Casino Royale '67 and Sean Connery

in Bond Movies Posts: 49
I'm new here to the community so forgive me if this has been discussed before or if this should be elsewhere. Apologies upfront on that and if this is a duplicate, sorry.

I have recently been reading that Charles K. Feldman approached Sean Connery in 1964 and offered him the role of Bond in the movie. And that Connery agreed to do so for a fee of $1 million. Which Feldman baulked at and rejected and so went to look for another actor to play the role of Bond.

I find this fascinating. And first of all, can anyone confirm this as true? And if so, what were the possible rammifications for the franchise if Connery played the part?

Feldman had originally approached Cubby and Harry to make a deal with EON to produce the film a lá Kevin McClory and Thunderball. Not wanting to go through that ordeal again and frequent argument between the parties resulted in the collaboration not happening.

My question really is then, would Sean have been allowed to take on the role? Was he under contract to EON? Obviously he was free to take on other roles outside Bond. So would this have counted as that or would it be seen as a conflict of interest?

I also thought that relations between Cubby and Harry and Sean didn't start to sour until You Only Live Twice?

There are so many questions that arise from this scenario. Did Sean really want the role? Or did he just want the money? Did he agree to do it for $1 million with no intention at all of playing the role but if Feldman had agreed to the $1 million then Sean would have went back to Cubby and Harry with the offer and got a better deal for himself from EON?

Also, what were Feldman's intentions? Was he hoping that if he secured Sean then Harry and Cubby would have come back to the table and a co-production could have been agreed. And if Feldman had agreed to pay Sean and Sean accepted the role would they have filmed Casino Royale straight and not as a spoof (presumably).

It gives us a lot to think about. Least of all that film would have been monumentally better. Although would this have resulted in Cubby and Harry cutting ties with Connery earlier? Would Sean have bagged himself a production deal that he wanted from EON and/or more say in the writing and the script. And would this have resulted in him staying in the role longer with EON if it ended up a co-production? And if it wasn't a co-production and Sean starred in the picture and it was a huge success. Would this have confirmed for Cubby and Harry (at least in their minds) that Sean Connery IS James Bond! And then made sure to tie Sean up to a better deal for more films.

And lastly, what would this have meant for Daniel. As presumably Casino Royale would be ruled out as the first of his films?

As I said earlier, fascinating...
«1

Comments

  • Posts: 595
    You need to read the essay "Rogue Royale" by Jeremy Duns (included in the book Duns on Bond). It answers a lot of your questions and also gives a detailed overview of Ben Hecht's Casino Royale script, a serious attempt at an adaptation (not a spoof) and, from Duns' account, what probably would've been a really good movie. That was the script Feldman had in mind when he offered the project to Connery.
  • Posts: 49
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    You need to read the essay "Rogue Royale" by Jeremy Duns (included in the book Duns on Bond). It answers a lot of your questions and also gives a detailed overview of Ben Hecht's Casino Royale script, a serious attempt at an adaptation (not a spoof) and, from Duns' account, what probably would've been a really good movie. That was the script Feldman had in mind when he offered the project to Connery.

    Thank you for the reply @Escalus5 and for the recommendation. I hadn't heard of the book but I'm going to seek it out. This is definitely the movie I would have wanted at the time. It's incredible thinking about it and the possible rammifications.

    Cheers.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ Having a trip down to Memory Lane.....
    edited July 27 Posts: 932
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    You need to read the essay "Rogue Royale" by Jeremy Duns (included in the book Duns on Bond). It answers a lot of your questions and also gives a detailed overview of Ben Hecht's Casino Royale script, a serious attempt at an adaptation (not a spoof) and, from Duns' account, what probably would've been a really good movie. That was the script Feldman had in mind when he offered the project to Connery.

    That's interesting, I'm going to read it!

    Yes, it's one of the missed opportunities of not having it filmed with Connery back and gave us a faithful adaptation of it.

    Based on some facts I've read a long time ago, Feldman even wanted Elizabeth Taylor to star as Vesper Lynd opposite Connery.

    So, yes he's really planning for a straightful adaptation.

    So if that happened, we would likely to get a new actor in 1967 to play EON Bond against Connery in an Unofficial Film, like what happened to the battle of the Bonds in 1983.

