What if Ian Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me had been filmed?

We know that it’ll never happen (for legal reasons), but what if Ian Fleming’s version of The Spy Who Loved Me had been filmed? It is part of the SPECTRE story-arc, so for arguments sake, I’d have it set in 1966 between Thunderball and You Only Live Twice. Who would’ve been cast?

James Bond: Sean Connery (I can’t see Lazenby doing this one)
Vivien Michel: Anne Bancroft
Sluggsy: Lee Van Cleef
Horror: Fred Gwynne
Mr. Sanguinetti: David Niven
Derek Mallaby: David Hemmings
Kurt Rainer: Klaus Klinski


I do like your cast list Perhaps another idea for Horror could be Ted Cassidy ?

Honestly, either one could work. They’re both tall and both played freakish characters (Herman Munster and Lurch). I suppose I’m a little more biased towards Fred Gwynne since My Cousin Vinny is one of my all-time favorite movies.

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I’d have loved to see a film of Fleming’s TSWLM, but even in the 60s it never stood a chance of being faithfully adapted. Even in novel form it frustrated fans’ expectations of what a Bond story should be. And after the films of GF and TB those expectations resulted in the film of YOLT, with all its mega-spectacle.

If the book somehow had been filmed, it would have resembled the only existing visual adaptation, the Daily Express comic strip version of TSWLM, which expands the Spectre in Canada anecdote into the main plot. Vivienne and the hotel show up toward the end, but mainly for action value, with no mention of her past affairs.

But if somehow, against all the odds, a faithful film was made, I’d have preferred a cast of non-stars, though I liked your casting choices. I think a story that’s so intimate and small-scale would benefit from a down-to-earth cast.

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Ian Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me, 2008 version (set after Quantum of Solace):

James Bond: Daniel Craig
Vivien Michel: Michelle Monaghan
Sluggsy: Kieran Culkin
Horror: John Carroll Lynch
Mr. Sanguinetti: Tom Wilkinson
Derek Mallaby: Charlie Hunnam
Kurt Rainer: Michael Fassbender

And all of Vivien Michel’s scenes would be cut save for one reaction shot…

She apparently still get’s paid for that

She’s had much better and far more substantial roles than that crappy movie.

I know but, annoyingly, that’s happened to her more than once. The Bourne Supremacy, mostly from Unfaithful, and entirely from Syriana.

Personally don’t think Constantine is that bad…do read in to that use of italics…Look at my avatar then see Keanu Reeves…

Haha, yes I agree. It’s not terrible, but certainly not Keanu’s best movie. (better than The Matrix sequels, can’t hold a candle to John Wick). It’s certainly frustrating that it kept happening to her early in her career since she is a great actress. I think MI-3 was her springboard (releasing just after all of those other films)

Seeing her work, when she actually survived the final cut, my god was she robbed!

The novel isn’t my favourite but I do admire the way it unfolds with the simplicity of a stage play. A good director could make something really engaging with the concept. Quentin Tarantino can be an acquired taste, but look at the way he handles extended dialogue scenes and tension.

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Ian Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me, Brosnan version (2000, after The World Is Not Enough)

James Bond: Pierce Brosnan
Vivien Michel: Kate Beckinsale
Sluggsy: Timothy Olyphant
Horror: Daniel Stern
Mr. Sanguinetti: Rutger Hauer
Derek Mallaby: Idris Elba
Kurt Rainer: Gary Oldman