Canada may change copyright laws

"I may not be in the public domain in Canada afterall?"

“I may not be in the public domain in Canada afterall?”

Canada may change its copyright laws as part of trade negotiations, which could squelch publication of new, unauthorized James Bond stories.

Here’s an excerpt from a Feb. 7 story in THE HUFFINGTON POST.

The U.S.’s controversial “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” — the name given by critics to a particularly strong copyright term law — may be coming to Canada thanks to a new trade deal.

There’s plenty we don’t know about what’s been agreed to in the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, largely because of a monolithic veil of secrecy surrounding the talks (although many of Canada’s lobbyists have reportedly been given access).

But according to a news brief from Japan’s NHK, negotiators working on the 12-country TPP trade area have come to an agreement on the copyright chapter of the trade deal. Under the agreement, copyright terms would be extended to the life of the creator plus 70 years.

You can view view the NHK item BY CLICKING HERE. It’s short and vague, referring to how trade negotiators “are a step closer” to change.

The literary 007 is controlled by Ian Fleming Publications, managed by the heirs of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.

In Canada, the literary Bond entered public domain on Jan. 1. Under copyright law there, protection lasts 50 years after the author’s death. That prompted the announcement of AN UNAUTHORIZED ANTHOLOGY OF JAMES BOND STORIES CALLED LICENCE EXPIRED to be published in that country. The copyright law may endanger that project. For more, you can view THIS STORY on the MI6 James Bond website.

A couple of questions, though, to keep in mind: If Canada changes its copyright laws, when would it take effect? (Immediately? Some future date?) Depending on that answer, is still possible the unauthorized Bond stories could see print before the law changes? If the answer to that question is yes, the anthology could become a bit of a Bond collector’s item.

Amy Pascal steps down at Sony


Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, is leaving the studio to be a producer at the studio, THE HUFFINGTON POST REPORTED, citing a Sony statement.

Pascal will take her new position in May, the website reported.

Confidential e-mails by Pascal and other documents — including a draft of the script of SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film — were made public last year by hackers. Some of the emails included Pascal making critical comments of actors and racially insensitive remarks about U.S. President Barack Obama.

Sony has released 007 films since 2006’s Casino Royale. Pascal has worked closely with Eon Productions, which makes the Bond films, and has been viewed as an ally of Barbara Broccoli, Eon’s co-boss.

In some of the hacked emails, Pascal sides with Broccoli about SPECTRE’s $300 million-plus budget, the CNN/Money website reported last year. Separately, the Daily Beast last year reported that Pascal suggested Idris Elba be the next Bond after Daniel Craig.

Sony’s contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to release Bond movies ends with SPECTRE.

UPDATE: The announcement confirmed a DAILY MAIL STORY that was posted earlier today.

Hammer describes Kuryakin: `He was cool’

Armie Hammer

Armie (the Dude) Hammer

Actor Armie Hammier, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE HUFFINGTON POST to promote The Lone Ranger, has commented about the Illya Kuryakin character he’s slated to play in a movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

This excerpt starts with writer Mike Ryan asking Hammer about Kuryakin:

I feel that people unfamiliar with the show might not realize how cool that character is.
That’s very true. I had no idea before I got involved with it.

The actor who played him in the series, David McCallum, became a heartthrob because of this character.

Oh, dude, he had the way with ladies. He had all of the spy gadgets. He was tough. He was cool. He had everything. He was like the original Bond.

It’s an interesting movie because “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” was a popular show in the ’60s, but it hasn’t been a sustained popularity like something like “The Lone Ranger” or “Star Trek.” Do you think it needs to be completely reintroduced?

I try not to think about that. I mean, that seems to me — you know, Guy Ritchie, who’s directing it, that’s in his wheelhouse. I’ll let him worry about that. For me, like I said, my job lies almost exclusively between when the director says “action” and when he calls “cut.” So, it could also maybe be more freeing. That we do have a bit more artistic liberties to take with this. Because there are less people who are staunch fans of it.

Dude, some of the “less people who are staunch fans of it” might get nervous about the “more artistic liberties.” Then again, that appears to be an honest comment. Also, movies based on novels, television shows or comic books often make changes. Fans of the Superman comic book have been vocal about the ending of Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill, who is to play Napoleon Solo in the U.N.C.L.E. movie.

You can CLICK HERE to read the entire interview with Hammer.

UPDATE: Hammer also did an interview ON THE SLASHFILM.COM WEB SITE where the subject of U.N.C.L.E. came up.

What does Guy Ritchie have planned for that?

Guy Ritchie greatness. That’s all I can say.

There’s been a lot of turns with this project. “Tom Cruise is out… This guy is out…” You seem to have been there the whole time.

Like a fungus.

What is it about it that got you to stick around?

