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It does sound like a whodunit. Fun fact: Dalton did play Archibald Christie, Agatha Christie's first husband.
But oh well
I thought it was a really solid film. Not a masterpiece, but a good pseudo-biographic thriller.
Sadly, that snake John Calley didn’t think so. Remember, before Brosnan got the role, he wanted either Liam Neeson (who turned it down), Ralph Fiennes, or Hugh Grant (Really?!) as Bond. Then he buggered off to Sony a year later.
Yes he did.
And ganged up with McClory to try launching a rival Bond series, by suing for co-ownership of the cinematic James Bond. Even in a place as crass and cutthroat as Hollywood this was regarded as a dick move.
Shows the kind of person Calley was.
I'm not pro-McClory but he had a point, at times. And Fleming did d*ck him over.
He was more than repaid. Fleming used plot elements derived from a set of scripts that he assumed Ivar Bryce owned the rights to. As a result, McClory ended up co-producing Thunderball and then made Never Say Never Again. Afterward, as if that wasn't enough, he tried claiming billions of dollars from EON in court and contesting its cinematic ownership of Bond. So I don't have much sympathy for the man, who got more than he deserved and overreached. A genuine filmmaker with a shred of artistic talent would have tried making films of his own after getting rich with Thunderball. Instead McClory spent the rest of his days trying to make more and more Bond films, until his last frivolous lawsuit backfired.
McClory seems like someone who was scheming and manipulative. The book rather convincingly makes the argument that McClory used Jack Whittingham to win the court case and make a lot of money, and then dumped the guy and never compensated him for his support.
The book also makes a strong case that Fleming deliberately took material from the scripts co-written by McClory and Whittingham with no intention of crediting them, knowing full well that it was wrong but convinced he could get away with it out of sheer arrogance. Well, that didn't turn out too well for him.
Fleming's attitude was that he might as well repurpose several ideas from the treatments and scripts, just as he'd recycled his older scripts into FYEO and DN. And since he assumed Ivar Bryce had legal ownership of the various drafts, he helped himself to various plot elements from that material.
The resulting book was not a novelization of the scripts but a substantially different work. This is shown by the script synopses included in The Battle For Bond and the article "Inside Thunderball" by John Cork, who is especially good on showing how the novel differed (and often improved on) the treatments and scripts. The article can be read in the following three parts:
As for the two other script summaries in the book, I think the Hong Kong-set film, with the cat burglar and robots, would have been a winner and could have possibly drawn back audiences. The other script summary didn't sit right with me, especially the ghastly comic relief sequence of Bond at the rodeo.
The sight of Dalton dressed as a cowboy and moaning "i’m too old for this" in the action comedy version of Property of a Lady makes me actually prefer the Alfonse Ruggiero draft that little bit more.
I could only picture Roger while I was reading that one. You can tell William Davies went on to co-write the Johnny English films. The bit at the end where Bond forgets to turn off the bomb especially.
I stand corrected, thank you. The Variety article mentions John Cork getting hired as well. I'd love to hear more about the idea of his that impressed the Broccolis. It's safe to say no other screenwriter had greater knowledge of Bond than he did.
Yeah, that’s more a Sir Roger moment than anything.
The robots were a terrible idea. It would have been Dalton's DAD.
Actually, some idiot suit at Universal tried to push Doug Liman into making Jason Bourne a robot at one point! Hence the spoof in American Ultra where the kid who doesn't know he's a deactivated CIA super assassin (in a town called 'Liman'...) goes 'Something weird's happening. I keep killing people - there's a chance I may be a robot!'
The only blessing about no third Dalton film is it kept the robots at bay...