AVTAK: Allison Doody as Jenny Flex

Subject: Jenny Flex (pictured right) and Pan Ho (pictured left)
Organization: Zorin Industries
Height: 5`9″ (Jenny); 5`2″ (Pan Ho)
Weight: 115 lbs (Jenny); 97lbs (Pan Ho)
Hair: Blonde (Jenny); Black (Pan Ho)
Eyes: Data unavailable.
Skills: Jenny Flex: Seduction, Firearms, Horseback riding, Driving, Stealth; Pan Ho: Charisma, Driving, Fire Combat, Seduction, Pickpocket
Weaknesses: None
Method of Killing: Random

Background: A deadly duo the likes of which haven`t been seen since Bambi and Thumper. Jenny Flex and Pan Ho are another breed of Dr. Carl Mortner`s “super race” of genetically engineered human beings. Born in the Soviet Union like Zorin, they were both psychotics, conscienceless, and were very loyal to Max. Their loyalty to him was betrayed though, when he sent them on a mission to hunt down 007 and Stacy Sutton in the shafts of the Mainstrike Mine. As soon as they were inside, Zorin flooded the San Andreas fault, sweeping Pan Ho and Jenny to their deaths. A fitting tribute for these twin terrors. Prior to dying, their crimes included: assisting in the murder of Tibbett; dumping 007`s body in a lake to drown; the strongarming of General Gogol and his men; the killing of Howe and the subsequent coverup via burning down City Hall; the attempt to create a massive earthquake that would destroy Silicon Valley. It was their own plan to kill millions that resulted in their own deaths.

Yeoh v. Neo in Matrix 2 & 3?

As we reported last week, Michelle Yeoh has confirmed she`s signed on to star opposite Harrison Ford in the next Indiana Jones sequel. Now news out of Hollywood has her taking over the role of lead villain in the next two Matrix sequels. Her current film has been named Picture of the Year (2000) by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

NEW YORK (Variety) – “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon“ star Michelle Yeoh is being courted to star in the two sequels of “The Matrix“ which Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures will start shooting next year.

While the storyline of the sequels is a closely guarded secret, sources said the role she`s in talks for is the same one that fellow Hong Kong tailkicking import Jet Li once seemed destined to play.

Li`s decision not to take the role in the twin pictures gives a glimpse at the struggle sequelmakers face in trying to mount movies that have a chance to make money. In the case of “The Matrix,“ the dilemma for Li was that there was no money left over to pay him the star salary to which he`s grown accustomed. The film is already expensive, not only because writer/directors Larry and Andy Wachowski are trying to make two more cutting-edge sci-fi films, but also because of the presence of gross players. Keanu Reeves signed to reprise the starring role in two films for a $30 million advance against 15% of gross, and producer Joel Silver and the Wachowskis are both part of the gross pool.

While Li`s stature would certainly have benefited from appearing in the second and third legs of a trilogy that is on course to become “Star Wars“ for the Gen X set, he would have had to take a massive paycut to do it. Word is Li asked for about $13 million for the two pictures, but sources said Li was offered $3 million to work for 11 months to star in two movies for which he`d have received no backend. He also would have had his likeness used in a “Matrix“ videogame.

Spending a year essentially working for $1.5 million a pic would have been undermined his existing price quote, the $9.5 million advance against gross profit participation that Li will receive to star in the Revolution action film “The One.“

Interestingly, Li`s quote escalation was made possible by his declining to join Yeoh in the Ang Lee-directed “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,“ which has emerged as an Oscar contender. Li instead followed “Lethal Weapon 4“ with the hit “Romeo Must Die,“ and just starred in the France-based drama “Kiss of the Dragon“ under the supervision of Luc Besson. The maneuvering seems to have worked out fine for both thesps.

Copyright: Reuters 2000. This article was reprinted with the express permission of Reuters, Inc. All other rights reserved.

Who Must Perform Bond 20’s Theme?

“Why U2, Robbie Williams or Radiohead Will Do the Theme Song”:

Over the last five years, the series of James Bond has revitalized through one man–you know the number, you know the name, Pierce Brosnan. His films, all sucessful, with fans, critics and at the real MI-6 Headquarters, the box office. Yet the series is unfortunately stuck in one of it’s largest ruts ever, musically speaking.

The scores by Eric Serra (GoldenEye) and David Arnold (Tomorrow Never Dies and TWINE) were both strong scores if lackluster, and were considered by some to be as good as the original scores of John Barry. The last three title songs, done by female leads, have been less than stellar. Since the return of Brosnan/Bond, the three gals have tried without success to emulate legend Shirley Bassey, most outstanding for her terrific “Goldfinger”. Even composer David Arnold has admitted his favorite was and is Bassey, and he tried to have Sheryl Crow (TND) and Shirley Manson (TWINE) take up a “Bassey feel”.

The sad fact is that both Crow and Manson, very strong vocalists in their own right, trying to emulate Ms. Bassey comes off forced and a near-impossible standard for a Bond theme song. Give Bond XX to a male solo or group! The last men at work for Bond was Norwegian flash-in-a-pan sensation “A-Ha” twelve long, Dalton years ago. Who would be the best bets today? Well, the same four lads from Dublin that have been continually mentioned with Bond, even writing the title track to GoldenEye, U2.

“Another fella this never happened to” who some hail as the next Crown Prince of 007, is Brit sensation, Robbie Williams. His “You Only Live Twice” takeoff (John Barry says, rip off!) “Millennium” had him pegged as the singer for TWINE, a lovely rumor that was never officially confirmed. Third of my picks, and hardly last, Britain’s most successful band of the 1990’s, (at least critically) the Messrs. of “Radiohead”.

If Shirley Bassey is the female singer’s highest goal in the Bond series, Paul McCartney might just be the male to idolize for would-be 007 crooners. Can all three, U2, Williams and Radiohead come up with something, either solo, or with the next musical producer of the series? Sure. Would any of the three become a commercially viable song? Yes, absolutely. It is also something that the series has been lacking in recent years, a high-selling soundtrack. Any way that EON and MGM wants to cut it, it might be a good idea for the next movie to have a male-led title track.

“What do you think? We want to know with your e-mails and notes! Watch for an upcoming daily poll on the subject!” –Editors

The Diva and The Secret Agent

I had a hunch when I first heard the Whitney Houston rumor that there was some truth to it somewhere. And slowly, but surely, more news is trickling out as to exactly what involvement Ms. Houston may have in the next Bond film.

Club James Bond 007 France, always a good source for reliable information, has confirmed that Whitney Houston is indeed under consideration for a role in the next film. What that role is has yet to be defined. It could include anything from being the lead Bond Woman to simply singing the title song to being a supporting actress in the film.

Laurent Perriot writes:Amanda Lundberg, a spokesperson for MGM, has confirmed that Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson will be talking with the singer in the near future, although Ms Lundberg describes the talks as “general in nature.”

Houston`s publicist, Nancy Seltzer, confirmed the meeting. If you can read French, there`s more at: Club James Bond 007.

Other sources have suggested that MGM is the one who really wants Houston, that they want her to sing the title song and that this is just one huge trial balloon to see what the public reaction will be. The notion of Whitney Houston as a Bond Woman is being floated around by her “people”, who are desperate for any positive spin or publicity.

Last year Houston was detained by airport security for possession of marijuana but took off before she could be arrested. Numerous cancelled concert appearances led to widespread accusations that Whitney had a drug problem. MAD-TV mercilessly mocked Whitney Houston and her husband, Bobby Brown, by portraying them as crack addicts who sold all their possessions and their daughter to feed their habit. Another sketch showed Whitney constantly slurring the lyrics to her own songs while dazed and confused on a drug trip. Her rumored drug abuse is only part of the problem. She`s a diva with a large entourage and a husband who is overshadowed by the success of his more popular wife. Her backstage antics and drama queen ploys are not the place for a movie set where most people are family and have known each other for years.

There are other factors to consider. Normally talk of who will sing the title song doesn`t take place until after the film has begun production. It would seem a bit odd for Houston to be in talks about doing the title song right now when the movie is more than 8 or 9 months from going before the camera. That could mean that her role in the production could include more than simply singing. Perhaps a starring role and doing the title song?

There`s also the age factor. Whitney turns 38 this year and she`d be close to 39 when the movie begins to roll before the cameras and premieres. For Bond Women, that`s getting up in years. Only a few actresses have ever been that old and still played the lead Bond Woman: Honor Blackman and Maud Adams to name only a few.

And if MGM were open to the idea of casting a black actress in the lead role, which would certainly be a long overdue, welcome and refreshing change, they could certainly do much better than Houston. Halle Berry and Michael Michelle from NBC-TV`s “ER” are infinitely hotter looking and better actresses.

If MGM simply wanted Houston to sing the title song, we could even suggest a few artists that could infuse Bond with some much needed chart-climbing hits: AeroSmith or Bon Jovi would be a great place to start.

We hope to have some more news out of California this week, so keep checking in.

Sage 20 Comments From Ryan Ronholm

A quick look back and forward at contributor Ryan Ronholm’s wishes for Bond 20…enjoy! –Editors

The World Is Not Enough is still invading theatres, but as with every time the latest incarnation of Ian Fleming`s nearly half-century-old character splashes the silver screen, the immortal 007 leaves a bit to be desired.

This is not my knock against Pierce Brosnan, Michael Apted, or anyone at EON Productions, but the truth is, the world needs the real James Bond…the Bond of the 60’s, who had a cigarette in his mouth in every other scene, a bed filled with bodacious babes, and menacing villains over his shoulder at every turn…true space-age gadgetry, the amazing laser of Goldfinger and the mini-chopper of You Only Live Twice.

Today, Bond is still suave, but he isn`t as cool. Now, he simply is what James Bond is supposed to be…a dude in a tuxedo, the guy with an old Walther PPK, the man who drinks vodka martinis shaken not stirred, and is always trying if not succeeding to bed one of many beautiful women.

Yeah, so the old James Bond was the same way, but now it kind of seems that every new Bond movie is a two-hour-plus commercial for BMW, Smirnoff, Bollinger, Hewlett Packard, and many others. In the 60’s, EON was paying those types of companies to use their stuff in their movies. Okay, so, dear reader, you are waiting for the name of Sean Connery to come up. Well, that is the last time it will in my review! Bond doesn`t need to be played by a specific actor.

I think Brosnan is a pretty poor 007 (Dalton`s my man!) but even Brosnan can pull off the bit. He can do the 60’s stuff with the gadgets, like GoldenEye, and he can do more down to earth Bond ala O.H.M.S.S. and For Your Eyes Only as he did for Tomorrow Never Dies. The simple facts remain, though, Fleming’s style and storylines, which are all but drained are severely lacking today.

Yes, EON has possible Fleming rights they haven`t used, like Moonraker, Casino Royale, You Only Live Twice action and sections and ideas from The Man with The Golden Gun. They have used the titles but not all the book for those four mentioned, except for certain characters and a few minor spots. Plus, EON has the rights to Colonel Sun, and with proper writing, can even recycle some of their old material (Dare I say another YOLT remake?) and make it fresh once again!

Does the world need two James Bonds, the old one some of our parents know, and the one that I know? Yes. There is a lot of value in the old 60’s, 70’s and 80’s flicks (minus A View to a Kill) and they can be a better experience than $9.50 at the local Megaplex. Are the fans to blame? No. EON is doing what works, and that`s business. We go as fans; we shell out money, almost to help EON ensure that in 23 months Bond will happily return. In the meantime, we can guess at his next adventure…Shatterhand with Anthony Hopkins, Property of a Lady with Sharon Stone, anyone? I am happy that Bond supply and demand is here, and we Bondians are the ones benefiting from it!

Producers Unshaken By Website Scoop

LONDON (Reuters) – It sounded like a dastardly plot from a James Bond movie — an unknown spy infiltrates Hollywood, steals a blockbuster script and reveals all on the Internet.

But just like a typical Bond villain, a website which claimed it had the details of the next film about British secret agent 007, has failed in its mission, the producers said on Wednesday. They dismissed the supposed plot outline as pure fantasy.

The Bond fans’ website, www.bond20.com, which is dedicated to providing information about the 20th film in the series, said it had seen the script for next year’s movie which it said would be titled “Final Assignment”.

It said 007 would confront the killer of his father, Andrew Bond — who was also a British spy — in an action-packed adventure filmed on location in Australia, France, Tokyo and New York. The final fight to the death would take place on the crown on New York’s Statue of Liberty.

To whet fans’ appetite further, Sean Connery, the original cinema Bond of the 1960s, would appear in flashbacks as 007’s father while British actor Nigel Havers would play the film’s baddie, David Saten, the website said.

But the Bond film production company said the plot was the product of a fan’s overactive imagination and had left them neither shaken nor stirred.

“It’s fabricated. We have spoken to the producers about it and I’m afraid it’s a fan who’s done a James Bond script — it’s not ours,” a spokeswoman for Eon Productions told Reuters.

“The film hasn’t got a name yet. It’s only in the very beginning of pre-production.”

She said casting should start in the next couple of weeks (Ed.- see article on Arnold Vosloo) and they hoped to start shooting in January next year.

New Zealand-born Lee Tamahori was on board as director and had started working on the film, she added.

The website’s claims are the latest speculation about the film. Newspaper reports earlier in the year tipped singer Whitney Houston to appear as the next “Bond girl”.

Pierce Brosnan Injured On Set Again

The typically invincible 007 has been laid low by a knee injury.

“Brosnan sustained a knee injury during an action sequence involving water,” EON Productions said in a statement on February 19, 2002. Putting Pierce out of action for two weeks is not expected to halt the November 2002 release dates for Bond 20 in the US and UK.

How bad could it be for Bond to assault a North Korean beach, anyway, since that scene is being filmed in Cornwall, England?

The incident brings to memory the fight sequence injury Brosnan sustained during the making of Tomorrow Never Dies, for which he still bears a Bondlike facial scar.

