Culver City, CA (API) As a result of the legal battle between SONY Pictures and MGM/UA Studios over ownership of the James Bond 007 franchise, producer Kevin McClory was forced by the court to make public some tantalizing details of the controversial Bond film he planned to produce in partnership with SONY. The court ultimately blocked this effort, awarding sole control of Bond’s onscreen image to MGM/UA.
Confirming omni-present rumors, mellowing sex symbol Sean Connery was indeed scripted to reprise his role as the dashing international agent 007. In a surprising twist, the plot would revolve not around Bondian daring-do for the British Secret Service, but focus on a personal vendetta. It is assumed that by excising the usual cast—M (007’s boss), Monypenney (M’s secretary who pines for 007), Q (Bond’s gadget supplier), etc.— McClory sought to evade the copyright question arising from his use of author Ian Fleming’s characters.
Treading in the questionable footsteps of the “Batman and Robin” misadventure, the film would pit 007 against multiple villains acting in concert to poison the globe. Calling themselves The Five Horsemen (Violence, Insurrection, Anarchy, Genocide, Retribution, and Abner), their plot to decimate the world is fronted by a drug company promising eternal youth in a pill. In a bizarre turn of events, the questioning, septuagenarian Bond would himself be drawn into the deception.
SONY were also caused to reveal some curious sponsors who had already contracted—and paid for—product placements within the then unslated production. Co-marketers included such names as Sustecal, Centrum Silver, Del Webb, and Hyatt Inns & Resorts retirement properties.
McClory flatly stated that more than the usual spectacular combination of stunts, chases, and locales would be on view in his epic and that the real screen thrills wouldn’t even start until Bond captured VIAGRA.