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Rights to Gardner's Books


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#1 Miles Miservy

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 01:13 PM

I CAN'T find out why EON has not sought to purchase the rights to John Gardner's books for film adaptation. Sans the SAAB he drives, I think Gardner's books (Scorpius, imparticular) would make great movies.

#2 Dustin

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 03:53 PM

This is probably because EON already did own all film rights on James Bond, 007 and so on. The continuations could never have been filmed without EON or their consent. I'm not sure if the actual rights situation at the time - it's over thirty years since LR was published - also included a right of first option on any potential adaptations of the continuations, but in effect the Gardners, the Bensons, the Amis book as well as the one-shot Faulks and Deaver could only be used either by EON or without James Bond and all of the usual paraphernalia that comes with him. So - provided EON passed and another interested producer would absolutely want to film, say 'Licence Renewed' you'd have a NSNA situation, only without Bond. And without Connery to draw people to the theatres. And a seasoned and well-versed team of killer-lawyers too shoot down every possible infringement on EON property.

Not hard to see why it never happened.

As for EON not picking up the books themselves; they probably felt the plots didn't fit their needs. Not in the same way an original screenplay would.

#3 Single-O-Seven

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:03 AM

This is probably because EON already did own all film rights on James Bond, 007 and so on. The continuations could never have been filmed without EON or their consent. I'm not sure if the actual rights situation at the time - it's over thirty years since LR was published - also included a right of first option on any potential adaptations of the continuations, but in effect the Gardners, the Bensons, the Amis book as well as the one-shot Faulks and Deaver could only be used either by EON or without James Bond and all of the usual paraphernalia that comes with him. So - provided EON passed and another interested producer would absolutely want to film, say 'Licence Renewed' you'd have a NSNA situation, only without Bond. And without Connery to draw people to the theatres. And a seasoned and well-versed team of killer-lawyers too shoot down every possible infringement on EON property.

Not hard to see why it never happened.

As for EON not picking up the books themselves; they probably felt the plots didn't fit their needs. Not in the same way an original screenplay would.


With regard to your last statement, in an interview with Barbara Broccoli and MG Wilson that was done around the time DAD came out, they were asked why they hadn't touched the continuation novels. Nothing about the copyright was mentioned, but MGW plainly stated that he has read them but hasn't been inspired by their stories. So you're quite right - they are much happier to develop their own stories at this stage. I would love to see them adapt some of the continuations though, as I think the producers could update them and fill them out as they pleased to better suit their needs, as they've done countless times with Fleming right up to and including Casino Royale.

#4 Simon

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 12:58 PM

And while they have sole rights to the Bond film world, I am guesing it makes financial sense to pay just the screenwriter for the script/story, rather than screen writer plus a fee to the author's estate.

#5 Dustin

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:31 PM

These things have developed somewhat. While the 80's films sometimes seem to play - coincidentally - along an - unacknowledged - Gardner book with added exoticism and action it is hard to imagine a story like WIN, LOSE OR DIE being the source for an EON production of the 90s.

#6 AMC Hornet

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:17 PM

...and that's too bad because, IMO, WLoD was Gardner's OHMSS (as in, "Ian Fleming has never written anything better!"). I would love to see a film made of it.

Ah, well, perhaps the next generation of producers at EON will have more vision and seed money at their disposal...

#7 Dustin

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:10 AM

...and that's too bad because, IMO, WLoD was Gardner's OHMSS (as in, "Ian Fleming has never written anything better!"). I would love to see a film made of it.

Ah, well, perhaps the next generation of producers at EON will have more vision and seed money at their disposal...


I myself didn't care for the largely passive way in which Bond was taken on this, but I'd still regard it as one of the better ones of the final run. Gardner's highlight IMO was FSS/IB - though the latter uses a similar passive Bond.

Gardner's last five-six books should perhaps have been only two, then there might have been a OHMSS/YOLT in them, with something like the Indian ritual from BROKENCLAW as a major plot device.

#8 Kronsteen

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:55 AM

This is still probably the only thing that really bothers me about EON. They've made some fantastic decisions through the years (they've given us 22 great movies over the span of 50 years for gods sake....), but the decision not to adapt the stories of Gardner, Amis and Benson has always been a big letdown for me. There are lots of great material that could make fine EON movies. Of course there would have to be changes made, just like they've changed a lot in Flemings works as well.

Of Gardners work I could definately see Licence Renewed (although there's already a movie on its way featuring a castle in the Highlands...), Icebreaker, Role of Honour, Scorpius, Win Lose or Die, Brokenclaw, Never Send Flowers, Seafire.... even Barbarossa! With changes most of the novels would work. I just keep having my fingers crossed for EON to finally do the daring move. The general audience wouldn't notice the slightest difference, would they?, just the fans. And we would be pleased, wouldn't we?

#9 Bond... Raybond

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 10:04 AM

I'm surprised they have haven't bought them, if only to use the titles, a la Blade Runner. There are some good titles in Gardner's canon: For Special Services, Icebreaker, Nobody Lives Forever, or Win, Lose or Die (even if has die in the title) etc. Again there are some duds like Licence Renewed or No Deals, Mr Bond (Gardner hated it as well, but it was foisted on him) or Cold. Seafire is good as well, but is too similar in style to SkyFall (the title, not the plot).




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