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John Gardner's 007 Novels


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#1 Miles Miservy

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 08:00 PM

Why have none of John Gardner's novels been considered for film adaptation. He had a very creative mind behind the villains Bond faced. Two of my favorites were Vladimir Scorpius, as well as Broken Claw Lee.

Why wasn't any of John Gardner's novels ever considered for film adaptation? He had a very creative mind with regards to the villains Bon faced. two of my favorites are Vladimir Scorpius and Brokenclaw Lee.

Edited by Miles Miservy, 18 April 2011 - 07:56 PM.


#2 zencat

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 08:10 PM

Whenever Eon is asked this, they just say they want to do their own stories.

#3 Jump James

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 09:24 PM

Why have none of John Gardner's novels been considered for film adaptation. He had a very creative mind behind the villains Bond faced. Two of my favorites were Vladimir Scorpius, as well as Broken Claw Lee.

Why wasn't any of John Gardner's novels ever considered for film adaptation? He had a very creative mind with regards to the villains Bon faced. two of my favorites are Vladimir Scorpius and Brokenclaw Lee.



So good you had to write it twice. Haven't they used a few of Gardner's ideas for a few of the Moore films? The race from LR in AVTAK. Also the scene in AVTAK with the lift shaft was lifted from Gardner, I think.

#4 AMC Hornet

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:55 PM

EON Productions holds what's called 'first refusal' rights on the Gardner novels, which are the property of IFP. Until they announce that they do not intend to option the material, no one else can and EON doesn't have to. They already pay a stipend to IFP every time they make a film, and they have the right to generate their own titles. This is why no one else is out there making competing films.

I can't remember in which source I read the above explanation, and it's probably more complicated than my distillation. Simon G could probably provide a better explanation, if he's around and cares to comment.

#5 Jeff007

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:19 AM

zencat wrote this great article years back: Deja vu, Mr. Bond?

#6 David Schofield

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:40 AM


Why have none of John Gardner's novels been considered for film adaptation. He had a very creative mind behind the villains Bond faced. Two of my favorites were Vladimir Scorpius, as well as Broken Claw Lee.

Why wasn't any of John Gardner's novels ever considered for film adaptation? He had a very creative mind with regards to the villains Bon faced. two of my favorites are Vladimir Scorpius and Brokenclaw Lee.


Michael G. Wilson has gone on record as saying that he didn't think the novels were good enough to be adapted. I disagree, and I think it mostly comes down to financial reasons. I assume that there might be extra money paid out to Fleming's estate (or Gardner's) if any of the books were officially adapted, but others with more knowledge can correct me on that. Implicit in Michael's statements is the assumption that:

#1 what EON's writers could come up with would be automatically better than what Gardner wrote and

#2 there was more cache in adapting Fleming titles than Gardner's because Fleming was still a known quantity when the continuation novels first appeared.

I think some of the films that have come out since Gardner's first novel disprove the notion that, as writers, Michael G. Wilson and Richard Maibaum, not to mention the writers on TOMORROW NEVER LIES, DIE ANOTHER DAY, and QUANTURD OF SOLACE, would always do better than what Gardner wrote. I like TNL, but tell me how it is in any way better than the weakest of the Gardner's novels?

I may just be grasping at straws, but I also believe that because Michael Wilson was *WRITING* the movies when the Gardner novels first started coming out and were hot on the best seller lists, it created a conflict of interest; that essentially he was less objective about the quality of the Gardner novels because he was writing the scripts for the movies at that point.

30 years onward the heat on the Gardner novels is gone, so while there's still opportunity to adapt the Gardner novels, it's not like you'd get a big bounce from Gardner readers at the box office like you might have gotten when the novels first came out.

I just don't buy the company line that there's nothing in the continuation novels worth adapting; I don't buy it and I think most of the fans don't buy it either. EON has certainly mined just about everything they were ever going to get out of Fleming's novels, and for 4 straight Brosnan films they didn't bother adapting anything left in the Fleming canon, so they can bury the excuse that Fleming should always be the source for their movies.


A perfectly reasonable - and I suspect correct - set of assumptions.

I'd also add my view which I have raised elsewehere: that Gardner/Glidrose/Cape certainly began the series with the movies in mind, and Gardner's books being accessible to them. LR and FSS would have been perfectly reasonable to adapt. And, of course, EON were out of full length Fleming titles by 1981.

