- Differences between James Bond novels and films
The James Bond novels, written by English author, journalist and World War II intelligence officer Ian Fleming, and the later James Bond films, often differ in tone and detail, a trend which increased with each new movie production. The James Bond novels, written mainly in the 1950s and early 1960s, are generally darker, with relatively explicit violence and sex. They mirror the atmosphere of the Cold War by using the Soviet Union as one of the main adversaries, especially in the first several novels. They depend on suspense, intrigue, ingenuity and dialog at least as much as action. While some clever devices are introduced, they do not reach the flamboyant extremes of some of the movie gimmicks.
The James Bond films, starting in 1962 near the end of Ian Fleming's life, are generally lighter in tone, with more humour and somewhat more orientation toward family entertainment, while keeping considerable suspense and adding action and more ingenious weapons, devices and gimmicks. Soviet Communists are replaced as the main villains by a fictional criminal and terrorist organization, SPECTRE, which Fleming portrayed in later novels. The first film in the series, based on the sixth novel, Dr. No, was a box office success. It was followed by the film which many critics and fans alike still consider the best production, From Russia With Love. With the huge popularity of the third film Goldfinger in 1964, the James Bond films were set to become a part of popular culture and continue a long line of box office successes.
Although the first Bond films had much in common with the novels, later films increasingly departed from the books. As time passed, the titles, characters and a few events and locations alone tied the two presentations of the same story with many details and even key points of the plots diverging. Bond films had increasing numbers of gimmicks and modified dialog, which while clever and entertaining, departed from the novels. Some of the changes appear to have been based on advances in technology and changes in style in order to make the films appear more contemporary and up to date. Faithful depictions of the novels set in the time period in which they were written mostly would have appeared dated and less exciting. On the other hand, as more films were made, some of the suspense and intrigue of the novels seems to have been omitted in favour of big budget action. After all of the Ian Fleming novels, except Casino Royale which was originally filmed outside the James Bond movie franchise, were used in film productions, Fleming's short stories and elements of various books were used to write new screenplays. Some of the movies used material from John Gardner's newer series of James Bond novels. Some of the screenplays were almost totally new except for characters and a little background.
The 2006 film Casino Royale has been considered a reboot of the series since it cuts back on gimmicks and big action sequences and follows the plot and details of the novel more closely. The film is darker in tone, like the book. Since graphic violence and sex have become generally much more accepted in the movies since the 1960s, these aspects of the book and the film are far less controversial and less of a hindrance to attracting a wide audience than they would have been when the first films were released. There is some of that in this film. It does have some modern or updated touches and technologies. The plot and location of this novel lends itself to this type of treatment while it might be more difficult to make a similar production of some of the others which followed the plots more closely with only a modest amount of gimmickry, action and updating.
- 1 Sean Connery era (1962-1967; 1971)
- 2 George Lazenby era (1969)
- 3 Roger Moore era (1973-1985)
- 4 Timothy Dalton era (1987-1989)
- 5 Pierce Brosnan era (1995-2002)
- 6 Daniel Craig era (2006-present)
- 7 References
Sean Connery era (1962-1967; 1971)
In 1962, Dr. No was the first James Bond novel cinematically adapted by EON Productions. It introduced Sean Connery as the first actor to portray James Bond on the big screen; Joseph Wiseman portrayed Dr. No.
Although the story follows the same general arc there are significant number of changes. Early in the movie, Bond meets Felix Leiter and Quarrel for the first time, and they are initially portrayed as potential threats. The book did not include Leiter at all, and anyway Bond already knew both him and Quarrel from prior novels. Sylvia Trench and Professor Dent were also added to the story. A key sequence in the film - Bond's execution of Dent - has no equivalent in the novel. Unless absolutely necessary, the literary Bond is incapable of killing in cold blood.
In the film Bond has a tarantula planted in his bed, whereas in the novel it is a centipede. Bond has a sexual encounter with one of Dr. No's operatives in the movie but not in the book. In the book, Honey first appears nude except for her knife belt; when Bond first sees her in the film, she is wearing a bikini.
Dr. No's physical appearance and background change in the film. In the novel, No's hands were cut off by Tong hit men; in the film his hands were destroyed by radiation, and his island fortress is nuclear-powered. The specific method in which Dr. No is killed is also changed significantly: in the movie, the villain is drowned in reactor coolant rather than buried alive in guano as he was in the book. Furthermore, Dr. No in the movie is an operative of SPECTRE rather than the Soviet Union. Fleming did not introduce SPECTRE until Thunderball in 1961.
