What book of 007 would like to see get adapted into a movie? With more books than movies, with more on the way, EON should look into adapting some of the books as some of them could qualify for a cinema adaption. If I had to adapt one to screen personally, I would pick Carte Blanche, as the whole “reboot the reboot” talk makes a strong case for it, and it shows a young Bond as well. Another reason for it, is with the whole “cinematic universes” going on right now (with Bond being possibly groomed for it), there are a lot of allies in the book that could get their own adventures. My nick-name for the book is “007 and Friends” as he has a lot of allies help him on his quest here. There is also some great action scenes in the book that could be made incredible.
My honorable mention would be Colonel Sun, but EON has taken the three things that would make it a great movie: M’s kidnapping (TWINE), The villain’s name (in a way, DAD) and the torture scene (SP).
Moonraker is my favorite Fleming novel. As a small project of my own and bit of hobby writing, I’ve been writing a draft of my own contemporized version. The biggest bitch has been the bridge game.
Aside from that, with Space X and Musk and Branson’s spaceport, it both is and can be done. The scheme of Drax and his true identity lend itself greatly to the notion of Britain joining the space game in respect to providing reusable cost effective means to enabling long term space travel and the ISS.
Gala Brand is a Bond girl of the highest caliber and the first strong, independent and skilled female character created by Fleming. Trained, intelligent and brave.
The other key elements of the cliff explosion, the steam vents and pursuit of Drax with Gala as captive and the paper roll lorry near demise of Bond are epic bits.
Also, the rather tidy wrapping up at the end and the bittersweet goodbye between Bond and Gala is a perfect close.
Of course, now, it can’t be called ‘Moonraker’, something in the same vein though. As a potential period piece set in May of 1954, by all means if the powers that be decide on such a course.
As an avid reader of Bond and a - somewhat lapsed of late - long term member of this forum, I often feel there isn’t enough emphasis given to the genuinely good post-Fleming literary canon. There is an awful lot of dross out there too, but some titles, including the two you mentioned, have great cinematic potential.
While Carte Blanche wasn’t a total success as a novel, it has great cinematic potential. As a writer Deaver is very visual and his interest in the psychological make up and motivations of his characters fit in neatly with the nuances of modern thrillers, which seem to want deep emotional insight regardless of appropriateness. Some of his set pieces are impressive and would convert easily onto the big screen. The locations too (Dubai, South Africa) have not been utilised by EoN productions yet. I think though it would need a stronger villain.
Colonel Sun benefits from four strong central characters (OO7, Ariadne, Sun, Litsas) as well as a plethora of supporting roles. The M kidnap scene would make a brilliant PTS. Sadly this novel has been dug to death by screen writers already and it would be hard to revisit the torture scene as we only recently saw it in reproduced (rather ineffectively IMO) in Spectre. For all that, I think a twist on the plot could be worked which would allow the characters to shine and Amis / Markham’s dialogue recreated for the early '00s. They’d have to lose a lot of the political discussion.
My other (always hopefuls) are Licence Renewed, For Special Services and Ice-Breaker. I think these would make an excellent trilogy of adaptations for a new Bond. When he was once feted, I always fancied them for Lewis Collins as they had that slightly kitsch edge, a hangover from the '70s, coupled with graphic and hard hitting violence. Bond is a bit of a dud though, more of a cipher than a genuine individual, and he does seem to get way too emotionally tied up with the ladies. For all that the mix of excitement, cross-plotting and fearsomeless comes across very strongly and there are some very strong scenes; even if the very best have been mined for the movies already a good fair share still exist.
I agree with you about the first three John Gardner books being great for cinema, based on the synopsis for each one. I live in the US, where the 007 books can be hard to find. I think in particular For Special Services would great, and I even wrote a story outline of where I would like it to go. Expand on the characters a bit more, and keep it faithful to what happens in the novel itself, and I think it would work, in a modern day setting. As for Licence Renewed, like Colonel Sun, it has a number of things that have leaked into the movies already that can away it’s cinematic potential. Maybe if EON played ball with Ian Fleming’s Estate and other book rights holders, we wouldn’t have to wait so long for 007 to come back to the big screen.
Nice to see you around again chrisno . Also, spot on IMO. Indeed, the first three Gardner novels are a great set. FSS is a fun one in all respects and Bond being brainwashed is something that would be great in a film. IB is also great fun. The torture scene, ‘Silver vs Yellow’, Rivke and Paula, Tirpitz and Koslov along with the isolated setting and the rise of the fourth Reich. Real flavor in it.
Yeah, IFP and Eon need to reach some sort of alignment and quit butting heads.
Another honorable mention I’d like to get a chance on the big screen is Raymond Benson’s Union trilogy. If it was filmed Lord of the rings style, back to back to back, I think it would have a great chance at being a realistic great 007 trilogy, in a short time. We haven’t had one of those since Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. Many movie series (particularly based off books) film this way today, and it’s how 007 used to be filmed arguably.
