Posts Tagged ‘james bond’

Currently dubbed Project One, the new James Bond novel by Anthony Horowitz, creator of Foyle’s War and Alex Rider, will be published on 8 September 2015. The novel will be unique amongst the continuation novels in that it will be based on previously unseen material written by Ian Fleming. 

Set in the 1950s Project One will contain a section based upon a story treatment entitled Murder on Wheels that, along with material contained within the For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy and The Living Daylights story collections, was originally developed by Fleming for a potential James Bond TV series before the film series was created.

Set at the Nurburgring in Germany, Murder on Wheels would have seen 007 thwart a Russian plot to cause racing legend Stirling Moss to crash. Series regulars M and Miss Moneypenny are also included in the treatment.

Anthony Horowitz

Previously responsible for brilliantly resurrecting Sherlock Holmes in 2011’s The House of Silk (with a followup of Moriarty due this month) Horowitz will be following in the steps of recent continuation authors Sebastian Faulks, Jeffrey Deaver and Wiliam Boyd. Of the novels penned by this trio only Faulks’ Devil May Care has come close to evoking the spirit of Fleming’s 007. Deaver’s modern day reboot Carte Blanche failed to impress and Boyd’s Solo felt like a novel about African civil wars with Bond shoehorned in.

With a truly impressive author on board and the spirit of Bond’s creator as a jumping off point the signs for Project One are extremely positive.

The full press release from Ian Fleming Publications Ltd and the Ian Fleming Estate can be read here.

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Writer's BlockUndoubtedly there’s irony inherent in writing about writer’s block…

Once upon a time writing flowed easily from the brain and onto this blog. The Musings on Bond at 50 series, the Doctor Who and Sherlock reviews. Scribbled my notes in my notepad, collate them and craft hundreds and thousands of words around them. People liked my “musings”. My Musings got my noticed by HI! Magazine (now regenerated into The Geek Agenda) and I was invited to ramble on about Doctor Who and other geeky issues on their website.

Now it’s all a bit of a mess…

For the last few months it’s become increasingly difficult to craft the thoughts into appealing, informative and knowledgeable articles. I’ve just about gotten away with it but it’s become more and more difficult. The moment of realisation that I’m having serious trouble came during this last week when I tried to write about The Empty Hearse, the first episode of Sherlock‘s third series. I had notes and thoughts. I started writing. It looked ok. I compared the nascent work to the previous reviews of Sherlock that I’d written. The few hundred words that I’d crafted about The Empty Hearse were complete shit. Disorganised tirade of rubbish. Directionless nonsense infected with poor grammar. Deleted for all eternity. I want to write about the return of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson in their three new adventures but it’s not going to happen for a while. Hopefully there will be disappointment that my views won’t be heard.

(For the record The Empty Hearse is basically Sherlock Holmes meets V For Vendetta with a hint of the London Underground scenes from Skyfall. And it cheated the audience by not revealing a definitive explanation for Sherlock’s survival).

The drop in quality has coincided with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder II and the prescribing of medication for the illness. The quetiapine leaves me excessively fatigued at times and all too often my creative process is completely fogged. Part of me really wants to dump the medication and get the writing mojo back. But I have a medical condition that requires treatment and I’d be a complete idiot to ignore the advice of my psychiatrist. All the same the temptation of getting creative juices flowing fully once again is hugely tempting.

At present I’ve also got musings on An Adventure in Space and Time and The Time of the Doctor (“brilliantly nostalgic” and “incoherently shit” respectively) to get done. I managed to do reviews of those for The Geek Agenda so hopefully I can get something comprehensible done in the near future by building and adapting. There’s load of information and knowledge trapped in my little grey cells. Ask me for data and I’d be able to pour it out. I just can’t be creative with it.

I’m not reading enough at present (hardly anything in fact) so perhaps a key element in getting the brain flowing effectively is to get the creativity of others inside my head. There’s Neil Gaiman’s complete Sandman (10 weighty “re-mastered” volumes in a shiny slipcase) awaiting my attention. There’s also several instalments of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games trilogy demanding my attention.

I love writing. Writing is a release I need.

The (00)7th highest-grossing film of all time, the highest-grossing film in the UK and the highest-grossing James Bond film. Skyfall is a $1.1 billion phenomenon for the Golden Anniversary.

Skyfall - poster quad

007 reporting for duty.

Mindful of the critical drubbing heaped upon Quantum of Solace and the delays forced upon them by the financial woes of MGM, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson pulled out all the stops to celebrate Bond’s 50th anniversary with the innovative, intriguing and inventive Skyfall. Set in a universe of public inquiries, extraordinary renditions and a MI6 accountable to the government, Skyfall frequently doesn’t feel like a James Bond film at all. The days of grandiose sets, pussy-stroking villains and invisible Aston Martins are over.

Skyfall is the closest that the Bond series has ever come to a five-act Shakespeare tragedy as Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes helms an arc of Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action and Dénouement featuring psychologically damaged characters James Bond, M and Raoul Silva. (more…)

Over at HI! Magazine is my piece Skyfall: Reviewed for DVD and Blu-Ray.

Please go and check it out and leave nice comments. I’ll be doing a Musings on Bond at 50: Skyfall article after the UK home media release on 18 February.

