Brian Berley takes down his 007 illustrations

Artist Brian Berley has taken down his illustrations based on Ian Fleming 007 novels down from public view.

Berley said in a post on the message boards of the MI6 James Bond fan Web site that, “I have to announce that my collection of Bond Illustrations has been officially banished from public display.”

To read the artist’s full post on the message board, CLICK HERE. The HMSS Weblog did a December 2010 post about Berley’s 007 art, which you can read BY CLICKING HERE.

James Bond and breakfast

"Are the scrambled eggs ready yet, Q?"

“Are the scrambled eggs ready yet, Q?”

Ian Fleming Publications this week disclosed A PROMOTION FOR THE UPCOMING 007 NOVEL SOLO. It involves the DORCHESTER HOTEL IN LONDON.

To quote the press release:

Breakfast is, of course, Bond’s ‘favourite meal of the day.’

To celebrate, from Thursday 26 September until Saturday 30 November 2013, (Dorchester) guests quoting ‘SOLO’ whilst making a breakfast reservation will receive a free copy of the book or can choose to listen to the audio version read by British actor Dominic West on an iPod over breakfast.

Indeed, in Ian Fleming’s original novels, we’re told a fair amount of Bond’s eating habits at breakfast. In novels and short stories, meals are a way for an author to work in a character’s internal thoughts and feelings. He or she can mull over events or other characters while eating.

Movies, of course, are a different medium. Internal thoughts have to be conveyed with an expression or a look. Eating also doesn’t always provide the best visuals. The 23 James Bond films produced by Eon Productions since 1962 don’t spend much time dealing with breakfast, even if it was 007′s favorite meal.

In Dr. No, Bond and Honey Rider are served breakfast by the villain’s staff but they pass into unconsciousness from drugged coffee before they can partake of the meal. In From Russia With Love, Bond puts in an advance breakfast order of green figs, yogurt and “coffee, very black,” for the next morning. In Goldfinger, 007 gets out of a planned dinner with Felix Leiter and sets up a breakfast meeting instead. In Live And Let Die, Bond only has time for some juice before investigating a key clue. Overall, the movies don’t deal much with James Bond and his breakfasts.

According to the Ian Fleming Publications press release, Solo author William Boyd wants to bring back the 007 breakfast tradition. “Set in 1969, the story opens to 007 treating himself to a typical Bond breakfast of `four eggs, scrambled with pepper sprinkled on top, half a dozen rashers of unsmoked bacon, well done, on the side and a long draught of strong black coffee’.”

Meanwhile, a number of 007 Web sites are providing tips about you, too, can enjoy a 007 breakfast. Check out posts by THE MI6 JAMES BOND FAN SITE and the THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER.

UPDATE: Got a reminder about Licence to Cook, which has receipes based on James Bond. For more information, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE II: The James Bond Memes blog provides the Dorchester TIPS HOW TO PROPERLY PREPARE A 007 BREAKFAST.

MAY 2011 POST:
OUR (NOT SO SERIOUS) BOND 23 PRODUCT PLACEMENT SUGGESTIONS

(A breakfast scene would offer some product placement opportunities.)

“Waiting for Mendes” (or 007 dog days)

To direct or not to direct Bond 24

To direct or not to direct Bond 24

It may be time to update the classic Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot for James Bond fans. All you’d need to do is tweak the title to Waiting for Mendes.

While nobody knows for sure, it appears that Bond 24, the next 007 movie, is in a kind of hiatus until Skyfall director Sam Mendes decides whether he wants another turn in the Bond director’s chair. First he said no, then changed his mind to the equivalent of “let have a think on it.” (You can CLICK HERE for a story on the MI6 fan Web site that carries Mendes quotes from three different outlets.)

In the play Waiting for Mendes, characters Vladimir and Estragon, instead of waiting for the mysterious Godot, spend their time waiting for Sam Mendes to make up his mind about Bond 24.

“Do you think Daniel Craig will best Roger Moore’s record of appearing in seven James Bond movies?” Vladimir asks.

“Sean Connery also did seven,” Estragon replies.

“But that does not count,” Vladimir says. “Never Say Never Again is an unofficial Bond movie!”

“Unofficial?” asks Estragon. “Did not producer Jack Schwartzman obtain the rights legally?”

“You are engaging in double talk. Besides, once Sam Mendes returns as director, everything will be well again. Daniel Craig will have his eight Bond movies, mark my word.”

Estragon frowns. “But when will Bond 24 come out? 2015? 2016? God forbid, 2017?”