However, I do suspect the 80s concept of Moore as Bond - his lighthearted Bond is totally unlike Fleming or Gardner's adaptation of Fleming's origianl - that EON were probably happier to have Wilson and co come up with OCTOPUSSY and ATAK.

Had Dalton replaced Moore, after MOONRAKER, however, who knows: the Gardner-Bond might have been a perfect fit...

#7 Dustin

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:20 AM

This is a most interesting question. Has Moore's depiction of Bond prevented straight adaptions of the Gardners? (by the way, I used to picture Moore, model ca. FYEO, as Gardner's Bond)

Or was perhaps Gardner's decision to age Bond also an obstacle here? Moore, so I've heard, once suggested (around FYEO?) to let Bond's age show and let him use his wits more to succeed. Cubby supposedly was against it, kicking the idea right from the start. Gardner's first installment hinted at an older Bond, but it was never quite clear, how far he wanted to go with that idea. Later books didn't mention it at all any more (although Bond is always called a senior member of the SIS and one of the top agents, suggesting to me someone closer to 50 (or 60 even) than to 30. Was the mention of a slight greying at Bond's temples already enough to discard the Gardners? In that context it's maybe necessary to look closer at FSS, a book that could have given many lesser Eon entries a run. Here Bond isn't just older, he's even posing as a bookish art professor, with thinned out hair dyed completely grey and as sidekick a girl that could easily be his daughter or grandchild. This was Gardner's second go, published in 1982. I daresay most people could not have guessed in which direction the Gardners would develop in the end. But judging by the first two one might easily have expected that Bond's age could become more of an item with time. Something Eon definitely didn't want at that time.

#8 David Schofield

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:39 AM

This is a most interesting question. Has Moore's depiction of Bond prevented straight adaptions of the Gardners? (by the way, I used to picture Moore, model ca. FYEO, as Gardner's Bond)

Or was perhaps Gardner's decision to age Bond also an obstacle here? Moore, so I've heard, once suggested (around FYEO?) to let Bond's age show and let him use his wits more to succeed. Cubby supposedly was against it, kicking the idea right from the start. Gardner's first installment hinted at an older Bond, but it was never quite clear, how far he wanted to go with that idea. Later books didn't mention it at all any more (although Bond is always called a senior member of the SIS and one of the top agents, suggesting to me someone closer to 50 (or 60 even) than to 30. Was the mention of a slight greying at Bond's temples already enough to discard the Gardners? In that context it's maybe necessary to look closer at FSS, a book that could have given many lesser Eon entries a run. Here Bond isn't just older, he's even posing as a bookish art professor, with thinned out hair dyed completely grey and as sidekick a girl that could easily be his daughter or grandchild. This was Gardner's second go, published in 1982. I daresay most people could not have guessed in which direction the Gardners would develop in the end. But judging by the first two one might easily have expected that Bond's age could become more of an item with time. Something Eon definitely didn't want at that time.


Sorry, can't accept that Gardner Bond adaptations were knocked on the head because in 1981 Rog looked YOUNGER than Gardner's LR version!

I don't think Gardner ever really intended to start with a Bond much older than Fleming's; he's stated he intended to pick Bond up from where Fleming had left him and merely give him knowledge of the period to date. So if Fleming's Bond was early 40s by TMWTGGG, then Gardner's Bond is a similar age, say 42-43 Make him too much older and you knack-up the idea of an physically capable action man).

Now there is no way in hell Rog looked as young as 42-43 in 1981. Nor would there be any reason to expect him to as he was 54!!!! Christ, he barely looked early 40s in 1973!

I can't see Rog looking too young to adapt the Gardners. Too old - of course. Gardner's book as I've observed were not the Moore comedy romps EON were happy with at that time.

