Licence to Kill treatment: Krest ‘brays with laughter’

Timothy Dalton’s gunbarrel

The blog continues its examination of a 1988 treatment by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson. Thanks to Gary J. Firuta for providing it.

M is by himself when he enters the house James Bond is renting.

When asked about his resignation message, Bond replies it’s a personal matter.

“There’s nothing personal in our business,” M says. “Has it something to do with Leiter?”

As in the final film, M tells Bond to leave the matter to the Americans and that Leiter had taken a risk in the line of duty. “And his wife?” Bond says.

M tells Bond he’ll keep his telex “in my pocket.” Bond’s license to kill is revoked and he’s to have no contact with Her Majesty’s government. “In three months if you’re clean I’ll tear up your resignation. Otherwise I’ll sack you.”

Bond thanks M. The MI6 chief goes to the door and “seems on the verge of softening.” Instead, M “growls,” saying, “Take care, James,” and departs.

In the final film, this sequence would be more elaborate. M would be accompanied by security personnel and Bond has to fight his way out.

Later, Bond and Jericho on the latter’s fishing boat have caught up with Milton Krest’s yacht, the Wavekrest. Bond uses field glasses to observe activity on the deck of the Wavekrest. Lupe, in a bikini, sees Bond and waves. He waves back. Krest, using binoculars, observes Bond and then glances at Lupe. “Get her below,” Krest tells his men. “And keep those fishermen away.”

Lupe is forced below and there’s a voice on a loudspeaker. “Stand off. Divers at work.”

Back at the Key West hospital, Leiter is still unconscious. Authorities are taking inventory of the havoc Bond caused at Krest’s warehouse. The fire department, in answering the false alarm Bond made, saw indications of drug activity and notified the DEA. Five hundred kilos of cocaine were discovered. One guard’s body was found in a tank of electric eels. Another guard was suffocated in the maggot incubator. Also found: pieces of a body in the shark pen tentatively identified as Killifer.

“In the bed, we see Leiter has regained consciousness,” the treatment says. “A slight smile indicates he has heard.”

The scene switches back to Bond and Jericho. It’s now night. Bond is in scuba gear. Jericho hands Bond a knife. “You find Sanchez, give him some for me.”

Much of what follows is very similar to the final film. Bond is underwater observing an underwater craft launched by the Wavekrest. Aboard the yacht, a “mildly drunk” Krest (he seemed a lot more drunk in the movie) is putting the moves on Lupe. Bond eventually gets on board the yacht and finds Lupe.

However, in the treatment, Bond is captured and brought to Krest.

By this time, Krest is “sobered up.” Under questioning, Bond tells Krest that he “was out for a moonlight swim, got a cramp and climbed aboard to recover.”

Krest “gestures for his boys to beat Bond up,” the treatment says. “They knock him around brutally.”

Things get worse. Krest’s scuba divers commandeered Jericho’s fishing boat and he is “obviously dead.”

“Friend of yours?” Krest asks Bond. Krest “brays with laughter.”