007 screenwriter Christopher Wood dies

The Spy Who Loved Me poster

The Spy Who Loved Me poster

Christopher Wood, screenwriter on two big James Bond films of the 1970s, has died, Roger Moore said on Twitter.

Wood, 79, was brought on to write 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me by the movie’s director, Lewis Gilbert. He came aboard after various scribes — Richard Maibaum, Stirling Silliphant, Cary Bates and others — had tried their hand at a story for the 10th 007 film.

Wood ended up sharing the screenplay credit with Maibaum, while Tom Mankiewicz did some uncredited rewrites.

Spy was a major test for producer Albert R. Broccoli. It was his first Bond film as solo producer after Harry Saltzman sold off his interest to United Artists. Also, The Man With the Golden Gun had underperformed at the box office.

A lot was riding on Spy and the escapist, extravagant film delivered, becoming a big hit in the summer of 1977.

Wood was brought back for 1979’s Moonraker, also directed by Gilbert. While writer Tom Mankiewicz helped plot the story, Wood was the only credited screenwriter. Broccoli wanted to outdo himself this time, wanting to send Bond into outer space and going bigger in every way. It also was a big hit, but Broccoli scaled things down for future films.

As big as Moonraker was, it was actually reduced from THE FIRST-DRAFT SCREENPLAY, which had his and her micro-jets, a keel-hauling sequence and a jet pack. The keel-hauling sequence (based on the Live And Let Die novel) would be saved for For Your Eyes Only and (only one) micro-jet would be utilized in Octopussy.

Wood also wrote the novelization for the two movies. In the minds of many fans, Wood successfully merged Ian Fleming’s literary Bond with the large-scale epic films.

Here’s Sir Roger’s tweet about Wood’s death:

3 Responses

  1. Lest we forget, Christopher Wood also wrote the first James Bond novel since Kingsley Amis’ “Colonel Sun”. His novelization of “The Spy Who Loved Me” was a wonderful Fleming pastiche, and, for me at least, was a huge thrill to read. At any rate, it was the first new 007 fiction in over a decade. No small thing at the time.

  2. […] Source: 007 screenwriter Christopher Wood dies […]

  3. Christopher Wood also wrote the novelizations of TSWLM and Moonraker, which invoked the literary Bond with the bigger Bond of the screen very well; except for the recent Triggermortis, I have never been satisfied ‘almost completely’ with any other post-Fleming pastiche. Mr. Wood did have much of the Fleming touch, and 007 fans are unfortunate that he was never contracted to write an original Bond novel. I liked the novelizations better than the movies; but that is perhaps because 1/ Moore was playing a very Dean Martin-type Bond 2/ Jaws as a villain was ruined for being too invincible; those steel teeth should never have seen the light of day. That said, we always assume that the wonderful talents that have contributed to the movie Bond will live forever. But still, RIP Commander Wood. You Only Live Twice …. once when you are born, and once when you make millions of fans smile.

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