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The book Some Kind of Hero. In the Spectre chapter.
As would I. It is surely the stuff that dreams are made of. :)
The same would go for any of the John Gardner Bond novels, either as a wholesale adaptation or in part. One can't be too fussy when it comes to Eon adapting the Continuation Bonds. I'd take anything really by this stage in the proceedings.
Agree 100%. It feels very much like a Fleming novel, and would easily translate to screen as effectively as any of the 60's films, or even CR.
Yes, Bond driving in an F1 Race is very out there and basically impossible. Rumored sabotage in a F1 race with Bond being sent to investigate however is an interesting idea. Lets say it takes place in Monte Carlo and we get some great shots of the F1 cars racing there. I would watch that film ;)
Also, The Bourne Identity features a similar presence so probably couldn't make the basis for a film now.
The premise of Nobody Lives Forever is terrific and it's generally considered one of Gardner's better novels or even his best novel by some. It's certainly one of his more straightforward plots and, as such, could easily be adapted into a screenplay.
I see you must be a fan of one of Gardner's later novels, Scorpius (1988), as your username is taken from the alter ego of the eponymous villain. In that regard we match Gardner based usernames as mine is taken from the villain of Never Send Flowers (1993). There are few of us on here who take our username inspiration from Gardner. :)
This nice thing is, adapting Trigger Mortis and the entire race sequence is based on a Fleming idea too. So this would be like another TLD or OP, where a film is based around a Fleming idea/short story.
And the rest of the novel feels very Fleming too. I'd be all for this novel getting a full adaptation.
I agree with everyone about adapting the TM novel, but I have three questions: do you think that EON would modernize it after Anthony Horowitz said Bond belongs to the 50s and 60s? Do you think EON would approach him to adapt his novel(s) with a modern day setting, as he’s written screenplays before? And what about Pussy Galore? Would she just be written out or have her name changed?
It would be adapted to a modern day setting, as all previous Fleming novels were updated when adapted to the screen.
If you think about the 80's era, this included many Fleming scenes and short stories adapted fairly accurately, regardless of the fact that they were originally written in the 50's and early 60's.
Likewise, the oldest novel of them all, CR also managed to get a fairly faithful adaptation in 2005, to prove once and for all that Fleming's tales can be adapted to fit any era.
As for Pussy Galore, I doubt they would use that character's name.
Well spotted @Dragonpol! I have affection for Gardner a lot. I am his biggest critic as much as I can enjoy reading them. I was growing up and getting into Bond in the 80s, so used to get his books from the library or for Christmas. I always found them easier to read that Fleming when I was young. I had the Fleming books but only started to really enjoy them when I got into my late teens and beyond.
I usually like the first half of most of Gardner's books. I find that they become way too convoluted as the plot wears on. They are daft pulp, really. But then I like that sort of thing.
I also think Fleming read as being much more aged when I was 13-16. The Gardner books had the Moneypenny banter and the gadgets etc, and so were more like the movies. They also had the newer covers. I only bought the Fleming books second hand off the market. I loved having them, but didn't appreciate the writing until later.
I also probably wasn't very intelligent.
Does Trigger Mortis need to be adapted though? Not intending to rain on any parades here, but is there anything particularly unique about the book’s plot or characters that would warrant its use as a starting point over simply writing an original script? I’ll have to reread the book someday I guess but my impression upon its release was that much of it from the setting of the European castle to the underground train finale felt pulled out of the fridge and reheated from moments in Gardner’s Bonds. Fleming’s idea of combining Bond and sports racing is an interesting one, though that first faceoff between Tony Stark and Mickey Rourke in Monte Carlo in Iron Man 2 still feels fresh in my mind, however long ago that was. I don’t think there’s much from literary Bond (outside of remaining Fleming), that I’d like to see adapted wholesale. Gardner’s NLF and NDMB could work, but that’s about it.
You have no idea how close I was to naming myself Operation Cream Cake ;)
I'm sure the resolve needed to resist that primal urge was compelling. ;)
That said, besides @FatherValentine and myself the only other members here that I can think of that use a Gardner based username are @Icebreaker and @penbrunner (Bond's cover name in For Special Services) and they've not posted for several years sadly. I may very well be missing someone but that's the only other people I can think of currently. We're an elite club us Gardnerists. :)
If original scripts are anything to go by, I'd say yes. P&W have proven time and time again they are not in Maibaum's league at writing original Bond scripts.
The 2 strongest films over the past 30 odd years are LTK and CR. Both rely heavily on Fleming scenes and characters.
The 4 weakest films of the franchise (for me) are the Brosnan ones, and then Craig's other 3 films suffer in large part because of their scripts.