#9 Dustin

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 10:13 AM


This is a most interesting question. Has Moore's depiction of Bond prevented straight adaptions of the Gardners? (by the way, I used to picture Moore, model ca. FYEO, as Gardner's Bond)

Or was perhaps Gardner's decision to age Bond also an obstacle here? Moore, so I've heard, once suggested (around FYEO?) to let Bond's age show and let him use his wits more to succeed. Cubby supposedly was against it, kicking the idea right from the start. Gardner's first installment hinted at an older Bond, but it was never quite clear, how far he wanted to go with that idea. Later books didn't mention it at all any more (although Bond is always called a senior member of the SIS and one of the top agents, suggesting to me someone closer to 50 (or 60 even) than to 30. Was the mention of a slight greying at Bond's temples already enough to discard the Gardners? In that context it's maybe necessary to look closer at FSS, a book that could have given many lesser Eon entries a run. Here Bond isn't just older, he's even posing as a bookish art professor, with thinned out hair dyed completely grey and as sidekick a girl that could easily be his daughter or grandchild. This was Gardner's second go, published in 1982. I daresay most people could not have guessed in which direction the Gardners would develop in the end. But judging by the first two one might easily have expected that Bond's age could become more of an item with time. Something Eon definitely didn't want at that time.


Sorry, can't accept that Gardner Bond adaptations were knocked on the head because in 1981 Rog looked YOUNGER than Gardner's LR version!

I don't think Gardner ever really intended to start with a Bond much older than Fleming's; he's stated he intended to pick Bond up from where Fleming had left him and merely give him knowledge of the period to date. So if Fleming's Bond was early 40s by TMWTGGG, then Gardner's Bond is a similar age, say 42-43 Make him too much older and you knack-up the idea of an physically capable action man).

Now there is no way in hell Rog looked as young as 42-43 in 1981. Nor would there be any reason to expect him to as he was 54!!!! Christ, he barely looked early 40s in 1973!

I can't see Rog looking too young to adapt the Gardners. Too old - of course. Gardner's book as I've observed were not the Moore comedy romps EON were happy with at that time.



Looks was not my point exactly. I think Moore's looks were fine until FYEO and even OP still was able to convince at times.

No, my point is that Gardner's Bond is, by implication, roughly ten years older than Fleming's, and I don't base this merely on the greying temples. In FSS a character whom we have come to judge roughly the same age as Bond has an adult daughter. And although Cedar Leiter doesn't give the impression of being particularly versatile and experienced she doesn't exude the air of a barely legal teen either. I'd estimate her at early-to-mid-twenties (I'd have to fetch the book to see if a definite age is given). So Felix Leiter, who never had the air of acting as Bond's big brother/father figure, suddenly has an adult daughter. Stands to reason Bond is still the same age as Leiter.

Next there is the scene in IB where Bond is captured by the Glowda men outside the Ice Palace. Bond doesn't put up a fight, wisely so, for he's outnumbered and alone, probably in a hostile country and can't hope to escape. But he doesn't go with them either. Instead, he feigns a qualm and lets his adversaries drag him into the bunker.

When did Bond ever do that before? Feign weakness? And would it be a promising tactic if it wasn't used by a man beyond his fighting prime of 38?

My point is that one couldn't really tell which direction Gardner's series would take with regards to Bond's age and that Eon at the time wasn't inclined to ever let their model age beyond fighting prime, regardless if Moore was 45 or 60.

Edited by Dustin, 19 April 2011 - 10:16 AM.


#10 David Schofield

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:05 AM



This is a most interesting question. Has Moore's depiction of Bond prevented straight adaptions of the Gardners? (by the way, I used to picture Moore, model ca. FYEO, as Gardner's Bond)

Or was perhaps Gardner's decision to age Bond also an obstacle here? Moore, so I've heard, once suggested (around FYEO?) to let Bond's age show and let him use his wits more to succeed. Cubby supposedly was against it, kicking the idea right from the start. Gardner's first installment hinted at an older Bond, but it was never quite clear, how far he wanted to go with that idea. Later books didn't mention it at all any more (although Bond is always called a senior member of the SIS and one of the top agents, suggesting to me someone closer to 50 (or 60 even) than to 30. Was the mention of a slight greying at Bond's temples already enough to discard the Gardners? In that context it's maybe necessary to look closer at FSS, a book that could have given many lesser Eon entries a run. Here Bond isn't just older, he's even posing as a bookish art professor, with thinned out hair dyed completely grey and as sidekick a girl that could easily be his daughter or grandchild. This was Gardner's second go, published in 1982. I daresay most people could not have guessed in which direction the Gardners would develop in the end. But judging by the first two one might easily have expected that Bond's age could become more of an item with time. Something Eon definitely didn't want at that time.