One of the shortest books - maybe THE shortest? - in the entire canon. A brief 190 pages covering only two or three days of actual plot. And yet it’s filled with some of the oddest, most bizarre stuff in Gardner’s run, a giant bat, a head hunt, Bond in Modsart country, shootouts hooks and Madame La Guillotine…
I think a real adaptation of Moonraker would be pretty spectacular. I know chunks of it have been used elsewhere but it could be one with a real sense of jeopardy. Nuking London is a pretty potent threat. There would need to be changes to make it fit a contemporary world but still…
Colonel Sun would work as would some of the early John Gardner books, though the later ones were showing signs of being contractual obligations.
Of the more recent releases… Trigger Mortis is the only one that would make an interesting movie for me, though I’d actually rather see Young Bond filmed, or as has been mentioned, period-era TV adaptations of Fleming’s books. Bond’s out of copyright in Canada… I wonder if anyone over there has given it thought? I suppose it’s down to whether there are enough areas where it’s out of copyright to make international sales lift it to being a financially viable proposition.
The latest collection of unofficial Bond tales, BOND UNKNOWN, contains a full-length story called MINDBREAKER which reads like a classic Bond adventure and ticks all the boxes: exotic locales (Cairo and Corsica) alluring women with cheeky names (Petra Bottoms and Beatrix Treat) a creepy villain with a bizarre deformity (Mr. Fesche, whose body is covered in barnacles and sea urchin spines) and thrilling action sequences (a speedboat chase on the Nile River and an assault by machine gun-wielding motorcyclists on a moving train, among others). The story is very much written as a direct sequel to Fleming’s TMWTGG so that aspect would have to be tweaked, but there are a lot of really intriguing, filmable elements.
Well, if we’re talking unofficial books, we need go no further than the archived section of CBN.
Check out ‘Edge of Treason’ by Volante or ‘Midas Gold’ by Harry Fawkes. Both very good, pulsatingly fast and firery adventures. Modesty prevents me from suggesting my own fan-fic efforts.
Jim has also written some great stuff, but it’d be a tough job converting his literary style onto the screen.
Not sure about the Union Trilogy. I am not a fan of Benson. IMO he is too much a movie Bond phile, so his novels are soaked with spurious action at the expense of emotional or psychological depth.
Nobody Lives Forever rattles along in a picaresque style but ultimately lacks a solid, defining villain. It would need an awful lot if improvement to turn it into a movie, I feel. Its a bit ‘Bond goes Rogue’ and that has rather been done to death already.
Nope, not at 58.5K words. COLD FALL may be slightly shorter. Gardner’s GE novelisation is only 56.8K. Fleming’s own TMWTGG clocks in at 50K and TSWLM at 49K. Fleming’s OLD, of course, is even shorter, but I suspect you meant only novels.
I was thinking about this topic again and while all post-Fleming titles are available, I wondered exactly what is stopping the filming of Fleming’s three remaining titles: Property of a Lady, Risico and The Hildebrand Rarity.
While we know they’ve all been variously mined for sequences / characters in other Bond films - and often badly…
(I’m thinking Milton Krest in LTK - really, why?
I’m thinking a brief shot of a door reading Hildebrand in SP - to what end? - just because you can?
Both are exceedingly unoriginal asides to the Bond fanatic and prime examples of lazy thinking and unfocussed film making.
You’re building a franchise, why do you want to steal ideas you can use later?)
… they could still be used.
For example: The Hildebrand Rarity could be a deadly biological weapon / government secret / covert spy network which the writers may be able to link back to that secret room in SP.
For example: Risico is set in Venice and Albania, could the locations become Venice and Croatia, involve drug barons and people traffickers from the old Yugoslavia
For example: The Property of a Lady, a title which speaks for itself, could involve elements of the unused backstory, the Russian spy inside MI6 who is being paid off.
Its been disappointing EoN doesn’t use its head more when planning it’s movie titles.
OP could have been called TPOAL as the character of Octopussy doesn’t require the OP background; similarly it could also have used TPOAL for QOS, as that title is at best a metaphor, allowing SF to become QOS.
Maybe I’m over thinking this, better stop and watch some rugby before I get annoyed with Purvis & Wade and Wilson & Brocolli…
Fine points Chrisno indeed. “Hildebrand” is exactly along the lines I’ve considered. It’s such an ambiguous title. What is it? Where is it? What does it do? Who has it? Who wants it? Conceivably the best potential McGuffin that a story could be built around. The prize to chase i.e. Lektor, Solex or ATAC.
BTW - Been going back through the fan-fic in the archives “Christmas Story” thread. There’s a lot of gems in there.