Good Morning. Someone is celebrating their 50th birthday.
His name is Bond……James Bond.
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming’s death in 1964: Kingsley Amis, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver; a new novel, written by William Boyd, is planned for release in 2013. Additionally, Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond and Kate Westbrook wrote three novels based on the diaries of a recurring series character, Moneypenny.
The fictional British Secret Service agent has also been adapted for television, radio, comic strip and video game formats as well as being used in the longest continually running and the second-highest grossing film franchise to date, which started in 1962 with Dr. No, starring Sean Connery as Bond. As of 2012, there have been twenty three films in the Eon Productions series. The most recent Bond film, Skyfall, stars Daniel Craig in his third portrayal of Bond: he is the sixth actor to play Bond in the Eon series. There have also been two independent productions of Bond films, Casino Royale, a 1967 spoof, and Never Say Never Again, a 1983 remake of an earlier Eon-produced film, Thunderball.
The films are renowned for a number of features, including the musical accompaniment, with the theme songs to the films having picked up Academy Award nominations on several occasions. Other important elements which run through most of the films include Bond’s cars, his guns and the gadgets he is supplied with by Q Branch.
James Bond in film
The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond (code designation “007”), who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. Earlier films were based on Fleming’s novels and short stories, followed later by films with original storylines. It is one of the longest continually-running film series in history, having been in ongoing production from 1962 to the present (with a six-year hiatus between 1989 and 1995). In that time Eon Productions has produced 23 films, at an average of about one every two years, usually produced at Pinewood Studios. The series has grossed just over US$5 billion to date, making it the second-highest-grossing film series (behind Harry Potter), and the single most successful adjusted for inflation. Six actors have portrayed 007 in the Eon series, with the Sean Connery films largely setting the style and mood of the series, and Roger Moore starring in the most films.
Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman co-produced the Eon films until 1975, when Broccoli became the sole producer. Since 1995, Broccoli’s daughter Barbara and stepson Michael G. Wilson have co-produced them. Broccoli’s (and until 1975, Saltzman’s) family company, Danjaq, has held ownership of the series through Eon, and maintained co-ownership with United Artists since the mid-1970s. From the release of Dr. No (1962) up to For Your Eyes Only (1981) the films were distributed solely by United Artists. When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought United Artists in 1981, MGM/UA Entertainment Co. was formed and distributed the films until 1995. MGM solely distributed three films from 1997 to 2002 after United Artists retired as a mainstream studio. From 2006 to present MGM and Columbia Pictures have co-distributed the film series, following the 2005 acquisition of MGM by a consortium led by Columbia’s parent company, Sony Pictures Entertainment. In November 2010, MGM filed for bankruptcy. Following MGM’s emergence from bankruptcy, Columbia has been co-production partner of the series with Danjaq.
Independently of the Eon series, there have been three additional film or television productions with the character of James Bond – a 1967 satirical film spoof, Casino Royale, based on the novel of the same name, a 1983 remake of Thunderball entitled Never Say Never Again starring Sean Connery and a 1954 American television adaptation, Casino Royale.
The First Bond (and, IMO, THE James Bond):
Sean Connery as James Bond in:
Dr. No (1962)
From Russia with Love (1963)
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)