November 16, 2013

BOND BATTLE WON

When author Ian Fleming entered into a collaboration to adapt James Bond for the big screen in the late 1950s, he could have titled the project Lawsuits Are Forever. The collaboration did not yield a movie deal, but it did entangle Fleming in a battle over Bond that would plague him for the rest of his life. One of those collaborators, Kevin McClory claimed the rights to use now-familiar 007 conventions, like Blofeld and SPECTRE, as well as the plot to Thunderball. The lawsuits dragged Fleming down and may have contributed to his stress and failing health in the early 1960s. In the wake of a legal battle that lasted over 50 years, a forfeited producer credit on the Thunderball film, the independently made Never Say Never Again, and a potential Bond parallel series from Sony, all Bond-related movie rights were finally won by Danjaq, LLC (managed by the family of Albert Broccoli) and MGM this week. Spy Vibe sends a heartfelt congratulations out to Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson! It must be a great relief to the family. 007 fans are speculating and hoping they now might see the return of Ernst Stavro Blofeld and SPECTRE in future films. Barbara Broccoli has said it's more interesting to invent new villains for the contemporary age. But now that the producers are clear of legal issues, I do hope we might see a Blofeld re-booted in the Craig-Bond universe. If they choose to bring the character back, however, it will need to be done with care. Sam Mendes skillfully sprinkled vintage elements into Skyfall without letting them pull us out of the story or winking to the audience. Mendes is set to direct the next Bond film. For more info, see my review of Skyfall here and check out the excellent documentary about the history of the James Bond film legacy, Everything or Nothing


Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  Peter AsherGerry Marsden tour, Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute.

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive

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