See our related news story here.

Next In Line For A License To Kill? Part III

When Bond20 hits movie theaters November 15th, 2002, Pierce Brosnan’s four picture contract will have run out. Will he sign on for more flicks? Or will four smash hits be enough?

When you are in charge of the most profitable and the most successful movie series in film history, it`s never too early to be looking down the road. Not only will the next Bond have to make his mark as his own, unique 007, but he`ll also have to succeed the enormously popular and profitable Pierce Brosnan. Five years ago I would have said that there was no one that could replace Pierce Brosnan. Now, the field is wide open and indeed there are some interesting choices the producers can make. 007Forever`s “reconnaisance team” has been scouting the potential candidates and has filed this report:

JACK DAVENPORT
Twenty-seven year old English actor Jack Davenport was born in 1973 and is the son of actress Maria Aitken(A Fish Called Wanda) and actor Nigel Davenport(A Man for All Seasons). He studied Literature and Film Studies at the University of East Anglia. His first break happened after he wrote to John Cleese to ask to be a runner on Fierce Creatures where he ended up playing a zookeeper. This led to the cult role of the public school barrister Miles in This Life. Recent projects include the stylish Ultraviolet where he plays a modern day vampire hunter and he co-stars with Gwyneth Paltrow in The Talented Mr Ripley.

Unlike many rumored candidates, Davenport is young enough to be a realistic candidate. Davenport is a talented actor who is extremely versatile, playing Miles on the critically acclaimed BBC show This Life, a public school barrister who seems to have Third Form social skills, a Neanderthal attitude to women, class, race and sexuality and he is on a completely different planet to his flatmates, yet always manages to redeem himself just when you think he`s gone too far, to playing Peter Smith-Kingsley, an English opera répétiteur and the gay lover of Matt Damon in The Talented Mr.Ripley. Davenport brings acting power and class to the part of Bond.

LINUS ROACHE
Thirty-six; born in Lancashire. As the son of William Loache, Linus Roache cut his acting teeth in TV`s soap opera Coronation Street. His first film, in which he gave an outstanding performance, was as Father Greg in Antonia Bird`s controversial `Priest` (1994). Loache followed this story of child abuse and incest with the restrained `The Wings of the Dove`, (1997). Roache`s recent projects include the Australian Siam Sunset, and a part as Denis Law in `Best`, a film about the Irish soccer legend. Here`s an interesting fact. After Priest and the BBC wartime drama, Seaforth, Roache gave up acting and spent 18 months in India where he discovered spiritual meditation. But now he`s on top of his game. His latest feature is Julien Temple`s Pandaemonium, which was the best film of the 2000 Toronto Film Festival. He seems poised to join the ranks of other famous alumni, including Kenneth Branagh and Ralph Fiennes. Roache auditioned for the role but his religious convictions and the way he saw the role dissuaded EON from considering him further.Also like Paul McGann-another English Bond Contender-he shuns publicity which is bad news for the series.

COLIN FARRELL
24 years old; Irish; Dublin-born. Colin Farrell is already a star in homeland thanks to his role as Danny Byrne on the hit series Ballykissangel. His sexy, bedroom eyes combined with strong manly features immediately made girls swoon all over Ireland the moment Danny and his pony first rode into town on the sudsy series. The show made Farrell a star, and after two years, he decided to leave and try his luck in other avenues of acting. Before long, the young actor had a Hollywood agent, a leading role in a Joel Schumacher film, and the kind of up and coming buzz most actors would kill to have. Also auditioned for the part of Peter Parker in Sam Raimi`s upcoming feature film, Spider-Man.

NATHANIEL PARKER
Born in London in 1963; Married to actress Anna Patrick Supposedly screen tested in 1994 for GOLDENEYE. In May 1999 appeared on television once more in a psychological thriller Trust, which also starred Caroline Goodall. He then returned to the theatre in September 1999 with the Oxford Stage Company in 50 Revolutions at the Whitehall Theatre, London.

TOBY STEPHENS
Began his acting career while a stagehand at the Chichester Festival Theatre, in end-of-season productions mounted by the crew. In his brief professional career, he has already won the Sir John Gielgud prize for Best Actor and the Ian Charleson Award for his performance in the title role of “Coriolanus” at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1994. His other work at the RSC includes “Measure for Measure,” “A Midsummer Night`s Dream,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” “Wallenstein,” “All`s Well That Ends Well” and Unfinished Business.” Stephens also starred in Peter Hall`s production of “Tartuffe” at the Aldwych Theatre and has just finished filming The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. His television appearances include “A View from the Bridge” and “The Camomile Lawn.” He made his screen debut in Sally Potter`s Orlando.

Toby can currently be seen in theaters as the young version of Clint Eastwood`s character Frank Corvin in Space Cowboys, and in the recently released Onegin as Vladimir Lensky. In the fall, he will appear as the title character in the A&E/BBC co-production The Great Gatsby next to academy award winner Mira Sorvino and Paul Rudd.

As you can see, this is an actor who`s star is rising really fast. He`s experienced and fits the part like a glove and at the age of thirty-one, he`s young enough to be Brosnan`s heir to the throne. Even if Bond 20 won`t be Brosnan`s last.

WHAT DO THE FANS WANT?

Stephen Jones emailed us his pick: Although he may American, a grave disadvantage when the Bond of Fleming`s novels was half Scotch, half Swiss, I feel George Clooney would do well in 007`s tuxedo. Not only does he possess a colossal amount of sex appeal, a quintessential Hollywood attribute which almost always ensures box office success, but he also has the suavity and toughened image of both Connery and Brosnan combined. He has proved himself to be a proficient actor, successfully making the step from television medical drama to big movie stardom. Anyone with such versatile acting prowess and “good looks” should certainly be considered as the next Bond. His availabilty for the role as well as his wage demands are a different matter, however. Probability of becoming Brosnan`s successor: 80-1

Jason Scot supports this choice: I personally think that George Clooney with a little longer hair (not crew cut) will be most suitable..he has personality, style, energy (like Connery) , charm (like Moore)..and a human side (like Dalton)…I mean look at “Peacemaker” …it was a James Bond Movie …Clooney is broad shouldered, tall, with charming smile,piercing eyes…and never looks odd in Tuxedo..in fact he is one of those few people who are fit for that kind of dress….need i say more?”

I`d rate the odds of Clooney ever becoming Bond even greater than that. He`ll be too old to take on the role for any meaningful length of time when Brosnan steps down, he`s still not a proven box office draw and the biggest strike against him is that he`s not British, Scottish or Irish. Not the right age. Not a box office star. Not a chance.

J. Darcy wants Carey Elwes. “Fans of The Princess Bride will recognise his suave English style, as well as his subtle comic skills which would not be out of place (better than a total comic dunce trying to pull off the usual Bond quips). Needs black hair dye and somebench-pressing, but more than capable in action scenes and quite popular with the girls.”

Ray Fiennes this writer’s choice of for looks, if he can turn The Avengers into the action. He used to walk about with “James Bond” chalked on the soles of his shoes at private school!–Matt Sherman

My choices are Kenneth Braugh–has panache, action acting skills, dry humor (Henry V and other Shakespear movies) and is well known by American audiences. Colin–M’s assistant in the last 2 Bond’s —he has presence, knows the film crew, and great physique.–Charles Hewitt, Jr.

If you`d like to suggest a possible candidate to play Bond, email Icebreaker@fandom.com. Be sure to include a detailed paragraph of biographical material, in your own words, of the actor you`d like to nominate and state your reasons why he is the best for the job. The person you nominate must not already be listed in any one of our 3 “Next In Line For A License To Kill?” articles.

Next In Line For A License To Kill? Part II

CLIVE OWEN: At 35, Owen is rapidly gaining momentum as one of the best contenders for the role of James Bond after Pierce Brosnan leaves. His role in the indie film CROUPIER has generated a surprising amount of positive buzz. Entertainment Weekly (July 14th, 2000 pg.52) said of Owen`s performance: “The gamble paid off in a chilling portrait of an emotionally frozen novelist who heats up his life with women, scams, and fights, then retreats inside his head to chronicle the outcome.” The rogue aspects of this character sound in some ways remarkably like Ian Fleming`s vision of James Bond.

Director Mike Hodges saidof Owen:“There`s a mysterious quality to him. He had the right look-something kind of sexual. And his voice is like good music, it`s hypnotic.”

The Austin Chronicle also noticed a twinkle of Ian Fleming in Owen`s eyes. In their review of Croupier, they write:

“There`s something of Ian Fleming in his character: He could be one of the faceless, nameless croupiers James Bond so often finds himself seated before. In this case, Bond, James Bond, would do well to watch himself…Owen`s brilliant turn as Jack is icily cool; despite his third-person narration, you`re never quite sure what this fellow`s going to do next. Hodges directs with an equally cool hand, very steady, very controlled, and very much stirred, not shaken. Admittedly, Croupier takes some time to get going, or, at the very least, it takes some time to get into. Viewers who stick with it will be rewarded, not only by Owen`s masterful turn, but by Hodges` prickly, not-quite-a-surprise ending. How veddy British.”

Just looking at Owen in a tux makes him a very attractive prospect for the role. With his research for the film CROUPIER, he`d be a natural in any casino scene. He`s got a great build, looks like he could age well with the role and would probably do the part for a song. He should definitely be on EON`s short list of candidates. Icebreaker`s odds: EVEN MONEY

JOHN BARROWMAN: At 33, he`s in a great position to take over the film series after Brosnan, bringing in a youthful take on the character of 007. That he looks a bit like Tom Cruise doesn`t hurt either. He`s immensely talented, and Scottish to (he was born in Glasgow, though has lived most of his life in the United States). He has numerous stage credits and rave reviews to back up his work. His brief forays into Hollywood have been less impressive. He was gold on CBS` short-lived CENTRAL PARK WEST and he stars in NBC`s upcoming drama TITANS. Based on early reviews of the new show, John may be available for the role pretty soon. His youth and undisputed acting abilities are positives particularly if EON wanted to re-invent the franchise with a `James Bond: Year One` type project, but his model “pretty-boy” looks may be off putting, which makes him a long shot. Icebreaker`s odds: 100-1

CLIVE ROBERTSON: 35 years old, ex-star of NBC soap opera SUNSET BEACH. Robertson`s good looks and intensity make him a hybrid combination of Connery and Dalton There`s been a grass roots campaign among his fans to get him the job of 007. He`s commented on the record that he is interested. He already has a substantial fan base from his days on SUNSET BEACH (though it was a low rated show). Icebreaker`s odds: 50-1

HUGH JACKMAN: 32 years old. Starred as Wolverine in X-MEN. Is one of the youngest candidates on this list which gives him the inside track the longer Brosnan stays with the role. His body type is a bit on the lean side. Needs to bulk up more and look a bit more menacing if he wants to get the role. Barbara Broccoi reportedly visited one of his plays (perhaps to size up his potential?). But would Jackman really be interested in playing James Bond now that he`s playing Wolverine in what is sure to be many sequels? Doubtful. It`s also doubtful that EON would want to hire an actor whose priorities could be compromised by another rival, prosperous franchise. Icebreaker`s odds: 75-1

ADRIAN PAUL: Best known as `Duncan` on the syndicated television show HIGHLANDER, Adrian Paul has been the fans overwhelming choice for years. He bears a striking resemblance to Connery in terms of both his voice and his looks. Bond fan Ted DeMaio says: God, come on! He`s Connery`s double. A very good actor and already a hit on another series, “Highlander”. He would be cool.”

But I disagree. Right now he`s the right age for the role but with the role not up for grabs for at least another 3 years, Paul will simply be too old to take over the series and age with it. And that is a conservative estimate based on a guess that Brosnan will stop Bond after only 4 films (he`ll probably do 5). I personally have seen nothing in his performance on the HIGHLANDER show that tells me he is particularly suited for Bond; his acting range is suspect. He was reportedly on EON`s short list back in 1994 and passed over. Icebreaker`s odds: 100 to 1.

BILLY ZANE: 34 years old. Played a grape colored superhero in THE PHANTOM but mostly recognized for his role as Cal Hockley in TITANIC. a talented actor with a wide range, he`d be perfect as a much darker, more cruel James Bond. His youth, looks and sex appeal are enough to pull off the kind of performance that Dalton was never able to make connect with the audience. On the plus side, he really wants the role. He told USA TODAY that his career goal was to be the next James Bond. He`s got my vote. Still, he`s American (born in Chicago), which automatically stacks the deck against him. Icebreaker`s odds: 80 to 1

RALPH FIENNES: 36 years old. Fiennes supporter Ted DiMaio says: “I always thought he would be a good Bond. He`s a great actor and people have to forget “The Avengers”, and remember his performances in films like “Schindler`s List”, “The English Patient” and “Strange Days”. I believe he has the right look for Fleming`s Bond in the books.”

I have a couple of problems with Fiennes. I don`t think he possesses the sophistication of Roger Moore or the brute charm of Sean Connery that so many women found irresistible. His take on the character is also somewhat out of sync with what audiences want from James Bond. He was approached about doing the role in 1994, but his vision for Bond was even more ruthless than Dalton`s portrayal. He is a long shot at best. Icebreaker`s odds: 80 to 1.

RUSSELL CROWE: 36 years old. Mega-star on the rise. Would he be interested in James Bond? With his star making performance in GLADIATOR, Crowe is now generating a lot of buzz as a potential Bond. I like him. He`s got the build, he`s got the looks, he`s got the talent…but something tells me he also shares George Lazenby`s temperment, which could spell trouble for a series trying to make a transition. His bar brawls and legal troubles, not to mention breaking up Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, are the exact kinds of off-set problems EON would want no part of. Barring any sort of personal turnaround, this GLADIATOR is a long shot. Icebreaker`s odds: 90 to 1.

