Posted 09 January 2015 - 05:21 PM
I just reread the OP chapter in the James-Bond-Archives tome. Actually, I already read the stuff about OP and Blofeld's scheme to install his own agent at the top of SIS, I had completely forgotten about it.
As the article goes it was early days, a stage where, according to John Glen, they largely pushed around ideas, to and fro until another writer is hired to add something more. Since the guys involved in the treatment at that stage were Maibaum and Wilson they both certainly knew the situation around McClory and SPECTRE.
Interesting insofar perhaps: while McClory claimed to have exclusive rights to SPECTRE and threatened to hold TSWLM's production with another legal battle it seems it never really came to a showdown about the matter in front of a court. Sellers' book mentions McClory came up with allegations Eon had illegally used SPECTRE, but it seems this fact only just occurred to him in '76. Broccoli didn't dare at the time calling McClory's game but the OP chapter in James-Bond-Archives quotes Broccoli with saying:
'We sought an injunction against them [the NSNA production], claiming that they had milked ideas from previous Bonds, and, by remaking Thunderball, would be using more of our material than their own. We lost, not because of the weakness of our claim, but because it was held that they were so far advanced on the production that it would be unfair to pull the switch...'
So perhaps the general feeling at Eon house at that time had been that they had good chances to win on all accounts, including the use of Blofeld and SPECTRE. The only other explanation in my view would be that the first work on the treatment stood under the 'no-holds-barred' motto.
As for Moore being asked to appear in NSNA, no, I absolutely don't see that. Yes, it would have been a move to scare Eon, no doubt about it. But please do consider the situation at the time. Connery and Moore were friends, not close friends perhaps but surely on good enough terms to frequently dine together and exchange stories about their work. Had McClory asked Moore, even just for fun, you can practically bet on it Connery would have heard about it the next day. And what would have been Connery's reaction? And that of the backing studio?
I really just don't see it. I think it is possible McClory may have called Moore sometime after '87 to maybe try the same stunt a second time. There were rumours of him contacting Dalton and/or Brosnan, so who knows? But right at the time when he was so close to see his dream come true? I seriously doubt it. At the time NSNA's main appeal wasn't NSNA, it was Connery's return to the role. In contrast, what would have been NSNA's allure with Moore as 007? Who was successful in the role but hardly anything to write home about in yet another remake of a Connery Bond? I doubt the studio would have played ball under that premise.