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James Bond Wiki

There are twenty-five James Bond films produced by EON Productions and distributed by United Artists and MGM. The first, Dr. No was released in 1962 and the twenty-fifth installment, No Time to Die, was released in 2021; making it one of the longest-running film series of all time. Combined, all 25 released Bond films have grossed over $7.0 billion. (Adjusted for 2016 inflation: $16.4 billion[1].) which also make the series the highest-grossing of all time with figures adjusted in front of Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When not adjusted, however, the 007 series is the third highest grossing behind Harry Potter and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has been widely regarded for over 50 years as one of the greatest film and media franchises of all time as its long stretch of films, novels, comics, etc. continue to expand to this day.

There are also two additional James Bond films, Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again as well as a single TV production of Casino Royale. All three of these were adapted directly from Ian Fleming novels, unlike some of the Eon productions, although like Eon films, they often had major deviations from the source material.

History

Fleming, Saltzman, and Broccoli

The films, originally derived from Ian Fleming's series of James Bond books began production after Fleming's novels failed to take off in the television sphere with a 1954 production of Casino Royale. Over time, however, the Eon films moved further and further away from Fleming's source material, before creating entirely new bespoke stories of their own. In 1959, Albert R. Broccoli began pursuing the books for film adaptation and in 1961 his new business partner Harry Saltzman purchased the rights to all of Fleming's novels (except Casino Royale). The two began shopping Dr. No and Thunderball to production studios for funding but were shot down several times until United Artists struck a deal to produce Dr. No for $1.2 million. Broccoli and Saltzman then founded EON Productions to manage the film's production.

Connery

Connery as Bond

Broccoli and Saltzman began a UK-wide search to cast Bond and held a "Find James Bond" contest to encourage auditions. The winner, Peter Anthony, dropped out due to stress. Patrick McGoohan, Richard Johnson, James Mason, Rex Harrison, David Niven, Trevor Howard, and Broccoli's friend Cary Grant were all in contention at one point but Sean Connery won out in the end, having proven himself to the producers in his roles in On the Fiddle and Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

Connery appeared in five Bond films; 1962's Dr. No, 1963's From Russia with Love, 1964's Goldfinger, which made the franchise a cultural phenomenon and was very the first time it was recognized worldwide,1965's Thunderball, and 1967's You Only Live Twice; before announcing that he was leaving the series at the end of his contract. He was burnt out due to the rapid schedule and wanted to branch his career out.

Lazenby

Lazenby as Bond

Broccoli and Saltzman began another search for Bond and decided on Timothy Dalton who turned the role down because he believed he was too young for the role. The producers eventually discovered George Lazenby in an action-themed Fry's Chocolate Cream commercial. His Australian nationality caused something of a stir in the Bond community but his 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service turned out to be a decent critical and commercial success. Lazenby's talent agent urged him to move on from Bond and use his press to launch his acting career. He heeded his advice and dropped his 7-film contract.

Connery, again

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Frustrated with Lazenby's departure, Broccoli and Saltzman wanted to reassure audiences of EON's steadfastness and the franchise's future by delivering another crowd-pleaser. They tried to recreate the magic of Goldfinger by getting director Guy Hamilton and star Sean Connery back together for another United States based Bond film. Connery demanded a $1.25 million paycheck plus 12.5% of all gross profits and an additional $145,000 per week if the film was in theaters for over 18 weeks. His fee was outrageously high for 1971 but producers granted it to him and the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever was released to thrilled audiences and critics. Connery later used all his proceeds from the film to fund the Scottish International Education Trust, a scholarship for Scottish artists.