In the book, after finally meeting Doctor No, Bond is forced to enter an obstacle course of torture, culminating with him fighting a giant squid. A highly similar sequence occurs in the movie, but the viewer is lead to think Bond is merely escaping through a ventilation shaft. Bond's fight with the squid is omitted entirely. Meanwhile, in the book Honey is staked out to be eaten by beach crabs; in the film, she is tied to drown in a water pool. Originally the crabs were going to be incorporated into this scene, but the crabs had all died by the time they made it to the set. In the book, Honey breaks free by her own devices, but in the movie Bond has to rescue her.
From Russia with Love
The cinematic From Russia, with Love was released in 1963, produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and directed by Terence Young. It was the second James Bond film in the EON Productions series, and the second to star Sean Connery as the suave and sophisticated British Secret Service agent James Bond.
The main villains change from SMERSH (a division of Soviet Intelligence) to SPECTRE (a fictional terrorist organisation), although SMERSH is mentioned once in dialogue by Tatiana. Rene Mathis (from Casino Royale) appeared briefly in the book, but not the movie. The story stayed true to the novel, except action sequences such as the boat chase and helicopter attack were added.
Much of the plot in either version revolves around the decoder device. In the original book, it is called a Spector decoder. This was changed to Lector for the film, most likely to avoid confusion with the SPECTRE terror organization.
Compared to the movie, the book spent a much longer time previewing Donovan 'Red' Grant (AKA Nash) and the Russian plot to kill Bond. This section of the book emphasised the constant scheming, distrust, and fear of execution prevalent among the Soviet leaders, a theme hinted at in the movie by Blofeld's tendency to punish failure with death.
Grant appears periodically throughout the movie unbeknownst to Bond, manipulating events and ensuring the Soviets do not kill Bond prematurely. In the book, this is not necessary since all of the villains are on the same team.
The gadgets involved in Bond and Grant's final encounter are also a bit different. Bond carries the enhanced attaché case in both versions, but in the book it is not booby trapped with tear gas. In the movie, Grant's concealed weapon is a garrotte wire/watch instead of a gun/book. At the end of the movie, Klebb accosts Bond in his hotel room, in Venice; in the book, it is Bond who tracks down Klebb, in Paris.
Richard Maibaum, who wrote the previous films, returned to adapt the seventh James Bond novel, Goldfinger. Maibaum fixed the novel's heavily criticised plot hole, where Goldfinger actually attempts to empty Fort Knox. In the film, Bond notes it would take twelve days for Goldfinger to steal the gold, before the villain reveals he actually intends to irradiate it with a Red Chinese atomic bomb. However, Harry Saltzman disliked the first draft, and brought in Paul Dehn to revise it. Hamilton said Dehn "brought out the British side of things". Connery disliked his draft, so Maibaum returned. Wolf Mankowitz, an un-credited screenwriter on Dr. No, suggested the scene where Oddjob puts his car into a car crusher to dispose of a dead body.
In the novel, Goldfinger's obsession with gold is more explicit; sexually so. Both his family name and his first name are related to gold ("Auric" is an adjective pertaining to gold). He wears yellow briefs to suntan in, has a collection of yellow-jacketed pornographic books and can only find satisfaction in copulating with gold-painted women (apparently prostitutes), he travels in a gold plated car, employs a blonde secretary and even has a ginger cat (which is eaten by Oddjob for dinner after Bond uses it in a ruse). He employs Korean servants who are repeatedly referred to as "yellow-faced". (Despite Goldfinger's relations with the Soviet Union, they are from South Korea, not Communist North.) The film keeps the colour of the Rolls-Royce and secretary’s hair, but not the other explicit material, and adds other gold motifs (see film discussion). A bit of Goldfinger's eulogy to gold ("I love its colour, its brilliance, its divine heaviness.") is one of few dialogue lines from the novel to be kept relatively intact in the film, but Gert Fröbe maintains the subtext of his character's fetish for the metal through expressions, such as when Bond distracts his putt with an ingot, and when the villain is forced to turn away and leave Fort Knox's contents. Also, Bond drives an Aston Martin DB III in the novel, but uses a newer gadget-laden DB5 in the film.