    I don't know who, but not likely Moore, as he's still committed to The Saint, not Dalton as he deemed himself too young, some considered even rejected the role due to the demands in the role like accents, physique or nationality, or afraid of committing a long term contract.

    Not sure about Lazenby, he prepared himself for the role in 1968, so let's take into the consideration that this might be too early, maybe after Thunderball (1966), and he might consider himself too young either, like Dalton.

    So not likely Lazenby.

    Interesting what if.
  • Posts: 1,794
    Lots of points to ponder here. I've read that after Feldman couldn't land Connery's participation that he decided to go the comedy route with CR.

    Connery's disagreements with Cubby and Harry began long before YOLT, that was just the breaking point. He was upset at not being offered a partner role along with his image used on numerous products he didn't get a cent from, and there was the point on filming GF that he hurt his back during the Oddjob fight scene and he got a raise.
  • Posts: 49
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    You need to read the essay "Rogue Royale" by Jeremy Duns (included in the book Duns on Bond). It answers a lot of your questions and also gives a detailed overview of Ben Hecht's Casino Royale script, a serious attempt at an adaptation (not a spoof) and, from Duns' account, what probably would've been a really good movie. That was the script Feldman had in mind when he offered the project to Connery.

    That's interesting, I'm going to read it!

    Yes, it's one of the missed opportunities of not having it filmed with Connery back and gave us a faithful adaptation of it.

    Based on some facts I've read a long time ago, Feldman even wanted Elizabeth Taylor to star as Vesper Lynd opposite Connery.

    So, yes he's really planning for a straightful adaptation.

    So if that happened, we would likely to get a new actor in 1967 to play EON Bond against Connery in an Unofficial Film, like what happened to the battle of the Bonds in 1983.

    I don't know who, but not likely Moore, as he's still committed to The Saint, not Dalton as he deemed himself too young, some considered even rejected the role due to the demands in the role like accents, physique or nationality, or afraid of committing a long term contract.

    Not sure about Lazenby, he prepared himself for the role in 1968, so let's take into the consideration that this might be too early, maybe after Thunderball (1966), and he might consider himself too young either, like Dalton.

    So not likely Lazenby.

    Interesting what if.

    It really is an interesting what if @MI6HQ

    If Connery accepts the role is he really gone from EON? I would have thought Cubby and Harry would enter negotiations to co-produce? If that was the case and we had a straight adaptation of Casino Royale with Sean. Then You Only Live Twice afterwards. If Casino Royale follows the book and is a big hit. Then do we get the fantastical, over the top version of You Only Live Twice. Or would they follow the book more closely? Perhaps they would even film then in order this time and On Her Majesty's Secret Service would be filmed before You Only Live Twice. Which would have been much better. Especially if Sean was starring (although I'm not ready to give up the On Her Majesty's Secret Service we got with George.)

    If like you say, Sean stars in Casino Royale (an unofficial production) up against a new Bond in EON's You Only Live Twice, then this is even more fascinating. As I would bet it would be different from 1983 and Sean and Casino Royale would come out on top. What would this have meant for the franchise?

    Lots of fascinating what if's and missed opportunities. Elizabeth Taylor would have been a big name to get. Although I can't see her myself in the role of Vesper as portrayed in the novel. I reckon she would have had fabulous chemistry with Sean though.

    And as you also mention, who does EON get to replace Sean. I agree, not Roger at this point. Do they go for an American to try and beat Sean in the US market? Perhaps even a huge household star just for the one picture to ensure victory over the unofficial film?
  • Posts: 49
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Lots of points to ponder here. I've read that after Feldman couldn't land Connery's participation that he decided to go the comedy route with CR.

    Connery's disagreements with Cubby and Harry began long before YOLT, that was just the breaking point. He was upset at not being offered a partner role along with his image used on numerous products he didn't get a cent from, and there was the point on filming GF that he hurt his back during the Oddjob fight scene and he got a raise.

    Interesting @BT3366

    It's correct after he couldn't land Connery that it was the turning point and the main catalyst for the decision to film a spoof and go the comedy route. He knew he couldn't compete with Sean and EON.

