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I don't know, I think two years is a long time to ask to remember a character who wasn't really all that vital to the last film, and to be able to recognise her face in one shot where her character is dead. No one was watching these films on DVD multiple times after they were released! :)
What I think is interesting is that they started work on the script before OHMSS had even been finished, I don't know how regular that was then. Does DAF get namechecked at the end of OHMSS as 'James Bond will return in..'? I don't recall.
The cottage one is a bit odd as it sounds like it's intended to be in the English countryside, and I kind of agree with the recent films that Bond's bolthole is more likely to be out of the country, in the tropics or similar. Mind you, seems sort of in keeping with the times, with Paul McCartney moving to the Mull of Kintyre and wearing cable knit jumpers etc :)
The mail train chase was originally supposed to be in OHMSS in the College of Arms chase, wasn't it?
That sounds right up my street, thank you; I hope it's as good as it sounds.
I think it was regular, especially back then, when the filmmakers had a stockpile of books waiting to be adapted and a strict 2 year release schedule.
This looks like a good read. However, I'm slightly disappointed that it's another book based on interviews rather than archival research. At this point oral history is nearly exhausted as a source for the classic Bond films. If any publishers are reading this (fat chance, I know), commission someone to look through Maibaum's script collection!
Wow, that's amazing! I hope it contains more details about the William Davies and William Osborne script or scripts that we already know. Or perhaps a more detailed summary of them.
Ian Fleming's screeenplay for Moonraker! Dated August 7, 1956, this is the earliest known screenplay for a Bond film. Fleming wrote it for the J. Arthur Rank organization, which optioned but never got around to filming the novel. This 120 page typescript is a relatively new addition to the Collection--it was won at a 2015 Bonhams auction. Unfortunately the catalogue gives no information about the content of this script, long regarded as the Holy Grail for Fleming fans. I'm glad to know it's in a safe place, but now I need to read it! The Schøyen Collection also contains Fleming's treatments for what became Thunderball, along with other material from the McClory and Whittingham estates.
Another exciting item in the Collection: George MacDonald Fraser's archive of working manuscripts for Octopussy, including 111 sheets detailing "original storyline development," dated December 1981 and credited to Fraser, John Glen, Michael G. Wilson, and Albert Broccoli. According to the catalogue:
"These earliest ideas concern Blofeld's small independent state, used as a base for terror activities. 'Octopussy' is another criminal organization based in India and headed by 'O'; they are all female followers of a mystical cult descended from the Thugs, but are not murderous; they are involved in smuggling of contraband. Blofeld takes them by force, as a perfect set-up for peddling heroin, and numerous Octopussies are assassinated.
"Meanwhile in London, M has surveyed these events with interest but is killed before he can intervene; Bond is convinced it is murder. M's successor Villiers (a possible KGB plant) is Blofeld's puppet, so Blofeld effectively now runs the Secret Service. Villiers assigns Bond a desk job to neutralize his detective efforts, and worse still, Bond will be framed as M's assassin and has to flee. Bond, whilst pursued by British agents, must prove his innocence and determine what has happened to M.
"Various characters such as Craft (aka Smythe), Copeland, Briggs, Lobo, and Miss Smallbone are mentioned, then written out or developed. A scene at Blades is explored and future characters Magda, Kamal, Orlov, and Gogol are introduced, and Octopussy becomes a person rather than a gang. Locations/scenes such as Cuba, an English cricket match, a race at the Nürburgring, and a U.S. Navy submarine are proposed and then dropped."
More than a month late, I very cheerfully discover this long summary. Thank you very much @Revelator ! Too bad this story never came to fruition although I doubt that Eon would ever have been able to reclaim the rights to Blofeld at that time. Nevertheless, I think an alternative could undoubtedly have been found by keeping this premise of a war between two criminal organizations. Maybe by reusing the idea of a criminal civil war from Maibaum's TSWLM, replacing SPECTRE by a rebellious fraction of the Octopus gang?
I still remain curious to see how they would have treated M's murder. Given this description, an off-screen death, preceding the events of the film, would have been difficult. Maybe would they have used a body double?
I don't know if Blofeld was legally ruled off-limits to EON during this period. IIRC, Broccoli scrubbed Blofeld from TSWLM because McClory had sued about similarities between that film's script and Warhead, so Broccoli didn't want to give McClory any leverage. But EON had no problem using Blofeld in FYEO, which dates from the same year as the Blofeld-Octopussy treatment. If McClory had an airtight case as to ownership of the character he could have successfully sued EON over FYEO, since the pre-title character is so obviously Blofeld, even if he's never named.
Perhaps Broccoli decided against using Blofeld in OP when he realized Never Say Never Again had a serious chance of being made. To have Bond fighting Blofeld twice in 1983 wouldn't have been a good idea. And perhaps this would have lead to more lawsuits from McClory.
Another speculation: the references to Tracy and Blofeld in For Your Eyes Only date were originally written in case a new actor took over the role. And when work started on Octopussy there was a strong possibility Moore wouldn't return. So perhaps returning to the aftermath of OHMSS was something Wilson, Maibaum, and Broccoli considered if a new Bond took over in the mid-80s. It would be a way of returning to "unfinished business" and returning the series to a more serious direction. A website claims Octopussy "was originally conceived as a villain using research into the death of Tracy Bond to manipulate Bond into joining her vendetta against SPECTRE."
But since Moore returned in '81 and '83, they might have decided to go in different directions: hence the bizarre comedic climax to FYEO's precredits and the scrapping of the Blofeld OP plot.
I'm curious too. Bernard Lee died in January 1981, whereas this outline was from December 1981, so there was no chance of Lee making an onscreen appearance, unless through outtakes.
It seems most likely, although I like your theory of a willingness on Eon's part to introduce a new actor with sort of a return to the Connery's era. Nonetheless, considering the fact that even after McClory's death, Eon chose to name its organisation "Quantum" and waited to buy the rights to Thunderball from McClory's family to finally bring up SPECTRE, this would go in the sense of a legally ruled off-limits Blofeld.
I remember a similar description in Taschen's James Bond Archives, referring to Octopussy as a character and not an organization, and Tracy. Even if Octopussy is not described as a villain. I guess it is actually a reference to the character that Ian Fleming and James Bond: Manuscripts in The Schøyen Collection calls "O". Nevertheless, I think Eon missed an opportunity by not introducing a female antagonist. Failing to have Blofeld himself, presenting a sort of female counterpart of himself could have been interesting.
Shame Reunion with Death never happened.
Makes me very thankful for the ending we got. I dont think I had read this iteration of the script and that was a good thing. I do miss the dinner scene though from an earlier draft.
1. I get removing her as Irma, but they still could've had a henchwoman even unnamed.
2. They decided to remove any agency from Madeleine by having her tied up. At least here she plays a role in her own fate before Bond gets there.
A couple of sample images:
Yes, that sounds like it. And also I agree that Lee having recently died may have pushed Eon to develop a script where M has died.
Our member @mikey417 wrote an in-depth book on the spoof Casino Royale (1967) back in 2015:
Here is the guy who made them available:
I've seen some of these before in a different folder I always meant to post here, but it's great to have so many more.
What a treasure trove! Thank you and @ AliasHannibal for this.