that they overshadow the film itself -- a situation that occurred to some degree with the release of "Tomorrow Never Dies" in 1997. There will be no zoom-lens closeups of products, and those that do appear will be relevant to the storyline.
"Not all the partners that we have are placed in the film," says Goss-Robino. "Those products that do appear in the film are seen in a natural environment. Nothing is forced."
Eon hopes to reinvigorate the market for Bond licensed merchandise with a strategy that emphasizes quality over quantity. According to Snelgrove, "Eon's goal is to find products that match our brand characteristics... cutting-edge, stylish, innovative and unexpected."
Bringing Bond home
Among the items designed to drain the wallets of fans is Electronic Arts' eagerly awaited videogame "James Bond 007: Nightfire." (Company has inked a deal to use Pierce Brosnan's image for the first time.)
And as proof blonds and Bonds have more fun, there is even an official 007 Barbie collector's edition set.
Snelgrove is particularly pleased with the ongoing Swatch watch promotion. Sales on the line of 20 watches (each based on a specific Bond film) have been very strong, with the "Goldfinger" design now the bestselling Swatch watch in the world.
"Die Another Day" product
placement and tie-ins:
Omega, Swatch watches
PHOTOS (COLOR): MIDAS TOUCH: Eon Prods. had its first major licensing success with Corgi's replica of the "Goldfinger" Aston Martin DB5, above, which sold 2 million-plus units in '65; Aston Martin has returned to the fold with its new Vanquish, seen in "Die Another Day" (top); while Mattel features 007 Ken and Barbie dolls, left.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Reeling through the years
Jan. 15, 1952: Ian Fleming begins typing "Casino Royale," the first James Bond novel.
April 13, 1953: Jonathan Cape publishes "Casino Royale" in Great Britain.
Oct. 21, 1954: CBS broadcasts a live presentation of "Casino Royale"; Barry Nelson plays an American version of Bond.
Jan. 1, 1961: Harry Saltzman starts a six-month option on all existing and future James Bond novels (except "Casino Royale").
March 17, 1961: Life magazine lists "From Russia With Love" as one of President Kennedy's top 10 favorite books. The very same day, Kevin McClory files a petition in London claiming Ian Fleming's novel "Thunderball' infringes on his work.
June 1961: Saltzman and Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli agree to become producing partners if Broccoli can line up financing for the Bond films.
June 21, 1961: Saltzman and Broccoli fly to New York to meet with executives at United Artists. In less than an hour, UA agrees to finance a proposed series of 007 films.
Aug. 18, 1961: Richard Maibaum completes "Thunderball," his first James Bond screenplay. By late summer, it's clear that legal problems will tie up the story, so Maibaum and Wolf Mankowitz set about adapting "Dr. No."
Aug. 23, 1961: UA cables Saltzman, rejecting Sean Connery for the role of Bond. The studio eventually relents.
Jan. 16, 1962: Shooting begins in Jamaica on "Dr. No."
October 5, 1962: "Dr. No" premieres at the London Pavilion.
May 29, 1963: "Dr. No" bows in New York, where Variety proclaims, "As a screen hero, James Bond is clearly here to stay."
Oct. 10, 1963: "From Russia With Love" premieres. It soon becomes the highest-grossing film in British history.
Nov. 19, 1963: The "Thunderball' court case begins. After 10 days, Fleming settles, relinquishing film rights to McClory.
April 8, 1964: "From Russia With Love" opens in the U.S.
Aug. 12, 1964: Fleming dies at age 56.
Sept. 17, 1964: "Goldfinger" premieres in London. Police send in reinforcements to control the crowds.
Dec. 21, 1964: "Goldfinger" premieres in New York, where, three days later, theaters playing the film announce they will remain open 24 hours to accommodate crowds.
Jan. 3, 1965: "Goldfinger" declared the fastest-grossing film in U.S. history.
Feb. 16, 1965: After Broccoli and Saltzman strike a deal with McClory, "Thunderball" begins shooting in France.
Dec. 9, 1965: Broccoli hosts the world premiere of "Thunderball" in Tokyo, the location for the next Bond film.
July 27, 1966: In Bangkok, Thailand, en route to Japan to begin filming, Connery announces that "You Only Live Twice" will be his last appearance as 007.
April 13, 1967: Charles K. Feldman and Columbia premiere the rival Bond film, "Casino Royale," 14 years to the day after the novel's publication.
June 12, 1967: "You Only Live Twice" premieres in London. In less than five years, Broccoli, Saltzman and UA have released five Bond films, with combined worldwide box office of over $500 million.
April 1968: Broccoli and Saltzman narrow the search for the new 007 down to five candidates: John Richardson, Anthony Rogers, Robert Campbell, Hans de Vries and George Lazenby.
Oct. 7, 1968: Lazenby is officially announced as the new 007.
Oct. 21, 1968: Shooting of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" begins in Switzerland.
March 16, 1969: Family Weekly runs a highly critical article of Lazenby by Peer J. Oppenheimer, the first of many broadsides leveled at the actor in print.
Dec. 18, 1969: "Majesty's" opens. A spokesperson for Lazenby has already announced that he will not continue as Bond.