In the book, Pussy Galore is a lesbian gangster, representing an all-female syndicate called the "Cement Mixers." By the end of the book, Bond manages to convert her to heterosexuality. In the movie, she is Goldfinger's personal pilot and instructor of an all-female flight school. The movie does not explicitly comment on her sexual preferences, though she eventually falls for Bond. In the book, Tilly Masterson does not die until the Fort Knox scene, and is seemingly also a lesbian.
In the novel, explosive decompression of plane cabin causes Oddjob to be sucked through a broken window. After this, Goldfinger is strangled to death by Bond. In the film, it is Goldfinger who gets blown out of the plane. Oddjob has been killed earlier in Fort Knox vault by electrocution. Also, the novel ends with the plane crash-landing in the ocean from where Bond and Galore are rescued by a weather ship. The film's last scene shows Bond and Galore having landed safely by parachute on a forested hill.
In the novel, Bond admires how well Felix Leiter operates his car with a prosthetic hook. Leiter was maimed by a shark in the earlier novel Live and Let Die and lost his arm and a leg. In the film series this happens later, in Licence to Kill. Thus Leiter is in one piece and still working for the CIA in Goldfinger.
In 1965, the Thunderball film was released. Most of it is adapted from the novel, changed mostly to incorporate unique gadgets. Story continuity is minor difference between the cinematic and the literary versions of Thunderball; SPECTRE was first featured in Thunderball but in the film series, it was briefly mentioned in Dr. No and From Russia with Love. Among the major sequences added to the film were the pre-title sequence involving the Bell rocket belt, the Junkanoo parade, Bond's attempt to rescue Paula Caplan from Palmyra, his lunch with Emilio Largo, his infiltration of the SPECTRE team while recovering the atomic bombs, his rescue by Felix Leiter, and the conversion of the Disco Volante from a luxury yacht to a high-speed hydrofoil.
The female villain Fiona Volpe was added to the movie. Towards the start of both versions, Bond is in a health clinic where he encounters Count Lippe. However, the movie added a fanciful plotline in which Domino's brother is replaced with a trained and surgically-altered impersonator. In the book, Domino's brother was killed after he himself stole the warheads.
According to the books, there are only three "00" agents in the entire Secret Service. In the movie, Moneypenny exclaims that "every 00 man in Europe" has been called back, and M is shown briefing 8 or 9 agents. Bond asks to be reassigned from Canada to Nassau based solely on a photo of Domino & her brother. In the novel, it was M's decision to send him there, based on his analysis of the evidence.
In the book, Leiter and Bond's roles in the mission are much more equal than in the film. Furthermore, Leiter has a good reason not to be in the action scenes, since he was crippled in an earlier book. In the movie, Bond has encountered SPECTRE twice before, and Largo seems to immediately know he's an enemy. Nonetheless, Largo alternates between trying to kill Bond and acting as a gracious host. In the book, Bond and Largo's suspicions of each other build more gradually, and Largo has no obvious chance to kill Bond once his enmity is known. In the book, Largo does not have pet sharks or an eye-patch.
You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice was adapted into film starring Sean Connery, which was filmed in 1966, but not released until 1967. You Only Live Twice is the first Bond movie to greatly deviate from the source material. The plot of the film is sufficiently different to be a different story, though several details remain the same (such as location and the primary characters). More specifically, other than the Japanese setting and some character names, the two stories are very different (among other things, the novel dealt with the aftermath of Blofeld's killing of Bond's wife in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which had yet to be adapted for film). Also, unlike most James Bond films featuring various locales around the world, almost the entire film is set in one country and several minutes are given over to an elaborate Japanese wedding. This is in keeping with Fleming's original novel, which also devoted a number of pages to the discussion of Japanese culture. A profound difference between the novel and film is that Bond kills Blofeld in the novel, while in the film the villain survives.
Blofeld's basic conspiracy is completely changed. In the movie, he uses a spacecraft to capture Soviet and American vessels, threatening to put the two nations at war. In the novel, he sets up a "garden of death" full of deadly plants and animals, tempting Japanese citizens to trespass and commit suicide. Blofeld's lair is changed from a castle within the garden to a hollowed-out volcano.
