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John Landis -- SPY WHO LOVED ME


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#1 Panavision

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:06 PM

In 1975, John Landis was in London writing The Spy Who Loved Me. He said it on U.K. radio 5Live last Thursday.

Tom Mankiewicz (final writer)
Christopher Wood
Richard Maibaum
John Landis

Which other writers were involved during development? Landis said he was one of several.

Edited by Panavision, 30 August 2009 - 08:07 PM.


#2 Safari Suit

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:34 PM

Anthony Burgess?

#3 Royal Dalton

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:42 PM

Loads of people. Landis, Burgess, Cary Bates, et al. Mostly just story ideas, I think.

Christopher Wood wrote the shooting script. I think Mankiewicz did some revisions to Maibaum's original screenplay.

#4 RazorBlade

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 03:37 AM

I would be interested to read Landis script. Or his ideas anyway.

#5 DaveBond21

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:50 PM

I would be interested to read Landis script. Or his ideas anyway.



Me too. What is he responsible for?

#6 Mr. Blofeld

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:58 PM

I would be interested to read Landis script. Or his ideas anyway.

Me too. What is he responsible for?

Probably the scene where a naked American man steals Roger Moore's balloons.

#7 DLibrasnow

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 01:35 AM

Christopher Wood said in his biography that when he first got the script that the villains base was in a Norwegian fjord. I always thought that would have been a cool idea.

#8 sthgilyadgnivileht

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 06:53 PM

Loads of people. Landis, Burgess, Cary Bates, et al. Mostly just story ideas, I think.

Christopher Wood wrote the shooting script. I think Mankiewicz did some revisions to Maibaum's original screenplay.


In Broccoli's biography he states fourteen writers were involved in the script, and names Anthony Barwick and Sterling Silliphant (along with Landis and Burgess). I agree, and I think most of these fourteen ended up creating story ideas, except probably for Maibaum, Wood and Mankiewicz who made the more substantial contributions.

#9 The Ghost Who Walks

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 08:25 PM

Christopher Wood said in his biography that when he first got the script that the villains base was in a Norwegian fjord. I always thought that would have been a cool idea.


I think that would have been rather silly. I just can't imagine why any super-villain would feel the need to build his base in a B)ing fjord.

#10 DR76

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 11:08 PM

Christopher Wood said in his biography that when he first got the script that the villains base was in a Norwegian fjord. I always thought that would have been a cool idea.


I think that would have been rather silly. I just can't imagine why any super-villain would feel the need to build his base in a B)ing fjord.



Doesn't sound any better or worse than some other locations.

#11 David_M

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:04 PM

QUOTE(RazorBlade @ 31 August 2009 - 13:37) *
I would be interested to read Landis script. Or his ideas anyway.
Me too. What is he responsible for?
Probably the scene where a naked American man steals Roger Moore's balloons.


Okay, now that's funny. :-)

As for the Norwegian locale, it could've worked. I can just see the end of the film now; Anya says, "Stromberg's dead?" and Roger answers, "Nah, he's just pinin' for the fjords."

#12 Tybre

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:50 PM

Christopher Wood said in his biography that when he first got the script that the villains base was in a Norwegian fjord. I always thought that would have been a cool idea.


I think that would have been rather silly. I just can't imagine why any super-villain would feel the need to build his base in a B)ing fjord.


And hiding inside of Mount Fuji isn't silly?

#13 The Ghost Who Walks

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:35 PM

Christopher Wood said in his biography that when he first got the script that the villains base was in a Norwegian fjord. I always thought that would have been a cool idea.


I think that would have been rather silly. I just can't imagine why any super-villain would feel the need to build his base in a B)ing fjord.


And hiding inside of Mount Fuji isn't silly?


Off course it is. Maybe it's because I live here; I just cannot imagine being able to take a Bond villain based in a Norwegian fjord seriously.

Then again, I don't take Blofeld and his volcano or Trevelyan's massive "hidden" base very seriously either.

#14 Panavision

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 08:13 PM

Loads of people. Landis, Burgess, Cary Bates, et al. Mostly just story ideas, I think.

Christopher Wood wrote the shooting script. I think Mankiewicz did some revisions to Maibaum's original screenplay.


I was under the impression that Mankiewicz was the final writer on it and was paid under the table, so to speak. I'll get my friend to clarify this.