Moore

Moore as Bond

Rejuvenated with the success of Diamonds Are Forever, Broccoli and Saltzman began a third hunt to cast James Bond. They were searching for a Bond who would best represent the 1970s — suave and progressive. Jeremy Brett, Michael Billington, and Julian Glover were all considered but Roger Moore landed the spot. His previous TV roles in The Saint and The Persuaders gained him nation-wide attention and respect in the UK. Moore made seven films, making him the longest-tenured Bond in EON productions. He first appeared in 1973's Live and Let Die followed by 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun, the final film to be co-produced by Harry Saltzman who left due to immense debt causing him to lose his EON shares. Moore's popularity grew with 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me', the first Bond film crafted from entirely original material, as Fleming was dissatisfied with his novel of the same name. Moore also proved he could take Bond beyond any imaginable limits in 1979's Moonraker and 1981's For Your Eyes Only after which he decided to leave the role.

Michael G. Wilson joined the production team at this time, and a search began for a new Bond. The producers eventually settled on American James Brolin and he was signed. Brolin even went so far as to buy a home in England. But the announcement that the non-EON production Never Say Never Again would star Sean Connery as Bond made the producers unwilling to launch a new Bond opposite Connery. Consequently, they re-signed Moore for two additional films, 1983's Octopussy and 1985's A View to a Kill, after which Moore finally hung up his holster at age 57.

Dalton

Dalton as Bond

Dalton was first approached to play Bond in 1969 and later in 1981 but was finally free from other obligations for 1987's The Living Daylights and felt he was finally ready to helm the role of 007. (Pierce Brosnan was briefly considered but was busy with Remington Steele.) Like Connery and Moore before, Dalton was a Bond for his era. More hard-edged than his predecessors, it is said that Dalton's Bond most accurately reflects Fleming's Bond.

Dalton returned in 1989's Licence to Kill which was fraught with complications. The film was the first to stray extremely far from Fleming's source material, to save money the film was shot in Mexico rather than Pinewood Studios, and the title was changed from License Revoked close to the release date. Its performance was mediocre at the box office but the real problems came with the sale of MGM and United Artists to Pathé Communications. EON's parent company Danjaq sued Pathé for television distribution rights, freezing all Bond productions until 1995. In the run-up to what would have been his third Bond film, The Property of A Lady, Dalton stepped away from the role in 1994 when he chose not to renew his contract.

Brosnan

Brosnan as Bond

After a seven-year hiatus many wondered if Bond was still relevant to the world, namely since many of his foes were from the now-dissolved Soviet Union. At age 86 and fed up with the previous years of legal disputes, Albert R. Broccoli stepped away from the Bond series and was replaced by his daughter Barbara Broccoli.

Without a star for Bond, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson decided to rejuvenate the franchise. They had previously met Pierce Brosnan on set of For Your Eyes Only and his schedule was now free for him to don the tuxedo as Bond. Brosnan portrayed a Bond for the 1990s — technologically and culturally savvy. The 1995 film GoldenEye also brought on Judi Dench as M and was met with the highest attendance rates since Moore's films. Brosnan's success continued with 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies, 1999's The World Is Not Enough and 2002's Die Another Day. Brosnan, now 50 years old, decided to leave the series on a high note in 2004.

Craig

Craig as Bond.

Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson once again had a blank slate and had an opportunity to reinvent the Bond franchise. The success of the gritty and realistic films The Bourne Identity and Batman Begins, and the recently acquired rights to Fleming's first novel Casino Royale led the producers to entirely reboot the series with an origin story that was focused on Bond's motivations rather than gadgets, guns, and girls, but all that still existed in the Craig films. In October 2005 Daniel Craig was announced as the new Bond. Die-hard fans complained of his blonde hair but his strong performance won their support.

2006's Casino Royale was one of the franchise's highest grossing entries and successfully launched Craig's burgeoning career. 2008's Quantum of Solace was met with less acclaim but still performed strongly at the box office. The twenty-third Bond film was in preproduction when MGM declared bankruptcy in 2010. The film was postponed indefinitely (although Broccoli, Wilson, and Craig worked unofficially) until January 2011. The film, Skyfall was released in October 2012 — fifty years after Dr. No first hit the silver screen in 1962. As of the release of the film, it turned out to be a newer phenomenon grossing over $1,000,000,000 in the box office. It outperformed Thunderball in the box office, known as the most successful Bond film to date prior to Skyfall's release. The next Bond movie, Spectre, was less well received than Skyfall, but was still commercially successful, grossing over $880,000,000. No Time to Die was released in 2021 with Daniel Craig returning to the role once again and grossing $774,034,007 as of December 22, 2021. This film was announced as Craig's final appearance as Bond.