Diamonds Are Forever
In 1971, Diamonds Are Forever was adapted into a film starring Sean Connery as Bond. It is a loose adaptation of the novel, with the most notable difference being Ernst Stavro Blofeld as the primary villain, instead of the Spang brothers. While the book featured a straight-forward diamond smuggling plot, the film featured the diamonds being used in a laser satellite. Though many of the book's characters appear in the film (including Tiffany Case, Felix Leiter, Mr. Wint, Mr. Kidd and Shady Tree) they often have little in common with their literary counterparts besides their names.
The movie version adds in an opening credits sequence in which Bond is hunting down Blofeld, seeking clues as to his whereabouts from a variety of shady characters - this is most likely either intended as a sequel to Connery's previous Bond outing, You Only Live Twice, in which the villain escaped and he is now on his trail, or the film version of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, in which Bond would understandably be seeking vengeance for his wife's murder.
The early parts of the film borrow most from the book. The steps in the smuggling pipeline are almost identical, as is the way Bond meets Tiffany and infiltrates the pipeline. At differing points, both versions feature an assassin going down the pipeline and killing people off, and both versions end with Wint and Kidd trying to assassinate Bond and Tiffany on a cruise ship. The movie makes a nod to the book's opening by prominently featuring a scorpion early on. However, in between, many of the film's most memorable twists - the millionaire recluse Willard Whyte, henchwomen Bambi and Thumper, Blofeld and his surgically-altered doubles - are completely new. The movie emphasizes Wint and Kidd's apparent homosexuality much more than the book did.
George Lazenby era (1969)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
On Her Majesty's Secret Service was adapted into a film in 1969. Along with the first few Sean Connery films, this movie was extremely faithful to the book. The major difference is that it followed You Only Live Twice, thus extending the roles of Blofeld and Tracy. At the start of both versions, Bond and M strongly disagree about whether to keep hunting Blofeld, putting Bond on the verge of resigning. Surprisingly, however, their respective positions are reversed: in the book Bond thinks chasing Blofeld is futile and a waste of his 00 status; in the movie M wants to call the operation off for the same reasons. While the following background is not explicit in the movie, Bond's first scenes with Tracy occur at the Casino Royale, where he comes each year to visit Vesper Lynd's grave.
In both versions, Bond infiltrates Blofeld's compound on Piz Gloria by impersonating Sir Hillary Bray, a genealogist sent to certify Blofeld's title as Count. In the movie, this section is comedic instead of suspenseful. The movie omits the brutal execution of a SPECTRE agent, and eliminates Bond's forced betrayal of a friend and fellow agent ("Number 2" from Station Z). Knowing Number 2 will be tortured and blow Bond's cover, in the book Bond escapes pre-emptively. Conversely, in the movie Bond plays Bray as a stereotypical pompous noble, rather than sticking close to his true personality. Bond is captured due to his own mistakes, and escapes after Blofeld brags to him about his plan.
In both versions, Blofeld plans to commit biological warfare, hypnotizing his female patients to distribute crop and livestock-destroying agents. However, in the movie Blofeld's threat was extended from the United Kingdom to the entire world. In the book, it seems the Soviets are paying him to complete the operation, while in the movie Blofeld is trying to extort the British into recognizing his title. In the movie, before Bond comes back to raid Piz Gloria, Blofeld abducts Tracy, raising the stakes for their final battle.
Sequences conceived specifically for the movie include Bond's safecracking in the office of Blofeld's lawyer and a stock-car chase.
This was the first book written after the movies had begun, and contains two references to that effect: 1) In a seeming reference to Connery, Bond is given Scottish descent for the first time; 2) on Piz Gloria, Fraulein Bunt points out a number of famous guests, including Ursula Andress (who starred in "Doctor No").
Roger Moore era (1973-1985)
Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die, a film based loosely on the novel, was released in 1973. The film was directed by Guy Hamilton, produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and starred Roger Moore in his first outing as the secret agent. In the film, a drug lord known as Mr. Big plans to distribute two tonnes of heroin free so as to put rival drug barons out of business. Bond is soon trapped in a world of gangsters and voodoo as he fights to put a stop to Mr. Big's scheme.