And so on and so forth. Perhaps Michael G. Wilson could have a cameo appearance. Meanwhile, as they say, nature abhors a vacuum. Thus, the wife of former soccer player David Beckham can proclaim her husband would be a great 007, AND IT GETS WRITTEN AS IF IT’S AN ACTUAL STORY.

It’s all a bit silly, especially in light of another recent story that claims Beckham IS GOING TO AUDITION TO PLAY THE LEAD IN THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. MOVIE (Which, presumably, would be a surprise to actor Henry Cavill, who seems to be under the impression he’s going to be the star.)

Still, it would seem, until Mr. Mendes decides, there’s not going to be much real Bond 24 news. For Bond fans, the dog days continue.

More signs Bond 24 won’t be out until at least 2015

When will Daniel Craig's 007 return?

When will Daniel Craig’s 007 return?

This is just a guess, but there seem to be more signs that Bond 24 won’t appear in theaters until at least 2015.

First, the co-bosses of Eon Productions, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have gotten involved in another film project, according to THE SCREEN DAILY WEB SITE. Here’s an excerpt:

EXCLUSIVE: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson to exec-produce love story starring Andrea Riseborough and Damian Lewis, due to get underway this summer.

Oblivion and Shadowdancer star Andrea Riseborough is to star alongside Homeland’s Damian Lewis in love story The Silent Storm, which WestEnd will be presenting to buyers in Cannes.

(snip)
James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of Eon Productions will executive produce and finance the drama, which is produced by Moon co-producer Nicky Bentham of Neon Films….Principal photography is due to get underway this summer in Scotland.

Tea leaf No. 2, courtesy of THE MI6 FAN WEB SITE, is a story that has this quote from actor Ben Whishaw, who played the young Q in Skyfall: “More Bond, but we don’t even know when that’s going to happen, you never know…I’ve heard some things, but I can’t share. I thought it might be the end of this year but I’m not sure anymore.”

Finally, what wasn’t said by Gary Barber, the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Eon’s partner in the Bond movies. In November, he told investors the company hoped Bond 24 could come out in two years but he’d settle for three years. He also disclosed that John Logan, a writer on Skyfall, would write Bond 24 and Bond 25. In early 2013, Barber said Bond 24 would be out within three years. If taken literally, that could mean as late as 2016.

This week, Barber said nothing about Bond 24. At the same time, no investors asked, unlike the two previous quarterly earnings calls.

Nothing is certain. Still, both Broccoli and Wilson have publicly said they don’t want to be compelled to meet an every-other-year schedule. (Here’s ONE EXAMPLE FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.)

MGM, back when it was in bankruptcy three years ago, said having Bond movies out every other year was a major part of its reorganization plan. These days, the company isn’t talking about the subject much anymore.

Maybe things will change. But with no director signed, or even publicly talked about, the clock is slowly ticking on a 2014 James Bond film. Skyfall was announced in JANUARY 2011 and filming began 10 months later. It’s less than seven-and-a-half months until the start of 2014, about the time production would start for a November 2014 release.

MARCH 2013 POST: Why we guess Bond 24 won’t be out until at least 2015

Skyfall sells almost $301 million in U.S.-Canada tickets

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Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, is almost at the $301 million market in U.S.-Canada ticket sales, at an estimated $300.9 million as of Jan. 20, according to THE BOX OFFICE MOJO WEB SITE.

The 007 movie had an estimated $1.05 million for the Jan. 18-20 weekend, its 11th weekend in the U.S. Skyfall was shown on 507 U.S.-Canada screens, according to the Web site that tracks movie ticket sales. That’s down from 3,505 during its debut in the Nov. 9-11 weekend. Skyfall passed the $300 million mark on Jan. 18, according to Box Office Mojo data.

Skyfall’s latest estimate for worldwide ticket sales is $1.034 billion as of 3 p.m., Jan. 20, according to Box Office Mojo. That may not yet reflect ticket sales in China, where Skyfall premiered last week. You can CLICK HERE to view a story at the MI6 fan Web site describing the China premier. You can CLICK HERE to view an MI6 story about some of the trims made by Chinese censors.

Tomorrow Never Dies’s 15th anniversary: tightrope

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This month marks the 15th anniversary of Tomorrow Never Dies, the 18th 007 film and one whose drama behind the camera — a tightrope act to meet a tight schedule — may at least match that of the finished product.

GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan’s debut as James Bond, revived the franchise after a six-year hiatus. So MGM’s United Artists wanted a follow up within two years’ time. The film had a $110 million budget, almost twice that of GoldenEye. That meant more resources but also more pressure.