Non-Eon productions

Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again.

The first thing to remark about the three non-Eon films is that they are essentially standalone productions which have not had a major impact on any of the later productions, or indeed each other. There a number of actors who appeared in both Eon and non-Eon productions - this includes Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Angela Scoular, Burt Kwouk, Valerie Leon and others. Characters such as Q, Le Chiffre and Blofeld also appear in them. On the other hand, some of the trademarks of Eon productions, such as gun barrel sequences and their distinctive music are absent here.

The first time Bond was adapted, was for the small screen, not the big one, because the 1954 Casino Royale is an American TV production. However, it does boast some notable actors. First of these is the formidable Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre, a veteran of European and American films. Linda Christian and Barry Nelson were also successful actors of their day. However, it differs from later Bond films, because it makes Barry Nelson's James Bond an American, and Leiter becomes an Englishman, while combining Vesper and Mathis into one character. It is also highly set bound, as was common with TV of the time.

Dr. Noah's lair in Casino Royale, perhaps the most idiosyncratic of all the Bond films.

Casino Royale's rights were sold on, and it has the unique status of being the only Bond novel to have been adapted three times for the screen. The second attempt in 1967 bears little resemblance to either the previous TV adaptation, or the much more serious Craig version, delving into psychedelia, and parodies of Expressionism. Unlike either of them, it was directed by several people, and this shows in the inconsistent style and disjointed nature. Despite its extravagance, and big budget (for the time) of $12 million, it made $41.7 million at the box office. It also boasts possibly the most star-studded cast of any Bond film to date, with major actors of the time like Jean-Paul Belmondo, Peter O' Toole and others in very short cameos.

Never Say Never Again, a reimagining of Thunderball is perhaps the closest of these three in style to an Eon Bond film, although it too has some major differences. It is the only one of the three to appear regularly in Bond listings due to its use of Sean Connery in the lead role. It is also the only one of these three to go up against an Eon film in the cinemas, although the release dates were slightly different.

O.K. Connery, a truly unofficial Bondsploitation film.

Lastly, there is another group of Bond films that deserve a mention. These are the truly unofficial Bond films. This would include O.K. Connery, which stars Sean Connery's brother Neil, and a number of well known Bond actors such as Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell (who actually gets more screen time in this than any Eon production). Fan productions also appear online occasionally, as well as very close imitations such as Göksel Arsoy's films and other parodies & Imitations.

List of films and grosses

List of films in the official EON film series plus unadjusted grosses:

Title Year Unadjusted Grosses Actor Director
Square (01).jpg Dr. No 1962 $59,500,000 Sean Connery Terence Young
Square (02).jpg From Russia with Love 1963 $78,900,000
Square (03).jpg Goldfinger 1964 $124,900,000 Guy Hamilton
Square (04).jpg Thunderball 1965 $141,200,000 Terence Young
Square (05).jpg You Only Live Twice 1967 $101,000,000 Lewis Gilbert
Square (06).jpg On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969 $64,600,000 George Lazenby Peter R. Hunt
Square (07).jpg Diamonds Are Forever 1971 $116,000,000 Sean Connery Guy Hamilton
Square (08).jpg Live and Let Die 1973 $126,400,000 Roger Moore
Square (09).jpg The Man with the Golden Gun 1974 $98,500,000
Square (10).jpg The Spy Who Loved Me 1977 $185,400,000 Lewis Gilbert
Square (11).jpg Moonraker 1979 $210,300,000
Square (12).jpg For Your Eyes Only 1981 $194,900,000 John Glen
Square (13).jpg Octopussy 1983 $183,700,000
Square (14).jpg A View to a Kill 1985 $152,400,000
Square (15).jpg The Living Daylights 1987 $191,200,000 Timothy Dalton
Square (16).jpg Licence to Kill 1989 $156,200,000
Square (17).jpg GoldenEye 1995 $352,194,034 Pierce Brosnan Martin Campbell
Square (18).jpg Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 $333,011,068 Roger Spottiswoode
Square (19).jpg The World Is Not Enough 1999 $361,832,400 Michael Apted
Square (20).jpg Die Another Day 2002 $431,971,116 Lee Tamahori
Square (21).jpg Casino Royale 2006 $599,045,960 Daniel Craig Martin Campbell
Square (22).jpg Quantum of Solace 2008 $586,090,727 Marc Forster
Square (23).jpg Skyfall 2012 $1,108,561,013 Sam Mendes
Square 24.jpg Spectre 2015 $880,674,609
No Time to Die soundtrack.jpg No Time to Die 2021 $774,034,007 Cary Joji Fukunaga

