007 press kits part I: Never Say Never Again

In this digital age, press kits seem almost quaint. They were intended to spur movie critics of local newspapers to write and/or review upcoming movies. We have a few press kits for James Bond movies, so here’s a look at a few.

First up: the “unofficial” 007 movie Never Say Never Again, which hit U.S. theaters in the fall of 1983. It was unofficial only in that Eon Productions didn’t produce it. But it had Sean Connery as James Bond, 12 years after his final “official” Bond film, and had a budget comparable to the 13th “official” Bond film Octopussy, which came out in the summer of 1983.

The Never Say Never Again press kit was modest. The folder had a color photograph of Connery/Bond but it had a single publicity still inside, again of Connery/Bond.

Part of the press kit included a 12-page biograph of Connery that began thusly:

Sean Connery checked his diving equipment for the last time, adjusted his mask and slipped under the cool inviting water of the Bahamas. Fifty feet below him, on the sea bed, waited an army of highly skilled underwater film technicians. Blazing lights lit up the murky depths and were reflected back in tiny sparkles off the iridescent shoals of fish that swam with regularity past the cameras. The fish swam in safety. The day before, they would have been more uneasy, as the filmmakers had been wrorking with an all-too-real 12-fot shark — a real killer.

Sounds like somebody wanted to emulate Ian Fleming’s writing.

From another article in the press kit, running a modest 26 pages and itended to give the press critic a feel for the film, began like this:

James Bond, British Secret Servie Agent 007, is dangerous.

In a world dominated by computers and bureaucracy, he is a man whose greatest strength lies in his own intuitions, a man who allows his hunches to take him straight to the heart of the danger and who has the courage and the skill to face the greavest perils — and survive.

So when SPECTRE (Special Executor for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) holds the world to ramsom with a devastating act of nuclear terrorism, only Bond is able to cut straigh through to the rotten core of the operation.

Of course, the real name for SPECTRE is the Special EXECUTIVE for Counterintelligence, Revenge and Extortion, but hey, it’s an engrossing tale and who are we to quibble?

Other contents included biographes of Klaus Maria Brandauer, Kim Basinger, Max Von Sydnow, Barbara Carrera, Bernie Casey, Alex McCowen and director Irvin Kershner, who was fresh off directing The Empire Strikes Back.

Kershner prepared for the film by re-reading much of Ian Fleming’s work. There he found the key to the tone and texture of Ian Fleming’s work….In the James Bond books, Fleming was very interested in the characters and wrote wonderful dialogue. Those discoveries influenced Kershner’s work on the script.

Also, in the Kersner bio, we were told this:

“Never Say Never Again” will be a Bond picture with its own unique style based not in reality nor in a cartoon world, but in a world where characters operate from a psychological base that is real,” he explains.

Reading it after 26 years, it didn’t seem the quote marks were all in the right place so we present them as they appear in the press kit.

One Response

  1. Funny story here , as readers of my Blog may already know , I sort of was included in the panel of Movie critics who actually wrote the French NSNA Press-kit ( see very first entry of said Blog ) .
    Should point out that this Kit is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EVER PRODUCED FOR A BOND FILM SO FAR ( with the exception of the UK Royale performance Souvenir Programmes ) . A Big binder with more than 50 sheets inside , illustrated with…Eon official film series pics ! I honestly think that the French Warner P.R department of the time didn’t care about copyright or a possible lawsuit MGM and UA could have instantly thrown at their face when discovering the product…Those were still rather innocent days …This French Press Kit is really like the Holy Grail amongst Collector

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