Looks was not my point exactly. I think Moore's looks were fine until FYEO and even OP still was able to convince at times.

No, my point is that Gardner's Bond is, by implication, roughly ten years older than Fleming's, and I don't base this merely on the greying temples. In FSS a character whom we have come to judge roughly the same age as Bond has an adult daughter. And although Cedar Leiter doesn't give the impression of being particularly versatile and experienced she doesn't exude the air of a barely legal teen either. I'd estimate her at early-to-mid-twenties (I'd have to fetch the book to see if a definite age is given). So Felix Leiter, who never had the air of acting as Bond's big brother/father figure, suddenly has an adult daughter. Stands to reason Bond is still the same age as Leiter.

Next there is the scene in IB where Bond is captured by the Glowda men outside the Ice Palace. Bond doesn't put up a fight, wisely so, for he's outnumbered and alone, probably in a hostile country and can't hope to escape. But he doesn't go with them either. Instead, he feigns a qualm and lets his adversaries drag him into the bunker.

When did Bond ever do that before? Feign weakness? And would it be a promising tactic if it wasn't used by a man beyond his fighting prime of 38?

My point is that one couldn't really tell which direction Gardner's series would take with regards to Bond's age and that Eon at the time wasn't inclined to ever let their model age beyond fighting prime, regardless if Moore was 45 or 60.


Of course, Bond is made to look older when he arrives in New York; "old face" off he heads to Rancho Bismaquer where I can't believe Mr B, Mrs/Miss B and the Skeletor fella actually believed they were anyone other than James Bond and fellow agent Cedar Leiter. And he's done the bookish academic before hasn't he, and this time without make-up, in Fleming's OHMSS.

And come on, Gardner Bond can easily be 43 and Felix be 44 and good ole Felix have a daughter aged, say, 26; them Southern-types start early, all that rolling in the hay and stuff. ;) :o

#11 Dustin

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:43 AM




This is a most interesting question. Has Moore's depiction of Bond prevented straight adaptions of the Gardners? (by the way, I used to picture Moore, model ca. FYEO, as Gardner's Bond)

Or was perhaps Gardner's decision to age Bond also an obstacle here? Moore, so I've heard, once suggested (around FYEO?) to let Bond's age show and let him use his wits more to succeed. Cubby supposedly was against it, kicking the idea right from the start. Gardner's first installment hinted at an older Bond, but it was never quite clear, how far he wanted to go with that idea. Later books didn't mention it at all any more (although Bond is always called a senior member of the SIS and one of the top agents, suggesting to me someone closer to 50 (or 60 even) than to 30. Was the mention of a slight greying at Bond's temples already enough to discard the Gardners? In that context it's maybe necessary to look closer at FSS, a book that could have given many lesser Eon entries a run. Here Bond isn't just older, he's even posing as a bookish art professor, with thinned out hair dyed completely grey and as sidekick a girl that could easily be his daughter or grandchild. This was Gardner's second go, published in 1982. I daresay most people could not have guessed in which direction the Gardners would develop in the end. But judging by the first two one might easily have expected that Bond's age could become more of an item with time. Something Eon definitely didn't want at that time.




Looks was not my point exactly. I think Moore's looks were fine until FYEO and even OP still was able to convince at times.

No, my point is that Gardner's Bond is, by implication, roughly ten years older than Fleming's, and I don't base this merely on the greying temples. In FSS a character whom we have come to judge roughly the same age as Bond has an adult daughter. And although Cedar Leiter doesn't give the impression of being particularly versatile and experienced she doesn't exude the air of a barely legal teen either. I'd estimate her at early-to-mid-twenties (I'd have to fetch the book to see if a definite age is given). So Felix Leiter, who never had the air of acting as Bond's big brother/father figure, suddenly has an adult daughter. Stands to reason Bond is still the same age as Leiter.

Next there is the scene in IB where Bond is captured by the Glowda men outside the Ice Palace. Bond doesn't put up a fight, wisely so, for he's outnumbered and alone, probably in a hostile country and can't hope to escape. But he doesn't go with them either. Instead, he feigns a qualm and lets his adversaries drag him into the bunker.

When did Bond ever do that before? Feign weakness? And would it be a promising tactic if it wasn't used by a man beyond his fighting prime of 38?