HUGH GRANT: 40 years old. Star of such films as FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL and NOTTING HILL. “LandHoLN” likes him: “Hugh Grant, should be on the list. No 007-purist seems to want to admit it, but truthfully the Roger-Moore era lasted as long as it did because he appealed to a larger mass audience than any other Bond. Hugh would be the man to re-capture this group.”

Reportedly Hugh was approached back in 1994 to gauge his interest in doing Bond, but hiring him now, just as then, would be a terrible mistake. Bond is all wrong for Hugh and Hugh is all wrong for Bond. He`s Woody Allen, only better looking. If people thought Brosnan wasn`t tough enough for the role, how much of an improvement would Grant be? Age-wise he straddles the line. He can`t wait too much longer to take over the role before he becomes too old to see the series through. Icebreaker`s odds: 100 to 1.

Disagree with our choices? Do you know of an actor that should be included on this list? If so email Icebreaker@fandom.com with your suggestion. Be sure to include why he should be on our list.

Next In Line For A Licence To Kill? Part I

GREG WISE, 34
Already being spoken about as a possible replacement for Brosnan. Made his name in a costume drama, Sense and Sensibility, although perhaps best-known for being Emma Thompson`s squeeze. He is flattered by the 007 talk. “It would be great to do it. The producers saw me after Timothy Dalton left, but I had these very unsexy sideburns for some period thing, which spoilt my chances.” Needs to raise his profile, though, and avoid making any more turkeys like Mad Cows. Odds: 2-1

RUFUS SEWELL, 32
Another rising British star tipped for the part post-Pierce. Just about every woman in the land seemed to fall for him after seeing his performance as Will Ladislaw in the 1994 television adaptation of Middlemarch. He`s gone on to star in films such as Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence, Dark City and The Woodlanders – none of which quite lived up to expectation. But shorn of his girlie curly locks, he could make the grade. Odds: 4-1

TREVA ETIENNE, 34
If we`re talking tall, dark and handsome, why not go the whole hog and cast a black Bond? Former London`s Burning star Treva Etienne, who appears in Eyes Wide Shut, reckons he`s got what it takes. “I`m sure I can raise an eyebrow in just the right way,” he said. “We have had an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scot. It is about time we had a black man.” Even the production company that makes the films, Eon, concedes: “A black Bond is a good idea for the new millennium.” Odds: 16-1

IOAN GRUFFUDD, 26
Shot to fame in the big-budget television versions of the Hornblower novels. Beside his dark, brooding, Celtic good looks, Gruffudd displayed an admirable steeliness beneath his character`s outward sensitivity. Soon to star in 102 Dalmatians, his name has apparently cropped up on the Bond film-makers` secret shortlist of post-Brosnan candidates. Despite a name that might be virtually unpronounceable to anyone not from Wales, a strong contender. Odds: 3-1

RUPERT EVERETT, 40
After a career that seemed to be going nowhere, he has bounced back to become Hollywood`s favourite gay star. He`s appeared in hits such as The Madness of King George and Shakespeare in Love, and all but stole the show in My Best Friend`s Wedding. He has those uniquely British upper-crust good looks, plus a sense of irony and, since moving to America, impressive-looking biceps. But would the public buy a gay Bond? Odds: 66-1

RALPH FIENNES, 36
Has a reputation as an over-serious thespian, but was a serious Bond buff at school who scrawled “007” in felt tip on his shoes; his classmates would whistle the Bond theme when they saw him. Has the looks, did karate at school and was a superb Rada swordsman. However, his lacklustre Steed in The Avengers suggests he might lack a light touch for Bond`s cheesy one-liners. Odds 5-1

RUSSELL CROWE, 35
Tough-guy New Zealand actor who would inject a degree of machismo not seen since Connery`s day. After finding fame as a skinhead in Romper Stomper, gave a powerful performance as the straight-talking cop in LA Confidential; stars in Michael Mann`s latest, The Insider, and Ridley Scott`s Roman epic, Gladiator, next year. However, the one antipodean who`s played 007 to date – one-film wonder George Lazenby -is a less than encouraging precedent. Odds: 12-1

JASON PATRIC, 33
Requisite good looks. Not a bad actor either – with the exception of Speed 2. He is the choice of Michael Apted, director of The World is Not Enough: “I think he would be ideal and know that he`s one of the people who`s been looked at.” On the downside, as one female Bond fan bitched: “He looks like he needs to go to Sean Connery`s toupee-maker.” Lastly, he`s a Yank. Could we stomach an all-American 007, even if he got the accent right? Odds: 10-1

JASON ISAACS, 36
Would go down as the first Jewish Bond. Was screen-tested after Dalton ditched his tuxedo. Earned his acting spurs as a disturbed ex-paratrooper in Lynda La Plante`s Civvies. Describing himself as “a passionate Zionist”, he has since appeared in Armageddon and Event Horizon and will next be seen in The Patriot, an American war of independence drama, as a ruthless British commander. Would bring a new twist to the Bond saga, but needs to play more good guys. Odds: 6 1

ROBBIE WILLIAMS, 25
The joker in the pack. Despite being Britain`s current prince of pop, the former Take That star wants to pursue a career in acting – and he has set his heart on playing Bond. Has been a fan of the secret agent since he was a kid and dressed up like 007 in the video for his chart-topping hit Millennium. He would need to get some acting experience under his belt first. Still, time is on his side. Odds: 100-1

JOHNNY VAUGHAN, 33
He might have the looks. He might be one of the wittiest presenters on TV. But that still doesn`t qualify the Big Breakfast host, who`s spoken of wanting to play Bond, for this gig. Don`t give up the day job, Johnny. Odds: 1,000-1

JEREMY NORTHAM, 37
After starring in The Net opposite Sandra Bullock, the hunky actor seemed set to become America`s favourite British heart-throb. But following the failure of the sci-fi thriller Mimic, his Hollywood star has faded somewhat. He is perhaps best known here for playing the doughty Mr Knightley in Emma, and has returned to top-hat-and-tails roles in An Ideal Husband and The Winslow Boy. Having auditioned to play Bond after Dalton`s exit, though, he remains a real contender. Odds: 4-1

List and commentary compiled by York Membery. Odds from Ladbrokes (to place a bet, call the credit-card hotline, 0800-524524) or visit: Ladbrokes Online.

New Wheels, Mr. Bond!

As first reported at 007Forever on Wednesday, August 22nd, James Bond will be driving an Aston Martin for Bond 20! The UK has defeated Germany for the top prize of Bond’s new ride. (Sounds of fans clapping.) Wow!

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli confirmed this on the official James Bond website today and had this to say, “James Bond and the British Aston Martin car have had a long and successful partnership in our films, and we are delighted to welcome the latest model, the Aston Martin Vanquish, to appear in the 20th film of the series.”

The $228,000 US price tag on the new V12 has definitely moved Bond toward where he belongs…driving cars, wearing clothes and eating food that ordinary mortals can scarcely dream about. With a run of just 700 cars this time, there is little danger of being cutoff by a little old lady driving Bond’s newest dream machine!

See Official James Bond/MGM Site for more.

‘Mummy’ to Menace 007?

Thanks to our good friends in both England and in Germany, we’ve got the latest news on what you will and won’t see in Bond20.

The big news is that German-journalist Uwe Huber has confirmed to Bond Klub Deutschland that Arnold Vosloo (High Priest Imhotep-The Mummy/The Mummy Returns) has auditioned with Barbara Broccoli in London, presumeably for the role of lead villain. Huber interviewed Vosloo on the Munich set of “Red Phone”, a German tv-movie. Upon further inquiry, Huber has confirmed to BKD that Vosloo will indeed have the part with almost certainty (tell that to Meatloaf). For further details we have to wait for an official announcement.

In action news….former stunt man and current ski photography consultant Stefan Zürcher (OHMSS, TLD, GE, TWINE) stated that on the Swiss TV show “Top of Switzerland”: “…the new Bond film will be shot partly in Alaska.” Although the “Alaska rumor” is somewhat old, coming from a Bond vet gives the story some weight. Remember, he said part of the film will be shot in Alaska, not set in Alaska. That could indicate more snow action (hopefully done better this time than in TWINE), or it could mean nothing.

James Harris, who is doing an upcoming PR shoot for the video game Agent Under Fire, has confirmed to 007Forever that kickboxing champion Ingrid Devatova is not in the next Bond film, but apparently will be used in some way to promote the new game. Whether she is actually in the game in a pixalated form or simply going to be doing publicity as a “Video Game Bond Girl” remains to be seen.

And finally, the reliable financial German newspaper Handelsblatt published the following article: “There’s a good chance of success that James Bond will soon drive through the Scottish highlands in a Vanquish-model – according to the current negotiation state with the production firm. Whether it will stay flirtation or become more depends on “From Munich with Love” – or better said: the question is if there are still “signs of love” from BMW.”

Editor’s note: The remark on the Scottish highlands refers to the beginning of the article which mentioned a series of tests with the V12 Vanquish in South Scotland, more exactly around Kelso, Galashiels and Selkirk. It doesn’t mean they are going to shoot the movie there.

Looking Ahead To Bond 20

It`s never too soon to speculate about the next James Bond movie…so we will attempt to answer a few questions that have already come up this summer.

What will Bond drive? British magazine HEAT is reporting that EON has signed a deal with Ford to feature a new Aston Martin in the next Bond pic, with their product expected to quadruple on the heels of the deal. Ford thought they had a deal to feature the DB7 in Goldeneye, and even a promotional tape was shown to fans at the Los Angeles Creation Bond Convention in 1994, but the studio used BMW instead. Conventional wisdom has it that the producing team of Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson is unwilling to part ways with the kind of money BMW is offering simply for the sentimental factor that Bond driving an Aston Martin brings to the film; a point well taken.

Who will write the next Bond film? Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Their return to the series has been in the works for months. Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli want them back and they`ve been telling friends they are coming back even though officially it hasn`t yet been announced.

Who will direct the next Bond film? The producers want to bring Michael Apted back to direct. If he does return, it would mark the first back-to-back directing assignments since the John Glen era. The script, time filming will begin, and studio input will all play a factor into whether Apted returns. Considering the critical and financial success of `Enough`, there should be few objections to his return.

To submit information or make corrections to this page, please email Icebreaker.

Kiwi Plucked for 20th eon Bond Picture

NEW YORK (Variety) – Lee Tamahori is in the cross hairs to direct the 20th installment of the James Bond franchise, which will begin shooting in early 2002 with Pierce Brosnan returning as 007 for a fourth time.

Though at least a half dozen A-list shooters vied for the untitled MGM project, the New Zealand-born Tamahori emerged as the clear front-runner late last week.

Tamahori made his feature debut with the critically acclaimed urban drama “Once Were Warriors,” and he has proved himself adept at directing drama through such films as the Alec Baldwin/Anthony Hopkins starrer “The Edge” and, most recently, ”Along Came a Spider.” The Paramount sequel to “Kiss the Girls” cost in the low-$30 million range and has grossed about $74 million in the U.S.

The effort to land a Bond helmer has been unfolding for the past several months, with numerous directors considered by the studio and franchise producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

The three previous Bond films have collectively grossed more than $1 billion worldwide. The most recent one, 1999’s ”The World Is Not Enough,” was directed by Michael Apted.

The new Bond film will be released in late 2002, in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Bond series based on the Ian Fleming novels. Sean Connery began the series starring as 007 in “Dr. No” in 1962.

None of the parties involved could be reached for comment over the weekend. Negotiations are expected to begin within the next few weeks.

John Woo Wooed to MGM

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) – After a frustrating tenure on the lot at Sony Pictures, action director John Woo has signed a three-year film production deal with MGM.

The Hong Kong native did not direct a single film for Sony during his two years there, and instead focused on shooting “Mission: Impossible 2“ for Paramount and developing two MGM projects.

“Woo and the studio have enjoyed a wonderful relationship thus far,“ said Michael Nathanson, MGM`s president and chief operating officer. “It will expand from movies that John will direct here to ones that he and Terence (Chang, Woo`s partner in Lion Rock Prods.) will also produce here.“

Woo is currently committed to directing MGM`s Nicolas Cage starrer “Wind Talkers“ and, according to Nathanson, is already in advanced talks to helm and produce a second MGM picture that Nathanson declined to name.

And just as netting Woo is clearly a coup for MGM, it`s a loss for Columbia Pictures.

Woo`s career exploded as loudly as a car in one of his hard-boiled action pictures after hits like “Broken Arrow“ (1996) and “Face/Off“ (1997). Together, those pics produced well over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

In January 1998, he signed a two-year, first-look deal with Sony. But after Sony underwent a change in the executive suites, Woo found the new management was largely unreceptive to many of his picture plans.

Instead, Woo inked a deal to helm the sequel to “Mission: Impossible“ at Paramount and, after Sony passed on the project, set up the WWII espionage thriller “Wind Talkers“ at MGM.

Asked how soon Woo and Chang could be on the lot, Nathanson responded, “We`ve already ordered the trucks.“ He hastened to call the new deal “a continued step for MGM to be in the mainstream and attract first class talent.“

James, This Is Austin

Austin Powers 3 Meets Bond’s Law Members: New Line Cinema and MGM are negotiating to allow the comedy spoof permission to use its original Goldmember title.

The price? Trailers for Die Another Day and other MGM films will be attached to Austin Powers and The Lord of the Rings at New Line’s expense. The 11th-hour deal will need the approval of the Broccoli family before going ahead, but now it seems MGM is no longer in the high position it was a few weeks back as Live and Let Shag, You Only Shag Thrice, Never Say Member Again and License to Shag have all become approved titles (thanks to parody laws) on standby for use if the deal falls through.

