A modest proposal for a Moonraker video game

Moonraker teaser poster

On a Nov. 27 James Bond & Friends livestream, the discussion veered into the opinion of participants about which films might make a good video game.

I suggested Moonraker. It takes James Bond into outer space (a place many fans say Bond should never go). It was a big, sprawling film that lends itself to video games.

The movie also has a number of similarities to 1966’s Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die. Since you’ve gone that far, why not adapt scenes from the earlier movie and provide Sony Corp. (parent company of Columbia, which released the 1966 film) a token payment.

For example, in a Moonraker video game, you could have a level where Jaws and other Hugo Drax henchmen chase Bond to the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Bond goes inside the statue, followed by the baddies. You could have a series of fights as Bond struggles to get to the top. Finally, Bond makes it. In comes Manuela, the local Rio operative from British Intelligence, flying a helicopter with a ladder dangling from it.

Bond gets on the ladder just in time as Jaws lunges for the agent. But Jaws only gets Bond’s shoe. Bond then smiles at Jaws (the way he did in The Spy Who Loved Me and in the film Moonraker) to taunt him. Jaws shakes his fist at the escaping Bond.

Another possibility would a proper sequence at Iguazu Falls. The location figures briefly into the movie but you don’t get a sense of the majesty of the place. Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die sets its title sequence at the falls and you get a better feel for the location.

Thus, with a Moonraker video game, another level would depict Bond with a mini-adventure at the falls.

Separately, Christopher Wood’s novelization for Moonraker had Bond doing a space walk to get from one place on Drax’s space station to another. Obviously, the could make an interesting level for a Moonraker video game.

Needless to say, these suggestions won’t be going anywhere. Consider them food for thought.

A modest proposal: Video game about making of B25

Barbara Broccoli, boss of Eon Productions

There have been various video games featuring James Bond. But what about a video game about the making of a James Bond movie? Specifically about the making of Bond 25/No Time to Die.

Format: You are Barbara Broccoli, boss of Eon Productions navigating the various problems of making Bond 25/No Time to Die.

Game begins: It is 2015. Daniel Craig says he’d rather slit his wrists than play James Bond again.

Ominous music plays.

Level 1: Broccoli observes conflicting press reports. Daily Mail says Craig turns down a big offer. BBC says that may not be the case.

Broccoli screen tests possible replacements. One is Tom Hiddleston (or is slightly renamed to avoid lawsuits.) Broccoli isn’t happy.

Level 2: Broccoli produces Othello play, featuring Daniel Craig as Iago, hoping to keep him interested in Bond.

Level 3: Neal Purvis and Robert Wade say they can’t imagine writing another James Bond film. Broccoli has to change their minds.

Level 4: Broccoli finally gets Craig onboard.

Level 5: Director search. Includes Danny Boyle pitching idea by himself and John Hodge. Hodge displaces Purvis and Wade.

Level 6: Broccoli and Boyle have their differences. Boyle leaves (or is fired?).

Level 7: Director search II. Broccoli checks out various Boyle replacements.

Level 8: Title debate between Broccoli and studios.

Level 9: Production

Level 10: Post-production and, then, CORONAVIRUS. Broccoli fights with a giant COVID-19 virus. Large, symphonic score.

Blofeld and Strucker: masterminds separated at birth?

Blofeld in 007 Legends


This year, as part of the 50th anniversary of the film James Bond, there’s a new video game where Daniel Craig’s James Bond participates in storylines from five 007 films before the actor ever took up the part. The writer of the video game is Bruce Feirstein, who helped script three 007 films in the 1990s, starting with GoldenEye and running through The World Is Not Enough.

But something else caught our eye — the video game’s Ernst Stavro Blofeld looks awfully familiar but only if you’re familiar with a certain comic book spy.

The makers of the Activision video game instead of using the likeness of an actor who actually played Blofeld (Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas, Charles Gray and Max Von Sydow), did a little mixing and matching. The 007 Legend’s Blofeld combines the facial scars of Pleasence’s version with the more physical Savalas version).

Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker menaces Nick Fury, courtesy of writer-artist Jim Steranko


Interestingly, and perhaps by coincidence, the 007 Legends Blofeld resembles Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, the leader of the group Hydra that bedeviled Marvel Comics’ Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD.

In fact, the Strucker character was originally created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for the World War II comic, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos. Writer-artist Jim Steranko devised the idea that Strucker survived World War II and now was the chief of Hydra in the 1960s SHIELD story.

Steranko began drawing the SHIELD version of Nick Fury with Strange Tales No. 151, while Stan Lee was still writing the title. Kirby provided rough layouts, essentially an outline for Steranko to follow.

Steranko eventually took over all of the art responsibilities and later began writing the SHIELD stories also. At the end of Strange Tales No. 156, Steranko produced a two-page spread revealing that Strucker, Fury’s World War II arch-enemy, was Hydra’s leader Strucker had a facial scar very much like the Pleasence version of Blofeld.

Meanwhile, here’s a preview of 007 Legends that was upload to YouTube:

Here are the opening credits for 007 Legends:

007 questions related to being a James Bond fan

001. Do we know any more about Bond 23 than we did three months ago? Not really. Eon Productions co-boss Michael G. Wilson has been quoted as saying a new film might occur “soon,” but he provided no dates, no details. In the space of three months, Eon said work was suspended indefinitely, a U.K. newspaper called the project “cancelled” and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has gotten extensions on making debt payments and remains a Hollywood pauper.

002. Should I be pessimstic or optimistic? Until MGM’s situation is more clear, it’s hard to be optimistic. MGM, which controls half the Bond franchise, supplies the cash from which everything else happens. But some fans go the other way and say it may be a decade before the next movie comes out. For now, that sounds extreme, but who really knows?

003. What do James Bond experts say? Depends on the expert and how much he/she really knows. There’s a lot of heat and not much light right now.

004. How do I pass the time and still engage my passion for 007? You can still easily find the original Ian Fleming novels. Raymond Benson’s novels are being reprinted. Jeffrey Deaver has been commission to write a new 007 novel to be published next year. There are video games coming out. You can still watch DVDs of the 21 Eon 007 films, Never Say Never Again and the 1967 Casino Royale. There are alternatives.

005. What’s annoying about being a Bond fan? Here’s one possibility: the Know-It-All Fan. This is the person who claims an inside connection and that they simply know *more* about it than you do. All fandoms have this, but James Bond fandom has been more corporate than many others. If you encounter such a fan on a message board, you may even try to inquire just *how* they know this, but the Know-It-All Fan will scoff with never answering the question.

Comments by the Know-It-All Fan raise two possibilities: 1) the Know-It-All Fan doesn’t really know (bad enough) or 2) the Know-It-All Fan does have a connection at least of a sort. But with No. 2, that means Know-It-All Fan is, essentially, in the pocket of James Bond filmmakers (or whoever). This type of Know-It-All Fan’s isn’t going to jeopardize that access. Their primary interest is maintaining access, not full disclosure.

006. How do you deal with Know-It-All Fan? It’s tempting to call Know-It-All fan out. Ultimately, though, it’s going to be fruitless. You should either ignore them or just nod as if you were listening.

007. Gee, this is kind of grim picture of James Bond fandom. Why continue being a fan? We’re in a lull (maybe an extended lull, maybe not) in the film series. Thus, there’s not much new on the film front other than MGM’s debt situation, etc. In other words, nothing much fun to change the subject. But, as we said, there are alternatives, including new books and video games. And James Bond is still James Bond. If you like 007, all of this is worth putting up with. It’s just how you choose to go about it.