I’m going to have the next “James Bond Declassified” for you tomorrow, covering “Thunderball,” and in the meantime, I thought there were enough bits and pieces of James Bond news bouncing around out there that it was worth rounding them up in one place.
First and foremost, have you been reading Greg Ellwood’s reports from the set of “Skyfall”? He just went to London, and it sounds like it was a great trip to Pinewood to see what Daniel Craig and crew are up to. If you’d like to get as close as possible to a set visit without leaving your house, there’s a new video blog up featuring Sam Mendes and the Shanghai setting for some of the new film.
This seems to be the most active any James Bond film campaign has ever been in terms of offering up looks at the making of the film while they’re still working. It’s even unusual for a big film to allow people to write about a set visit a week after they were there. Normally those things are held for months. It signals a sort of confidence on the part of EON and Sony that the public is hungry for the return of Daniel Craig, and I think it’s also due in part to this being the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first Bond film, “Dr. No.”
Locations have always been a big part of the Bond series, and I like this glimpse at how they’ve picked the specific spots they’re using in the various locales. Shanghai is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see what a Roger Deakins version of a James Bond Shanghai looks like. That’s an exciting combination of things, and even a short feature like this is enough to get me thinking about how much I want this film to be finished and in theaters right now.
In the meantime, it looks like a ten-year deal has finally been struck for all of the Bond novels by Ian Fleming to be made available by Amazon as digital files for e-readers. I’ve got a Kindle, and I can promise I’ll be buying all of these as soon as they’re available. Right now, I’ve got all of the books sitting on my desk, the Black Lizard trade paperbacks that came out about a decade ago, and I’ll never get rid of them as physical objects. But being able to have all of Fleming’s work stored in my Kindle collections and being able to throw them onto the reader for a flight… that’s pretty great. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for them to make this deal.
Finally, I’m excited to read the first details about “007 Legends,” a video game that will incorporate six different classic Bond films in one game, a 50th anniversary celebration that will bring the character’s entire history to one game for the first time. No word yet on which films they’re using, aside from “Skyfall,” but I love this. I love seeing fans working on new media versions of Bond, somehow creating a continuity for a series that is famous for having a wildly vague sense of continuity in the first place.
It’s a good year to be a Bond fan, and it’s all building towards the October 26 release of “Skyfall” in the UK, with a November 9 US release to follow.