February 1971: Connery, after the intervention of United Artists' David Picker, agrees to return to the role of 007 in "Diamonds Are Forever" for a fee of $1.25 million, which he donates to charity.
Dec. 17, 1971: "Diamonds" opens in the U.S.
Sept. 17, 1972: ABC. after paying an unprecedented $17 million for rights to the 007 films, airs "Goldfinger." The film's 49 share/31.1 rating puts it in the record books as one of the most-watched programs in TV history.
Oct, 8, 1972: Roger Moore leaves England for New Orleans to begin filming "Live And Let Die," the first of his seven Bond films.
Early 1975: Connery is approached by McClory with the idea of reviving Bond in a "Thunderball" remake. Connery spends much of the year in Ireland with McClory and spy novelist Len Deighton writing the script, "James Bond of the Secret Service." December 1975: Saltzman sells his interest in the 007 films to United Artists.
Dec. 5, 1976: Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson attends a ceremony christening Pinewood's newly constructed 007 Stage.
July 7, 1977: "The Spy Who Loved Me" premieres.
March 29, 1982: Moore presents the Irving G. Thalberg Award to Albert R. Broccoli at the Academy Awards.
April 3, 1982: Variety announces that Jack Schwartzman has secured Irvin Kershner to direct Connery in a "Thunderball" remake, based on McClory's rights.
May 18, 1982: Connery signs a positive commitment to star in the film, earning a reputed $5 million for renewing his Licence To Kill.
Sept. 27, 1982: The "Thunderball" remake, now titled "Never Say Never Again," begins filming in Villefranche, near Nice, France.
June 6, 1983: "Octopussy." with Moore as Bond, premieres at London's Odeon Leicester Square, eventually earning $183.7 million at the box office.
Oct. 6, 1983: "Never Say Never Again" premieres in Los Angeles, going on to an estimated $137.5 million worldwide.
June 27, 1984: A fire destroys the 007 soundstage at Pinewood, just a few weeks before production of "A View To A Kill" is due to begin.
Jan. 7, 1985: The rebuilt 007 Stage is christened the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage.
Nov. 26, 1985: Variety reports that Moore has notified Broccoli he's not returning as Bond.
July 15, 1986: NBC's Brandon Tartikoff, on the 59th day of a 60-day option period, renews "Remington Steele," knocking Pierce Brosnan out of the running as the new Bond.
Aug. 7, 1986: Timothy Dalton is christened the new 007.
Aug. 8, 1990: Broccoli announces that Danjaq, the company that holds the Bond film rights, is for sale.
Nov., 1990: Kirk Kerkorian agrees to sell MGM to Italian financier Giancarlo Paretti for over $1 billion. To buy MGM, Paretti has pre-sold assets. Broccoli and his company, Danjaq, sue.
March 6, 1991: Turner Broadcasting airs "Diamonds Are Forever" and achieves the largest movie-viewing audience in basic cable history.
Dec. 10, 1992: After Pathe and Paretti leave MGM, and Credit Lyonnais bails the studio out of debt, lawsuits holding up production of the James Bond films are settled.
April 11, 1994: On the set of the TV miniseries "Scarlett," Timothy Dalton announces his resignation from the role of Bond after having made "The Living Daylights" and "Licence To Kill," the latter released in 1989.
June 8, 1994: Pierce Brosnan is announced as the new 007.
Jan. 16, 1995: Cameras roll on the first official day of production for "Goldeneye."
Nov. 13, 1995: "Goldeneye" premieres at Radio City Music Hall, logging the biggest ticket sales for a Bond film since 1967.
June 27, 1996: Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli dies in Beverly Hills at 87.
Oct. 9, 1997: Sony Pictures strikes a deal with McClory to make its own series of Bond films. A flurry of lawsuits follow.
March, 1999: Sony settles its lawsuit with MGM over the Bond film rights. The settlement gives MGM rights to "Casino Royale" and precludes Sony from ever developing a 007 film. McClory continues his suit against MGM and Danjaq alone.
Aug. 27, 2001: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejects McClory's claims.
Jan. 11, 2002: "Die Another Day" cast gathers for a press conference at Pinewood Studios.
Nov. 18, 2002: The 40th anniversary James Bond film, "Die Another Day," to premiere at London's Royal Albert Hall, with Queen Elizabeth II scheduled to attend.
--John Cork & Bruce Scivally
authors, "James Bond: The
PHOTO (COLOR): From Russia With Love
PHOTO (COLOR): The Living Daylights
PHOTO (COLOR): Goldfinger
Latest Bond to 'Die' for
Despite being both shaken and stirred on more than one occasion over the years, the oldest movie franchise in history is alive and well. James Bond is a family business, and one that knows what it is selling -- family entertainment to a global audience that knows exactly what to expect.
That was certainly in evidence in June on the set of the new Bond, "Die Another Day" at U.K.'s Pinewood Studios, where the buzz was undoubtedly upbeat, but equally intense.
The making of a Bond pic is like overhauling an incredibly fine-tuned sports car every two or three years with the aim of winning the same Grand Prix marathon.