    I knew that there had been disagreements between Sean and Cubby and Harry pre-YOLT but nothing as bad that Sean would have considered filming another Bond movie with a different producer. I know he was hurt about not getting that co-producer role and more say in the development of the scripts. Am I right in thinking (or am I mistaken?) That Sean's reason for being so upset with Cubby and Harry was that (in his mind at least) this had been promised to him? If not in writing, at least verbally and with a handshake. But yes, I think YOLT and the invasion of his privacy was the straw that broke the camels back.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ Having a trip down to Memory Lane.....
    edited July 27 Posts: 932

    And lastly, what would this have meant for Daniel. As presumably Casino Royale would be ruled out as the first of his films?

    Two possible scenarios if Connery had starred in CR'67 that would affect Craig Era:

    1. If EON (Saltzman & Broccoli) teamed up with Feldman in this film, co-produced it.

    - CR would not be Craig's first film, and it would not likely be a reboot, as there's no other way to show Bond's beginnings. Craig Era would likely to continue from the Classic Era or where Brosnan left off.

    - It would likely be an original script by EON not came from Fleming, maybe picking some scenes from the novels with some bits here and there, but it wouldn't likely to be pure Fleming.

    2. If CR'67 was made with Connery unofficially, without EON.

    - Then it would still be Craig's first film, there's no change, just still the same. Because EON had still no rights to the novel, therefore they still have no CR movie of their own, now that they acquired it, they would have a chance to film it, and getting Craig for this new Era of Bond, means reboot, CR was the first novel, the only one where they could show Bond's beginnings, so it would still be the same I think.

    - Though, it depends now on the Public Perception and the Box Office results, if CR'67 with Connery remained faithful to the source material and it's good, then Craig's version would likely to be compared to it, and the Public Perception would be much lesser acclaimed, adding to that the hatred of people towards Craig's casting, so it might perform less on the Box Office and people might lean on Connery's CR, there would always be a comparison.

  • Posts: 49
    MI6HQ wrote: »

    And lastly, what would this have meant for Daniel. As presumably Casino Royale would be ruled out as the first of his films?

    Two possible scenarios if Connery had starred in CR'67 that would affect Craig Era:

    1. If EON (Saltzman & Broccoli) teamed up with Feldman in this film, co-produced it.

    - CR would not be Craig's first film, and it would not likely be a reboot, as there's no other way to show Bond's beginnings. Craig Era would likely to continue from the Classic Era or where Brosnan left off.

    - It would likely be an original script by EON not came from Fleming, maybe picking some scenes from the novels with some bits here and there, but it wouldn't likely to be pure Fleming.
    I think you're exactly right. If it was a co-production between EON and Feldman then it's more than likely it wouldn't have been Craig's first film.

    I also don't see them following on directly from Die Another Day. They definitely wanted back to basics. So, likely Craig's tenure continues on from Dalton. Who played the character more Flemenesque and in Daniel's style (although does any film pre-CR follow on from the film before? Arguably DAF. But is LALD following on from DAF? Is The Living Daylights continuing on from AVTAK? The films can really be watched in any order. If the movie occured at the same time though then it would have been in the dame style and following the Bourne fomula that was popular at the time. Perhaps even QOS earlier than we got.

    What's more interesting to me is do we even get Daniel? If it is an EON co-production and faithfully adapted from the novel and starring Sean. It's likely a guaranteed hit. So do they film You Only Live Twice afterwards? And would it be a more faithful adaptation? So not the big fantastic blockbuster Bond "formula" movie that we got? Or do they even film them in order and produce On Her Majesty's Secret Service next before You Only Live Twice and starring Sean? If so, then does Sean stay on longer (and the timeline is completely changed) or does Sean film OHMSS and YOLT and bow out at the same time and we still get Roger only starting with DAF?

    2. If CR'67 was made with Connery unofficially, without EON.

    - Then it would still be Craig's first film, there's no change, just still the same. Because EON had still no rights to the novel, therefore they still have no CR movie of their own, now that they acquired it, they would have a chance to film it, and getting Craig for this new Era of Bond, means reboot, CR was the first novel, the only one where they could show Bond's beginnings, so it would still be the same I think.