Haile Berry Rushed To Hospital

Halle Berry was sped to a Spanish hospital after an on-location stunt went dangerously awry on the set of EON Productions’ 20th Bond adventure, Die Another Day. Debris from an explosion got lodged in the actress’ left eye and she had to be rushed to a nearby hospital for its removal. No permanent damage was done, short of a temporarily inflammed eye and Berry has already returned to work.

The Oscar-winning actress was filming a scene where Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, shoots down a helicopter. Detritus from a smoke grenade hit the actress and lodged in Berry’s left eye. Berry underwent a 30-minute procedure to remove the fragment. Although there is no permanent damage, the 33-year-old has a painful and inflamed eye. Dr. Antonio Fernandez, who was involved in Berry’s treatment, said, “It could have been much more serious. She has been quite lucky, in fact.”

Berry is already back on board for DAD. You go, Bond girl!

Die Another Day Announced

LONDON (Reuters) – He’s come “From Russia with Love,” decided “The World is Not Enough,” but in his 20th film James Bond, the world’s greatest spy, is promising to “Die Another Day.”

Movie producers on Tuesday ended months of speculation among 007 devotees about the new film’s name. “‘Die Another Day’ carries on the tradition of the Ian Fleming stories and reflects the excitement and mystery of our latest script,” producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions said in a statement.

The film, which began shooting in January, has had fans of the British secret agent series on tenterhooks. One dedicated Web site eagerly reported last year that it had details of the new movie which it claimed would be called “Final Assignment” — only to discover the “leaked” script had been penned by an over-imaginative fan.

“Die Another Day,” which sees Pierce Brosnan as Bond for the fourth time and also stars actress Halle Berry, will be released in Britain and the United States on November 22.

Colonel Moon? Colonel Sun?

The rumor mill’s grist got heated early this week when it was discovered that Colonel Moon is supposed to be the villain’s name for Bond 20 and therefore, the title of Bond XX!

The dread Colonel is a North Korean renegade soldier, and all-around baddie who takes Bond hostage. Surprise! That has only occured 21-plus times in the Bond movies. What will they think of next! 😉

Colonel Sun was the name Kingsley Amis gave to his creation, a dread villain of a more literary stripe who tortured Bond exquisitely in the book of the same name.

The rumors are flying more quickly now that it has been discovered that no less a Bond luminary than Pierce Brosnan’s sometime stunt double and stand-in, Douglas James, has purchased the domain name www.ColonelSun.com! What does James [Douglas, not Bond] know that we don’t yet?

Brosnan Undergoes Kneeded Surgery

The 48-year-old dash, Pierce “Bond Version 5.0” Brosnan, is back in London, England on the set of Bond 20 after undergoing minor surgery friday in Los Angeles, California, near his adopted US home

Brosnan suffered a knee injury during an action sequence for the new Bond due out in November 2002. The rumor mill says the sequence was a Hawaii-Five-Oh-type water surfing scene.

Said EON publicist Dick Guttman, “This is one of the most physical of all the Bond films, and he [Brosnan] wants to be completely fit for it”.

See our related story here.

Breaking the `Ice`

By now most everyone who hasn`t been living under a rock or living on board The Mir Space Station has heard the rumor that THE EQUALIZER star, Edward Woodward, is in talks to replace Judi Dench as “M”. Yahoo!, Reuters, E! Online, Aint It Cool News and countless other media outlets, some who should know better, have run the story. With the release date of the next Bond film probably not until Summer 2002, these are just the kind of premature, unfounded rumors we at 007Forever would like to have just ignored. However, due to the many kind fans and visitors who kept emailing us with the news links, we decided to tackle the issue head on and tell you what we know…and what we think.

We could have believed the Edward Woodward rumor if it hadn`t originated in The Daily Mirror, a London based tabloid, which is the American equivalent to The Star, or The National Enquirer. To put it diplomatically, their track record when it comes to 007 rumors is questionable. Only two years ago they claimed that all the James Bond actors would be working together in Bond 19 (later titled THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH). Of course that didn`t happen. But the real tip off that made this rumor suspicious to us is the Mirror`s assertion that the film is in preproduction under the working title of BEYOND THE ICE. Two years ago Bond 19 was “supposedly” under the working title FIRE AND ICE, ZERO WINDCHILL and ON HOT ICE. Do we see a pattern here? Not only were those three titles supposedly under consideration for Bond 19, but they were also rumored to be titles for Bond 18 (TOMORROW NEVER DIES).

One thing that we can unequivocally state is that BEYOND THE ICE is not the working title of the next James Bond film. 007Forever has confirmed that neither EON, nor MGM, have made any casting decisions at this time. In fact, they don`t even have a script or a draft of a script. They have nothing going on at this time in regards to Bond 20.

You have to maintain continuity in the series, so what would the point be of replacing Judi Dench, a recent Oscar winner and an actress whose role was greatly increased for `World` after her Oscar win? Woodward is 70 now. By the time Bond 20 comes out, he`ll be 72. Do you really want to initiate a new long term character under those circumstances?

And the Alaska rumor? Don`t even get us started. It is sufficient to say that the Alaska rumors are premature in the face of the fact that there is NO SCRIPT. How one makes the leap from having no script to the conclusion that Michael Wilson is going to set the precredits sequence in Alaska boggles the imagination. This is nothing new. Various rumors have circulated before that the precredits sequence would be set in Idaho (Brosnan was actually filming DANTE`s PEAK there) to Antarctica.

So, in effect, the Mirror`s story is an old rumor with a new twist, the new twist being Edward Woodward. In light of the fact there is no script, no draft, that BEYOND THE ICE is a reworked version of older title rumors, and that Alaska is just another cold weather location for older location rumors, we find it very hard to believe that Judi Dench is leaving or being forced out of her role as “M”. That`s not to say it won`t happen, but the odds don`t look to good for Edward.

And what of Gretchen Mol being cast as the next Bond Girl? While we don`t dispute she had lunch with Barbara Broccoli, a lot of other actresses have had lunch with Barbara Broccoli, and not all of them were cast. Brigitte Nielsen comes to mind. Most of the casting on Bond films comes a few weeks before filming, and in some cases even during filming. Take a look at our section, Almost Acted and Sung, for a long list of actors and actresses who auditioned, had lunch with, met the producers or were approached about starring and for some reason or another did not. The chances of Gretchen Mol being cast this far in advance of the film, without a script, are remote.

Bond 20 Rumors Send Fans Into Frenzy

In the absence of any official word from EON or MGM about the state of production on the next Bond flick, the rumor mill, which was quite dormant for a while, has exploded with a vengenance the past few weeks.

The latest rumor, which was posted on a well known entertainment gossip website, involved the supposed return of Bruce Feirstein to script writing duties with a story that dealt with a “money scam”. This sent the fans into a foaming frenzy(an issue we will get to shortly) both pro and con. Where ever your sympathies fall on this issue, you can relax. Bruce Feirstein is NOT, I repeat NOT writing Bond 20. Not only is he not writing the film, but it has absolutely nothing to do with a “money scam” as alleged elsewhere, nor is it going to be based on any rough drafts or first drafts of other scripts written by Feirstein, as Cinescape`s website claimed several weeks ago. Mr. Feirstein has told 007Forever that he is in possession of any and all drafts, scripts, notes, etc…relating to his work in the Bond series and EON is not adapting old work and has no plans to.

As we mentioned a few weeks ago when we told you that Judi Dench was still “M” (a fact officially confirmed last week by EON at www.jamesbond.com) and that the title was not BEYOND THE ICE, we don`t reprint or link to rumors, particulalry those that are recycled, patently or obviously false, or those that originate from tabloids. Major news outlets and other Bond websites that should`ve known better chose to run or link to those scurrilous stories and then never bothered to issue a retraction when they were proven wrong. So why did we mention the Bruce Feirstein rumor? Three reasons: #1 To tell you that it was wrong #2 To tell you why it was wrong and #3 To set our policy on reporting news and information regarding the next James Bond film.

Not only was the rumor offbase, but the person proffering this supposed tidbit of news had his facts all wrong. He was either a complete idiot who knew nothing about how the Bond series is produced or had no style (anyone who thinks Renny Harlin is a “genius” needs to have their head checked). The bottom line here is that 007Forever is not going to track down every crackpot rumor to find out if it is true or not. We don`t have the time for it, and since most don`t pan out anyway, it would be an incredible waste of our time and yours. If we mention it on our site, in our newsletter, or on our message boards, you can be reasonably certain that it is the truth. If you hear a rumor but we`ve not mentioned it anywhere on the site it is because we know it to be false. Who would know better what is going on with the state of production on a Bond film than a website completely devoted to James Bond? Think about it.

So where does the production stand? Despite what other sites may be telling you, here are the cold, hard facts: Robert Wade and Neal Purvis are the writers but they have, as yet, turned in no script and no draft and from what we have been told, they have no story idea(s) from which to develop a script. In other words, there is little to no movement regarding a script right now.

The title is NOT, I repeat, NOT BEYOND THE ICE. There is NO TITLE. The film can`t be partially set in Alaska when there is no script, right? They could only plan a stunt to be filmed there…

Edward Woodward is NOT, I repeat, NOT replacing Judi Dench as “M” and for that matter Gretchen Mol has NOT been cast as a Bond Girl. No casting decisions have been made at this time.

The film is not about a “money scam”. No script, no draft, no nothing has been sent to directors John McTiernan, Danny Boyle, Stephen Herak or Anthony Minghella. In fact, Michael Apted IS, I repeat, IS The Director on record for the next film.

If it sounds like we are a bit weary of all these rumors running around, you are right. The Internet has created a society of webheads who have developed a bloodlust for the latest little bit of gossip, rumor or innuendo about the next Bond film, regardless of how far fetched or stupid it is. We now live in a culture that wants its information like it wants its Big Mac: fast, easy, quick, convenient and totally disposable.

The next Bond film is at least 1 year away from filming and at least 2 years away from hitting theaters. There will be plenty of time to track the latest goings on from the set of the next Bond film (a set we intend to visit). So between now and then, we are just going to relax, enjoy ourselves, and look at all the other fascinating aspects of the James Bond universe.

Bond 20 Breakdown

TITLE: Unknown
RELEASE DATE: November 15th, 2002 (US); NOVEMBER 22nd, 2002 (UK)
STARRING: Pierce Brosnan (007); Judi Dench (M); Samantha Bond (Moneypenny); John Cleese (R)
PLOT: Unknown
LOCATIONS: Unknown
WRITER(S): Robert Wade and Neal Purvis until otherwise announced.
DIRECTOR: Michael Apted until otherwise announced.

SUMMARY: Despite a flurry of gossip and unsubstantiated rumor, there isn`t much going on with the latest James Bond film. The real information to be gotten about the film will begin next year when pre-production on the film begins.

What will Bond drive? British magazine HEAT is reporting that EON has signed a deal with Ford to feature a new Aston Martin in the next Bond pic, with their product expected to quadruple on the heels of the deal. Ford thought they had a deal to feature the DB7 in Goldeneye, and even a promotional tape was shown to fans at the Los Angeles Creation Bond Convention in 1994, but the studio used BMW instead. Conventional wisdom has it that the producing team of Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson is unwilling to part ways with the kind of money BMW is offering simply for the sentimental factor that Bond driving an Aston Martin brings to the film; a point well taken.

To submit information or make corrections to this page, please email Icebreaker.

Aston Martin Among Fastest Cars

Bond’s new Aston has been picked among the top ten fastest cars of 2002.

The Vantage and Vanquish are close to the V8 American GT coupes last built in the 60’s. With a 4,115-pound 2+2 propelled by a supercharged 420-hp V-12…And a 6-speed manual transmission…You shoot to 60 m.p.h. in under five seconds flat…With the top down and the aroma of the finest hand-stitched leather wafting into your nostrils.

The aptly named 460-hp Vanquish is $228,000 US for the ultimate Aston Martin. The Vanquish delivers an F1-style 6-speed transmission as in some Ferraris shifted via electro-hydraulic actuators. There’s no third pedal on the floor. Gear changes are made by tapping paddles up and down, as on the Ferrari 360 Modena.

Thanks to Creators Syndicate, Inc.

A View To A Role

Ever wished you were the Producer of the Bond films? Or the Director? Even in charge of Casting? Ever seen an actor or actress that you thought was just perfect for a role in a future Bond movie? Well, we have, and we`ve come up with a few choices of our own. The easy choices are the obvious ones; people like Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta Jones are always being mentioned as fan favorites. But we`ve opted to present a few people whom you may have not considered before. And we like feedback as well. So email us with your picks, or leave your choices in the message board, and if agree with ideas, we may feature your actor or actress in a future segment.

Sarah Douglas is probably one of the hardest working actresses in sci-fi today. And she`s got the resume to prove it. Sarah may best be known for her wickedly entertaining performance as Ursa in Superman II, but she`s also taken on other big name projects. She played the evil Queen Taramis in Conan: The Destroyer opposite Arnold Shwarzenegger and future Bond henchwoman Grace Jones. She played ne`er do well Pamela Lynch on the popular prime time American soap Falcon Crest, going head to head with Jane Wyman and David Selby. She played yet another villain of the alien sort in V: The Final Battle. Recently she has appeared in the television series Stargate SG-1 as well as voice over work for Batman Beyond. She`d be perfect in a Rosa Klebb/Irma Bunt type role, complementing the lead villain. That she`s British is also a bonus.

Udo Kier would be the perfect choice for the role of lead Bond villain and for several reasons. To begin with, there are usually international casts involved with every Bond film, and Udo hails from Germany. He`s played villains in several different films, yet is not typecast with one role (such as Anthony Hopkins with the Hannibal Lecter role). He has a cult following which would love to see him in a large role in such a prestigious film series such as the Bond movies. He has the aura of a wealthy billionaire industrialist found often in the Bond films (Auric Goldfinger and Max Zorin come to mind). In fact, Kier played a wealthy industrialist of dubious intentions in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. His other notable American film appearances have included My Own Private Idaho with Keanu Reeves, Blade with Wesley Snipes, and Barbed Wire with Pamela Anderson Lee.