The characters as portrayed in the film differ from Fleming's descriptions. Mr. Big's real name in the movie is Dr. Kananga instead of Buonaparte Ignace Gallia, and he smuggles heroin instead of gold coins from Bloody Morgan's treasure. In the novel, Baron Samedi was only a voodoo myth – people believed Mr. Big was actually Baron Samedi or perhaps his zombie. Solitaire's real name is revealed in the novel, she does not lose her virginity to Bond until after the actual events in the novel, and there is no evidence that she risks losing her psychic powers by having sex. Also, in the novel she uses regular playing cards.
Some scenes from this novel were depicted in subsequent Bond movies; for example, the keelhauling sequence was later used in the film adaptation of For Your Eyes Only, and Felix Leiter was not fed to a shark until Licence to Kill, which also faithfully adapts this novel's shootout in the warehouse.
The Man with the Golden Gun
In 1974, EON Productions made a film based on The Man with the Golden Gun. The film version has little to do with the novel, except character names and other minor details. In the film, Scaramanga is attempting to assassinate Bond, whereas in the novel, the villain is unaware of who Bond is at all. In the film, Mary Goodnight is kidnapped, and also provides comic relief. Scaramanga's domicile changed from Cuba to China. Accordingly, the character of Felix Leiter was excluded while Nick-Nack, Andrea Anders and Hai Fat were added. Bond's attempt to kill M at the novel's beginning was excluded from the film. Also, the film's story has nothing to do with the sugar industry as in the novel but features a plot about solar lasers and circuitry as the villain's main agenda. In the film, Scaramanga fired a special gold plated gun which broke down into a pen, cigarette case, lighter and cuff link. This gun fired 4.2mm (slightly smaller than .17 calibre), solid gold bullets. Also in the novel, Bond has been programmed to kill M but fails.
The Spy Who Loved Me
In 1977, the title The Spy Who Loved Me was used for the tenth film in the EON Productions series. It was the third to star Roger Moore as British Secret Service agent, Commander James Bond. Per Ian Fleming's wish the only elements from the novel that are used in the film are the character of James Bond (along with his MI6 associates) and the title. The story, all locations and all other characters are different, though the mobster henchmen, "Sluggsy" (a short, stocky, thug with a disease that prevents hair growth) and "Horror" (a tall, gaunt thug with steel capped teeth) serve as inspiration for the movie henchmen "Sandor" (a short, stocky, bald thug) and "Jaws" (a giant, super strong thug with steel teeth). The metal teeth, especially, were thought quirky enough to be worth keeping by film producer Cubby Broccoli. Some elements from the book were used in other films, as well. For example, in Dr. No, Bond uses a pillow trick to make it appear he is asleep. The film was novelised the same year by screenwriter Christopher Wood and the resulting book was the first novelisation of a Bond film. To avoid confusion with Fleming's novel, the book was named James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Moonraker was used as the title for the eleventh James Bond film, produced by EON Productions and released in 1979. Directed by Lewis Gilbert and produced by Albert R. Broccoli, the film featured Roger Moore in his fourth appearance as Bond. As 1950s era nuclear missile technology was no longer relevant, however, the plot of the film was updated to focus on the new US space shuttle program and the story was completely re-written. Other than the Bond character (together with some of his MI6 associates) and the title, very few elements from the book survived into the film version. Most prominently, the character of Hugo Drax was retained as the villain, but he was changed from a British industrial metallurgist and missile designer to an American aerospace industrialist. The principal Bond girl is retained as an undercover agent working within the Drax operation, but her name is changed from Gala Brand (a Scotland Yard agent working as Personal Assistant for Drax) to Holly Goodhead (a CIA agent working as an astronaut for Drax). As in the novel, the film starts out with Bond collecting evidence from the Drax mansion (on the Moonraker project site) and retains a scene where Bond and Goodhead are imprisoned beneath rocket exhaust nozzles to be incinerated upon launch (though the details of both elements are significantly changed). Also, the Nazi inspired element of Drax's motivation in the novel is indirectly preserved with the "master race" theme of the movie plot. It is widely believed that Broccoli had decided to take advantage of the success of the film Star Wars and accordingly, the plot of Moonraker was modified so as to involve outer space. Since the screenplay was original, EON Productions and Glidrose Publications authorized the film's screenwriter, Christopher Wood to write his second novelization based upon the film. It was titled James Bond and Moonraker, and became a best-seller in 1979. Several elements of Moonraker were seen in other Bond films. Drax's warning to Bond to spend the prize money quickly after being defeated in a gamble was quoted in the 1983 film Octopussy. The 2002 film Die Another Day used some of the novel's content, such as the Blades club. According to actress Rosamund Pike, speaking for the DVD commentary of Die Another Day, her villain character in that film, Miranda Frost, was originally to have been named Gala Brand, the name of the Bond girl in this novel.
