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?”

TO BE CONTINUED

Bond concert scheduled for Oct. 4 in London

Logo for James Bond concert

A charity concert featuring songs from the James Bond film series has been scheduled for Oct. 4 at Royal Albert Hall in London, according to the venue’s website.

Here are the details.

Celebrate 60 years of the James Bond film franchise with a charity concert that will showcase the iconic music of Bond, headlined by the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey.

Curated by five-time Bond composer David Arnold and produced by EON Productions, the concert will feature Bond soundtrack artists including Garbage, as well as special guests including Celeste, putting their own interpretation on classic theme songs, backed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Dodd.

The date marks the anniversary of the world premiere of the first 007 film, Dr. No held on 5 October 1962.

More special guests to be announced

Bassey’s Twitter account helped announce the news.

Shirley Bassey performed the title songs for Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. All had music by John Barry with Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley, Don Black and and Hal David doing the lyrics.

David Arnold composed the scores for Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

NTTD’s reactions from its co-stars

No Time to Die poster

h/t to MI6.HQ.COM which compiled this.

Daniel Craig’s James Bond met his end in No Time to Die. If Craig’s co-stars are to be believed, they had no idea this was happening.

Lea Seydoux, Den of Geek: “I still can’t really believe that that’s what they decided, that he’s gone…It made me sad, actually, it made me really sad…But I hope they will find a new way to—you know they will find something else.”

Naomie Harris, Radio Times: “Because there’s so much secrecy around all of the Bond movies, I thought, ‘Is this a joke? Am I being sent, like, the wrong ending, and then they’re gonna send me a new one?’. I really thought that, because I just thought… this doesn’t happen. Bond doesn’t die. It’s sacred that Bond should never die.”

A reminder: No Time to Die’s script began development in 2017. That’s when Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine met his end in a film. Earlier, Craig and Jackman had appeared together in a play in New York.

Prior to No Time to Die, Craig’s Bond had unhappy endings. At the end of SPECTRE, he finally (or so it seemed) had a happy ending with Seydoux’s Madeline Swann. Instead, No Time to Die threw that out the window.

No Time to Die’s Oscar push is underway

No Time to Die poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists Releasing (the MGM-Annapurna joint venture that distributed No Time to Die in the U.S.) are inviting people to screenings of No Time to Die in Los Angeles and New York as part of a push to get the 25th James Bond movie Oscar nominations.

The Los Angeles screenings are today (Nov. 5), Nov. 12, Nov. 13 and Nov. 15. The New York showings are Nov. 14, Nov. 18 and Nov. 24.

The invitations include “FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION IN ALL CATEGORIES” including:

BEST PICTURE: Michael G. Wilson, p.g.a, Barbara Broccoli, p.g.a. (That’s Producers Guild of America)

BEST ACTOR: Daniel Craig

BEST DIRECTOR: Cary Joji Fukunaga

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Purvis, Wade, Fukunaga, Waller-Bridge

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Malek, Waltz, Wright, Fiennes, Whishaw, Magnuson

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Seydoux, Lynch, Harris, de Armas.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

BEST EDITING

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

BEST SOUND

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (listing only Hans Zimmer, not Steve Mazzaro, his co-composer)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

This is the summary of the movie included in the invitations:

Daniel Craig concludes his five-film portrayal of James Bond in NO TIME TO DIE, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Joining forces with his MI6 team (Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, and Naomie Harris) and a new generation of agents (Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas), Bond faces the highest stakes of his espionage career confronting a global threat devised by Safin (Rami Malek) that has estranged his beloved Dr. Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux) and emotionally explores the sacrifices of heroism. The adapted screenplay is by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The original song “No Time to Die” is written and sung by Billie Ellish.

About some of those Oscar ‘In Memoriam’ folks

Robert Osborne, who made an Oscars “In Memoriam,” in the pilot of The Beverly Hillbillies.

Over the weekend, the BAFTAs came out with its “In Memoriam” segment. Diana Rigg didn’t make it, apparently because the BAFTAs considered her a mere “television actor.” Meanwhile, the general public sometimes gets upset when familiar actors don’t make the cut for the “In Memoriam” segments of the BAFTAs and Ocars while insiders do.

To keep this post manageable, here are a list of Oscar “In Memoriam” entries largely unknown to the general pubic from recent Oscars telecasts.

2020 Oscars: Gerry Lewis, “marketing executive”: Lewis was “the British marketing and publicity expert who promoted such films as AlfieLove Story and The Godfather before spearheading international campaigns for Steven Spielberg efforts from Duel to Ready Player One,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

2019 Oscars: Pierre Rissent, “an important behind-the-scenes figure at the Cannes Film Festival and, as a result, an influential shaper of cinematic trends and directors’ careers for half a century,” according to The New York Times. Also, Paul Bloch, a publicist “adept at putting out fires in Hollywood,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

2018 Oscars: Robert Osborne, TCM host and earlier writer for Hollywood trade publications. He acted a bit including a small part in the pilot for The Beverly Hillbillies (a TV show, not a movie). Also, Joe Hyams, a long-time Warner Bros. publicity executive, according to Deadline: Hollywood.