"I think if you were to talk to the other directors -- Michael Apted, Roger Spottiswoode and the others -- we'd probably all agree that these are really exercises in survival," says director Leer Tamahori, fresh from directing a sword fight between Halle Berry's character Jinx and newcomer Rosamund Pike in the role of Miranda Frost. "You really don't know until you're in there how grueling it can be. And this is in some respects a very old genre, the oldest genre of all. You have to work that much harder to convince a much younger audience -- you know, who's now grown up on 'Austin Powers,' on the parody for God's sake -- to bring them in and have them see it as an acceptable action picture for their peer group."
Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, who oversaw the creation of 16 custom hovercraft for the new feature's opening sequence, adds: "They've really gone to town on trying to make it spectacular. Normally we have between 60 and 70 crew. Then on this one, special effects guys, we've reached 110 at times. It really has been taken a notch upwards."
In addition, scribes Neil Purvis and Robert Wade, who also penned "The World Is Not Enough," complained that they had done so much editing and reworking that they had long ago run out of flesh colors of paper to denote the most up-to-minute version of the "Die Another Day" script.
For her part, Oscar-winner Berry was marveling at the scale of the project,
"This is a really important step for me and a really important movie for me to be in," says Berry. "Some people have said after the Oscar, 'But it's Bond.' These are people who really don't understand the business and don't realize along with an Academy Award you need box office appeal, and for that you need people to know who you are around the world."
But regardless of how well the new movie performs, 007 is once again approaching a tricky period. Pierce Brosnan, the fifth actor to play Bond, is committed to a fifth feature, but reckons that will likely be it. The Irish thesp, 50 in the spring, says the physical demands of the role may soon require a younger man: "I like to think I'd have the wherewithall to say, 'The money's great, but can I really honor this role with body and soul?'"
Brosnan suffered a knee injury during the making of "Die Another Day," for example, in the end thankfully delaying lensing for only five days.
"Keyhole surgery goes down, and as soon as I saw the X-rays that night -- and I had already done the other knee on a mountain climbing film -- I thought, 'Oh, shit, I have to go back to America, that's where the surgeons are,'" Brosnan says. "I just knew the shit was going to hit the fan.
"I'm deeply proud of the work that I've done and having been part of this film, this franchise, this legacy," he adds. "I think the cards fell exactly the way they should have fallen. It seems like destiny, fate that I should play this, that I should be part of this. A lot of good things have come from it."
Brosnan as Bond thus far has been a real success story, a regeneration of the franchise. As such, his shoes will be difficult to fill.
But Michael Wilson, co-producer with Barbara Broccoli, insists it is far too early to contemplate the future. The notoriously press-shy Broccoli adds that making a Bond is always such a massive undertaking that it necessitates simply taking it one film at a time.
"It's like asking on your wedding day who you're next husband is going to be," she says.
A KILLING AT THE BOX OFFICE
Legend for Chart:
A - Bond pic (year)
B - Domestic B.0.(*)
C - Overseas B.0.(*)
D - Worldwide B.0.(*)
A B C D
Dr. No ('63) 16 44 60
From Russia With Love ('64) 25 54 79
Goldfinger ('64) 51 74 125
Thunderball ('65) 64 78 142
Casino Royale ('67)(n1) 23 21 44
You Only Live Twice ('67) 43 69 112
On Her Majesty's Secret Service ('69) 23 42 65
Diamonds Are Forever ('71) 44 72 116
Live And Let Die ('73) 35 91 126
The Man With The Golden Gun ('74) 21 77 98
The Spy Who Loved Me ('77) 47 139 186
Moonraker ('79) 70 140 210
For Your Eyes Only ('81) 55 143 198
Octopussy ('83) 68 120 188
Never Say Never Again ('83)(n2) 55 55 110
A View To A Kill ('85) 50 105 155
The Living Daylights ('87) 51 140 191
Licence To Kill ('89) 35 122 157
Goldeneye ('95) 106 244 350
Tomorrow Never Dies ('97) 125 215 340
The World Is Not Enough ('99) 127 234 361
Total franchise worldwide: $3.4 billion
(*) in millions of $, not adjusted for inflation
-- Compiled by
(n1) Columbia-distributed spoof of Bond based on Ian Fleming's novel.
(n2) Released by WB
PHOTO (COLOR): Thunderball
PHOTO (COLOR): Octopussy
PHOTO (COLOR): The Living Daylights
PHOTO (COLOR): Goldeneye
PHOTO (COLOR): ALL IN A 'DAY'S' WORK: Lee Tamahori guides Pierce Brosnan in his fourth turn as Bond on the London set of "Die Another Day."
PHOTO (COLOR): VERY BERRY: Along with Judi Dench, Halle Berry adds Oscar cachet to "Die Another Day" and her role as Jinx opposite Brosnan.
PHOTO (COLOR): BROCCOLI
PHOTO (COLOR): WILSON
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): ICECAPADE: The Ice Palace set for "Die" was built at Pinewood Studios in London, where 18 of the 20 Eon-produced pics were shot.
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): DENCH
By Erich Boehm
[Source: Variety November 11th 2002]