It was Guy. I mean it was a hundred percent Guy, and Tom was doing it at the time and that seemed like a cool thing, too. Getting to play a Russian KGB spy seemed like a really exciting thing. Getting to learn a lot about the Cold War, that sounded like a great idea. Now I get to work with Henry Cavill, which is really exciting with Guy Ritchie directing. I’m really excited to see what kind of frenetic spin he has in him. It should be really exciting.

The words “KGB spy” might cause a stir among fans. U.N.C.L.E. had agents from many countries. Kuryakin was shown in a first-season episode, The Neptune Affair, wearing a Soviet military uniform. In that episode, Kuryakin briefly confers with Solo in New York before returning to the Soviet Union because of a looming U.S.-U.S.S.R. crisis. However, there are some U.N.C.L.E. fans who insist Kuryakin must have been a defector.

Everybody’s `exclusive’ Skyfall video

On Aug. 16, the U.K. Telegraph (with a time stamp of 12:58 p.m. BST) said it had a Skyfall exclusive, a video featuring star Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes. You can CLICK HERE to see how the Telegraph presented the video.

Later in the day, 11:10 a.m. New York time to be precise, the U.S.-based Huffington Post Web site said it had this video exclusively. You can CLICK HERE to see the Huffington Post’s presentation.

Meanwhile, the official 007 Web site also put the video up. You can CLICK HERE to see that.

Finally, the official Web site also put it up on YouTube, where you can view it non-exclusively below. Mendes and Craig talk about filming in London. It’s OK but not nearly as elaborate as the maneuvering to claim being exclusive.

007 in the Olympics, reports proven (mostly) right

It won’t be shown for a few hours in the U.S., but Daniel Craig appeared in character as James Bond in the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics.

Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth in a short film that was part of the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics. This image is from MGM, which uploaded an image from the BBC.

The New York Times is LIVE BLOGGING the event.

An excerpt:

A video is showing Daniel Craig (as James Bond) arriving at Buckingham Palace. And the queen is in it! The genuine queen, not some costumed performer. She just said, “Good afternoon, Mr. Bond.” What a trouper! They’re getting in a helicopter (on video). And now they are jumping out of the plane (through special effects). Cute.

This was originally reported in the U.K. press on April 1, but has proven not to be an April Fool’s joke.

UPDATE I: Here’s an account in The Huffington Post. An excerpt:

Army helicopters then flew over the Olympic Stadium with a stuntman who played “Bond.” He then parachuted into the stadium to the tune of the theme from the James Bond movies. The best part? A stunt Queen also dropped in, Union Jack parachute and all.

UPDATE II: One critical thing didn’t happen. The 007 character wasn’t “knighted” by Queen Elizabeth II as reported by the London Standard.

Some Bond fans, especially those who were big fans of Daniel Craig, had argued this would amount to a de facto knighting of Daniel Craig himself. But it didn’t happen, so it’s a moot point.

That isn’t a bad thing because Ian Fleming’s James Bond turned down a knighthood in the author’s final 007 novel, 1965’s The Man With the Golden Gun. Thus the Olympics, by intent or by luck, ended up staying true to Ian Fleming.

UPDATE III: The BBC’s Web site has a video, which you can check out CLICKING HERE. The Queen’s dogs upstaged 007.

UPDATE IV: The video is on YouTube. CLICK HERE to see it.

UPDATE V: The Telegraph newspaper in the U.K. has a story that notes the doubles for Daniel Craig and Elizabeth II didn’t actually parachute into the stadium.

Daniel Craig shows up with beard for premier of Tintin

A few days ago, one U.K. newspaper, The Sun, said Daniel Craig was growing a beard for Bond 23. He did show up at the U.K. premier of The Adventures of Tintin sporting a beard, according to a report in another U.K. newspaper, the Daily Mail.

You can CLICK HERE to see pictures and read the Mail’s coverage of the premier. Filming on Bond 23 isn’t supposed to start until Nov. 7 (a date unconfirmed by Eon Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or Sony Corp.’s Columbia Pictures). So this can’t be considered conclusive evidence The Sun was correct.

UPDATE: You can view additional pictures at THE HUFFINGTON POST.

The Huffington Post celebrates Goldfinger!

Sean Connery, Shirley Eaton, and Ian Fleming on the set of GOLDFINGER

Sean Connery, Shirley Eaton, and Ian Fleming on the set of GOLDFINGER

We’re not sure how many of our readers are also readers of the politically-left website The Huffington Post, but political analyst William Bradley has posted a quite nice tribute to the James Bond film Goldfinger, on the occasion of its 45th anniversary.

Mr. Bradley is clearly a long-standing and knowledgeable fan, and writes quite lovingly of what obviously is his favorite 007 picture. The (rather lengthy) post is loaded with embedded YouTube videos which will spark your nostalgia, and is followed by a spirited discussion in the Reader’s Comments section.

Another ’60s Anniversary: The Ur-Action Blockbuster Goldfinger is a happy way for a Bond fan to while away a little time, and is certainly deserving of your attention.