Eon Productions for a time had employed writer Donald E. Westlake to do a story, which he said in interviews in 1995 concerned the U.K.’s 1997 return of Hong Kong to China.

For whatever reasons, Westlake didn’t work out and Eon hired Bruce Feirstein, who had done the final versions of GoldenEye’s script to have a go. Feirstein’s FIRST DRAFT (archived at the Universal Exports Web site) proved to be much different that the eventual final product.

Feirstein’s first draft concerned the theft of gold being transferred back to the U.K. from Hong Kong. The villain, Elliot Harmsway, also plans to create a nuclear meltdown in Hong Kong, because he opposed the giveback.

Co-bosses Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, working on their first film after the 1996 death of Eon co-founder Albert R. Broccoli, decided major surgery was in order. Other writers were summoned. Eventually, the Hong Kong angle was dropped; the movie would be out in December 1997, after the colony was returned to China. Sidney Winch, a former New York lawyer who runs a salvage ship, Feirstein’s female lead, was also a casualty.

In the rewriting process, a new heroine, Wai Lin, a Chinese agent, emerged. The move evoked Agent Triple-X from The Spy Who Loved Me two decades earlier. But the martial arts skills of actress Michelle Yeoh meant the new character would be deeply involved in the action sequences. One character that survived from Feirstein’s original story was Paris (Teri Hatcher), the villain’s wife who had a previous previous relationship with Bond.

Feirstein was then brought back to perform the final drafts of the revised storyline, in which a media mogul now named Elliott Carver (Jonathan Pryce) wants to start a U.K.-China war to boost ratings for his cable news empire and gain exclusive broadcasting rights in China. Feirstein ended up with the sole writing credit.

Director Roger Spottiswoode faced a tight deadline. The main until didn’t begin work until April 1, with the film set for a December release. The crew at one point was supposed to film in Vietnam but had to switch to Thailand. David Arnold, a new hire as composer, told journalist Jon Burlingame in an interview he had to score the movie in sections. That’s because the post-production time would be “non-existent,” Arnold told Burlingame. (To read a detailed account of filming, CLICK HERE for an article on the MI6 James Bond fan site.

In the end, the deadlines were met. Spottiswoode, in a commentary on the film’s DVD, while complimentary of Eon said he’d be in no hurry to repeat the experience. Michael G. Wilson, in interviews after the film came out, talked about being exhausted by the grind of making a 007 movie.

Tomorrow Never Dies ended up selling $339.5 million in tickets worldwide. That was down from GoldenEye’s $356.4 million (although Tomorrow’s U.S. ticket sales exceeded GoldenEye’s). All in all, it was plenty enough to ensure future film adventures for 007.

Casino Royale finishes No. 1 in 007.com fan survey


Casino Royale was the “one clear worldwide winner” in a fan survey on the official 007.com Web page.

According to THE ANNOUNCEMENT, “The film came top of the poll in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

The disclosure completes a cycle of fan surveys. Casino Royale was also the top vote getter in a survey ON THE MI6 JAMES BOND FAN WEB SITE while On Her Majesty’s Secret Service finished atop the survey by 007 MAGAZINE.

The 007.com and MI6 surveys were restricted to the 22 1962-2008 films made by Eon Proudctions. The 007 Magazine survey permitted fans to also consider Charles K. Feldman’s 1967 spoof version of Casino Royale and 1983′s Never Say Never Again, where Sean Connery reprised the Bond role in a competing 007 movie.

Daily Mail says Craig to get $32 million for Bonds 24 and 25

Daniel Craig will get a combined 20 million pounds, or about $32 million based on conversion rates as of Sept. 9 for Bond 24 and Bond 25, according to the U.K Daily Mail, which didn’t specify how it obtained that information.

Daniel Craig with Jeffrey Wright in Craig’s 007 debut, Casino Royale.


The story (which you can view by CLICKING HERE) has this phrasing:

Craig, 44, who makes his third outing as 007 in Skyfall later this year, signed a deal last week which is expected to see him earn £10  million per picture.

What isn’t known is WHO expects this. The Daily Mail? Somebody else who knows the details? Assuming a contract was actually signed, Craig, Eon Production, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony would actually know the amount involved.

The MI6 007 fan Web site reported last week that Craig was contracted for two more movies after the upcoming Skyfall. The Deadline entertainment news Web site in its story on the subject also reported that Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures extended an agreement to co-finance 007 movies with MGM through Bond 25. That accord was originally set Skyfall and Bond 24.

