Aston Martin to be in Bond 25, CEO says

Daniel Craig and Aston Martin DB5 in a Skyfall publicity sill

Aston Martin will be involved with Bond 25, the company’s CEO told CNN.

The executive, Andy Palmer, apparently was interviewed for the world feed of the news network. The CNN interviewer, Anna Stewart, posted an excerpt on her Instagram account.

“I can confirm that Aston Martin will be collaborating in the next chapter of Bond,” Palmer said in the video excerpt. “So take read from that what you will.”

There have been stories, including one in the Financial Times, that an executive of Lotus, Phil Popham, said he’d like to see his company reunite with 007.

Lotus figured in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), where the car supposedly converted into a submarine, and For Your Eyes Only (1981). Aston’s history with the 007 film series goes back to 1964’s Goldfinger.

Aston Martin became a publicly traded company this week.

“The share price fall on Wednesday left the 105-year-old firm, James Bond’s favourite car marque, with a market value of just above £4bn, sharply lower than its initial hopes for a price tag of over £5bn,” according to a story in The Guardian.

Literary 007 reference in CNN anchor’s new novel

Jake Tapper’s avatar on Twitter

A new novel by CNN anchor Jake Tapper makes a reference to Ian Fleming and Casino Royale, the first James Bond novel.

Tapper’s novel, The Hellfire Club, is set in 1954.

On Monday night, there was an exchange between Tapper and a reader on Twitter.

“Really enjoying The Hellfire Club by @jaketapper,” reader Harry Frishberg posted on Twitter. “A political thriller that feels cleverly plotted and meticulously researched. There’s even a reference to Casino Royale at the beginning of chapter 8! Highly recommended.”

Tapper answered: “You’re smart to have picked up on the Fleming reference!!”

Here’s a description of The Hellfire Club via Amazon:

Charlie Marder is an unlikely Congressman. Thrust into office by his family ties after his predecessor died mysteriously, Charlie is struggling to navigate the dangerous waters of 1950s Washington, DC, alongside his young wife Margaret, a zoologist with ambitions of her own. Amid the swirl of glamorous and powerful political leaders and deal makers, a mysterious fatal car accident thrusts Charlie and Margaret into an underworld of backroom deals, secret societies, and a plot that could change the course of history. When Charlie discovers a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of governance, he has to fight not only for his principles and his newfound political political career…but for his life.

Tapper hosts The Lead on CNN, 4 p.m. Monday-Friday New York time and State of the Union, CNN’s Sunday morning political news show.

The most recent 007 continuation novels by Anthony Horowitz have also been period pieces. 2015’s Trigger Mortis was set in 1957, after the events of Fleming’s Goldfinger novel. Horowitz’s next Bond continuation novel, Forever and a Day, tells the story of what happened before the Casino Royale novel.

Elon Musk and Blofeld, the sequel

Elon Musk photo on Twitter on April 29.

Elon Musk photo on Twitter.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, really, really likes to compare himself to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, James Bond’s arch enemy.

This week, SpaceX had a much-publicized launch. It didn’t go as planned. Here’s an excerpt from CNN’S WEBSITE:

(CNN)—SpaceX on Tuesday launched a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying an uncrewed cargo spacecraft called Dragon on a flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the International Space Station.

That was the easy part. In a difficult bid to land a rocket stage on a floating barge for the first time, the private space exploration company was unsuccessful.

Musk, whose photo on Twitter evokes Blofeld as well as Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies, had been more optimistic about the outcome. And, in doing so, *again* evoked Blofeld, specifically as depicted in You Only Live Twice:

Musk was less jovial after the landing failure.

Variety, CNN examine journalistic issues with Sony hack

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No SPECTRE spoilers in this post.

Variety and CNN have examined the issues facing journalists covering the unfolding implications of the computer hacking at Sony Pictures.

Various Sony documents have been made public by hackers, including personal information of Sony employees, emails by executives and unreleased movies. The hacked materials include a draft script of SPECTRE, the James Bond film currently in production.

“It’s getting harder for me to report on the contents of Sony’s leak without wondering whether I’m somehow complicit with these nefarious hackers by relaying the details of seemingly every pilfered terabyte,” Andrew Wallenstein, Variety’s co-editor-in-chief, wrote IN A COMMENTARY published Dec. 11.

Wallenstein’s commentary discusses the journalistic desire for scoops and newsworthiness of the information versus the circumstances of the Sony hack. He says he has “arrived at an uneasy peace with why the leaks can’t just be ignored.”