My point is that one couldn't really tell which direction Gardner's series would take with regards to Bond's age and that Eon at the time wasn't inclined to ever let their model age beyond fighting prime, regardless if Moore was 45 or 60.


Of course, Bond is made to look older when he arrives in New York; "old face" off he heads to Rancho Bismaquer where I can't believe Mr B, Mrs/Miss B and the Skeletor fella actually believed they were anyone other than James Bond and fellow agent Cedar Leiter. And he's done the bookish academic before hasn't he, and this time without make-up, in Fleming's OHMSS.

And come on, Gardner Bond can easily be 43 and Felix be 44 and good ole Felix have a daughter aged, say, 26; them Southern-types start early, all that rolling in the hay and stuff. ;) :o



Of course. They could. Thing is, it doesn't come across that way to me. Gardner's Bond to me always seemed to be end-forties. And that's no bad thing either IMO. When that Microglobe One thingy started (how many Microglobes are there supposed to be???) it's not at all unrealistic to expect a Bond in his fifties to become its head. We have seen older agents in the field before, nothing new at all. LeCarre's Alec Leamas was 50 I believe, didn't make his book any less convincing.

Gardner's Bond clearly wasn't a guy who grew up with rock'n roll. Throughout the Gardner canon there are hints that he is "another generation" (meaning older). The horribly named Flicka von Gusse doesn't get his jibe about horses at all. Of course, she hasn't seen the old series. And probably nobody she grew up with has ever done either. The conversation with Chi-Chi (Bond doesn't joke about her name, because he never heard of Monchichi) about their respective ages when first having sex also indicates a larger gap between their respective generations. And lastly there was the interview with the woman (sorry, I forget the name and book, but suspect it was NSF) that indicates she was swinging both ways. Later (a paragraph or so), she offers herself to Bond, who turns her down. She suspects it's because of her open-mindedness, but Bond's reasons are different. But the whole episode speaks of a greater divide between them than just a few years. It's generations that collided here.

#12 David Schofield

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 11:52 AM





This is a most interesting question. Has Moore's depiction of Bond prevented straight adaptions of the Gardners? (by the way, I used to picture Moore, model ca. FYEO, as Gardner's Bond)

Or was perhaps Gardner's decision to age Bond also an obstacle here? Moore, so I've heard, once suggested (around FYEO?) to let Bond's age show and let him use his wits more to succeed. Cubby supposedly was against it, kicking the idea right from the start. Gardner's first installment hinted at an older Bond, but it was never quite clear, how far he wanted to go with that idea. Later books didn't mention it at all any more (although Bond is always called a senior member of the SIS and one of the top agents, suggesting to me someone closer to 50 (or 60 even) than to 30. Was the mention of a slight greying at Bond's temples already enough to discard the Gardners? In that context it's maybe necessary to look closer at FSS, a book that could have given many lesser Eon entries a run. Here Bond isn't just older, he's even posing as a bookish art professor, with thinned out hair dyed completely grey and as sidekick a girl that could easily be his daughter or grandchild. This was Gardner's second go, published in 1982. I daresay most people could not have guessed in which direction the Gardners would develop in the end. But judging by the first two one might easily have expected that Bond's age could become more of an item with time. Something Eon definitely didn't want at that time.




Looks was not my point exactly. I think Moore's looks were fine until FYEO and even OP still was able to convince at times.

No, my point is that Gardner's Bond is, by implication, roughly ten years older than Fleming's, and I don't base this merely on the greying temples. In FSS a character whom we have come to judge roughly the same age as Bond has an adult daughter. And although Cedar Leiter doesn't give the impression of being particularly versatile and experienced she doesn't exude the air of a barely legal teen either. I'd estimate her at early-to-mid-twenties (I'd have to fetch the book to see if a definite age is given). So Felix Leiter, who never had the air of acting as Bond's big brother/father figure, suddenly has an adult daughter. Stands to reason Bond is still the same age as Leiter.

Next there is the scene in IB where Bond is captured by the Glowda men outside the Ice Palace. Bond doesn't put up a fight, wisely so, for he's outnumbered and alone, probably in a hostile country and can't hope to escape. But he doesn't go with them either. Instead, he feigns a qualm and lets his adversaries drag him into the bunker.