    - Though, it depends now on the Public Perception and the Box Office results, if CR'67 with Connery remained faithful to the source material and it's good, then Craig's version would likely to be compared to it, and the Public Perception would be much lesser acclaimed, adding to that the hatred of people towards Craig's casting, so it might perform less on the Box Office and people might lean on Connery's CR, there would always be a comparison.

    [/quote]
    Again, I think you're quite right. Although if everything happened the same way and EON get the rights to Casino Royale as they did. Then they might have been wary to film it again if it proved a very popular Bond movie with Sean. And we also have no idea how a Sean starring Casino Royale would affect the franchise. Would the next actor fail at the box office?

    What's intriguing for me is, what is Feldman's end goal? All hypothetical's. But say he gets Sean. He only had the rights to Casino Royale. I know the relationship didn't work. But surely it would have been best for all concerned to co-produce with EON? It's a guaranteed success that way. And it's an official Bond movie. It has the gun barrel. The Bond theme. A Barry score (?) If he doesn't co-produce with EON and has Sean and makes the movie and it's a hit. Then what? He can't film anything else. Or is it just about the money. At least Feldman knew he only had Casino Royale. McClory believed he owned the cinematic rights to Bond and was a constant thorn in EON's side. As soon as Feldman couldn't close the deal on Sean he knew it was futile and decided to film a satire.
  • Posts: 2,580
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    You need to read the essay "Rogue Royale" by Jeremy Duns (included in the book Duns on Bond).

    "Rogue Royale" can be found in the free ebook Need to Know, which Jeremy has made available on his website. It also includes several other fascinating articles on Fleming and Bond, including an article on Joseph Heller's script for Casino Royale. Jeremy is one of the best Bond scholars around and I consider this book essential reading.

  • BirdlesonBirdleson Moderator
    Posts: 1,424
    I’d love to read the Joseph Heller script. I’ve read all of his novels. One of my favorite writers.
  • Posts: 49
    Revelator wrote: »
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    You need to read the essay "Rogue Royale" by Jeremy Duns (included in the book Duns on Bond).

    "Rogue Royale" can be found in the free ebook Need to Know, which Jeremy has made available on his website. It also includes several other fascinating articles on Fleming and Bond, including an article on Joseph Heller's script for Casino Royale. Jeremy is one of the best Bond scholars around and I consider this book essential reading.

    @Revelator I'm currently reading this. Thank you 👍
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,079
    I can honestly say that this book is splendid:

    c7fa0qou9rga.jpg

    It pretty much exhausts the information pool available. I don't think a single stone was left unturned. It is also an immensely enjoyable book, with a few nice quips boiling beneath the surface.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ Having a trip down to Memory Lane.....
    edited July 28 Posts: 932
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I can honestly say that this book is splendid:

    c7fa0qou9rga.jpg

    It pretty much exhausts the information pool available. I don't think a single stone was left unturned. It is also an immensely enjoyable book, with a few nice quips boiling beneath the surface.

    I'd liked to read that, is it available in e-book form?
    Revelator wrote: »
    Escalus5 wrote: »
    You need to read the essay "Rogue Royale" by Jeremy Duns (included in the book Duns on Bond).

    "Rogue Royale" can be found in the free ebook Need to Know, which Jeremy has made available on his website. It also includes several other fascinating articles on Fleming and Bond, including an article on Joseph Heller's script for Casino Royale. Jeremy is one of the best Bond scholars around and I consider this book essential reading.

    Thanks @Revelator , I'm going to read this one too.
  • Posts: 4,917
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I can honestly say that this book is splendid:

    c7fa0qou9rga.jpg

    It pretty much exhausts the information pool available. I don't think a single stone was left unturned. It is also an immensely enjoyable book, with a few nice quips boiling beneath the surface.

    Only recently purchased this book, never got around to reading it yet.
  • Posts: 633
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    CR would not be Craig's first film, and it would not likely be a reboot, as there's no other way to show Bond's beginnings. Craig Era would likely to continue from the Classic Era or where Brosnan left off.

    While CR would indeed not have been Craig's first film, I still think Eon would have reboot the series at this point. Not only because it was relevant at the time (Batman Begins was in production and other franchises were discussing the possibility), but also because Michael G. Wilson already pitched the idea of a prequel/reboot back in the 80s and was very much interested in such prospect. Like Wilson & Maibaum's original pitch for TLD, Bond 21 would probably have been an original script, but could have still show Bond's beginning.

