Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Devil Won’t Care

Don’t look for a movie version of the Sebastian Faulks James Bond novel published earlier this year. Daily Variety reports that Eon Productions, which has had a hand in 22 of the 007 movies that have made it to the big screen thus far, has passed on bringing Devil May Care to film. And while it might appear that Eon’s shake of the head would mean opening up other possibilities for such a picture, that won’t be the case here. Says Variety:
Bond’s just not up for grabs. Eon parent Danjaq has controlled the copyrights and trademarks to the franchise for films since the 1950s, locking out anyone else from producing pics featuring the British spy, with the exception of Warner Bros.’ “Never Say Never Again” in 1983. It also has a major role in choosing who distributes the films, which MGM will return to producing after “Quantum of Solace” unspools in November.

Even if producers could acquire the film rights to “Devil,” jointly owned by the Ian Fleming Estate and Faulks, they wouldn’t be able to use the James Bond name, his 007 call sign, the James Bond theme or gun-barrel sequence, for example.
But Variety tells us that Eon didn’t pass on Devil May Care because its people didn’t like the book. Rather, the company got cold feet around the Cold War backdrop:
Eon toppers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson claimed that the book’s 1960s setting made it less desirable as a Bond pic property, at least for now.

“We love the book, but because it is set in the 1960s, we haven’t considered making it in the near future,” Broccoli and Wilson told Daily Variety.

The Cold War-set adventure takes place in 1967 and revolves around the international drug trade that takes Bond to Iran, the Caspian Sea and Russia and features a villain with an oversized monkey’s paw for a hand.
Don’t worry that this will leave the world lacking for new Bond films, however. Look for Daniel Craig, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Gemma Arterton, and Jeffrey Wright in Quantum of Solace, scheduled to hit a theater near you on November 7.


John said...

Yeah, the new Bond films are set in the present day; besides, Devil May Care's not good enough to be put to film anyway.

Graham Rye said...

DEVIL MAY CARE is an insult to the memory of Ian Fleming, and the fact that the book carries his name on the cover is doubly insulting! It’s a truly appalling novel, and NOTHING like Fleming’s wonderful original James Bond novels.

The story and scripts of both ‘Casino Royale’ (2006) and ‘Quantum of Solace’ (2008) are far superior to Sebastian Faulks sad effort and both will be remembered long after his book has disappeared into obscurity, where it belongs.

In the 21st Century there is only room for one agent 007, and that’s the character that explodes into action across the cinema screens of the world in the films expertly produced by EON Productions. The true authentic literary James Bond sadly died with his creator in 1964 and should remain so, if for no other reason than as a mark of respect for a writer whose talent, style and ability as a storyteller stood head and shoulders above the combined output of all those that followed.

Graham Rye
Editor, Designer, Publisher

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