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  1. The CBn Dossier, April '05

    Charles Helfenstein

    Welcome to the April 2005 CBn Dossier, a wrap-up of all the 007 news and rumours for the month. In this month’s column, we take a look at the US release of ‘SilverFin’ and the accompanying Young Bond hype, the recent twists and turns in the hunt for Bond #6, EA’s upcoming re-imagining of ‘From Russia With Love’ and the loss of one of the Bond world’s most influential critics. Today, one of CBn’s newest recruits, doublenoughtspy covers all the latest 007 goings-on.

    Enjoy.

    Literary

    April’s news has been dominated by SilverFin, with the official US release on the 27th, although many online vendors were shipping it earlier. To coincide with the marketing push, author Charlie Higson started a seven city US promotion tour in Chicago.

    German Bond fans will soon be able to read SilverFin in their native language, although the translated title means “Silent Waters Are Deadly”. SilverFin has also been translated into Portugese.

    The Young Bond franchise is already expanding — IFP announced Young Bond would be appearing in graphic novels at the end of 2006. It’s a wise move — other children’s adventure publishers of such stalwarts as The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew recently announced their own series of graphic novels — an attempt to cash in on the $207 million market dominated by “tween and teen” readers.

    71½ Candidates

    On April 17, Eon Productions temporarily cleared up a big casting question when they explicitly stated Pierce Brosnan will NOT be back for Casino Royale. According to the article in The Guardian, Eon has kept track of all the wild names proposed by the British Press, and at this point it’s up to 69 men, 2 women, and a dwarf.

    On April 26th, Dame Judi Dench set off a firestorm of a debate when she claimed Brosnan would be back for Casino Royale. Dench told celebrity gossip columnist Cindy Adams to expect the announcement in the summer. Just a day later, Sony Chairman Michael Lynton told Variety that the report of Brosnan’s return was false.

    Like the tedious inevitability of an unloved season, the “Pierce is back — No Pierce is out” rumours continue to flourish.

    Video Games

    If you can’t get enough of GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, you will soon have the ability to play it anywhere because Electronic Arts will be releasing the game for the handheld Nintendo DS. Look for it in stores starting in June.

    EA also unveiled the official From Russia With Love website which contains information and screenshots. A brief trailer also emerged, featuring the first footage from the game. Fans are still amazed that EA was able to lure Sean Connery back in digital and voice form. But this too follows a trend. Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, Al Pacino as Tony “Scarface” Montana, and even surviving and dead cast members of The Godfather will be populating their respective video games in the near future. Obviously the relative ease of voice work, the nice paycheck, and the chance to connect with a new audience is an offer these actors couldn’t refuse.

    Site News

    April saw promotion of two CBn officers to moderating duty, the first was German Bond expert Heiko Bauman who does not have webbed fingers even if he does go by the name Stromberg. A gentleman and a scholar, as well as a great friend, Heiko helped make CBn’s visit to Blofeld’s Hideaway a reality.

    The second promotion was of yours truly, Charles Helfenstein, aka Doublenoughtspy. I’ve had the pleasure of doing work for both Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications) and MGM in official capacities and I am excited to add my expertise and Bond scholarship (Jim’s favourite term) to the best James Bond site on the Internet.

    Besides adding new moderators, CBn recently changed servers after a harrowing weekend of downtime. Many thanks to Dave and Greg for their hard work and sleepless nights. Donations always help us maintain things “up to your usual high standards” as Bond says to Manuel in OHMSS.

    Obituaries – John Brosnan

    Today we watch a Bond film anytime and anywhere we want — in the comfort of our home, on our computers or portable DVD players, even on PDAs. But back in the early 1970s, Bond fans did not have that luxury. If you wanted to recall a Bond quip or relive a tense moment, you had to do so from memory — or you looked it up in John Brosnan’s James Bond in the Cinema.

    While it is a tame in comparison to the in depth look at Bond films we read today — the retelling of the Bond movie’s plots with some analysis and opinion was a ground breaking work in 1972.

    Brosnan told me in 1994 that he originally approached Harry Saltzman about the project, and was given the go ahead. About half way through the writing process, Cubby Broccoli did not like the direction it was heading, and tried to stop it. However, the contract had already been signed, and thus the book was published. Broccoli was able to prevent the 1981 update from being published in the UK. This same approval then denial process happened to Steven Jay Rubin with his book The James Bond Films.

    Brosnan’s Bond critiques did not stop with the books, as he authored a column in the British media magazine Starburst. Besides film reviews, he also reported on a German James Bond convention in 1984 where Peter Hunt discussed the unused College of Arms chase for the first time publicly (in my old house you can still see the indentations where my jaw hit the floor after reading about that scene).

    So many thanks to John Brosnan, a man who paved the way for Bond film discussion.

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    Charles Helfenstein @ 2005-05-01
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