An iconic long barreled air pistol that was used to promote the James Bond film From Russia With Love sold for $439,000 at a Christies auction in London. Ironically, the gun was never used in the film. Legend has it that when Sean Connery arrived for the photo shoot, it was discovered that no one brought a prop Walther that was to be utilized. Instead, the air gun was substituted and went on to become featured in the film's ad campaign. The photos have been seen countless times over the decades. In other Chrities auction news, an original Darth Vader costume failed to sell. For more click here
Since retiring from the role of James Bond following his second film as 007, Licence to Kill in 1989, Timothy Dalton has kept a relatively low profile, rarely discussing the series or his successors. Now Dalton has opened up and given his candid assement of the new Bond era- and some of the missteps that prevented him from bringing a harder edge to the character. Click here to read
The recent discovery of a scrapbook kept by a resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida in the 1970s sheds some details on the filming of the speedboat chase in Moonraker, in which a local river "doubled" as the Amazon. Click here for details
Former James Bond George Lazenby has finally fulfilled his plans to write his autobiography. The book, titled The Other Fella, will be released in hardback in 2012 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 007 film series. It should be quite a read. Lazenby is not known for being delicate when it comes to his relationship with legendary Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli, for whom he made his only 007 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969. Over the decades, Lazenby has used public appearances to counter a lot of urban myths about his brief stint as Bond, including the notion that he was fired. In fact, he quit the series before the movie was even released, thinking Bond wouldn't last into the 70s. Lazenby has seen public and critical appreciation of the movie increase dramatically and, despite the awkward relationship between him and Eon Productions, which makes the Bond movies, Lazenby did accept their invitation to attend the royal premiere of Die Another Day in 2002. The event marked the 40th anniversary of the series and Lazenby joined fellow Bond actors Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton at the Albert Hall for the festivities and each actor was personally introduced to Queen Elizabeth. He told me at the after party that he was very pleased and moved by how graciously the Broccoli family treated him. Whether that new-found cordiality remains will have much to do with the contents of Lazenby's book. For more click here
Entertainment Weekly reports that, although MGM's financial problems may be on the brink of being resolved, it will be some time before work can begin on the next James Bond film. EW says that star Daniel Craig's list of film projects will probably preclude him from working on a new 007 flick until 2014. Our opinion is: don't believe it. Although Craig has confirmed starring in three Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films, there is no indication that he is obligated to do them back-to-back. The workaholic actor would almost certainly prioritize playing Bond, as he has publicly said he is quite eager to resume the role. Our bet: no one will want to miss having a new Bond film on the market during 2012, the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the movie series - and a time that Eon Productions is sure to launch major international celebrations of the franchise. For more click here
For a more optimistic outlook on the Bond franchise, click here to read film critic Scott Mendelson's take.
Mystery novelist Jeffrey Deaver is the latest author to take a crack at writing a James Bond novel. He'll be debuting his attempt at doing so next year. However, Deaver has told USA Today that he will contemporize the character of Bond, making him a young veteran of the Afghanistan war. Reports in some media sources that this could mean the end of Daniel Craig's involvement with the Bond film series are as absurd as they are ill-informed. None of the authors who wrote Bond novels in the post-Fleming era have seen their interpretations of the character brought to the screen and there is no indication that Deaver's work will be an exception. For more click here
Peter Morgan is royalty in terms of screenwriters. He penned the acclaimed scripts for films like The Queen, Frost/Nixon and Hereafter. He also contributed to the script of the next James Bond film which has been indefinitely delayed due to MGM's financial woes. In a frank interview, Morgan says he tried to take Bond beyond his traditional status as a British secret agent who constantly saves the world. His plan was to make Bond even more realistic than the (relatively) realistic aspects that have appeared in the Daniel Craig Bond films. However, due to the MGM debacle, Morgan fears that his contributions won't ever make it on to the screen and that the producers will ultimately start the project from scratch. Click here for more