Kylie Travis is the Editor`s Choice for the secondary Bond girl role customarily found in the films. She`s not as well known as our other choices, but she`s got the essential qualities that would make her a perfect casting choice. She`s beautiful, which is always a must. But she`s also got the intangibles; the things you can`t always get from reading a resume. Her most notable work was for two Darren Star productions: Models, Inc. and Central Park West. While neither shows were going to win her Emmy`s, they did prove she`s capable of playing the kind of sexy, provocative, complex women that can be a thorn in a man`s side role that James Bond usually encounters in his mission. She`s from Sydney, Australia as her accent bears out. Her casting would be even more perfect if the next movie were set in the overwhelming fan choice of Australia (hint, hint).

Halle Berry is the Editor`s Choice for the role of the next lead Bond Woman. There are several reasons for this decision. First and foremost, she`s stunningly beautiful. But she can also act, a fact proven by her having recently been nominated for a Golden Globe award from the movie The Dorothy Dandridge Story. She`s played a sexpot villainess before, as personal assistant Sharon Stone, in the film The Flintstones, a role originally written for, none other than, Sharon Stone. Her inclusion in a future Bond film could potentially expand the fanbase towards the “black audience”, who may feel ambivalent right now about a white English spy going around saving the world in a tux. Halle is a major movie star with a large fan following, whose interest would surely be piqued by the news that she was going to be a Bond Woman. She could conceivably draw in the young teen male crowd that Denise Richards was able to do so well. While there *might* be concern about a black female in the lead role, there really shouldn`t be. Her previous roles have shown race is no problem in casting her. She played “Jean”, a flight attendant and Kurt Russell`s romantic interest in Executive Decision. She`s cozied up to Warren Beatty in Bullworth, Kyle Maclachlan and John Goodman in The Flintstones, Jimmy Smits in Solomon and Sheba, Timothy Daly in Queen and Eric Thal in The Wedding. While we`ve had black women before in the Bond films, they`ve generally been henchwomen such as Thumper and Mayday, inept double agents such as Rosie Carver, or mistaken for prostitutes like Liz (Leiter`s agent in The Living Daylights). While we`re not politically correct bean counters here, we would like to see *some* changes made. Come on EON. You tried once by writing the role of Solitaire for a black woman. Give it another shot! Halle will next be seen in the big budget adventure film The X-Men as Storm alongside Bond alumni Famke Janssen as Jean Grey.

While it may be a bit early to be looking around for the next James Bond, may we suggest John Barrowman for your consideration? At 33, he`s in a great position to take over the film series after Brosnan, bringing in a youthful take on the character of 007. That he looks a bit like Tom Cruise doesn`t hurt either. He`s immensely talented, and Scottish to.

John is currently playing the `Beast` in Disney`s `Beauty & the Best` at the Dominion Theatre in London`s West End. John received a Laurence Olivier Award Nomination as `Best Actor in a Musical` in Sam Mendes` premiere production of `The Fix` at the Donmar Warehouse. He recently won the Backstage West Garland Award in Los Angeles for his role in Sondeim`s `Putting it Together` at the Mark Taper Forum. John played Joe Gillis in the acclaimed London production of `Sunset Boulevard` at the Adelphi Theatre opposite Betty Buckley, rejoining her for his Broadway debut in the Minskoff Theatre Production. His Alex in the Irish production of `Aspects Of Love` was followed by Che in a spectacular production of `Evita` at the 6,000 seat Spektrum Arena in Oslo. John took the leading role of Peter Fairchild in the CBS network TV series `Central Park West` have previously played Brandon in the Patrick Hamilton suspense play `Rope` at the Minerva Theatre at the Chichester Festival. Born in Glasgow where he spent his early years, John moved with his family to the States and later studied Musical Theatre at the US International University in San Diego, California. On returning to the UK, John immediately landed the starring role opposite Elaine Paige in `Anything Goes` at the Prince Edward Theatre. He then played Chris in `Miss Saigon` followed by the title role in the musical `Matador` opposite Stephanie Powers at The Queen`s Theatre, then Raoul in `Phantom of the Opera` at Her Majesty`s Theatre. He starred as Claude in the 25th anniversary London revival of `Hair` at the Old Vic Theatre before resuming the role of Chris in `Miss Saigon` at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Recordings include cast albums of `The Fix` for First Night Records and `Hair` for EMI, all star cast albums of `Godspell` and `The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber` for TER Recods, selections from `Matador` for Sony, Red Red Rose a concept album, Danny Zuko on a `Grease` album for TER and `John Barrowman – Aspects of Lloyd Webber`, a special 6 track CD on the JAY label.

As well as giving many live concert performances, John has broadcast in concert for the BBC in `The Magic of the Musicals` from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (with Claire Moore), for `National Music day` (with Betty Buckley) and a concert version of `Call Me Madam (with Tyne Daly). He performed the lead role in `Red Red Rose` at the International Musical of the Year in Denmark, also released on CD and video. John was a regular presenter on `Live and Kicking` (BBC TV) on which he then presented `Electric Circus`. He hosted two series and two Christmas Specials of `The Movie Game`, also for BBC Television. He also presented `5`s Company`, a weekday magazine programme for Channel 5.—Biography courtesy of The John Barrowman Fan Club.

On Site: Inside Stage 007!

In 1976, EON (Everything or Nothing) Productions began work on the tenth James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, their most ambitious effort to that date (estimated budget: $30 million).

No strangers to inventing wholly new exploits for the seemingly invincible 007, EON would this time do so at the behest of Bond`s creator, Ian Fleming; sensing that the source novel was not his best, Fleming licensed only the title and characters.

Borrowing heavily from You Only Live Twice [1967]–indeed, central villain Sigmund Stromberg [Curt Jurgens] was originally scripted as S.P.E.C.T.R.E. chieftain Ernst Stavro Blofeld–the resulting globe-trotting tale also tapped into the prevailing détente of the time as it follows Britain`s MI5 super-agent, James Bond (“Saintly” Roger Moore), and Russia`s seductive KGB operative, Anya Amasova (sensational Barbara Bach), as they cooperate to investigate the separate disappearances of their countries` respective nuclear submarines, Ranger and Potemkin.

Inspired by media revelations regarding the Howard Hughes-sponsored Glomar Explorer–outwardly a marine research vessel later revealed to conceal apparatus designed expressly for the covert recovery of a downed Soviet nuclear sub–Stromberg`s base of operations would be the Liparus, at first glance one of the largest oil tankers in the world (“After the Karl Marx, of course,” interjects Agent XXX.), but in reality housing a labyrinth of quays, holding cells, arsenal, control center and more, all conveniently traversed by dual elevators and twin, superconductive monorails.

Responsibility for both the concept and design fell upon renowned production designer Ken Adam. The clarity and single-mindedness of Adam`s vision is readily apparent; with the exception of the huge, illuminated control room globe, the set as realized is nearly identical to even his earliest sketches. Like his design for the Fort Knox bullion vaults of Goldfinger [1964], (for which Adam would receive his second BAFTA nomination), the Liparus seems wholly convincing no matter how impractical the reality of such a space–as evidenced by the near swamping of the sixty-three foot, twelve-ton “miniature” tanker on its shakedown cruise. As a nod to the unique look of … Spy … , Adam garnered a third Academy Award® nomination.

Having no desire to duplicate the impressive but decidedly wasteful effort required for a free-standing set along the lines of the volcano showcased in …Twice –the obvious progenitor of the submarine pens–there was nonetheless just one problem with Adam`s vision: no existing facility–aircraft hangars and warehouses included–could contain it. Producer Albert R. (“Cubby”) Broccoli`s solution: Build one. Thus ground was broken by Michael Brown–an architect with the Delta Doric Company–at famed Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath just outside London, England, in April 1976 for what came to be called the “007 Stage.” While others may make similar claims (for example, Streets of Fire [1982] boasted the largest “covered” set), the 007 Stage remains the largest fully enclosed, “silent” soundstage in the world, so big, in fact, fans must be employed to clear the fog that sometimes forms at its center.

German-born Adam, then 55, later observed:

The volcano was easier for me in a way because it was a completely imaginary concept. Nobody has seen the inside of a volcano. But here I was stuck with a supertanker. Basically that is very dull. *1

But he approached the job with fresh, unbiased thinking, choosing not to base his ideation on any existing maritime architecture plans.

I prefer to go that way. I know quite a lot about boats. These gigantic tankers are divided into individual compartments–bulkheads–where they store the fuel. I almost counter-designed against the hold of a tanker. *2

In order to meet the film`s deadline, the set and stage would be built almost simultaneously, with construction crews from Specialist Builders enclosing each section of the outer shell only after major corresponding components of the Liparus were in place. In some ways the Liparus was little more than a dressing applied to the interior walls of the stage and for this reason the one-time Klaus Adam focused on structural elements that could remain in place once filming ended. Final cost of the soundstage alone: approximately £600,000 (slightly more than one million in 1976 dollars).

A star in its own right, shooting on the “Jonah” set–the biblical nickname proffered by cast and crew–commenced in November, 1976. (On 5 December, then Prime Minister Sir Harold Lloyd conducted a ribbon-cutting for the press.) Though the submarine pens clearly made good use of a pre-existing 1.2 million-gallon tank, a newly added secondary tank allowed for full-size sinkings and other large-scale water effects. A mobile out-building at the north end of the stage allowed the Liparus bow doors to swing open while artful camera angles prevented audiences from seeing nearby Black Park and the otherwise landlocked truth of the locale.

Wishing to avoid the flat, harsh appearance of …Twice`s volcano, Ken Adam sought-out … Spy`s … cinematographer, Claude Renoir, grandson of famed impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir. Privately, Renoir made a sad confession: his eyesight failing, he could not make out the farther reaches of the set. Rather than further embarrass Renoir, the infamous director of another of Adam`s award-winning efforts, Dr.Strangelove [1963], was quietly consulted. Though the late Stanley Kubrick employed specialists on his own films, he was widely regarded as a master technician himself, having devised a variety of new methods for such landmark efforts as 2001:a space odyssey [1968] (on which Adam had declined the production designer`s post). Kubrick`s suggestion upon spending a long Sunday afternoon on the set? Incorporate functional lighting directly into the Liparus, greatly reducing the need for the enormous, glaring arc lights normally associated with filming in a large space. (Some twenty years later, Kubrick would embark on a more protracted stay in Stage 007 while directing Eyes Wide Shut.)

As luck would have it, that winter was one of the coldest on record in the UK, forcing cast and crew to don parkas and anoraks whenever the cameras weren`t actually rolling; in many scenes the actors` breath is clearly visible. Beyond near-freezing temperatures, on many days the production also had to contend with food, costumes, and make-up for nearly 600 extras. Further, any players issued fire arms were subject to strict safety regulations, notably the surrendering and inspection of hundreds of blank-firing–and, therefore, hazardous–Sten guns at every break in filming, including meals.

One final concession to reality was both budgetary and aesthetic: while a modern supertanker could indeed conceal a nuclear submarine averaging 600 feet in length, the resulting set would have rendered the actors and extras mere flyspecks. Adam instead reduced the subs to five-eighths scale, making the set more manageable both visually and financially.

Filming proceeded smoothly into the new year with only one serious mishap: during the climactic battle sequence, pyrotechnics accidentally ignited a portion of the control room. Only Adam`s precious fiberglass globe was significantly damaged though, despite heavy security, uniformed extras apparently made-off with a number of television monitors and other bits of set dressing during the evacuation procedure. The Liparus interiors ultimately wrapped on 26 January 1977.

While industry wags questioned the necessity of such a space, the 007 Stage has been in constant use since its completion, playing host to both the Superman and Indiana Jones series as well as later Bond entries. One of many advantages to utilizing the 007 Stage is that large scale “exteriors” (such as Batman`s [1989] Gotham City) can be built without thought to weather or the other uncertainties usually associated with filming on an outdoor lot or location.

As director Ridley Scottfilmed Legend, a far more calamitous fire erupted during the lunch hour on 27 June 1984, this time burning the stage to the ground. Rechristened the “Albert R. Broccoli Stage” on 7 January 1985 at the suggestion of Pinewood general manager Cyril Howard, the entire structure was miraculously rebuilt–with added fire safety features and additional square footage, again under the supervision of Michael Brown–in under five months, just in time for “Operation Main Strike” sequences of A View to a Kill [1985], the fourteenth Bond epic. New price tag: £1,000,000.

**The model of the Liparus shown in cutaway and revealing its superstructure was one hit of the Bond Weekend `99 in Las Vegas. Alan explains this collectible`s provenance–Matt Sherman

“The model was obtained by proxy at the Christie`s South Kensington [London] auction of James Bond memorabilia in September 1998, given a custom-fitted shipping crate by the neighboring firm of Cadagon-Tate, and delivered to the United States in mid-October by Federal Express.

The exact purpose of the miniature (Lot #95) is unknown. From footage included in the Mass Communications & Society film study series, director Lewis Gilbert can be seen with production designer Ken Adam discussing the various camera positions and cast movements using a somewhat larger though less detailed mock-up.

Christie`s claim that the model is a fan effort seems unfounded; a Bond devotee would likely havebeen more careful with the finish and added greater detail. The replica`s quality is closer to that which you would expect from an architectural firm. The probable explanation, then, is that the diorama was created by either EON, Pinewood, or both for the purposes of promoting The Spy Who Loved Me to potential exhibitors. That is, it was an expensive means of saying, “Look, look at what we`ve done here! How could you not want to show a film for which we`ve gone to such lengths?!”

The model was put-up for auction by a Mark Bamford having originally obtained it from a colleague who dealt directly with Pinewood Studios about 1977. Regrettably, said colleague passed away in 1988, thus no further information is available.