#15 sthgilyadgnivileht

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 08:25 PM

Loads of people. Landis, Burgess, Cary Bates, et al. Mostly just story ideas, I think.

Christopher Wood wrote the shooting script. I think Mankiewicz did some revisions to Maibaum's original screenplay.


I was under the impression that Mankiewicz was the final writer on it and was paid under the table, so to speak. I'll get my friend to clarify this.

That's what I think - always being under the impression that Mankiewicz involvement was hush hush at the time. I don't wanna make any firm comments though as I have not read Wood's biography, which may contradict that.
However, I think the origins of the script went as follows: The fourteen or so writers who contributed ideas had their work shaped into a treatment by Maibaum. Broccoli and Dana did further work in this respect, after the Maibaum draft. Gilbert read the script and bought in Wood. Cubby bought in Mankiwewicz after that.
I am pretty sure it was Maibaum that created the character Stromberg to remove the Blofeld reference that EON could not use at the time.

#16 glidrose

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:56 PM

John Landis on his Bond work:

"When I was twenty-five, I was hired to be… one of the twelve writers on The Spy Who Loved Me. It was very exciting. I fly to London, and work with Guy Hamilton and Anthony Burgess. Guy ended up quitting, and I ended up leaving. It was the moment when Cubby Broccoli and Harry Salzman were suing one another. They weren’t speaking. It was very hard. Whatever you pitched to Harry, he’d say, “What’d Cubby say?”, and whenever you pitched to Cubby, he’s say, “What’d Harry say?” So, you were f-u-cked. But I worked with Guy Hamilton for a few months, and I really grew fond of him; he was a very funny man. So, this was before videotape, and I got all of the Bond films on 16mm film, and I’m watching them in my flat in London. And there’s this moment in Diamonds Are Forever where they go into the Las Vegas, and Bond is shown the room where they’re going to put Jill St. John. The C.I.A. guy is saying, “Don’t worry. We have men everywhere. We have men over here, we have men over there”, and then he opens up this door and says, “and here’s Guy.” He opens this door, and just standing there is Guy Hamilton. And then they close the door and go on with the scene. It has nothing to do with anything, but because I was working with Guy Hamilton, I was like, “What!?!?” That really made me laugh."

#17 Dustin

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:38 PM

So they had a director's cut of DAF on 16mm? Interesting, would love to see such material on the Blueray editions one day. Thanks for sharing!

#18 MarkA

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 05:51 AM

All those writers and they end up with a copy of You Only Live Twice. Where's the creativity?

#19 Dustin

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:44 AM

There was supposedly a lot of creativity involved with the script of TSWLM. Cary Bates wanted to do a MR adaption that used a submarine base at Loch Ness, Roald Hardy came up with a submarine tracking device, Anthony Barwick invented a villain called "Zodiac" and the triplets Tic, Tac & Toe as henchmen. The were attacking - submarines.

Others were Derek Marlowe, Sterling Silliphant, John Landis and Anthony Burgess. Burgess supposedly was the one with the most bizarre script, a downright parody on Bond and his world that saw Britain under an extortion that would have forced The Queen to strip on the telly. Interesting, given Burgess' comments on the preface of the 1980s Coronet editions.

Maibaum then turned in a script that was a direct approach to the terrorism wave of the times. Young terrorists from various obscure organisations of the 1970s attack the SPECTRE headquarters and kill the entire staff of Blofeld and his old Mafia-types. Then they hijack a - submarine. And set out to nuke the oil fields of the Middle East. The idea appealed to Broccoli but he felt it was too serious and too close to real-life events.

Wood finally went back to a Blofeld type with "Stavros" a shipping magnate that later became Stromberg. He was hijacking - submarines. With the help of a giant supertanker. Wood used SPECTRE for this script until the legal shenanigans with the WARHEAD project of McClory forced Eon to drop this. They even went so far as to change the colour of Stromberg's uniforms from black to red.
[all background information according to Steve Rubin's book]

There has really been some creativity involved with TSWLM. Funny is that all those writers - who apparently didn't have many guidelines beyond 'The Spy' from the title having to be a female Russian agent - nearly all came up with plots involving submarines.

#20 Dustin

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:06 AM

One other titbit: according to one of my books Landis handed in a script where Bond had to flee from killers. He enters a church and manages to hide there behind a cross, in the obvious position. According to this Broccoli screamed murder and sacked Landis. Not sure if that's been mentioned before.

