Some interesting facts about OCTOPUSSY:
The initial nine-page treatment (undated, most likely from second half of 1981 but before September; authors probably Glen, Maibaum, Broccoli & Wilson) for this was vastly different. According to Danny Graydon it concerned a return of Blofeld as main villain, locked in a war with a gang of smugglers led by Octopussy. [perhaps efforts were made at the time to buy out Schwarzman/McClory?]
Blofeld's plan was to solve his problems by use of the SIS and other Western intelligence services. It included the assassination of M, then to be replaced with Blofeld's mole Villiers. Moneypenny was to be fired, Bond to be framed as double agent. Kamal Khan featured as Bond's school friend and working with Afghan resistance. Over various transmutations the treatment then closed in on what we've finally seen on the screen. Between February and May 1982 George MacDonald Fraser wrote a total of five drafts of the script and was apparently responsible for the Indian element of OCTOPUSSY, mostly due to his own work on his historical Flashman series.
It's interesting that back in the day not only did work on a new Bond film start with an idea (or a couple thereof) which is then punched off the wall until it's completely changed. It's also noteworthy how far out there these ideas could be, even back in the 'classic' days.
By June 1982 Maibaum and Wilson submitted the final shooting script, yet it was still unclear who would play James Bond in this. James Brolin screen-tested with Maud Adams as late as June 22./23. Curiously the aerial unit started their work on shooting the climactic air-plane fight scene on 6. June. So they must have had already a good idea what Bond would look like in this film.
The Fabergé eggs shown in OCTOPUSSY were of course not real. But neither were they just simple plastic props. Asprey's of London did a remarkable job in producing at very short notice true treasures that were able to withstand even close camera work.
Edited by Dustin, 06 June 2013 - 11:24 AM.