Contact with Bamford was coordinated by Sarah Hodgson of Christie`s South Kensington.

The miniature furnishings–such as Stromberg`s custom chair and console–as well as the over 100 figures–each taking approximately one hour to prepare (including, in many cases, sculpting their beret) and paint–were added in Winter 2000.

The sequence being filmed in the control room–Bond`s confrontation of Stromberg; their second such meeting–was shot on 13 December 1976, Curt Jurgen`s birthday.”

1* “Ken Adam: 007`s Designer,” Starlog, 9 (October 1977), p. 22. 2* Ibid.

–Alan D. Stephenson is one host of the annual Bond Collectors` Weekends, meeting this year in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is one of the leading 007 memorabilia collectors worldwide, and has been building his collection for 30 years. His 1998 museum show in California featured outstanding examples from his treasure trove…one of the largest 007 collections in the world.

Cross-Cultural Bonds: Seeing “Red”

“James Bond lives in a nightmarish world where laws are written at the point of a gun, where coercion and rape is considered valour and murder is a funny trick. All this is designed to teach people to accept the antics of American marines somewhere in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam or Her Majesty`s Intelligence agents in Hong Kong and Aden. Bond`s job is to guard the interests of the property class, and he is no better than the youths Hitler boasted he would bring up like wild beasts to be able to kill without thinking.

His creator is Ian Fleming, who poses as The Times correspondent in Russia in 1939 but was in truth a spy for the capitalist nations. Although he is now dead, James Bond cannot be allowed to die because he teaches those sent to kill in Vietnam, the Congo, the Dominican Republica and many other places.

It is no accident that sham agents of the Soviet counter-intelligence, represented in caricature form, invariably figure in the role of Bond`s opponents, because Bond kills right and left the men Fleming wanted to kill – Russians, Reds and Yellows. Bond is portrayed as a sort of white archangel destroying the impure races.

The Bond cult started in 1963 when the American leader, President Kennedy, unsuspecting that some American hero with the right to kill would shoot him, too, declared that Fleming`s books were his bedside reading.

As if by magic wand, everything changed. The mighty forces of reaction immediately gave the green light to Fleming. And in James Bond he has created a symbol of the civilisation which has used bombs to drown the voice of conscience.

The men and women who allow their talents to be used in the making of films about the exploits of this man are also guilty of furthering the shameful aims of the Western capitalists.”

… Above by Yuri Zhukov, from the Russiannewspaper Pravda, September 30, 1965

A real top-secret agent from a Western Power could penetrate the Iron Curtain, but not a fictitious character. The Soviet propaganda machine had an eagle eye, andthe notorious James Bond was banned in Russia. Things didn`t change when James Bond appeared on the world`s screens, even though the movie Bond was more politically correct (after all, in the film FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, Bond`s opponents are not Russians, and Rosa Klebb, a traitor, betrays her own country). It didn`t change either when Sean Connery became involved in the American-Russian movie THE RED TENT (1969) or even when James Bond worked together with the Russian female spy Anya Amasova in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977). The ice hadn`t broken yet.

Occasional articles – similar to Zhukov`s – appeared in the Soviet media attacking Bond. In 1979 Soviet film critic Anna Marynova wrote in the Soviet weekly Literaturnaya Gazeta after seeing MOONRAKER that, “Although the Bond plots had changed in complexion since such openly anti-Soviet movies as FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE in the early 1960s, they still answer the dictates of bourgeois ideologists. […] “Moonraker” continues the tradition of all 11 Bondmania films, it has not only the cosmic but also the earthy values of mass culture – namely sex, violence and super-individualism.” She added that the Bond films have made approximately $500 million in “pure profit”, and that “It is the unlimited stupidity of James Bond films that explains their vitality.” Bulgarian critics and authors wrote essays about Western thrillers. But if you`d read AVAKOUM ZAKHOV VS. 07, which I have, you`d understand that even there, in the satellite Socialist countries, Soviet propaganda didn`t sleep then either.

It`s not entirely correct to say that the Bond films were completely banned in Russia. In fact, they could be shown in the Kremlin. You can`t deny that some high-ranking members of the Communist Party could love the Bond movies. It`s now commonly known that Yuri Andropov (ex-Chairman of the KGB & ex-Leader of the USSR) actually enjoyed the Bond films and preferred watching them in his personal Kremlin cinema-theatre. High-ranking members of the Communist Party could order any desired movie. Moreover, the Soviet Union, eager for a cash infusion of Hollywood money in Russia, officially invited Broccoli in April 1975 hoping that he and other American producers would film in Russia. Broccoli had always wanted to make a Bond film in the Soviet Union, especially given the title of his next film: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. According to Broccoli`s biography, When The Snow Melts, Broccoli brought a copy of THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN for a special American Embassy screening – the American ambassador`s wife hosted the evening – which high-ranking Russian officials, including KGB members, attended. Broccoli claims that the Soviet officials “looked with some envy at the high artistic and technological quality of the production.” The Russians wanted Broccoli to make a film there… but not a Bond film. Dr Edward A. Aikazian, Council of Ministers for Science and Technology, explained that the USSR wasn`t ready for Bond`s decadent brand-name capitalist lifestyle. The President of Sovinfilm, Otar V. Teneishvili, and Broccoli discussed potential film projects including *The Cowboy and the Cossack*, however Warners had held a previous interest in the project, so Broccoli turned it down. They also wanted Broccoli to make a film about John Reed, the American communist who was buried in the Kremlin, however Broccoli wasn`t interested and declined. Warren Beatty eventually made the film: REDS. However, Broccoli was pleased to learn that Soviet filmmakers were so impressed with GOLDFINGER that Soviet film schools used that film to train future film directors.

Of course, certain Soviet people thought differently about Western culture – and of Bond – and they were the ones with some connection to the West, who had the right to travel abroad, and who were publishers and who seriously studied English. Someone would dare smuggle English paperbacks through customs, and others had the luck to get and read them; of course Fleming`s novels were among those paperbacks. Some of these people were surprised to discover that James Bond was a different fellow from the one Soviet propaganda constantly derided. A Russian critic, in his introduction to a Russian edition of a Fleming novel, described his first impression of James Bond. A friend of his once gave him a battered paperback. The book was in terrible condition and didn`t have a cover with the title. When he read it he decided his friend was mistaken. At first, he couldn`t believe that such a funny and non-serious novel was a plot of the notorious Ian Fleming – “an ex-spy and infamous anti-Soviet thriller-writer”. His friend assured him that it was an authentic Fleming novel: FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE.

One must clearly understand the Soviet censorship situation. A foreign-language novel deemed “Anti-Soviet” was a real hot thing on your hands. If you had enemies, they could skillfully use your having such literature to get you a one-way ticket to Siberia, or even an asylum.

What were “anti-Soviet” novels? Novels containing passages that propagandise an anti-Soviet way of life. A foreign modern novel could have been published if it criticised the “American way of life” or didn`t have any anti-Soviet ideas. You could get neutral novels by Agatha Christie, James Hadley Chase, Arthur Clark and Alistair MacLean. THE GUNS OF NAVARONE was a real hit, though Russian editors made slight plot changes.

The same thing happened with foreign movies and music groups. People very often compared “Bond bums” to “Beatles bums”.

Up to the mid 70s, rock-bands such as THE BEATLESDEEP PURPLELED ZEPPELINet al, weren`t banned. You just couldn`t buy or sell their albums at music-shops. Nevertheless, the albums were constantly smuggled into Russia, and you could get them illegally at flea-markets (tolkouchka). People who sold such things risked more than you.

FYI: once upon a time, in order to circumvent the law, a Russian record-company did release The Beatles` single GIRL, but had to write the following comment on the vinyl cover: an English folklore song.

Then in the mid 70s the censorship committee composed the black-list of banned groups that were supposed to “propagandise an anti-Soviet way of life”. Oddly, this list included mainly rock-bands such as AC/DC (Just imagine, Angus Young – an anti-Soviet saboteur! LOL!), METALLICAMANOWARKISS and PINK FLOYD. The reasons were sometimes ridiculous. PINK FLOYD wasn`t banned until they mentioned the name Brezhnev (then leader of the USSR) in a song.

I`ve intentionally mentioned the foreign-music problem. Radio-waves could penetrate the Iron Curtain, no matter how hard Soviet special radio-stations tried countering them. The BBC had the Russian language program SEVAOBOROT. Some Russians, whose radios could receive the BBC, heard that democratic program plus good world music. Seva Novgorodtsev narrated the program. He`s very notable. I`m sure every Bond-fan knows his face: he was the helicopter pilot in A VIEW TO A KILL`s pre-title sequence. (Seva still works for the Russian BBC channel and even has his own web-site: www.seva.ru – it`s a Russian-language site, but you can see his picture on the front page.)

Legal foreign music generally meant composers from satellite Socialist country, Italian and French bands and singers. Ditto foreign movies. Everybody knew French and Italian comedies with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Pierre Richard and Andriano Celentano. But censorship was tough: erotic and over-cruel action scenes had to be cut. Sometimes translators could even change the dialogue`s meaning. Some of the movies, such as THE MAGNIFICENT ONE (1973, starring Belmondo), which I strongly recommend, and RETURN OF THE TALL BLOND MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE (1974, Pierre Richard), were partly James Bond pastiches, but Russian audiences didn`t get the jokes about Bond because they hadn`t seen the Bond films.

After all, James Bond was supposed to be a communist enemy. He <i>is</i> a communist enemy. Who would permit such a hero to exist in a communist country?

The situation changed slightly in the early 80s, when the first VCRs appeared in the USSR. Those with enough money to buy VCRs finally had the opportunity to watch Hollywood movies at home. The first wave of videocassettes changed hands. It was illegal of course, and there were no movie-shops. The legal video market hadn`t yet begun. (Oddly enough, Russian movies began appearing on video only in the 90s, after the USSR fell.) But you can`t say it was the beginning of the video-piracy era. It would begin later, after Gorbachev`s perestroyka. In the early 80s videocassettes of movies labelled “Anti-Soviet” were the proverbial forbidden fruit. Several men would translate movies, (using various means to distort their voices), copy and disperse them among friends, who in turn would share them with their friends. But one had to be careful, since in those days, the word friend was similar to the term friend in John Gardner`s Bond novels. Your trusted “friend” could easily frame you. Being a KGB informer was a very popular career and way of making money. Informers were usually people who had been caught by the KGB and were now forced to work for them.

There were rumours that city streets were occasionally hit by KGB vans equipped with special scanners that could intercept a video-signal from a working VCR.

However, lucky people finally met fictional characters like Emmanuele, John Rambo, Indiana Jones, Dirty Harry, Darth Vader, Freddie Kruger, various ninjas, the real-life Bruce Lee and… James Bond. But after his eh… “confrontations” with Soviet soldiers in OCTOPUSSY, he continued to be banned.

I`ve mentioned Emmanuele on purpose. Bearing in mind tough censorship, you can imagine that such movies as Emmanuele were real bombs. Since there was no law concerning erotic and pornographic films, Emmanuele and 9 1/2 Weeks and some XXX-rated movies meant jail.

Then Gorbachev came on the scene, and the era of perestroyka and glasnost began. People tasted the air of freedom. In the late 80s, small private firms, the first video-saloons and video-kiosks began appearing.

Generally, video-saloons were rooms for approximately 50 people, with several rows of chairs, one VCR and several TVs plugged in parallel. A ticket cost 1 rouble. As a rule, video-saloons were in cinemas, big railroad stations and airports.

I sawmy first BOND movie at a video-saloon. It was DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. I was thirteen then. I had already known about James Bond from an Atari 130 computer game, but Ian Fleming`s name meant nothing to me. Nevertheless, the movie fascinated me, though I didn`t quite get the complicated story. Frankly, the plot of Diamonds Are Forever still puzzles me and I can`t say that it`s my favourite Bond film. It seems to me, that during production, the movie-crew indeed didn`t smoke tobacco, but something else. But it`s still my FIRST Bond movie, which makes it special.

In the early 90s, when Russian cinematography was almost dead, VHS-projectors were installed in some cinemas. The picture was projected onto the movie-screen. Audiences got bigger. As for video-kiosks, you could buy or order any desired movie. 1 cassette – 2 X 90min movies, or 1 X 120min movie + some clips or cartoons, mainly, TOM & JERRY. And erotica, of course. Prices varied because of constant inflation.

Video-piracy? Hard to say. One must remember that the <i>legal</i> video-market still hadn`t yet begun.

Around 1990, Fleming`snovels and short stories were published, generally in omnibus editions (2 in 1). Short stories were published discretely. In the beginning, I couldn`t tell which story was in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY or OCTOPUSSY. In some editions in those days, passages mentioning Russians villains were omitted. Some editions contained wrong information about Fleming. Some translations were very bad.

My first introduction into the world of the literary James Bond was the short story FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. The title was translated as An Eye For An EyeDR. NO was the first Bond novel I read.

Interestingly enough, COLONEL SUN was also published, but as far as I know, Pearson, Wood`s and all but one of Gardner`s novels haven`t, nor have THRILLING CITIES THE DIAMOND SMUGGLERS or CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG.

Nevertheless, people finally met the most famous British secret agent – James Bond, and the pleasure was all theirs, I presume: the word “copyright” was a very abstract thing then, and I`m not sure that GLIDROSE knows about these editions. Mind you, in Russia, the word “copyright” is still an abstract thing…

Time was running. 1991. USSR ceased to exist. Democracy began. Censorship virtually ceased to exist. Music fans finally saw their idols METALLICA and AC/DC live at Tushino in Moscow. Video-saloons and video-kiosks didn`t disappear. It`s possible that video-saloons existed until about 1993-94. (In 1991, my father bought a VCR and I stopped visiting video-saloons.) At the same time, a big Russian company started selling legal video-cassettes, but the movies recorded on those cassettes weren`t the best Hollywood blockbusters. Personally I didn`t buy them. However, various video-kiosks (pirates) continued to sell such movies as THE TERMINATORFIRST BLOODCOBRACOMMANDO and various BOND movies, mainly, the latest ones (with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton). And of course, I bought them.