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James Bond attempts to regain his Quantum of Solace as he sets off on a campaign of revenge for the death of his lover.

It’d be a pretty cold bastard who didn’t want revenge for someone he loved.

Quantum of SolaceDaniel Craig’s second outing as 007 is the first direct sequel in the history of the franchise and began development even as Casino Royale was being critically acclaimed as the best James Bond film in decades. Quantum of Solace chronicles 007’s quest for revenge following the death of Vesper Lynd and his confrontation with supposed environmental champion Dominic Greene and the shadowy Quantum organisation.

Equalling or bettering Casino Royale was never going to an easy task for any successor and so there was a certain inevitability about Quantum of Solace failing to live up to expectations. One of the biggest bones of contention is the supposedly bewildering and nonsensical title. Film critic Mark Kermode (who is correct about Michael Bay being beyond terrible but incorrect in regarding The Exorcist as the greatest film ever) referred to the film as Question of Sport on one occasion. The original Quantum of Solace is one of the five tales published in Ian Fleming’s For Your Eyes Only short story collection of 1958. According to Fleming, when the “Quantum of Solace” drops to zero, humanity and consideration of one human for another is gone and the relationship is finished. For fans of the literary James Bond (or anyone who cared to Google) the significance of the phrase was easily understood. Bond is unable to care or love following his betrayal by Vesper and must learn to trust once more. (more…)

James Bond gunbarrel poses

By breaking all the established rules of the franchise Casino Royale guarantees a future for James Bond 007.

I give him double-O status and he celebrates by shooting up an embassy. Is the man deranged? And where the hell is he? In the old days if an agent did something that embarrassing he’d have a good sense to defect. Christ, I miss the Cold War.

Casino RoyaleCasino Royale blows the cobwebs off the ailing James Bond franchise in a tale of love, betrayal, and morality as Ian Fleming’s legendary creation is reborn as a blunt instrument in the War on Terror. From the experimental pre-credit sequence to the final pan-up from the wounded Mr White to the gun-toting 007 the film chronicles the evolution of Bond from an neophyte agent into an experienced one forged by blood and heartbreak.

Despite being a massive financial success Die Another Day was justifiably subjected to critical mauling due to its poor script, over reliance on technology and poor CGI. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson didn’t feel engaged with any of the story ideas that were under consideration for a fifth Brosnan film and reached the decision that the series had reached a creative impasse. It was time to follow a well-worn maxim of Cubby Broccoli’s, “When in doubt go back to Fleming”. The most acclaimed films in the series are the ones that adhere to the ethos and/or story elements of Bond’s creator. The rights to Casino Royale, the very first James Bond story from 1953, had recently become available to EON Productions. Broccoli and Wilson took the monumental decision to scrap 40 years of continuity and start afresh. James Bond’s early days as 007 would be chronicled as he confronts the villainous Le Chiffre in a high stakes poker game at Casino Royale. (more…)

Die Another DayLiving to Die Another Day may not be an option for 007 in the 20th James Bond film.

Released in celebration of the franchise’s 40th anniversary, Die Another Day is a poorly written, special effects laden, and over-the-top offering that deserves all the critical scorn heaped upon it. Even Roger Moore, the most gadget orientated 007 of them all, lamented the technological excesses present, “I thought it just went too far – and that’s from me, the first Bond in space! Invisible cars and dodgy CGI footage? Please!”

Forget wobbly back projection. Forget wooden acting from the likes of Britt Ekland and Stacey Roberts. Forget every second featuring Jaws. The single most excruciatingly naff moment in the entire Bond canon occurs roughly 90 minutes into Die Another Day. A CGI 007 surfs over CGI water, whilst hanging onto a CGI parachute and avoiding CGI ice flows. The sheer awfulness of experiencing this computer generated fiasco for the first time in a packed cinema is an event never to be forgotten. Mouths fall open. Popcorn drops in shock. “What the fuck?” emerges from more than one row of seats. Upon viewing that awfulness the producers should have excised the scene and if necessary mounted a reshoot to bridge the missing footage. (more…)

007 must prevent an act of nuclear terrorism in The World Is Not Enough as the British Secret Service and M come under attack.

We will not be terrorised by cowards who would murder, and use us as the tool. We’ll find these people. We’ll follow them to the farthest ends of the earth if needs be and we will bring them to justice.

The World Is Not EnoughTaking its title from the Bond family motto The World Is Not Enough finds a physically and emotionally vulnerable James Bond battling betrayal, vengeance and nuclear terrorism in the Caspian Sea. And ensuring Christmas in Istanbul comes more that once a year…

The starting point for the nineteenth James Bond film was provided by producer Barbara Broccoli after she viewed part of the television documentary The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power, a history of the global oil industry, during a trans-Atlantic flight. Broccoli reasoned that only a Bond villain would be ruthless enough to commit an act of nuclear terrorism for the sake of oil profits. The villain in this instance being the flamboyant and flirtatious Elektra King who 007 subsequently kills in cold blood in one of the most shocking moments in the series. “Peeling back the layers” of Bond’s character had been ongoing since the debut of Pierce Brosnan and the murder of someone he cared about would demonstrate his Bond’s overwhelming loyalty to Queen, Country, and M. (more…)