“That’ll bring tears to your eyes”

From the game show Jeopardy. You answer in the form of a question.

Category: Novels of the 1960s. The answer is (via The Jeopardy Fan website): “The line ‘once when you are born & once when you look death in the face’ follows this title of a 1964 novel & an action-packed 1967 film.”

Close, but no, etc.

UPDATE: Two of  the contestants got it right. THIS STORY in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has details about the winner of the game.

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Horowitz provides another update of 2d 007 novel

Anthony Horowitz

Author Anthony Horowitz today provided an update of his second James Bond continuation novel.

Such as it was.

Horowitz posted a photo of shredded pages. “First draft of new Bond definitely finished,” he wrote. “Second draft in better shape.”

He also tweeted in response to questions. In one tweet he wrote, “Five or six (for Bond).” In another, he added, “Bond takes more to get right. Usually two or three is enough.”

Horowitz is the first 007 continuation author since 2008 to be invited back by Ian Fleming Publications for a second turn writing an “adult” James Bond continuation novel.

Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd all wrote one-offs. Horowitz then wrote 2015’s Trigger Mortis. No title for the new novel has been disclosed. Here’s the Horwitz tweet from today:

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Playboy may end print edition, WSJ reports

George Lazenby’s 007 reading a copy of Playboy in Oh Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Playboy may end its print edition and instead focus on licensing its name and other deals, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Playboy Enterprises Inc. is “doubling down on efforts to make money from brand partnerships and licensing deals built around the Playboy name, ethos and bunny logo, with increasingly less focus on its editorial roots,” according to The Journal.

“We plan to spend 2018 transitioning it from a media business to a brand-management company,” Ben Kohn, a managing partner at Playboy controlling shareholder Rizvi Traverse, told the Journal. Kohn took over as Playboy Enterprises’ chief executive in May 2016.

Also, private equity firm Rizvi “is in talks to acquire” the 35 percent stake that Playboy founder Hugh Hefter left in trust to his heirs, the Journal said, citing a person “familiar with the matter.”

Hefner died in September at 91.

All of this is noted here because Hefner and Playboy (the magazine) was an earlier booster of James Bond in the United States.

Playboy published Ian Fleming’s 007 short story The Hildebrand Rarity in 1960. It also serialized the Bond novels On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice and The Man With the Golden Gun as well as additional short stories. Playboy also ran Bond-themed pictorials over the years.

In addition, the Bond films On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever contained references to Playboy.

Under Hefner, Playboy resumed its relationship with the literary Bond, publishing 007 short stories and excerpts from novels by continuation author Raymond Benson.

The Journal said the Playboy magazine has lost as much as $7 million a year. Kohn told The Journal why the print Playboy may become a thing of the past.

“Historically, we could justify the [magazine’s] losses because of the marketing value, but you also have to be forward thinking,” the executive told the paper. “I’m not sure that print is necessarily the best way to communicate to our consumer going forward.”

Most articles in The Journal are behind a pay wall. However, you can read THIS VERSION which is on the MSN.com website.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from The Spy Command

The accompanying graphic has been the blog’s annual Christmas/holiday season greeting since 2011. It’s a tradition and it wouldn’t be the same without it.

The graphic was designed by Paul Baack (1957-2017). It’s just one sample of his artistic handiwork. He designed it when the blog was part of the Her Majesty’s Secret Servant website (1997-2014).

So this year, there’s an additional reason for the greeting. It’s a reminder of the life he led — and how he made things interesting for those who knew him. This isn’t being melancholy. It’s celebratory.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone.

 

Horowitz completes first draft of new 007 novel

Anthony Horowitz

Author Anthony Horowitz said via Twitter he has completed the first draft of his second James Bond continuation novel.

“Bond 2. First draft finished,” Horowitz wrote. “Happy Xmas to me!”

Also in the Twitter post, Horowitz included a photograph of pages. Not too much is showing, although it appears the title starts with “F.” Last month, he said on Twitter that “and” is one of the words of the title.

Also, the title of chapter one of the new novel may start with the word “Killing.” In any case the top of one page has “One: Killing” in boldface type at the top.

Ian Fleming Publications opted to bring Horowitz back following his 2015 Bond novel Trigger Mortis. That marked a change in strategy. Since 2008, IFP had hired authors to do one-off Bond novels.

UPDATE (3:58 p.m.): Horowitz answered questions from fans. He verified the “F” is part of the title. Specifically, he was asked if “F” was part of the words “first draft.” The author’s reply: “It isn’t.” He also said while the book is coming out in 2018 he’s “not sure when yet.”

