1988: Treatment for Licence to Kill Part I

Licence to Kill’s poster

In March 1988, Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson filed a “revised treatment” for what was still being called Bond XVI. The document resembles the finished Licence to Kill film. But, as often is the case, there are notable differences.

The treatment runs 66 pages with several pages of storyboards.

As in the film, James Bond and Felix Leiter are dressed up for the latter’s wedding and riding in a limousine.

“At the wheel is Jericho, a black friend of Leiter’s acting as chauffeur for him,” the treatment says. Leiter gets a telephone call. He “sees Hawkins, his assistant at the Drug Enforcement Agency, at the window of a Coast Guard helicopter skinning the water alongside them.”

As in the film, all of this concerns Franz Sanchez, “the legendary Colombian drug kingpin, an ex-army officer known as Colonel Crack.”

The treatment adds this bit of background: “Now with the D.E.A. Leiter has tried to arrest him for five years, but has never caught him out of his home base.”

Five years? Presumably, this means there was a longer time gap between the events of The Living Daylights (released in 1987) and this adventure.

Now, Leiter has a chance to nail Sanchez, who is on his way to Cray Cay (“a private Bahamian island”). Initially, Leiter wants Bond to explain things to his fiancee Della. “Send Jericho,” Bond replies. “I’ll come along as an observer.”

The treatment shifts to Cray Cay and includes a description of Sanchez as he steps out of his private jet. He “is forty, tall, strong, exuding authority and confidence. He has a rough surface charm but occasionally bursts into sudden murderous rages.”

At this point, Lupe Lamora, “his current inamorata,” is also on the plane with Sanchez goons including Dario, the chief bodyguard for Sanchez who gets out last.

Concerning Lupe, we’re told Sanchez “has pursued her relentlessly, turning her head with gifts and attentions. Once happy-go-lucky, she now feels trapped by his possessiveness.” Sanchez tells Dario to stay with Lupe in the plane.

Sanchez now catches up with Velasquez who is “nude in hot tub with two girls.” Sanchez tells the women (well, let’s hope they were young women) to leave and they grab towels and run off. Velasquez double-crossed Sanchez on a drug deal (“I sell real dope. I want real money”). Sanchez’s goons drown Velasquez in the hot tub.

What follows is similar to the final film. Sanchez heads to Velasquez’s single-engine light plane. The Coast Guard helicopter pursues.

“We almost got the bastard!” Leiter says.

“He’s not away yet,” Bond replies.

Bond is lowered by the Coast Guard helicopter, and attaches a cable. The Coast Guard helicopter gives it full power and the single-engine plane is helpless. “Bond sits triumphantly on the tail plane,” the treatment says.

The treatment, adds a scene not in the film. It describes the plane with Sanchez being taken to a Coast Guard base. Leiter approaches Sanchez with an arrest warrant. “Welcome to the U.S., Colonel Crack.”

The writers then describe how the main titles should unfold, with Leiter and Della getting married. “It ends as Leiter and Della, followed by Bond, come down the stairs of the church in a shower of rice.”


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