For Your Eyes Only
The title story of the collection lent its name to the 12th EON James Bond film in the EON Productions series, For Your Eyes Only. Released in 1981, it was the fifth film to star Roger Moore as the British Secret Service agent, Commander James Bond and moved the title "Ian Fleming's" from above the title to above "James Bond 007" for the second time in the last three films. The film used some obvious elements and characters from the short stories "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico" from this collection as well as elements from other Fleming novels. Some slightly similar ideas from the remaining short stories, "Quantum of Solace" and "The Hildebrand Rarity" might also be considered to have been incorporated into the movie of the same name, though in very oblique fashion.
In order to blend the plots of the two short stories, several changes were made for the film. Since the film is set in Greece, closer to the location of "Risico" than to that of "For Your Eyes Only" and a location featured in Colonel Sun, the Havelocks were changed from being Jamaican, as in the short story, to an Anglo-Greek couple (Mr. Havelock being English and Mrs. Havelock being Greek). Havelock's daughter, "Judy," was also renamed "Melina" in the film, the Greek word for honey (a reference to the first screen Bond girl's name). The film also contains elements from several Ian Fleming stories: The warring smuggler characters Kristatos and Columbo come from "Risico". The keelhauling sequence comes from the novel Live and Let Die, a scene unused in the previous film adaptation. The Identigraph comes from the novel Goldfinger, where it was originally called the "Identicast". The film's opening, with Bond laying flowers at the grave of his wife, refers to both the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service and a scene in the novel where it is revealed that 007 visits annually the grave of Vesper Lynd (from Casino Royale).
Octopussy (1983), starring Roger Moore as James Bond, was the thirteenth film in the EON Productions series. The original "Octopussy" short story provided the back story for the film Octopussy's family, while "The Property of a Lady" was more closely adapted for the Fabergé egg auction sequence at Sotheby's.
The plot element of a double agent within the Secret Service was later referenced with the character of Miranda Frost in Die Another Day as well as M's traitorous bodyguard, Craig Mitchell, in 2008's Quantum of Solace.
One notes that the phrase, "property of a lady", occurs in the cinematic version of Octopussy: early in the story, when James attends an auction at which he intends to outbid Prince Kamal Khan for the Fabergé egg, the auctioneer identifies the provenance of said egg as, "Property of a lady."
A View to a Kill
Although A View to a Kill is adapted from Ian Fleming's short story "From a View to a Kill", the film is the third Bond film after The Spy Who Loved Me and Octopussy to have an entirely original screenplay. No characters from the original short story appear in the film. In A View to a Kill, Bond is pitted against Max Zorin, who plans to destroy California's Silicon Valley. Some reviewers have noted parallels in the plot and villain to those of Goldfinger. In addition, the John Gardner Bond novel, Licence Renewed (1981) includes a sequence in which Bond's mission takes him to a high-class horse race where a villain is cheating; a similar event occurs in this 1985 film. The climax of the movie is similar to that of Role of Honour.
Timothy Dalton era (1987-1989)
The Living Daylights
At a time when the films often shared no more than the title, the major recurring characters, and some character names with the book, the plot of "The Living Daylights" was used almost untouched in the film of the same name, setting up the rest of the film. Bond finishes the segment with the same words as his literary counterpart; "I must have scared the living daylights out of her". The character of Trigger is changed from a professional sniper to that of cello player Kara Milovy. The antagonist of the film has a weapon obsession, much like the villain in the novel Licence Renewed.
Licence to Kill
Plot elements from "Live And Let Die" and "The Hildebrand Rarity" were incorporated in the 16th Bond film, Licence to Kill (1989). There is one oblique connection between the short story and the For Your Eyes Only film, as both feature yachtsman antagonists and involve underwater diving. Later, Milton Krest (with his wife-beating tendencies (with a stingray-tail whip) transferred to the film's main villain), his "foundation", the "Wavekrest" and "the corrector" all were incorporated into Licence to Kill.