Edited by Dustin, 08 July 2012 - 08:28 PM.


#21 Wade

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:54 AM

QUOTE(RazorBlade @ 31 August 2009 - 13:37) *
I would be interested to read Landis script. Or his ideas anyway.
Me too. What is he responsible for?
Probably the scene where a naked American man steals Roger Moore's balloons.


Okay, now that's funny. :-)

As for the Norwegian locale, it could've worked. I can just see the end of the film now; Anya says, "Stromberg's dead?" and Roger answers, "Nah, he's just pinin' for the fjords."

Forgive me, but it's early, and I'm not getting the joke. Anyone?

#22 Miles Miservy

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:40 PM

Wait...Wh.. wh.. what????
John Landis???
The guy that brought us THE BLUES BROTHERES & ANIMAL HOUSE???
That guy????

Whodda thunk it?

#23 glidrose

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:53 AM

Ronald Hardy came up with a submarine tracking device

Funny is that all those writers - who apparently didn't have many guidelines beyond 'The Spy' from the title having to be a female Russian agent - nearly all came up with plots involving submarines.


Actually, the submarine tracking device was in Fleming's original novel. The bedtime story he tells Vivienne Michel.

#24 Dustin

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:57 PM


Ronald Hardy came up with a submarine tracking device

Funny is that all those writers - who apparently didn't have many guidelines beyond 'The Spy' from the title having to be a female Russian agent - nearly all came up with plots involving submarines.


Actually, the submarine tracking device was in Fleming's original novel. The bedtime story he tells Vivienne Michel.


Really? Can't say I remember a tracking device inTSWLM. Boris was supposed to be a marine engineer involved in the latest Russian range of atomic submarines in Kronstadt IIRC; haven't the book around to look it up right at the moment.

#25 glidrose

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:10 PM



Ronald Hardy came up with a submarine tracking device

Funny is that all those writers - who apparently didn't have many guidelines beyond 'The Spy' from the title having to be a female Russian agent - nearly all came up with plots involving submarines.


Actually, the submarine tracking device was in Fleming's original novel. The bedtime story he tells Vivienne Michel.


Really? Can't say I remember a tracking device inTSWLM. Boris was supposed to be a marine engineer involved in the latest Russian range of atomic submarines in Kronstadt IIRC; haven't the book around to look it up right at the moment.


My imagination seems to have gotten the better of me. "There's a man I'll call Boris. He's been settled in Canada, in Toronto. He was a prize—twenty-four-carat. He was a top naval constructor in Kronstadt—high up in their nuclear submarine team."

#26 Royal Dalton

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:14 PM

Well, you're both wrong, anyway. Doctor Bechmann and Professor Markovitz came up with it.

#27 Dustin

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:23 PM

Yes. Two most prestigious scientists whose passion for their field was such they even wished for a burial at sea. A wish that was granted...

#28 Napoleon Solo

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:36 PM

Years ago (and I don't remember the specific source), I read that Cary Bates's ideas including bringing From Russia With Love's Tatiana back, except she had become a trained agent in the interim. Around 1975, DC Comics made a big deal about Bates, saying he had "sold" a 007 script. I'm not saying that's accurate, but DC was definitely playing it up.

#29 Dustin

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:34 PM

I suppose the problem with bringing back Tatiana would have been that she pretty much defected in FRWL. At the end of the film there is no question she's now happy in the West. *

Bringing her back would have meant she must have changed sides again. However you want to look at it, it would have given TSWLM a different balance and put Tatiana and Bond's relationship to her more to the fore.

*Interestingly it was once suggested to add a short scene of Tatiana contacting the KGB at the end of FRWL to give the film an extra dimension. The funny thing here is, Fleming's Tatiana indeed thought she was supposed to do just that. She was unaware of SMERSH's plans for her future.

#30 glidrose

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:01 PM

Years ago (and I don't remember the specific source), I read that Cary Bates's ideas including bringing From Russia With Love's Tatiana back


Steven Jay Rubin's book. Bates got his script through to Broccoli on the recommendation of Roald Dahl.

All those writers and they end up with a copy of You Only Live Twice. Where's the creativity?


Exactly. Too many cooks, etc. Same problem with GoldenEye. Both films have always underwhelmed me.




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