    Regarding Feldman's Casino Royale, Ben Hecht's script was very much linked to Eon's early movies, with the inclusion of SPECTRE; so, even if CR'67 was made with Connery unofficially, without Eon, it would probably have been seen as a time as a part of the official series, and it would have been difficult for Eon to distance themselves from it.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,079
    I am not sure about ebook versions of that book.
  • Agent_Zero_OneAgent_Zero_One Ireland
    Posts: 333
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    CR would not be Craig's first film, and it would not likely be a reboot, as there's no other way to show Bond's beginnings. Craig Era would likely to continue from the Classic Era or where Brosnan left off.

    While CR would indeed not have been Craig's first film, I still think Eon would have reboot the series at this point. Not only because it was relevant at the time (Batman Begins was in production and other franchises were discussing the possibility), but also because Michael G. Wilson already pitched the idea of a prequel/reboot back in the 80s and was very much interested in such prospect. Like Wilson & Maibaum's original pitch for TLD, Bond 21 would probably have been an original script, but could have still show Bond's beginning.

    Regarding Feldman's Casino Royale, Ben Hecht's script was very much linked to Eon's early movies, with the inclusion of SPECTRE; so, even if CR'67 was made with Connery unofficially, without Eon, it would probably have been seen as a time as a part of the official series, and it would have been difficult for Eon to distance themselves from it.
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
  • edited July 28 Posts: 633
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I may be mistaking, but I feel that, at the time, the issues were not so much about Spectre than about Thunderball itself. Or so it seems to be the case with Eon having no problem naming the organisation in DR, and using it and Blofeld in FRWL. I feel that Spectre became a legal problem in itself when McClory wanted to launch his Warhead project and didn't want to have Eon using the organisation at the same time in TSWLM.
  • Posts: 49
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I can honestly say that this book is splendid:

    c7fa0qou9rga.jpg

    It pretty much exhausts the information pool available. I don't think a single stone was left unturned. It is also an immensely enjoyable book, with a few nice quips boiling beneath the surface.

    Thank you @DarthDimi for the excellent recommendation.

    I'm always looking for more to read about Bond. And this looks very good.
  • Posts: 49
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    CR would not be Craig's first film, and it would not likely be a reboot, as there's no other way to show Bond's beginnings. Craig Era would likely to continue from the Classic Era or where Brosnan left off.

    While CR would indeed not have been Craig's first film, I still think Eon would have reboot the series at this point. Not only because it was relevant at the time (Batman Begins was in production and other franchises were discussing the possibility), but also because Michael G. Wilson already pitched the idea of a prequel/reboot back in the 80s and was very much interested in such prospect. Like Wilson & Maibaum's original pitch for TLD, Bond 21 would probably have been an original script, but could have still show Bond's beginning.

    Regarding Feldman's Casino Royale, Ben Hecht's script was very much linked to Eon's early movies, with the inclusion of SPECTRE; so, even if CR'67 was made with Connery unofficially, without Eon, it would probably have been seen as a time as a part of the official series, and it would have been difficult for Eon to distance themselves from it.

    It is interesting as I believe you're correct that this was Michael G. Wilson's idea for Dalton's first film. But it was shot down by Cubby, who didn't want to do it. But with no Cubby around for Daniel's first outing. Then Michael may have got his wish.

    If Casino Royale was filmed with Connery and played straight with a script close to the book and it was a big hit. Then EON got the rights back as they did. I do doubt they would have filmed it again. But maybe they would have filmed the ending of the book with Vesper betraying Bond as PTS for Daniel's first film. And then proceeded from there. Perhaps with a script similar to QOS?

    It is interesting to speculate and think about. So many possibilities.
  • Posts: 49
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I may be mistaking, but I feel that, at the time, the issues were not so much about Spectre than about Thunderball itself. Or so it seems to be the case with Eon having no problem naming the organisation in DR, and using it and Blofeld in FRWL. I feel that Spectre became a legal problem in itself when McClory wanted to launch his Warhead project and didn't want to have Eon using the organisation at the same time in TSWLM.