So I think we need a well thought out written novel as a starting point. Horowitz definitely has a grasp on Fleming, and both his novels also use a Fleming scene as the base for the story. Throw in a few unused scenes from the Fleming novels for good measure too (as Maibaum would have done in the 80's), and you have the makings of a great film.
Instead, we are objected to crap like Blofeld being Bond's long lost brother. If this is what original material gives us, I'd opt for the novels and unused Fleming any day.
The films in that time have had stronger ideas than the novels. The structure and drive of something like Skyfall, featuring Bond disappearing, MI6 attacked, M targeted and forcibly retired, a return to Bond's childhood home etc. was much more original than the likes of Devil May Care, which was a pretty standard Bond-by-numbers (and veered into the pastiche); I think the only slightly new thing in that was a Middle Eastern setting and Bond having to travel out of the iron curtain over land. Do we need to see Bond engaging in a deadly game of tennis in a movie?
I think original scripts are the way to go as they're thinking of new and cinematic things to add.
I already mentioned the The Man From Barbarossa one that I really like with Bond investigating a secret organization seemingly seeking to judge unpunished war criminals, uncovering in the process another plot, but there is also The Man with the Red Tattoo (the death of members of a Japanese-British industrial family against the backdrop of an international summit in Tokyo) which could provide the basis for an excellent script.
I draw a line when I say I want Bond novels to be adapted. The only novels worth adapting are Colonel Sun, Trigger Mortis and Forever and a Day, and only then because these 3 feel the closest to Fleming.
Toss in unused Fleming scenes too so they are finally exhausted, then yes we would be back to original scripts again. But I don't think P&W are the right guys to deliver them.
Eon doesn't want to pay for these rights if they don't have to...in a lot of ways the '80s Bonds may have already been inspired by Gardner's books. Licence Renewed to Licence Revoked to LTK? Hmm...
It's difficult to say for certain which ideas or story elements came from where, but from what I've gleaned in interviews it really doesn't sound like P&W are responsible for some of the more egregious parts of recent films. The foster brother business wasn't theirs, for example. Die Another Day was apparently a far more grounded script originally with Tamahori simply wanting to make the picture bigger and bigger to compete with other action movies. If you look at the core story and character ideas in both The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, which are likely the best representations we have of P&W's original story output, that's the kind of craftsmanship I would like to see shaping future Bond adventures, personally.
Yes, the Licence Revoked title was so obviously inspired by Gardner it was kind of weird. I do remember being hugely unimpressed by the 'Licence To Kill' title; it's only one step away from calling it 'James Bond'- no poetry to it at all.
Yes indeed, in every script they come up with a new big idea. After hearing about that 'Reunion With Death' duff script I'm glad they keep adding big character moments rather than just being dull retreads of the same old Bond plots. They were fun the first time certainly, but I like to be thrown some surprises. I remember how big the 'Bond gets injured' thing felt before TWINE came out! Seems crazy now but at the time it felt like a massive and exciting step.
I did once read that P&W often suggested Fleming moments but it was rejected. I seem to recall them wanting to use the title MAGIC 22 somewhere?
If this is the case, and P&W deserve bigger credit than I am giving them, then the buck needs to stop firmly above them then. If its Babs outright rejecting any unused Fleming (and opting for what we have been served up instead as being superior) then clearly her executive powers and taste are not what her fathers were. Maybe its time she stepped down...
I doubt anyone has explicitly rejected an idea because it originated from Fleming, but I wouldn't be surprised if some directions could have been dismissed by Sony for commercial reasons specific to the studio, and that Barbara had to deal with. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that if Logan left production and P&W, who were not originally scheduled to work on the film, came back, it is because Sony was not satisfied with Logan's drafts. Eon therefore had to propose a new script, satisfying both Sony while taking into account the investments already made by the production, based on a rejected script. These are all factors Cubby did not have to worry about when he was in charge.
Yes, the woman who made Casino Royale clearly has an absolute ban on all Fleming material and doesn't make decisions on a case-by-case basis at all: if it's got his fingers anywhere near it it's out the window, no discussion.
This is a good point. Cubby for most of his reign had a good working relationship, and I think more creative control, with MGM/UA, up until Calley with GE. Babs has had to content with much more studio upheaval throughout her tenure.
You may not be that far off there, judging by her record. CR was the exception, not the norm during her reign, which gave us gems like DAD, TWINE, TND, QoS and SP.
Good point. Maybe the studio execs call the shots these days and override what EON push for. Like you said, it was something Cubby didn't really have to worry about during his reign.
I was being sarcastic, sorry that wasn't obvious. DAD is full of Moonraker, QoS has a dreadful title from the pen of you-know-who etc. As soon as they got the rights to the good one they used it, but since then the well is running dry.
If you haven't enjoyed any Bond films for the last 25 years maybe it's time to stop watching them.