Unofficial Bond films (not adjusted):

Title Year Unadjusted Grosses Actor Director
Casino Royale (1967) Poster.png Casino Royale (1967) 1967 $41,700,000 David Niven Ken Hughes

Robert Parrish Joseph McGrath

John Huston Val Guest

Never Say Never Again.png Never Say Never Again 1983 $160,000,000 Sean Connery Irvin Kershner

Skyfall in late 2012, broke the gross record, previously held by Thunderball as the highest grossing Bond film in the series.

Grosses of official and unofficial films (adjusted to 2021 Inflation):

Film # Bond Film Year Bond Actor Adjusted Grosses Rank
1 Dr. No 1962 Sean Connery $520,881,766 20
2 From Russia with Love 1963 $682,525,183 13
3 Goldfinger 1964 $1,067,215,143 3
4 Thunderball 1965 $1,191,243,503 2
5 You Only Live Twice 1967 $814,248,325 7
6 On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1969 George Lazenby $485,959,449 22
7 Diamonds Are Forever 1971 Sean Connery $781,786,027 10
8 Live and Let Die 1973 Roger Moore $790,894,405 9
9 The Man with the Golden Gun 1974 $580,559,519 17
10 The Spy Who Loved Me 1977 $852,269,399 5
11 Moonraker 1979 $843,458,740 6
12 For Your Eyes Only 1981 $618,801,922 16
13 Octopussy 1983 $497,869,732 21
14 A View to a Kill 1985 $383,657,216 24
15 The Living Daylights 1987 Timothy Dalton $456,120,286 23
16 Licence to Kill 1989 $345,377,499 25
17 GoldenEye 1995 Pierce Brosnan $621,172,229 15
18 Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 $555,023,501 19
19 The World Is Not Enough 1999 $580,276,278 18
20 Die Another Day 2002 $637,701,311 14
21 Casino Royale 2006 Daniel Craig $801,787,227 8
22 Quantum of Solace 2008 $738,773,906 12
23 Skyfall 2012 $1,287,665,101 1
24 Spectre 2015 $971,424,987 4
25 No Time to Die 2021 $774,034,007 11

Gallery

External Links

Bibliography

  • Fink, Thomas. "James Bond." TCM. TCM, 17 Mar. 2007. Web. 31 May 2015. 
  • "Ian Fleming Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 31 May 2015.
  • "James Bond." Ian Fleming Publications. N.P., n.d. Web. 30 May 2015.
  • "Sean Connery Stars in His First Bond Movie, Dr. No." History Channel.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 30 May 2015.
  • Moore, Roger, Sir., and Garth Owen. Bond on Bond. Lyons Press ed. N.p.: Michael O'Mara Limited, 2012. Print.
  • Harris, Ben. Ed. Candice Turnzo.  The Best of Bond July 2015: 1-113. Print.

References

  1. "UK inflation calculator | Bank of England"www.bankofengland.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-12.

See Also

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