    The issues with SPECTRE arose from the novel Thunderball. SPECTRE was not used by Fleming in any of the novels until Thunderball. And with the court ruling that Thunderball was authored by Ian Fleming based on a screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and the author. And awarded sole film rights to the novel to Kevin McClory.

    Because of this McClory believed he owned the film rights to "SPECTRE". This is why he placed an injuction on The Spy Who Loved Me when the villains were originally going to be SPECTRE. And it's why Cubby changed the villain to Stromberg.

    It's also the reason why the (very Blofeld looking) unnamed character in the wheelchair was disposed of in the PTS of For Your Eyes Only. I think this was Cubby's way of visually saying to McClory, we don't need Blofeld or SPECTRE. Our films stand on their own and don't need SPECTRE to be a success.

    As the Thunderball issue hadn't been resolved by Dan's first outing, I doubt they would have been mentioned until that was resolved with the McClory estate after his passing. So in our theoretical timeline. They still wouldn't have been mentioned until then. Whether or not that film would have been Spectre or not, who knows in this timeline?
  • Posts: 49
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I may be mistaking, but I feel that, at the time, the issues were not so much about Spectre than about Thunderball itself. Or so it seems to be the case with Eon having no problem naming the organisation in DR, and using it and Blofeld in FRWL. I feel that Spectre became a legal problem in itself when McClory wanted to launch his Warhead project and didn't want to have Eon using the organisation at the same time in TSWLM.

    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.

    At this point the court case hadn't begun with McClory and no judgement had been made. So there was nothing in place to state that they couldn't use SPECTRE. Which was the reason for the change and the retcon of Dr. No as a SPECTRE agent.

    As soon as the trial ending in a winning outcome for McClory was the reason Cubby and Harry chose to film Thunderball with him. So as not to have a competing Bond film made at the same time. The result of the court case allowed McClory the rights to make the film and then do whatever he liked with the script in a film capacity. But not until 10 years after he had filmed Thunderball. Which would have been in 1975. Right around the script writing and pre-production of the Spy Who Loved Me.

    Which is why SPECTRE and/or Blofeld are mentioned and are plot points in You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever.

    As soon as pre-production was underway for the Spy Who Loved Me and the plan was to use SPECTRE and Blofeld. This was when the 10 years court ruling was up and McClory planned on making his Warhead film which eventually became Never Say Never Again. This was why he put in the injuction for the Spy Who Loved Me. And why there was years of injuctions and counter injuctions between McClory and EON. And why SPECTRE and Blofeld were never used again until after McClory's death and the resolution/agreement with the McClory estste.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ Having a trip down to Memory Lane.....
    Posts: 932
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.

    Actually, I find the reason behind this interesting.

    Cubby and Harry didn't chose SMERSH, because it's a real life organization in Russia, and using that organization in the films might threaten Bond's popularity in Russia, and to also avoid the conflict.

    So they went with SPECTRE instead.
  • Posts: 49
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.

    Actually, I find the reason behind this interesting.

    Cubby and Harry didn't chose SMERSH, because it's a real life organization in Russia, and using that organization in the films might threaten Bond's popularity in Russia, and to also avoid the conflict.

    So they went with SPECTRE instead.

    Yes, this is correct.

    Although I'm not sure it was quite because it would affect Bond's popularity in Russia. How many Western blockbusters were released in the Soviet Union at that time?

    And Russia, Russians and the Soviet consulate are clearly named in the film. They just aren't the bad guys. It's a ruse portrayed by SPECTRE.

    I just don't think they wanted to use a real life organisation such as SMERSH and name them as the bad guys. In order to not stir up any controversy.
  • Agent_Zero_OneAgent_Zero_One Ireland
    Posts: 333
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I may be mistaking, but I feel that, at the time, the issues were not so much about Spectre than about Thunderball itself. Or so it seems to be the case with Eon having no problem naming the organisation in DR, and using it and Blofeld in FRWL. I feel that Spectre became a legal problem in itself when McClory wanted to launch his Warhead project and didn't want to have Eon using the organisation at the same time in TSWLM.

    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.

