GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

29 June, 2013

Bond Trivia #2 Battle of The Bonds

Have you heard of the term

Battle of the Bonds?
If not, here is the story. Imagine a time when Roger Moore was set to retire as James Bond after filming For Your Eyes Only. It was 1981 and the Bond series producers were looking all over the world for a suitable replacement who could live up to the legacy. Then came a man named Kevin McClory, an Irish screenwriter who was no stranger to James Bond since his involvement with Thunderball, both the book and the movie.
McClory (right) and Albert Broccoli (left) at premiere of Thunderball.
There were disputes between him and Ian Fleming that were long and complicated, I won't discuss it here. In essence, McClory and Broccoli-Saltzman settled out of court, leaving McClory with the rights to Thunderball and getting credited as the producer of the 1965 film while Broccoli-Saltzman could continue making tonnes of Bond films. Another important clause was that he was not allowed to use the rights to the movie between 1963 and 1973. Is this boring? I'll get to the good part now...
In 1983, McClory planned to release a movie based on his Thunderball story, named Never Say Never Again, to go against Eon production's long running Bond series when Roger Moore was rumoured to retire the role. Sean Connery was cast as James Bond 12 years after he last played Bond in Diamonds Are Forever and it got many speculating who would be Eon's contender in the battle of Bonds. Many actors auditioned for the role of the new James Bond then including James Brolin and future Bond Timothy Dalton. However Eon decided to give the role back to Moore as a safe bet.
Sean Connery (52) and Roger Moore (55) in 1983.
At that point, both actors were in their 50s and it was quite a stretch to have suave secret agents at that age still able to pick up young beautiful women and hop around dodging bullets like they used to in early Bond movies. In Never Say Never Again, Connery's Bond included several hints of his age and some struggles when going against opponents much younger than he. In Octopussy, Moore's Bond gets affiliated with a middle aged Bond "woman" instead of the usual young Bond girls, exhibiting maturity and growth to the character. But as usual both films follow the standard Bond blueprint: the hero defeats the villain's evil plans and gets the beautiful girl/woman through elaborate actions scenes.
In the end, Octopussy performed slightly better than Never Say Never Again in the box office, though critics preferred the latter due to great casting of the villain Maximillian Largo played by Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer. Speaking of casting, there was even a very familiar comedian who had a minor role in Never Say Never Again before he became an icon... I wonder if you would recognize him with the long wavy hair!
It was definitely facinating to see 2 films about the same character played by 2 established actors released months aparts, more so for an iconic film series like James Bond.

**Another trivia: Never Say Never Again was directed by Irvin Kershner, mentor of George Lucas and director of Empire Strikes Back.


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