When did Bond ever do that before? Feign weakness? And would it be a promising tactic if it wasn't used by a man beyond his fighting prime of 38?

My point is that one couldn't really tell which direction Gardner's series would take with regards to Bond's age and that Eon at the time wasn't inclined to ever let their model age beyond fighting prime, regardless if Moore was 45 or 60.


Of course, Bond is made to look older when he arrives in New York; "old face" off he heads to Rancho Bismaquer where I can't believe Mr B, Mrs/Miss B and the Skeletor fella actually believed they were anyone other than James Bond and fellow agent Cedar Leiter. And he's done the bookish academic before hasn't he, and this time without make-up, in Fleming's OHMSS.

And come on, Gardner Bond can easily be 43 and Felix be 44 and good ole Felix have a daughter aged, say, 26; them Southern-types start early, all that rolling in the hay and stuff. ;) :o



Of course. They could. Thing is, it doesn't come across that way to me. Gardner's Bond to me always seemed to be end-forties. And that's no bad thing either IMO. When that Microglobe One thingy started (how many Microglobes are there supposed to be???) it's not at all unrealistic to expect a Bond in his fifties to become its head. We have seen older agents in the field before, nothing new at all. LeCarre's Alec Leamas was 50 I believe, didn't make his book any less convincing.

Gardner's Bond clearly wasn't a guy who grew up with rock'n roll. Throughout the Gardner canon there are hints that he is "another generation" (meaning older). The horribly named Flicka von Gusse doesn't get his jibe about horses at all. Of course, she hasn't seen the old series. And probably nobody she grew up with has ever done either. The conversation with Chi-Chi (Bond doesn't joke about her name, because he never heard of Monchichi) about their respective ages when first having sex also indicates a larger gap between their respective generations. And lastly there was the interview with the woman (sorry, I forget the name and book, but suspect it was NSF) that indicates she was swinging both ways. Later (a paragraph or so), she offers herself to Bond, who turns her down. She suspects it's because of her open-mindedness, but Bond's reasons are different. But the whole episode speaks of a greater divide between them than just a few years. It's generations that collided here.


You really do have a far finer knowledge of the Gardner's than I. :tup: I guess as the quality dropped and the double crosses increased, I probably read the later ones only once.

I DO agree Bond IS older by COLD, Flicka and the Microglobe stuff. 50ish would do. Perhaps a little older. Maybe it was Gardner's idea to retire Bond off into a civvy job with MI6 working with his wife. I can see Gardner thinking it - and Glidrose knocking it on the head!

But why not start with Bond as 41 in in LR and add a year per Gardner book?

Doesn't help Benson though, does it? But hey, retconning is all the rage now. ;)

#13 Dustin

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:33 PM

You really do have a far finer knowledge of the Gardner's than I. :tup: I guess as the quality dropped and the double crosses increased, I probably read the later ones only once.


No, don't think so. I was merely quite interested in that aging factor Gardner introduced. That's why I paid special attention there, whenever there were indications.


I DO agree Bond IS older by COLD, Flicka and the Microglobe stuff. 50ish would do. Perhaps a little older. Maybe it was Gardner's idea to retire Bond off into a civvy job with MI6 working with his wife. I can see Gardner thinking it - and Glidrose knocking it on the head!

But why not start with Bond as 41 in in LR and add a year per Gardner book?

Doesn't help Benson though, does it? But hey, retconning is all the rage now. ;)


Perhaps the series ran much longer than anybody - Gardner, Glidrose, the readers - ever expected? It's an interesting device, an aging hero, and an icon at that! But if you have to write a book every year it quickly becomes a problem. Really surprising to me is that it wasn't openly addressed after LR. All the other evidence I presented is really only circumstantial and you can, if you are inclined to do so, always ignore it and read the books as if Bond is still 38. It may be a strech at times, but it's far from impossible and a lot a fans seem to prefer it this way (although I would argue the really interesting situations would then be ignored).

