Licence to Kill treatment: A knock on the door

Licence to Kill’s poster

Continuing the blog’s examination of a March 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson. Thanks to Gary J. Firuta.

Felix Leiter is seriously wounded and his bride, Della, is dead. James Bond observes the authorities investigating the crime scene.

Bond picks up a clue more easily than he would in the final film. Bond spots “a single diskette on the floor” and “pockets it” before the police see it.

Bond then goes to the Harbor Master’s office and “hands a message written on a telex form to a pretty girl operator.”

The message begins, “Urgent to Universal Exports, London.” The operator then remarks, “The rest is gobbledygook. What are you? Some kind of secret agent?”

“Just terminating a contract,” Bond replies. “Don’t want the competition to get wind of it.”

Jericho, Leiter’s friend, is waiting for Bond outside the office. Jericho tells Bond how difficult it is to find large sharks. “Ask the boys over at Krest’s. His business is selling rare fish to zoos and aquariums all over the world.”

Bond asks Jericho if Krest keeps sharks. “Great big ones,” Jericho replies. “In a pen under his warehouse.”

In the finished film, things wouldn’t be that easy. Bond and Sharkey visit a number of places looking for possibilities where Leiter may have been attacked. Bond talks to Milton Krest and spots a carnation on the floor, which tells the agent this is where the attack occurred.

In the 1988 treatment, Bond and Jericho pay a visit to Krest’s place, with Jericho piloting his fishing boat and towing “a tarp-covered dory on a long rope.” Bond is under the tarp and, with some trouble, enters the warehouse.

What follows is similar to the final film, including tossing a guard into a bed of maggots. “The guard’s body heaves among the maggots,” the treatment says.

Killifer, the DEA agent who accepted Sanchez’s bribe, gets the drop on Bond. But things go awry for Killifer and Bond gets the advantage. Killifer falls into the shark pen.

As Bond leaves, he pulls a fire alarm near the rear exit. Jericho is waiting outside in his fishing boat. As Bond boards, Jericho spots money in the water “amidst a cloud of blood.”

“Forget it,” Bond tells Jericho. “It’s blood money.”

The next morning, Bond is at a rented house. He’s on the telephone. Jericho, via other fishermen, has discovered Krest is on his yacht near the end of the Florida Keys. Bond will meet Jericho at his boat. Bond hangs up.

Then, there’s a knock on the door. It’s M.

“What’s this about resigning, Double-O-Seven?”


One Response

  1. Excellent!
    Thanks for this. Love any alternates in the series.

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