The provocatively - and appropriately- named Studblog presents a gallery of great old movie newspaper advertisements from regional theaters in America. This ad is from March 1972 and shows a Sean Connery double feature playing in Colorado Springs: his return as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever paired with the big budget film The Red Tent in which Connery played the legendary explorer Roald Amundsen. The Bond flick was a predictable blockbuster but The Red Tent died at the boxoffice, the victim of a talky script and a bland title that revealed nothing about the fact that the movie was about the ill-fated race to the Pole. Looking at the ad, we never realized Connery's co-star was the lovely Claudia "Capdinale".
Ejiofor and girlfriend Sari Mercer snapped by Cinema Retro's Mark Mawston at this year's BAFTA awards in London.
We don't usually repeat rumors concerning forthcoming James Bond films because inevitably they turn out to be either inaccurate or completely untrue, at least in the very early stages. However, this one comes from a reputable source: Variety, which reports that Chiwetel Ejiofor, the Oscar-nominated leading man of "12 Years a Slave" is strongly being considered to play the villain in the next 007 flick, scheduled for release in November 2015 with Daniel Craig reprising as Bond and Skyfall director Sam Mendes also returning. Variety reports that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were so pleased with the response to Javier Bardem's performance as the baddie in Skyfall that they want to raise the caliber of Bond villains by approaching another red-hot actor who is a star in his own right. The strategy isn't entirely new: Christopher Walken, an Oscar winner for The Deer Hunter, had appeared as the villain in the 1985 Bond film A View to a Kill opposite Roger Moore. Click here for more
MGM and James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli feel they have their own license to kill--film projects, that is, that they allege violate their copyrights to the 007 character and series. MGM had warned Universal not to go forward with a spy movie titled Section 6 that purports to explore the fact-based origins of MI6 in the aftermath of WWI. The Bond producers and MGM stated their concerns that leaked elements of the screenplay showed plot devices that they allege are clearly inspired by the works of Ian Fleming including the fact that British agents have been assigned licenses to kill and that they carry "00" status. Both of those attributes are fictional and are directly linked to Fleming's creation. MGM has filed suit this week against Universal and screenwriter Aaron Berg alleging that Section 6 is clearly based on elements of the Bond books and films. The producers don't control the literary rights to the Bond novels but do have exclusive rights to any screen versions of 007's adventures.
The long-running Bond film series has been the subject of numerous legal battles over the decades. These include successful attempts to stop the airing of TV commercials which the producers allege violated their copyrights. There was also a long legal battle beginning in the mid-1970s to prevent producer Kevin McClory from bringing a remake of Thunderball to the big screen. (McClory had served as producer on the blockbuster 1965 version of the film). The late, legendary producer Albert R. Broccoli challenged McClory's rights for years but the film ultimately was made under the title of Never Say Never Again and released in 1983. McClory lost numerous other legal battles with Broccoli's production company, EON, however. These included launching other derivative films and TV series based on Thunderball, the one Bond novel that he had secured film rights to as the result of a legal settlement he made with Ian Fleming in the early 1960s that alleged Fleming used some of McClory's ideas to develop the novel upon which the film was based.
The Bond franchise is carefully guarded by EON for good reason. More than half a century since the first Bond film premiered, the series is more popular than ever. The latest entry, Skyfall, released in 2012, is not only the highest grossing film of the series but the top grossing British film of all time.