I believe the idea to age Bond slightly was even a bit underdeveloped, probably for our benefit (as fans I mean). There are numerous implications connected to Bond arriving at 45 and crossing this line. He would be edgy and anxious to find an occupation within the service that gives him the same sense of being useful and living on the edge his 00 calling did. Then again, Bond was seldom the cold killer and in TLD he's downright fed up with that side of things. There could have been numerous interesting conflicts resulting from Bond's age. Unfortunately, none were developed from it, and I think it was due to Gardner not wanting to give us fans too much to swallow. He could have done more, easily. And IMO he should have done more and sooner. None of the Gardners in fact depends on Bond being a 00 agent or still being based in London. A number of different postings/departments would have been possible, especially as the 00 department supposedly had closed shop, somewhat unnecessarily, I might mention.

I often got the impression while reading the Gardners that he had some kind of bigger picture that he somehow not dared using in its entirety for his work, so as not to alienate the fans. I for one would have liked to see more of it and wished he'd have been even bolder.

But alas we have to live with things as they are, not as they should have been.

#14 Jump James

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 04:41 PM

Well said Gravity! It's like they cut their nose of to spite their face. That's a great shame.

#15 zencat

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 04:46 PM

Yeah, well said, GS.

#16 zencat

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:09 PM

Amen brother!

And it's not just the right thing, it's the smart thing. You don't have to adapt the books faithfully, but use them as a starting point and a foundation. Look what the modern writers can do when they have a book to guide them (Casino Royale), and look how generally piss poor their concepts, plotting, characters, and titles are without (every other recent movie). While maybe it was true in the 80s that they had enough Fleming material left to create good original stories, that is clearly not the case anymore.

But I think there's a lot going on that doesn't have anything to do with the books or even money. I think it's about politics and ego and whatnot.

#17 Jump James

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 06:34 PM

How come COLD fetches so much value out of all the first editions? Was it a very limited run?

#18 zencat

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 06:47 PM

How come COLD fetches so much value out of all the first editions? Was it a very limited run?

Yes! Extraordinary small print run with most going to specialty booksellers who had pre-ordered and libraries (that's what I hear, at least).

#19 Jump James

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 06:54 PM

Thanks Zencat.

#20 zencat

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:06 PM

Happily, one of those booksellers was The Mysterious Bookshop here in L.A. Picked my up without a prob in '96. Had no idea how rare they would become.

#21 DavidJones

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 10:47 PM

In the '80s, when the books first came out, Michael G WIlson was writing the films at that time. He was making a name for himself within the EON empire, cultivating a reputation which I personally think is deserved, as with Richard Maibaum he penned some great screenplays, including For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and The Living Daylights, which may well be classics (I would throw License to Kill in there too, as I love that film as well!).

 

As I've said elsewhere, anything which isn't Fleming can easily be considered to be inauthentic or unofficial. Imagine if someone wrote another Gospel. Very few people would consider it to be a part of the Bible. For a similar reason, there are Beatles fan who don't consider their 1995 reunion single 'Free As a Bird' to be a true Beatles record.

 

There was obviously a "we can write something better than that" mentality and now the books are largely forgotten, I don't the thought has wandered into their heads once in thirty years. Glidrose must have been banking on it in 1980 - or, at least, were very hopeful - and I dare say it figured largely motivation for hiring another author and re-launching the book series. After all, Moonraker had just become the most successful Bond film of all time (at that point), and there must have been at least some success with the Christopher Wood novelizations (though I've no idea how much). Additionally, with the outrageous tone of the films of that period, it must have been tempting to remind people of the slightly more serious tone of the original stories.

 

In a way, a book series and a film series running alongside the other is similar to the McClory battle, though far less worrisome and far less dramatic. Here we had/have two different companies with possession of the same character, both claiming legitimacy and ignoring the other like they didn't exist at all.


Edited by DavidJones, 28 May 2014 - 10:59 PM.


#22 Grard Bond

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:43 PM

I agree with Wilson that the Gardner books are (most of the time) not good enough to make a film out of it.

 

There are a couple of ok novels, the first three, LR, FSS, IB and also ROH and NLF have good ideas.

There are a handfull of good villians and good schemes, but that's it.

Most of the books (if not all) lack excitement and a couple of great actionscene's, almost all have no good endings.

There are also just a handfull of great titles to choose from: FSS, IB, ROH, NLF, SP, maybe one, or two more...

 

So most of the time you don't have a great title, no great action, a boring scheme and villian and no satisfactory ending.

Why paying a lot of money if you have to invent most of the story and probably also the title for yourself anyway?


Edited by Grard Bond, 28 May 2014 - 11:48 PM.





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