“Unfortunately, the data is in the public domain for all to consume,” the Variety editor wrote. “Should information from a leak force someone like (movie producer Scott) Rudin to make a public apology, how do you report on the apology without citing what he is apologizing for?”

Rudin was involved in an exchange of emails with Sony executive Amy Pascal where they joked about the race of U.S. President Barack Obama.

At the same time, Wallenstein wrote, “Let’s get real: The hackers are playing the press as pawns.” To read the entire commentary, CLICK HERE. The leaks involving SPECTRE aren’t mentioned.

On Dec. 14, CNN’s Reliable Sources media-review show included a segment about the Sony hacks. Host Brian Stelter disclosed e-mails he sent to Sony executives while working on stories had been part of data dumps by the hackers.

“None of my communications were embarrassing but it does not feel good to know now the world can see who my sources were,” the host said.

“This is stolen material,” Stelter added. “So should journalists like I and many others feel free to republish something that was taken illegally?” That led into a segment with Variety’s Wallenstein and Don Lemon, a CNN anchor.

To view the Reliable Sources segment, CLICK HERE., It doesn’t mention SPECTRE specifically, either. The CNN/Money website last week published a post about SPECTRE’s budget based on e-mails that were part of the Sony hacking.

UPDATE: Writer Aaron Sorkin wrote a commentary in THE NEW YORK TIMES arguing the press shouldn’t be reporting anything from the hacked Sony information.

2013 Oscars to have biggest 007 component in 31 years

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UPDATE II (8:05 p.m.): Halle Berry said on ABC that’s she has seen some of the Bond tribute for the Oscars show and that it’s “fabulous” and that she’s proud to be part of the 007 franchise. Immediately after, Adele says on ABC she’s “really excited” to perform tonight. Obviously, nothing terribly revealing in either interview.

UPDATE (6:55 p.m.): Shirley Bassey showed up on CNN’s Oscars “red carpet” show. Nothing startling. She sang the word “Goldfinger.” She told Piers Morgan she’s going to be nervous during the show. “With all these stars, I’m going to be jelly.” She said her favorite Bond was Sean Connery.

ORIGINAL POST: Tonight’s Oscars show is guaranteed to have the biggest 007 presence in 31 years.

Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond movie, has been nominated for five awards, the most in the history of the film series. The previous 007 record was held by The Spy Who Loved Me with three nominations (and no wins).

We know that Adele will perform the Skyfall title song. That’s one of the five nominations for Skyfall (Adele and Paul Epworth are nominated as the songwriters). Shirley Bassey has been announced as appearing and there will be some kind of James Bond tribute. Tom Jones may be there as well but there appears to be no official announcement to that effect in the PRESS RELEASE ARCHIVE for the Oscars.

A Bond film hasn’t been nominated since 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, for best song. The series is 0-for-3 on best song nominations (Live And Let Die and Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me also got nominations). For the 1982 show, Sheena Easton performed For Your Eyes Only as part of an elaborate 007 dance number and Albert R. Broccoli won the Irving Thalberg award, given to a producer for his or her body of work.

We’ll Tweet @HMSSWeblog and turn those into posts here.

CNN uses Thunderball clip to mock Fox News over jetpack story

We could set this up better, but it’s a little complicated. But suffice it to say this involves a bogus story about the Los Angeles Police Department ordering thousands of jetpacks, one cable network (CNN) chiding another (Fox News) and a clip from Thunderball, where Sean Connery’s James Bond used a jetpack to escape some SPECTRE thugs. So here’s CNN’s Jeanne Moos:

Life (and death) imitates fiction

CNN reported a story on its Web site last month that will resonate with anyone who has read Ian Fleming’s 1964 You Only Live Twice novel.

AOKIGAHARA FOREST, Japan (CNN) — Aokigahara Forest is known for two things in Japan: breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and suicides. Also called the Sea of Trees, this destination for the desperate is a place where the suicidal disappear, often never to be found in the dense forest.

This story contains no Doctor Shatterhand, aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and a “garden of death” intended to lure those who want to kill themselves. Still, suicide is on the rise in Japan, according to CNN:

There were 2,645 suicides recorded in January 2009, a 15 percent increase from the 2,305 for January 2008, according to the Japanese government.

The Japanese government said suicide rates are a priority and pledged to cut the number of suicides by more than 20 percent by 2016. It plans to improve suicide awareness in schools and workplaces. But officials fear the toll will rise with unemployment and bankruptcies, matching suicide spikes in earlier tough economic times.

To read the entire CNN story, JUST CLICK HERE.