William P. Cartlidge, crew member on 3 Bonds, dies

William P. Cartlidge (1942-2021)

William P. Cartlidge, a key crew member on three James Bond films directed by Lewis Gilbert, has died at 78, His death was noted by the “Sir Roger Moore (Legacy)” Twitter account maintained by the assistant of the late actor.

Cartlidge was assistant director on You Only Live Twice (1967) and associate producer on The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).

Cartlidge was an entertaining presence on the home video documentaries about the making of those Bond films. For example, he described how many cars were needed to make the submarine car sequence in The Spy Who Loved Me work. In some cases, one car was needed to capture just one shot.

Also, in another video, Cartlidge described how he attempted to talk down the price of the stunt crew. It didn’t work. In all of those videos, he tells his anecdotes in an entertaining way.

Titles on films and TV shows often don’t describe a crew member’s full contributions. In the case of three Bond films he worked, Cartlidge assisted sprawling productions get completed.

According to Cartlidge’s IMDB.COM ENTRY, his other credits included such diverse projects as the Gilbert-directed Educating Rita (as co-producer) and Not Quite Paradise (sharing the producer credit with Gilbert).

NTTD delayed to April 2021

One of the many No Time to Die posters

No Time to Die has been delayed again, this time to April 2021, the Eon Productions official James Bond website said.

The 25th James Bond film has had a series of release dates. At one point, it was to come out in April of this year. It got pushed back to November because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The movie is being released by United Artists Releasing, co-owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, in the U.S., and Universal internationally.

MGM gets into PVOD via Bill & Ted 3

MGM’s Leo the Lion logo

It doesn’t get a lot of 007 fan discussion but Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio, is dipping its toe in the premium video on demand water with Bill & Ted Face the Music. 

The third Bill & Ted movie is a project of Orion, a brand of MGM. It’s coming out on Aug. 28 “in traditional theatres, drive-ins and PVOD,” as noted by Exhibitor Relations Co. Essentially it’s being released by both traditional and PVOD means amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

To be clear there are a lot of differences between Bill & Ted 3 and No Time to Die. Bill & Ted is a smaller budgeted film. MGM’s Orion brand is set up to release less expensive movies.

Also, Bill & Ted 3 is a “an acquisition title” for Orion, The Hollywood Reporter noted in a July 23 story.

No Time to Die, meanwhile is part of MGM’s crown jewels, the Bond franchise. The 25th 007 film has a reported $250 million budget. The conventional wisdom is it needs a big theatrical release.

Walt Disney Co. earlier this week, opted to move one of its big projects, Mulan, to PVOD. It will be available for $29.99 to people who already subscribe to its Disney + streaming service.

How much does any of this have to do with No Time to Die? Maybe nothing. At the very least, MGM is getting a little experience with PVOD.

Billy Goldenberg, composer for famous TV shows, dies

Title card for the Columbo episode Murder by the Book

Billy Goldenberg, who scored a number of key television productions in the 1970s, died this week at 84, Variety reported.

Goldenberg composed the score for the 1971 TV movie Ransom for a Dead Man, which served as the second pilot for Columbo. The composer was brought back for a few episodes when Columbo went to series.

Perhaps his most famous Columbo effort was Murder by the Book, the first regular series installment.

The episode’s director (Steven Spielberg) and writer (Steven Bochco) would both become famous over long careers. But Goldenberg more than held his own with the score, which included sound effects similar to a typewriter.

In the episode, Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) plays his usual cat-and-mouse game with half of a famous writing team (Jack Cassidy) who has killed his partner (Martin Milner), who did all the work.

As it turned out, it wasn’t the first time Goldenberg did the music for a Spielberg-directed TV show.

Goldenberg also credited for providing the scores for LA 2017 (an episode of The Name of the Game directed by Spielberg); the 1969 pilot for Night Gallery, written by Rod Serling, which had a Spielberg-directed segment; and Duel, a 1971 TV movie starring Dennis Weaver and helmed by Spielberg.

Murder by the Book made Columbo a hit. It would run until 1977 on NBC. Columbo would then be revived on ABC from 1989 to 2003.

Goldenberg also scored the 1973 TV movie The Marcus-Nelson Murders. That led to the 1973-78 series Kojak with Telly Savalas. Goldenberg also provided the theme for the show’s first four seasons.

Official @007 Twitter feed publishes its wittiest post

Eon’s official @007 Twitter account went live in the fall of 2011. The blog has criticized it on occasion (including how long it took to acknowledge the existence of Eon co-founder Harry Saltzman).

However, the Twitter feed has shaped up recently. In particular, a tweet on June 17 had a little fun with the Daniel Craig era.

Without further ado, here it is, comparing images from Skyfall and Quantum of Solace. The tweet plays off the COVID-19 pandemic that’s still a major factor in life today.

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