You can see what Horowitz’s Twitter post looks like below.

 

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007: News mostly about the past

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

As 2017 enters its final month, James Bond is mostly looking backward, rather than forward.

News item: There’s an expanded soundtrack now available for Die Another Day, a movie that originally came out in 2002 — 15 years ago.

News item: Roger Moore’s diary written during the filming of Live And Let Die is to get a new printing next year. The original was published in 1973 — 44 years ago. The new version will be printed in hardback. It will also feature a forward by David Hedison, a long-time friend of Moore’s who played Felix Leiter in Live And Let Die.

But wait! Isn’t there a new 007 product coming out in 2018? True. That will be the second 007 continuation novel by Anthony Horowitz. It is scheduled to be published sometime in the spring.

However, the literary Bond, in the 21st century, is almost like a distant satellite of the larger 007 entity, the film series.

Which leads us to….

Bond 25’s status: As of this writing, the film officially has a leading man (Daniel Craig), a pair of producers (Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson), a pair of writers (Neal Purvis and Robert Wade) and a release date (Nov. 8, 2019 in the United States).

And not much else. At least not now.

Around this time a year ago, the blog asked if 2016 was 007’s lost year.

2017 has been more eventful, but not by much. While Bond 25 has a release date, nobody knows — for sure — how it will get to theaters.

The Deadline: Hollywood website reported Nov. 12 that a new joint venture between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Annapurna Pictures was close to striking a deal to distribute Bond 25 in the U.S. But there’s been no announcement. And the Deadline report said international distribution hadn’t been decided.

Since then, no news. For most franchises, the distributor isn’t a big deal. The studio involved controls that. MGM, seven years after exiting bankruptcy, is trying to become a “big boy” studio again. But MGM, which controls half the Bond franchise, isn’t there yet.

And for Bond 25, an international distributor (assuming the MGM-Annapurna deal comes to be) is probably going to kick in a large piece of the production budget.

Obviously, there are things happening behind the scenes. Purvis and Wade have had enough time to complete a first-draft script. Whether they have or not is anybody’s guess.

James Bond can look back to a glorious past with certainty. The expanded Die Another Day soundtrack and new printing of Roger Moore’s Live And Let diary are just two of many examples.

An even bigger example: The death of Roger Moore in May naturally spurred a look back at his seven 007 films. He was the first of six screen Bonds in the Eon Productions series to pass away.

The future? That’s still a little fuzzy as 2017 nears its end. We’ll see if that status changes in the year’s final month.

Meanwhile, here’s a bit of perspective: General Motors Co. said Nov. 30 it expects to launch a “ride-hailing service” of self-driving cars in the United States by 2019. Self-driving cars are supposed to be the next big thing in autos. If GM is correct, that service could be in business before 007’s next screen adventure.

Roger Moore’s Live And Let Die diary gets new printing

Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman pose with Roger Moore during the filming of Live And Let Die.

Roger Moore’s diary written during the filming of Live And Let Die and published in 1973, is getting a new printing in 2018.

The announcement of the new printing was made on The History Press website and the late star’s official Twitter account, which is still active.

Based on the cover image, the title has been tweaked. The book originally was published as “Roger Moore’s James Bond Diary.” The new printing has the title “The 007 Diaries.”

The original version, in addition to primary image of Moore, also had stills that included Live And Let Die co-stars Jane Seymour and Gloria Hendry. The new printing only has a Moore image, based on what’s on the tweet and History Press website.

Earlier this year, writer Phil Nobile Jr. of Birth.Movies.Death wrote about the original version of the book. 

“It’s so rare to get truly candid thoughts from an actor about a film of theirs,” Nobile wrote. “Performers hit the promotional circuit to support a film’s opening, say a lot of publicist-approved things, and that’s usually that…That’s what makes 1973’s Roger Moore as James Bond 007 such a fascinating, jaw-dropping, and at times fucking surreal read.”

(snip)

“That it was published to coincide with the release of the film is mind-blowing, as Moore just types and types unflattering details about the producers, shooting conditions, and even his own personal peccadilloes.” Nobile’s story also includes short excerpts from the book.

The new printing of the book is scheduled to be published in June.

UPDATE (Nov. 28): The official Roger Moore Twitter feed added a couple of other details.  David Hedison, who played Felix Leiter in Live And Let Die, has written a new foreward. Also, the new printing will be in hardback.