    At this point the court case hadn't begun with McClory and no judgement had been made. So there was nothing in place to state that they couldn't use SPECTRE. Which was the reason for the change and the retcon of Dr. No as a SPECTRE agent.

    As soon as the trial ending in a winning outcome for McClory was the reason Cubby and Harry chose to film Thunderball with him. So as not to have a competing Bond film made at the same time. The result of the court case allowed McClory the rights to make the film and then do whatever he liked with the script in a film capacity. But not until 10 years after he had filmed Thunderball. Which would have been in 1975. Right around the script writing and pre-production of the Spy Who Loved Me.

    Which is why SPECTRE and/or Blofeld are mentioned and are plot points in You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever.

    As soon as pre-production was underway for the Spy Who Loved Me and the plan was to use SPECTRE and Blofeld. This was when the 10 years court ruling was up and McClory planned on making his Warhead film which eventually became Never Say Never Again. This was why he put in the injuction for the Spy Who Loved Me. And why there was years of injuctions and counter injuctions between McClory and EON. And why SPECTRE and Blofeld were never used again until after McClory's death and the resolution/agreement with the McClory estste.
    No does explicitly mention SPECTRE, I rewatched the film recently.
  • Posts: 1,794
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I may be mistaking, but I feel that, at the time, the issues were not so much about Spectre than about Thunderball itself. Or so it seems to be the case with Eon having no problem naming the organisation in DR, and using it and Blofeld in FRWL. I feel that Spectre became a legal problem in itself when McClory wanted to launch his Warhead project and didn't want to have Eon using the organisation at the same time in TSWLM.

    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.
    There was no retcon, Dr. No does explicitly say so in the film, something like "I'm a member of SPECTRE..." and explains the acronym and that it's made up of some of the greatest brains in the world, to which Bond corrects him "Criminal brains." Dr. No even mentions Bond could have a place in the organization and says he'd work for the revenge department and his first act would be to find who was responsible for killing Strangways and Quarrel, further antagonizing the doctor, who replies with the classic line "I've misjudged you, you are nothing more than a stupid policeman whose luck has run out."

    Still one of the classic Bond-head villain confrontation scenes.
  • Posts: 633
    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.

    Since SPECTRE is mentioned in both Dr. No and FRWL, the rights around the organisation itself and Blofeld were not as conflictuel in the 60s as they became in the next decade. The simple fact that Eon continued to think about Blofeld about a potentiel antagonist in Octopussy in the 80s, and had him in several drafts, also seems to indicate that the legal issues around these two are probably more complex that the idea that "McClory was the sole holder of these rights": it may have became the case in the 70s, but, at least in the 60s, the situation seemed more blurry.

    So I think Feldman could have utilised SPECTRE in Casino Royale as he planed to, if he produced a serious version.
  • Posts: 49
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I may be mistaking, but I feel that, at the time, the issues were not so much about Spectre than about Thunderball itself. Or so it seems to be the case with Eon having no problem naming the organisation in DR, and using it and Blofeld in FRWL. I feel that Spectre became a legal problem in itself when McClory wanted to launch his Warhead project and didn't want to have Eon using the organisation at the same time in TSWLM.

    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.

    At this point the court case hadn't begun with McClory and no judgement had been made. So there was nothing in place to state that they couldn't use SPECTRE. Which was the reason for the change and the retcon of Dr. No as a SPECTRE agent.

    As soon as the trial ending in a winning outcome for McClory was the reason Cubby and Harry chose to film Thunderball with him. So as not to have a competing Bond film made at the same time. The result of the court case allowed McClory the rights to make the film and then do whatever he liked with the script in a film capacity. But not until 10 years after he had filmed Thunderball. Which would have been in 1975. Right around the script writing and pre-production of the Spy Who Loved Me.

    Which is why SPECTRE and/or Blofeld are mentioned and are plot points in You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever.

    As soon as pre-production was underway for the Spy Who Loved Me and the plan was to use SPECTRE and Blofeld. This was when the 10 years court ruling was up and McClory planned on making his Warhead film which eventually became Never Say Never Again. This was why he put in the injuction for the Spy Who Loved Me. And why there was years of injuctions and counter injuctions between McClory and EON. And why SPECTRE and Blofeld were never used again until after McClory's death and the resolution/agreement with the McClory estste.
    No does explicitly mention SPECTRE, I rewatched the film recently.