1995. Tanks have hit St. Petersburg`s streets. Another revolution? In a way, yes: James Bond, driving a tank, in St. Petersburg, at last. Unfortunately, the advertising campaign wasn`t great, and I missed that moment and didn`t see the movie-crew shoot the new Bond film. This will make me sad forever, because I know that such a moment will never happen again.

I saw GOLDENEYE in late December of 1995. It was a kamernaja version – a pirate copy made by video-camera in some English or American cinema-theater. You can buy such pirate copies of any movie, even today. It`s supposed to be illegal, but authorities turn a blind eye. In Russia, where the most daring thieves can actually make a train “disappear” (unlike the magician David Copperfield who can only do it on a set), the government doesn`t have enough time to deal with intellectual property theft. I don`t believe that video-piracy will soon disappear. The Russian Mafia stands behind it because it`s very profitable. People don`t care about copyright. They`d just say: “screw copyright” (nasrat nam na eti avtorskie prava) and buy a cheap illegal cassette at a video-kiosk.

In the same year, I began studying English hard and read Gardner`s THE MAN FROM BARBAROSSA. In the West, this novel is considered to be one of his worst, yet I think it`s one of his funniest and most daring. Yes, it`s complicated and somewhat weak, but in this novel, James Bond works in Russia for the KGB! Together with Mossad! And uncovers a conspiracy against Gorbachev. It`s great! I still can`t believe it was published in April 1991, long before the real unsuccessful conspiracy against Gorbachev… which happened in August that year!

In 1995, Russian commercial cinematography began to rise and make movies that could beat Hollywood`s. Of course they weren`t action movies, they were cheap – but good – comedies and dramas.

1996. Two Russian book-companies republished Fleming`s novels. Translations (some bad ones) were the same as in 1990. One of those editions some had blatantly ridiculous facts in Fleming`s brief bio: I`m deeply suspicious that whoever was responsible mixed Ian Fleming and Joan Fleming`s bios! I`m not kidding.

Still, there was no THE DIAMOND SMUGGLERS (which I read in the original edition), THRILLING CITIES or CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, and I`m not sure that they`ll be published in the near future.

TOMORROW NEVER DIES had a greater advertising campaign than GOLDENEYE. In 1997, old-fashioned illegal omnibus video-cassettes (2 movies in 1) almost stopped existing. Why buy them when you could buy a good legal copy in fancy cover? But you could (and still can) buy a cheap illegal video-cassette in fancy-cover. I saw Tomorrow Never Dies long before the official St. Petersburg premiere. It was a kamernaja version.

During `97-98, the first cinema-theaters got Dolby Surround sound systems. Until then, movies had mono sound.

In the same year, a Russian book company published GOLDENEYE. It`s still the only non-Fleming, non-Amis Bond novel published in Russia, however, so far as I know, Benson`s The World Is Not Enough will soon be published here.

In early December of 1999, I saw The World Is Not Enough. It was a kamernaja version again; the official premiere wasn`t until January 6th, 2000. The advertising campaign is even greater. Russian MTV (it began in 1998) constantly shows the GARBAGE single, though not as often by month`s end. The official Russian web-site of The World Is Not Enough started some time ago.

The advertising campaign is great, but not as great as it is in the West. The Russian market doesn`t thoroughly use the BOND cult yet: there are no such things as BOND toys or BOND comics for children, Bondish watches, Bondish cars or other merchandise. Maybe it`s for the better. I think the Bond market has spoiled movie Bond, because, frankly, I think The World Is Not Enough is a disaster and wasn`t worth its mad advertising campaign: BOND shirts, BOND shoes, BOND pens, BOND chips, BOND toilet paper, etc.

So here`s the picture. There are many Bond fans in Russia. Indeed, certain people idolize James Bond. There are several Russian web-sites dedicated to 007. Every keen Bond-fan has probably already seen The World Is Not Enough on the big screen and will buy the legal video-cassette with good translation (Tomorrow Never Dies had excellent translation) as soon as it`s released. However, the Soviet propaganda machine`s damage is done: several generations have been deprived of James Bond. To my parents, the James Bond movies are the lost piece of their childhood and youth they`ve finally found. In Russia, there aren`t any people Raymond Benson or Pierce Brosnan`s age who saw GOLDFINGER as children. A Bond fan in the street can only buy two of the non-Fleming Bond novels in Russian. Though I can read in English, even obtaining the British editions is difficult.

Having said that, I don`t believe it`s the end of the road for James Bond yet. Like it says in the films: JAMES BOND WILL RETURN.

Cross-Cultural Bonds: From Russia, With `Toons

You don’t know his name, but you know his number. Meet Secret Agent 00X.

In 1979 the Ukrainian film-company Kiev-Nauch-Film made the cartoon The Adventures of Captain Vroungel, based on A. Nekrasov`s novel. It`s a funny story about Naval Captain Christopher Vroungel and his crew – Petty-Officer Lom (Crowbar) and sailor Fooks. They take part in a round-the-world voyage, and their rivals constantly try to spoil everything, but Vroungel is hard to beat: the Captain has something in common with the resourceful Robinson Crusoe AND the boastful Baron Munchausen. Describing his daring, unbelievable adventures, Vroungel slightly embellishes them, and that`s where his second name, Vroungel, comes from: in this context, the Russian word vroun means fibber.

The scriptwriters modernized the story, and made drastic plot changes, and added new characters, including the secret agent 00X. The cartoon began resembling a pastiche, even a parody of thrillers.

The director of a Western country yacht club organizes a round-the-world regatta. The famous Russian Captain Vroungel and his colleague, Petty-Officer Lom, are invited. Nobody links the regatta to the outrageous theft of the Venus sculpture which occurred the day before. Nobody knows that the yacht club director is a big-time gangster, or that the regatta is just a ruse to smuggle the Venus sculpture, out of the country. Moreover the director/gangster had forced Fooks, a guard at the Royal Museum, to steal the sculpture. Now Fooks, hiding the Venus in his Contrabass case, is to board the yacht Black Barracuda, which will take part in the regatta. But somehow Fooks spoils everything and becomes a sailor on Vroungel`s yacht, where a third crewmember is needed. Captain Vroungel knows nothing about the priceless sculpture in Fooks`s case. Having discovered Fooks`s failure, the director of the yacht club sends two of his top Italian gangsters – Juliko Bandito & De La Voro Gangsterito to capture Fooks and get the Venus back by any means. These guys are resourceful and ruthless; you wouldn`t want to meet them in a dark alley. The small one, Juliko Bandito is the brain. The other, De La Voro Gangsterito, is all muscle. And here the secret agent 00X enters the scene. Some powers-that-be send him to arrest the gangsters and find the Venus.

00X is just a supporting character, but his personality will interest Bond fans, because he resembles 007. So I`ll focus on him instead of Captain Vroungel`s crew and his fantastic naval adventures (I`ll just say that the cartoon has a HAPPY ENDING).

00X is an extraordinary spy with an extraordinary companion/transport: a dog-helicopter. This creature has a human brain, a dog`s loyalty and a helicopter`s flying ability.

Nobody gets close to him. Like James Bond, 00X dresses stylishly. Like a real spy, 00X is a master in close combat, a sharpshooter and has various spy gadgets, all of which miraculously fit in his jacket`s inner pockets and his valise. One of those gadgets, a “handy” tape-recorder, is almost as big as 00X himself.

Another gadget that might interest Bond fans – a petty cobra. 00X uses it to get into the castle of the yacht club director who masterminded the theft of the Venus. In Q`s laboratory in Octopussy, there`s a similar climbing device, only it`s mechanical. Nevertheless, the idea is the same, even though this cartoon was made in 1979, four years before Octopussy.

There are further Bond movie similarities. Some of the story takes place in an Egyptian pyramid. The scene where 00X chases the gangsters in the tomb corridors, somewhat resembles the scene in The Spy Who Loved Me where Jaws chases Bond & Anya amidst ancient Egyptian ruins. 00X`s unique “habit of surviving” mixes the similar abilities of 007 and Roger Rabbit. Throughout the cartoon, the Italian top-gangsters, Juliko Bandito & De La Voro Gangsterito, unsuccessfully try to kill 00X. In the cartoon, 00X was dropped into the ocean, incarcerated, electrified, blown up and buried alive in an Egyptian tomb… It didn`t help. Only once did the gangsters get rid of 00X briefly: a building fell onto the famous secret agent knocking him unconscious and temporarily flattening him (literally!). But it didn`t help either: 00X survived and soon continued to investigate. 00X is really hard to kill, just like James Bond. And like Roger Rabbit he has the fantastic ability to recover. 00X is as brave and fearless as 007. Once he followed the gangsters while sitting on the tail of their helicopter and luxuriously smoking a cigar. Who else can do this with a similar smile but Bond? However, the deadly team of gangsters are a real match for 00X, and while the gangsters constantly try to kill him – and fail – the secret agent tries busting them – and also fails.

For a supporting character, 00X is very remarkable, and he definitely resembles 007. 00X has James Bond`s essential features: he`s irresistible, invincible, has unique spy gadgets and super transport. He`s brave and always ready for danger. He`s devoted to his cause. And the Bondish “cruel smile” never leaves his face.

Note: in 1979, the average Russian still hadn`t seen the Bond movies and thus most of the in-jokes were lost upon them, although it`s almost a guarantee that the people who made this cartoon had.

Screenshots aretaken from The Adventures of Captain Vroungel. Copyright (c) 1979 by Kiev-Nauch-Film.

The Evolution of the James Bond Films

A position paper as presented by student Mitchel Feffer. [When you have to go…”Take Mr. Bond to school!”–editors]

The Evolution of the James Bond Films
The James Bond films have evolved to mirror the times they were released in, while simultaneously retaining the famous traditional elements of the franchise…

Although all of the James Bond films have fundamentals such as exciting plots, beautiful women, original and interesting villains, exotic places, amazing gadgets and cars and notable gestures, each film has modified these specific essentials to correspond with the time-period that each specific film was released in. In essence, The James Bond films have followed the motto of Tomorrow Never Dies villain, Elliott Carver, who said, “Give the people what they want” (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997). The James Bond films change when they need to but keep the traditional elements audiences want and expect.

In all of the James Bond films, there is a constant struggle between good and evil. James Bond successfully foils the plans of evil villains to save the world countless times in order to keep the world safe. Oddly enough, in almost all of the James Bond films, the movies close with a specific scene in the water (Rubin 448). However, the plots of each of the James Bond films have adapted to reflect the specific political and technological changes throughout the world. In addition, the James Bond films have also incorporated different trends occurring in Hollywood into their films in order to make the James Bond films seem more current.

When the James Bond films began to debut, starting with Dr. No in 1962, the Cold War was an important topic to many people in Europe and America. Therefore, many early James Bond films dealt with the conflict between the Soviet Union and the West, in which Western Europe and the United States were referred to as the West. Therefore, From Russia with Love, the second installment of the James Bond films series, which debuted in 1963, dealt with the mistrust that each side, the Soviet Union and the West, had for each other. Specially, an independent crime agency named SPECTRE, Special Executor for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, tried to steal priceless Soviet technology and blame the theft on the British, thereby causing another World War (From Russia With Love, 1963).

A similar incident occurred in You Only Live Twice, where Japan payed SPECTRE a large amount of money to hijack American spaceships and blame it on the Soviets, in order to incite a war, thereby leaving the two countries powerless and making Japan the new superpower of the World (You Only Live Twice, 1967).

The James Bond films also incorporated specific Cold War events into the movies, not just the tension that was exhibited by both sides. For example, in Thunderball, released in 1965, American cities were threatened by nuclear weapons, similar to the real events during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Thunderball, 1965). The James Bond films also respected the period of Détente in the 1970’s by having James Bond work with a Soviet secret agent in The Spy Who Loved Me (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977). When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990’s, many critics believed that it would be the end of the James Bond films. However, contrary to M’s, James Bond’s superior, beliefs that “[James Bond] is a relic of the Cold War” James Bond returned to the silver screen in 1995 in Goldeneye (Goldeneye 1995).

Specifically, an advertisement for Goldeneye, read, “It’s a New World. With New Enemies and New Threats. But you can still rely on one man. 007” (Black 159). In Goldeneye, James Bond works with a Russian computer programmer to stop a stolen space weapon being fired on London (Goldeneye 1995). In addition, Russian Defense Minister, Dimitri Mishkin, is presented as good and honest person, thus illustrating the new perceptions of the Russians by Europeans and Americans. The cooperation of James Bond and Natalya Simonova, the Russian computer programmer, proved that the Cold War was over and that both sides were willing to work together for a common good.

There were also other political aspects incorporated into the movies that were independent of the Cold War. For example, in 1966 a harmless chemical weapon was released into the New York City subway system; the results concluded that the chemical weapon moved extremely quickly through the City of New York, and the city was not prepared for a chemical weapon attack (Chapman 138). In the next James Bond film, the villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, planned to released chemical weapons throughout the world if his ransom demands were not met (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969).

During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the producers, Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, hired an almost exclusive all-black cast to star in Live and Let Die, which debuted in 1973 (Live and Let Die, 1973). In addition, the James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun touched upon the oil crisis occurring in the United States when the villain, Scaramanga, tried to steal a solar cell capable of producing enough energy to support the world, and then sell the energy produced by the solar cell at exorbitant prices (The Man with the Golden Gun, 1974). In The Living Daylights, which was released in 1987, James Bond helped the people of Afghanistan repel the Soviets from invading their homeland, the same time that the Soviets were actually leaving Afghanistan (The Living Daylights, 1987). Licence to Kill, which came out in 1989 dealt with the increasing problem of illegal drugs and supremacy of the Drug Lords (Licence to Kill, 1989). Lastly, after Princess Diana died in a car crash while trying to flee the paparazzi, Tomorrow Never Dies was released illustrating the dangers of the media and how far the media will go to obtain a story.

