Cleese On Bond and Q

SNN2503CLEE-532_1413157aThe man who was Q, John Cleese, reckons that money has ruined the James Bond series…

John Cleese has form in the James Bond movies. He ascended to the role of Q in Die Another Day, and was originally expected to return to the part. However, Pierce Brosnan departed the world of Bond, the reboot came in, Daniel Craig got the role, and things went back to the start for Bond. Only now has Ben Whishaw been introduced as the new Q.

In a new interview to promote his autobiography, Cleese was asked what he thought of Whishaw’s take on Q. But as it turns out, he’s not seen it. Cleese said that he didn’t watch Skyfall “because I have criticisms of the new Bond movies.”

He continued, telling Shortlist that “two things went wrong: the plots became so impossibly obscure that even professional writers couldn’t figure out what they were about; and the action scenes, which are supposed to make the adrenaline run, go on far too long.”

Cleese argues that “they discovered these movies were popular in places such as the Philippines and South Korea, and so they dropped the humour because no one there is going to understand jokes about the English class system…One of the great things I’ve learnt in the last few years is just how much money spoils everything”, he noted.

The last James Bond movie, Skyfall, remains the most successful 007 adventure of all time, and the same team who made it – led by star Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes – are soon to start shooting James Bond 24, for release in October next year.

Rotterdam Bond Exhibition

CaptureROTTERDAM, Netherlands – The Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam inaugurated on Monday an exhibition titled “The 007 design, 50 years of Bond Style,” which sheds light on how the British secret agent influenced art, music, technology and design.

The exhibit, which features more than 500 objects and environmental recreations, shows the Bond effect on contemporary culture since the character was created more than 50 years ago by Ian Fleming.

“Not only does the exhibition show James Bond’s history, but also allows living an experience,” Kunsthal curator Jannet de Goede told Efe.

Documents, models, prototypes, scripts, music and film clips, large selections of costumes and accessories, as well as original photographs, many unrevealed to date, provide an insight on how the Bond series were done.

With 23 Bond films in five decades, the museum shows the glamour of the renowned Bond style, which is not only a landmark in the history of cinema, but also for the world of art, music, fashion, technology, car design and lifestyle.

Eight halls of the museum are dedicated to Bond themes and to recreate the atmosphere of the series, since the debut film “Dr. No,” which was produced in 1962 and starred Sean Connery, until the latest, the 2012 production “Skyfall” which starred Daniel Craig.

In the “Gold Room,” a circular bed covered in white linen and a woman’s body painted in gold are a reminiscence of the classic 1964 production “Goldfinger.”

There are also sections dedicated to the author who created Agent 007, British writer Ian Fleming, and a reproduction of the office of M, where the secret agent received his orders.

The exhibition and the multisensory experience of this extensive retrospective of the world’s most famous spy also includes the “Q” branch, the fictional research and division of the British Secret Service, the casino of Casino Royale, foreign countries, villains, enigmas and the Ice Palace of Die Another Day.

“What impresses me most is the way the exhibition has been set up, in an unconventional manner. It is different because the public really strolls through the James Bond movies,” De Goede added.

In the tour through the Bond world, more than 500 objects can be seen, like the white bikini worn by Ursula Andress in Dr. No, Q’s briefcase in From Russia with Love, Scaramanga’s golden gun from The Man with the Golden Gun, and the shark teeth that first appeared in The Spy who loved me.

The spy’s elegance is reflected in the tuxedo Roger Moore wore in 1983’s Octopussy, or one of the suits of Italian firm Brioni which Pierce Brosnan wore in 1995’s “Goldeneye.”

Another section features 007’s famous cars, such as the silver Aston Martin DB5 that first appeared in Goldeneye and made a return to the screens in Skyfall.

The exhibition, which was first seen in London in 2012, will remain at the Kunsthal until February 2015.

Dynamite To Release James Bond Origin Comic

 

The world’s most famous super-spy looks to be making a return to comic books, as Dynamite Entertainment has announced the acquisition of “worldwide rights” to publish James Bond comic books, graphic novels and digital comics starting in 2015.

No creative team or specific release plans have yet been revealed, but Dynamite’s press release announcing the license states that the company plans on publishing both “visual adaptations” of Bond creator Ian Fleming’s stories, plus all-new tales — headlined by the character’s pre-“Casino Royale” origins, something largely unexplored in previous films and novels. Along with 007, Dynamite promises “other familiar faces,” both villains and allies, will appear in the new material.

“Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one the best-known characters in the world, yet we know very little of his background and beginnings,” Dynamite editor Mike Lake said in the statement. “The Bond villains are some of the most memorable figures in popular culture… where did they come from? And in some cases, where did they go?”

Dynamite’s deal is with Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., an entity that controls the rights to Fleming’s series of Bond novels as well as the “literary James Bond brand,” including recent books by authors such as Samantha Weinberg and William Boyd.

“We’re thrilled that 007 will be revisiting the world of comics, as Fleming’s novels have a long and successful history in this medium, ever since they began to be published as newspaper comic strips in the late ’50s,” Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, is quoted in the press release. “Dynamite are the perfect partners to take on the challenge of continuing this legacy, and we are very much looking forward to working with them.”

“We are excited to build upon Fleming’s source material with new canonical stories, and are honored at Dynamite to be a small part of his legacy, to be able to bring new stories to fans around the world,” added Dynamite CEO and publisher Nick Barrucci.

James Bond first appeared in Fleming’s 1953 novel “Casino Royale.” The first film starring the character, 1962’s “Dr. No” starring Sean Connery, kicked off the storied, still-lucrative film franchise; with the most recent entry, “Skyfall,” released in 2012.

Despite the character’s prominence in film and in print, the history of James Bond in comics, while long, is inconsistent. Bond appeared in newspaper comic strips in Great Britain dating back to 1958 — four years before the first Bond film — but after short stints at a variety of publishers, the secret agent has been largely absent from the English-language comic book market since an incomplete adaptation of “GoldenEye” from Topps Comics in 1996.