The novelisation of the Licence to Kill screenplay was the first since Moonraker in 1979. Then-current Bond series novelist John Gardner novelised the Michael G. Wilson-Richard Maibaum screenplay — a great challenge, because his stories follow Fleming's continuity (albeit updated); Felix Leiter already had lost an arm and a leg to a shark in the Live and Let Die novel, an incident recycled in Licence to Kill. Resultantly, in the chapter "Lightning Sometimes Strikes Twice", the novelisation requires reader acceptance of Bond dealing with Leiter's twice being maimed by a shark; however, Gardner does not attempt to reconcile the presence of Milton Krest, (who was murdered in The Hildebrand Rarity short story).
The relatively faithful novelisation adds detail to resolve some issues around the film's more fantastic elements, notably explaining the unrealistic behaviour of the 'Stinger missiles' on-screen. It also differs from the script in places: (i) Bond uses a Walther P38K, not a Walther PPK (as in the film), because SIS had replaced it, a fact in Gardner's Bond novels; (ii) Q has an extra scene (occurring while Bond is at Sánchez's Olimpatec Meditation Institute), wherein he joins a police captain in raiding Sánchez's house. Although he then had written eight Bond novels, the novelisation was Gardner's first work featuring Q; before Licence to Kill, Q was heard of, not seen in his novels, having been replaced by his assistant, Ann Reilly, Q'ute. The novelised Licence to Kill story occurs before Win, Lose or Die, wherein Bond is promoted to Captain (in the novelisation and the film, Bond is a Commander).
Pierce Brosnan era (1995-2002)
GoldenEye has a villain who was also a member of MI6, which was similar to the short story The Property of a Lady. John Gardner provided a relatively faithful adaptation novel of the GoldenEye story, including it within the continuity of his own series of Bond adventures, including references to two of the last three novels he wrote.
Tomorrow Never Dies
Tomorrow Never Dies has no connection to any Ian Fleming novel, besides the characters of Bond, M, and Miss Moneypenny. The movie does have a similar plot to the James Bond novel Zero Minus Ten that was released 1997, the same year as the film. Both the movie and the novel deal with the villain who is hoping to trigger a war between China and Britain, but both do it through different means. In that novel, it is through a nuclear bombing of Hong Kong, while in the movie, the villain is using a "yellow journalism" tactic to start the war, but this is only done to boost the circulation of his newspaper.
Raymond Benson, then the incumbent author of the Bond continuation series, provided a novelization that fleshed out many elements of the film's plot, including the use of a secondary villain within the Chinese military who served as a willing participant in Carver's main scheme.
The World is Not Enough
The title of the movie is known as the Bond family motto, mentioned in the novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The basis of the movie, a plot of nuclear disaster to aid terrorists was used in the non-Fleming novel Licence Renewed. The kidnapping of M was featured in another non-Fleming novel, Colonel Sun. Raymond Benson again provided a novelization of the screenplay.
Die Another Day
Die Another Day is a vague 'rehash' of the plot of Moonraker. The movie also features a subplot about diamonds, which was extensively used in Diamonds Are Forever. The movie also makes several references to older films in the film series as a 40th anniversary.
The subplot of James Bond going rogue, which was also featured in the films Licence to Kill and Quantum of Solace was not featured in any novel. It is believed that the plot of Bond going rogue would have been featured in the novel Per Fine Ounce. This novel was meant to be a continuation of the James Bond series after the death of Ian Fleming. The name of the villain, Colonel Sun-Tan Moon, comes from the first Bond continuation novel, Colonel Sun. The sub-plot of the agent in the service being a villain is a regularly used plot in the movies (see GoldenEye and Quantum of Solace) is taken from The Property of a Lady. Raymond Benson provided his final Bond novelization based on this screenplay, which marked the end of his involvement with the Bond literary series.