    @Agent_Zero_One You're absolutely correct. Not sure why I misremembered this? 👍
  • Posts: 49
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I may be mistaking, but I feel that, at the time, the issues were not so much about Spectre than about Thunderball itself. Or so it seems to be the case with Eon having no problem naming the organisation in DR, and using it and Blofeld in FRWL. I feel that Spectre became a legal problem in itself when McClory wanted to launch his Warhead project and didn't want to have Eon using the organisation at the same time in TSWLM.

    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.
    There was no retcon, Dr. No does explicitly say so in the film, something like "I'm a member of SPECTRE..." and explains the acronym and that it's made up of some of the greatest brains in the world, to which Bond corrects him "Criminal brains." Dr. No even mentions Bond could have a place in the organization and says he'd work for the revenge department and his first act would be to find who was responsible for killing Strangways and Quarrel, further antagonizing the doctor, who replies with the classic line "I've misjudged you, you are nothing more than a stupid policeman whose luck has run out."

    Still one of the classic Bond-head villain confrontation scenes.

    You are absolutely correct. And I inexplicibly got this wrong. I absolutely love this scene and I can hear Wiseman saying "SPECTRE" in his very sinister voice. And the line "I've misjudged you, you are nothing more than a stupid policeman whose luck has run out." Is not only one of the best of the film but in the entire franchise IMHO.

    Thank you for correcting me.

    I'm still not really sure why they made him a member of SPECTRE in the film though. As he is not a member of SPECTRE in the novel and SPECTRE hadn't even been introduced yet when Doctor No was released. Unless the idea was always to film From Russia With Love next and use SPECTRE instead of SMERSH at this point? Although, always thought the reason for choosing FRWL as the next film was because President Kennedy chose it as one of his 10 favourite novels?
  • Posts: 1,209
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Would SPECTRE have made it into the finished film, what with all the legal issues surrounding them?
    I may be mistaking, but I feel that, at the time, the issues were not so much about Spectre than about Thunderball itself. Or so it seems to be the case with Eon having no problem naming the organisation in DR, and using it and Blofeld in FRWL. I feel that Spectre became a legal problem in itself when McClory wanted to launch his Warhead project and didn't want to have Eon using the organisation at the same time in TSWLM.

    I also might be mistaken here. But I don't think Dr. No is expressly stated to be working for SPECTRE in the film. He is retconned as being a SPECTRE operative in From Russia With Love. The reason for this is that there is no mention of SPECTRE in the From Russia With Love novel. It is SMERSH. But with Harry and Cubby chosing not to mention SMERSH in the film they instead chose SPECTRE. The organisation mentioned in Fleming's most recent novel Thunderball.
    There was no retcon, Dr. No does explicitly say so in the film, something like "I'm a member of SPECTRE..." and explains the acronym and that it's made up of some of the greatest brains in the world, to which Bond corrects him "Criminal brains." Dr. No even mentions Bond could have a place in the organization and says he'd work for the revenge department and his first act would be to find who was responsible for killing Strangways and Quarrel, further antagonizing the doctor, who replies with the classic line "I've misjudged you, you are nothing more than a stupid policeman whose luck has run out."

    Still one of the classic Bond-head villain confrontation scenes.

    You are absolutely correct. And I inexplicibly got this wrong. I absolutely love this scene and I can hear Wiseman saying "SPECTRE" in his very sinister voice. And the line "I've misjudged you, you are nothing more than a stupid policeman whose luck has run out." Is not only one of the best of the film but in the entire franchise IMHO.

    Thank you for correcting me.

    I'm still not really sure why they made him a member of SPECTRE in the film though. As he is not a member of SPECTRE in the novel and SPECTRE hadn't even been introduced yet when Doctor No was released. Unless the idea was always to film From Russia With Love next and use SPECTRE instead of SMERSH at this point? Although, always thought the reason for choosing FRWL as the next film was because President Kennedy chose it as one of his 10 favourite novels?

    DN was released in 1962. TB (w/credit to Fleming's co-writers, though I am uncertain whether this credit was included in the very first of the books published) the book was released March 27, 1961
Sign In or Register to comment.