Besides political adaptations of the James Bond films, the James Bond films incorporated new technological advances into the films. Goldfinger, which came out in 1964 displayed the powerfulness of the laser, which was invented two years beforehand (Benson, 177). Moonraker, which came out in 1979, presented the development of the Space Shuttle, which launched soon after the movie was released. In Goldeneye, the Goldeneye space weapon was modeled after the Hubble Space Telescope, which launched in 1990 (Rubin 479).

The James Bond movies also modeled current trends in Hollywood. During The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, James Bond fights a henchman named Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977). The fact that the biggest movie of the era, Jaws, had the same name was no coincidence. In addition, Moonraker featured the space shuttle in an attempt to cash in on the success of Star Wars (Moonraker, 1979). Octopussy mirrors an Indiana Jones movie, where James Bond travels around the world to recover stolen jewels and diffuse a bomb (Octopussy, 1983). Lastly, the recent James Bond films such as Licence to Kill and Tomorrow Never Dies have taken on the same style of Lethal Weapon and various Stallone, Arnold and Bruce Willis movies, which are all “two hour shooting movies” (Benson, 156).

One of the most essential elements of the James Bond film series is the Bond girls. Although all of the Bond girls are beautiful and aid James Bond in completing his mission with names that may have sexual references, the social status of the Bond girls has changed over time. The Bond girls started with an inferior social status; however, over time the Bond girls have been elevated to an equal if not a superior position to Bond. For example, many of the Bond girls during the sixties had an inferior social status. The first Bond girl, who appeared in Dr. No, was Honey Ryder who was an uneducated shell collector (Dr. No, 1962). Other Bond girls during the sixties were: Jill Masterson, a personal Assistant, Tatiana Romanova, a pawn in a double cross scheme orchestrated by SPECTRE, Domino Derval, a Mistress, and Helga Brandt, a personal assistant (Benson, 156).

During the seventies, the Bond girls changed from an inferior to an equal status as the years increased resulting in greater opportunities. For instance, in the beginning of the seventies prominent Bond girls were: Tiffany Case, a pawn in scheme for World Domination, Solitaire, a fortuneteller, and Andrea Anders, a mistress to Scaramanga (Benson, 156). However, as the decade continued, the Bond girls exhibited a higher intelligence level and a greater amount of training compared to the Bond girls that preceded them. For example, Bond works with Anya Amasova, a top Russian secret agent in The Spy Who Loved Me, and Dr. Holly Goodhead, a CIA Agent in Moonraker (Benson, 156). Since then, most of the Bond girls James Bond has worked with have been equal to him. Significant examples are: Natalya Simonova, a Russian computer programmer, Xenia Onatopp, a former Soviet fighter pilot, and Dr. Christmas Jones, a Nuclear Fusionist (Pfeiffer 171-181). Another noteworthy fact is that Judi Dench takes over as M, James Bond’s superior in Goldeneye, proving women can do any task that a man can do (Pfeiffer 171).

In addition, the character of James Bond has transformed. When the first movie premiered in 1962, James Bond’s first scene is composed of he playing baccarat in a private club, Les Ambassadeurs, and later he discusses the merits of Dom Perignon with his enemy, Dr. No (Dr. No, 1962). It can therefore be concluded that James Bond started as a supporter of upper-class values. For example, during Goldfinger (1964), Bond is attacked from behind when he was walking to the refrigerator to chill his bottle of Dom Perignon (Goldfinger, 1964). In addition, it can sensed that Bond does not make the missions personal, he does what he has to do to fulfill his order, but not for any patriotic reasons. However, as the times changed, so did the character of Bond. Soon after the first couple of movies were released where Bond symbolizes upper-class values, Bond quickly changes to be a major cultural icon representative of “Swinging London.” During On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which was released in 1969, Bond stays at an isolated clinic in the Swiss Alps where he has many “one night stands” with many of the patients (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969). In addition, the opening scene in You Only Live Twice (1967), begins with Bond in bed with a woman (You Only Live Twice, 1967). However, the introduction of the 1990’s, changes Bond from a “swinging” and carefree Bond to a more realistic Bond.

Although James Bond still continues to have sex, his relationships are portrayed as more meaningful and long lasting (Goldeneye, 1995). Also, during Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Bond finally denounces smoking and calls it a “filthy habit” (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997). Therefore, Bond is a man of the people. It is also clear that James Bond cares more about his work and loyalty to his allies during this time period. In Licence to Kill (1989), James Bond disobeys all orders, in order to seek revenge and bring Franz Sanchez, a drug lord, to justice after almost killing his American counterpart and long time friend Felix Leiter (Licence to Kill, 1989). In Goldeneye (1995), James Bond is forced to kill his former friend and partner, Alec Trevelyan, 006, after Trevelyan betrays him, the secret service and his country (Goldeneye, 1995). In fact, M orders Bond “not to make it personal [the murder of 006]” even though they both know that he will. In addition, when Bond is about to kill Trevelyan, Trevelyan asks Bond if he is killing for England, however, Bond replies, “No, for me” (Goldeneye, 1995). Additionally, Trevelyan’s quote, “I did think of asking you [Bond] to join my little scheme, but somehow I knew, 007’s loyalty was always to the mission, never to his friend” accurately portrays Bond’s loyalty to his mission and his country (Goldeneye, 1995).

The villains of the James Bond movies have changed as well as James Bond. In the early James Bond films, the villains were not a match for James Bond. The villains were usually wealthy individuals in charge of large corporations, who used their power and high positions to do illegal activities, usually to make money. A prime example is Hugo Drax, the villain in Moonraker (1979), who used his seven-foot tall henchman, Jaws, to fight Bond (Moonraker, 1979). However, once Jaws stopped obeying Drax, James bond was unstopped from destroying Drax and his diabolical mission. Another example is Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a villain in multiple films. Blofeld appeared in several films because he would never directly face Bond. Instead, he would run away and live to fight another day (Benson 156). The villains themselves were not physically fit or intellectually superior, but had a circle of men for protection, the only resistance from Bond completing his mission. However, as time went on, the number of action movies competing with the James Bond films increased (Rubin 237). Therefore, it was imperative to make the villains stronger physically and mentally in order to create a realistic challenge for James Bond. For instance, Alec Trevelyan, the villain in Goldeneye (1995), proved to be a worthy opponent for James Bond since he was a former “00” agent (Goldeneye 1995). Renard, the villain in The World is Not Enough had a bullet in his head, making him free of all pain, thus “pushing harder than any normal man” (The World is not Enough, 1999).

Music has been an integral part of the success of the James Bond films series. The films are famous for having popular contemporary record their the title songs. Specifically, Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones sung title sang in the sixties, while Paul McCartney performed in the early seventies, Duran Duran and a ha played in the eighties, and U2, Sheryl Crow and Garbage were in the nineties (Benson, 156). In addition, Madonna is scheduled to be singing the title song for the next James Bond film, Die Another Day, opening in November of 2002 (Official MGM Site, www.jamesbond.com).

Although the James Bond theme is blended in all of the James Bond music, the theme has updated itself to reflect the current trends in the music industry. Particularly, after staying basically intact in the sixties, the James Bond theme incorporated a faster tempo to be more reflective of the Disco era during the seventies (Pfeiffer 121). When the James Bond films entered the 1980’s and 1990’s the theme was reconstructed several times with a myriad of synthesizer instruments and noises (Pfeiffer 188).

Although no James Bond film would be complete without gadgets, the role and importance of the gadgets used by James Bond has significantly changed throughout the years. During the first few films, the gadgets played an insignificant part that did not affect the fate of James Bond or the outcome of his mission. However, beginning with You Only Live Twice and the introduction of Little Nellie, a portable helicopter, the role of the gadgets in the films increased forever (You Only Live Twice, 1967). Even though the importance of the gadgets increased, many of the gadgets still lacked practically and realism. For instance, in Diamonds are Forever, Bond uses a moon-buggy to escape from his enemies (Diamonds are Forever, 1971). In Octopussy, Bond again escapes from his enemies, however this time using an Astro-Star jet plane conveniently hidden in the back of a trailer (Octopussy, 1983). However, beginning with Goldeneye, “A Bond for the 90’s”, the role of gadgets changed dramatically (Black 162). In order for the James Bond films to differentiate themselves from mindless action movies of the time, the gadgets in the James Bond became much more realistic. For example, in Goldeneye, Bond uses his belt to act as a zip line to avoid capture (Goldeneye, 1995). Following, in Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond uses his cellular phone to break into a secure room, containing highly sensitive material (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997). Although these gadgets may not be as exciting as a moon buggy or mini jet plane, the gadgets convey a greater sense of realism to the character of James Bond and the James Bond films.

Another interesting aspect of the James Bond film franchise is how the marketing and merchandise of the films has changed in order to allow James Bond to compete with other very popular action super heroes. Since the James Bond films were new and unique when they were first released, the early James Bond films were classified as a “James Bond” or “007” flick. For instance, the trailer for Thunderball, the fourth installment in the James Bond films series contained the words “James Bond”, “Sean Connery” and “007” over fifteen times in the first minute (Thunderball, 1965). However, as times progressed the James Bond films were marketed for their plot and action sequences. In contrast, the trailer of Tomorrow Never Dies, which debuted in 1997, emphasized the conflict between England and China (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997). In addition, beginning with the release of Goldeneye in1995, the James Bond films became a medium where large corporations were able to advertise their products at a very high price.

For instance Tomorrow Never Dies was nicknamed “License to sell”, a parody of James Bond’s license to kill (Pfeiffer 188). In that film alone, promotional tie-ins included BMW, Ericsson phones, Bollinger champagne, Omega watches, Brioni clothing, Avis rental cars, Golden Wonder potato crisps and other manufacturers (Pfeiffer 189).
As a concession, there are some people who claim that James Bond has not evolved at all. Instead, these people claim that James Bond is still basically a secret agent from England, who drinks and has sex, while saving the world from disaster. Sadly, these people fail to recognize the complexities of the stories and the characters in each specific story. Therefore, their simple argument is unjustified after an examination of all the works.

The James Bond films have been one of the most successful film franchises in history. However, this success was due to the perfect balance between traditional elements and the ability for the films to adapt and reflect the current time period. If either factor had been neglected totally or in varying amounts, the James Bond film franchise may not be what it is today!

**Bibliography

  • Benson, Raymond The James Bond Bedside Companion New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1984
  • Black, Jeremy The Politics of James Bond London: Praeger Publishers, 2001
  • Chapman, James Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of The James Bond Films New York: Columbia University Press, 2000
  • Diamonds Are Forever. Dir. Guy Hamilton. Perf. Sean Connery, Jill St John, and Charles Gray. United Artists, 1971
  • Die Another Day. 25 March 2002 <http://www.bond20.com>
  • Dr. No. Dir. Terence Young. Perf. Sean Connery, Ursula Andress and Joseph Wiseman. United Artists, 1962.
  • For Your Eyes Only. Dir. John Glen. Perf. Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet and Julian Glover. United Artists, 1981.
  • From Russia with Love. Dir. Terence Young. Perf. Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi and Robert Shaw. United Artists, 1963.
  • Goldeneye. Dir. Martin Campbell. Perf. Pierce Bronsan, Izabella Scorupco and Sean Bean. MGM/United Artists, 1995.
  • Goldfinger. Dir. Guy Hamilton. Perf. Sean Connery, Honor Blackman and Gert Frobe. United Artists, 1964.
  • Ian Fleming Foundation. 25 March 2002 <http://www.ianfleming.org>
  • Licence to Kill. Dir. John Glen. Perf. Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, and Robert Davi. United Artists, 1989.
  • Live and Let Die, Dir. Guy Hamilton, Perf. Roger Moore, Jane Seymour and Yaphet Kotto. United Artists, 1973.
  • Living Daylights, The. Dir. John Glen. Perf. Timothy Dalton, Maryam d’Abo and Jeroen Krabbe. United Artists, 1987.
  • Man with the Golden Gun, The. Dir. Guy Hamilton. Perf. Roger More, Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee. United Artists, 1974
  • Moonraker. Dir. Lewis Gilbert. Perf. Roger Moore, Lois Chiles and Michael Lonsdale. United Artists, 1977.
  • Pfeiffer, Lee The Essential Bond New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999
  • Octopussy. Dir. John Glen. Perf. Roger Moore, Maud Adams, and Louis Jordan. United Artists, 1983.
  • Official James Bond site. MGM/United Artists <http://www.jamesbond.com>
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Dir. Peter Hunt. Perf. George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, and Telly Savalas. United Artists, 1969.
  • Rubin, Steven J. The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia Chicago: Contemporary Books,1995
  • Spy Who Loved Me, The. Dir. Lewis Gilbert. Perf. Roger Moore, Barbara Bach and Curt Jurgens. United Artists, 1977.
  • Thunderball, Dir. Terence Young, Perf. Sean Connery, Claudine Auger and Adolfo Celi. United Artists, 1965.
  • Tomorrow Never Dies. Dir. Roger Spottiswoode. Perf. Pierce Bronsan, Michelle Yeoh and Jonathan Pryce. MGM/United Artists, 1997.
  • View to a Kill, A. Dir. John Glen. Perf. Roger Moore, Tanya Roberts and Christopher Walken. United Artists, 1985.
  • World is not Enough, The. Dir. Michael Apted. Perf. Pierce Bronsan, Denise Richards, Robert Carlyle. MGM/United Artists, 1999.
  • You Only Live Twice, Dir. Lewis Gilbert. Perf. Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayshi, and Donald Pleasence. United Artists, 1967.

Questions? Comments? Contact budding author Mitchel Feffer.