Daniel Craig era (2006-present)
Overall, the film stays true to the original novel but there are several significant changes. In the novel, Le Chiffre is a Russian agent who loses his clients' money after making a series of bad investments in brothels in France; in the film, Le Chiffre is manipulating the American stock exchange by sabotaging an airliner, and his plot fails because of Bond's direct intervention. In the novel, the casino sequences take place in the fictional French town of "Royale-les-Eaux" and the game played is Baccarat whereas the film places the casino in Montenegro and the game is Texas Hold 'Em poker. The novel's infamous torture sequence involves Le Chiffre beating Bond's genitals with a carpet beater in a villa in France, but for the film this was changed to a heavy length of knotted rope and takes place on a darkened boat. In the novel, Vesper commits suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills because of her guilt in betraying Bond; in the film, she kills herself by locking herself in an elevator that plunges into the waters of Venice so that the Quantum organization cannot influence him. The Venice sequences were added to the film; they do not appear in the original novel. The novel features a scene where Bond reveals to Vesper the two kills he needed to gain his Double-Oh status, but the film shows the two kills as its pre-title sequence. The targets of Bond's kills and the reasons for their assassination differ between book and film. In addition, Bond and Vesper do not, in the novel share a room in the hotel, the room with the connecting bathroom shown in the film was originally from much later in the novel when Vesper takes Bond to a summer inn near Royale. Other points include a larger role for Mathis and Vesper and a smaller role for CIA agent Felix Leiter. A character in the film, Solange, shares a name with a character featured in the short story 007 in New York.
Quantum of Solace
Quantum of Solace was chosen as the title of the 22nd Bond movie, although it only shares the story's title (according to the film's producer and plot developer) and primary thematic element, that of one's humanity vanishing when one cannot obtain a quantum of solace in his relationships with those closest to him; in the film, Bond obtains his quantum of solace when apprehending, rather than executing, those responsible for the betrayal and death of Vesper Lynd in the previous film. In addition, a conversation between Bond and Rene Mathis about the nature of evil from Fleming's Casino Royale is reworked in the scene where the characters are reunited in the film. M's assistant being a villain alludes to The Property of a Lady. The ending of the film is a loose adaptation of 007 in New York in which Bond is warning a female agent that her boyfriend is a spy. The differences are that the agent is Canadian, not British, and that this takes place in Russia, not New York.
- ^ a b c James Chapman (1999). Licence to Thrill. London/New York City: Cinema and Society. pp. 100–110. ISBN 1-86064-387-6.
- ^ Bouzerau, 31
- ^ "Production Notes - Goldfinger". MI6.co.uk. http://www.mi6.co.uk/sections/movies/gf_production.php3?t=gf&s=gf. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
- ^ Inside "Live and Let Die" Documentary (Live and Let Die Special Edition DVD)
- ^ Inside Moonraker (DVD). MGM Interactive Inc..
- ^ "Revelation of Moonraker not being a reaction to Star Wars". http://commanderbond.net/article/2459. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
- ^ "007 Magazine: A Complete Bibliography". http://www.007magazine.co.uk/bibliography.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- ^ Rosamund Pike, DVD commentary, Die Another Day, MGM Home Entertainment, 2003
- ^ IMDb user reviews for A View to a Kill http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090264/usercomments
- ^ Chris Tilly (2008-01-28). "Bond Interview". IGN. http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/847/847944p1.html. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- ^ ((^ a b "Daniel: the title is meant to confuse". Press and Journal. 2008-01-24.))
James Bond novels and short stories James Bond seriesCasino Royale (1953) · Live and Let Die (1954) · Moonraker (1955) · Diamonds Are Forever (1956) · From Russia, with Love (1957) · Dr. No (1958) · Goldfinger (1959) · For Your Eyes Only (1960) · Thunderball (1961) · The Spy Who Loved Me (1962) · On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) · You Only Live Twice (1964) · The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) · Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)Colonel Sun (1968)Licence Renewed (1981) · For Special Services (1982) · Icebreaker (1983) · Role of Honour (1984) · Nobody Lives for Ever (1986) · No Deals, Mr. Bond (1987) · Scorpius (1988) · Win, Lose or Die (1989) · Brokenclaw (1990) · The Man from Barbarossa (1991) · Death Is Forever (1992) · Never Send Flowers (1993) · SeaFire (1994) · COLD (1996)Devil May Care (2008)Carte Blanche (2011) Young Bond series NovelisationsJames Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) · James Bond and Moonraker (1979) Spin-off novelsR. D. Mascott003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior (1967)James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 (1973) The Moneypenny DiariesGuardian Angel (2005) · Secret Servant (2006) · Final Fling (2008) Short stories"A Hard Man to Kill" (2009) Unofficial works Unpublished works Related works James Bond filmsList of James Bond films Eon Productions Non-Eon films
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