007 updates: Skyfall score recording; MI6-Deadline spat

If you know where to look on Twitter, you can pick up on 007 related events. Some examples:

Skyfall’s score being recorded: The music for the 23rd James Bond movie has been recorded the past few weeks according to TWEETS BY TONY LEWIS, A MUSIC EDITOR. He hasn’t disclosed much. An Aug. 15 Tweet said, “It may feel like oct 26 is miles away but we’re on the home straight now ;) it’s going to be massive. #skyfall” Oct. 26 is the U.K. release date. An Aug. 5 Tweet says, “Another great day at @AbbeyRoad – we’re so close now you can almost touch it. #SKYFALL”

In another Aug. 5 Tweet, Lewis responded to a question about what Thomas Newman’s score for the movie was like. Lewis’s response: “sadly not – NDA’s forbid me – all I can say is that it’s ace.” Presumably NDA is short for non-disclosure agreement.

MI6′s clash with Deadline: On Sept. 6, the MI6 James Bond fan Web site had a story that Daniel Craig had been signed for Bond 24 and 25. That story was cited by a number of Web sites, including THE HUFFINGTON POST.

A day later, the Deadline entertainment-news Web site said it confirmed Craig had signed for the two future 007 movies without mentioning the MI6 story. Later that evening, MI6 fired back FROM ITS TWITTER FEED. That Tweet read:

@NikkiFinke Another day, another Deadline story ripped without credit. You know where you heard it first…. Craig for Bond 24 & 25

Finke is founder and editor-in-chief of Deadline and co-author of its story of the Craig signing. Back in January 2010, Deadline was the first TO REPORT that Eon was negotiating to bring Sam Mendes aboard what would become Skyfall. Shortly after that, Mendes’ publicist confirmed the talks to a U.K. newspaper while the director denied it to The Wall Street Journal.

007 questions about the future of the film James Bond

“What? More questions?”


Some pretty big news week. The MI6 James Bond fan Web site said it had confirmed Daniel Craig would do two more 007 films after this year’s Skyfall. The Web site didn’t specify how it obtained the information, but it got picked up on other Web sites, including THIS ONE, THIS ONE and THIS ONE. Oh, and don’t forget THIS ONE. Even THE HUFFINGTON POST cited the MI6 story. (UPDATE: Nikki Finke’s Deadline entertainment news Web site said it CONFIRMED THE NEWS AND REPORTED THAT SONY WOULD CO-FINANCE BOND 25.)

Well, that got us to thinking and that, naturally, spurs us to ask these questions:

001. Which movie will be seen first: Bond 24 or Marvel’s The Avengers 2?: The Avengers has been the biggest hit of 2012 with $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales and Walt Disney Co. has already set a May 1, 2015, release date for a sequel. When will Bond 24 come out? Sony Corp. has said 2014 but Eon Productions co-boss Barbara Broccoli and star Daniel Craig have said NOT SO FAST.

002. If Bond 24 doesn’t come out in 2014, when will it come out? You’re guess is as good as ours. One of the main talking points of the Skyfall publicity campaign is the movie benefited from production delays (due to studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s bankruptcy) to fine tune the script. For an example, CLICK HERE. If so, would that be at odds with trying to restore the tradition every-other-year schedule that MGM and Sony Corp. (which is releasing Skyfall) want?

003. What are you trying to say? It’s one thing to say Daniel Craig will do two more films if the second is out in 2016. It’s another if the second is out in (for argument’s sake) 2020.

004. They won’t wait another four years to do Bond 24, will they? Let’s see if Eon co-boss Michael G. Wilson complains yet again about how exhausting it is to make James Bond movies. If a new set of Wilson quotes along this line surfaces late this year or in early 2013, it might be a sign that Bond 24 might not come out as soon as many fans would like. If that’s the case, when would Bond 25 come out?

005. Any possibility any more spoilers will come out before Skyfall’s premier? It depends whether the sountrack comes out before the film’s premier.

006. What does that mean? Well, Thunderball’s soundtrack came out in November 1965, a month before the “Biggest Bond of All” came out. One of the tracks was titled “Death of Fiona,” so that was a giveaway. Other titles on various 007 soundtracks included “Death of Grant,” “Death of Goldfinger” and “Death of Aki.” So a fan could get some clues if they purchase the soundtrack before the movie premiers.

007. Are you looking forward to Skyfall or not? Yes to the movie. Not so much to various talking points. It’s under 50 days before the U.K. premier and just over two months before the U.S. premier. Other than, say, seeing the final Skyfall trailer, we’d rather get on with it. In the end, it’s whether the movie is good or not.

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