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  1. "Deja vu, Mr. Bond?"

    A common question asked by Bond fans is, “Why haven’t the filmmakers ever turned to the numerous non-Fleming ‘continuation novels’ as source material, in particular the 14 original books by John Gardner?” Certainly some of the titles, characters, and plot elements are just as good as the work being produced by the current stable of EON’s screenwriters. But perhaps the recent films do encompass some of the material from the Gardner continuation novels and others. The list below investigates.

    Kingsley Amis
    COLONEL SUN (1967)

    007 battles a sadistic Chinese madman who plots to sabotage a USSR summit and blame it on the British.

    • Book: The villain is a mad Chinese military officer named Colonel Sun.
    • Film: Die Another Day (2002) – The villain is a mad Korean military officer named Colonel Moon.
    • Book: M is kidnapped by the villain and held prisoner in an old island fortress in Greece.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – M is kidnapped by the villain and held prisoner in an old island fortress in Turkey.

    John Gardner
    LICENSE RENEWED (1981)

    007 battles a tyrannical Scottish Laird who threatens to cause six consecutive nuclear meltdowns.

    • Book: James Bond gets his first glimpse of villain industrialist Anton Murik at England’s famous Ascot racetrack.
    • Film: A View to a Kill (1985) – James Bond gets his fist glimpse of villain industrialist Max Zorin at England’s famous Ascot racetrack.
    • Book: Bond poses as a weekend party guest at Murik’s large country estate in Scotland.
    • Film: A View to a Kill (1985) – Bond poses as a weekend party guest at Zorin’s large country estate in France.
    • Book: Bond’s SAAB ejects tear gas from its vents when surrounded by henchmen.
    • Film: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Bond’s BMW ejects tear gas from its vents when surrounded by henchmen.
    • Book: Bond fights henchman Caber in the cargo hold of C-130 over Spain in the book’s climax.
    • Film: The Living Daylights (1987) – Bond fights henchman Necros in the cargo hold of C-130 over Afghanistan in the film’s climax.
    • The film Licence To Kill (1989) was orginally called License Revoked.

    FOR SPECIAL SERVICES (1982)

    007 is loaned out to the CIA to battle a resurgent SPECTRE.

    • Book: Bond and heroine Cedar Leiter are trapped in a precariously balanced elevator in a Washington D.C. hotel.
    • Film: A View to a Kill (1985) – Bond and heroine Stacey Sutton are trapped in a precariously balanced elevator in San Francisco’s City Hall.
    • Book: Villain Markus Bismaquer plots with crime syndicate SPECTER to gain control of a top secret star wars-like space-based satellite weapon known as Space Wolf.
    • Film: GoldenEye (1995) – Villain Alec Trevelyn plots with crime syndicate JANUS to gain control of a top secret star wars-like space-based satellite weapon known as GoldenEye.
    • Book: In a surprise twist at the end, the mastermind and true villain of the book is revealed to be the “victimized” Nena Bismaquer who seeks to avenge the death of her father. Having fallen in love with her while protecting her, Bond now kills her in cold blood in her isolated Everglades castle lair.
    • Film: The World Is Not Enough (1999) – In a surprise twist at the end, the mastermind and true villain of the film is revealed to be the “victimized” Electra King who seeks to avenge the death of her mother. Having fallen in love with her while protecting her, Bond now kills her in cold blood in her isolated Istanbul castle lair.

    ICEBREAKER (1983)

    007 battles a neo-Nazi army deep inside the Arctic Circle.

    • Book: Bond, on a mission in the Arctic Circle, rides a snow mobile while being chased by Russians.
    • Film: A View to a Kill (1985) – Bond, on a mission in the Arctic Circle, rides a snow mobile while being chased by Russians.
    • Book: Villain Count von Gloda’s lair is an “Ice Palace” deep inside the Arctic Circle.
    • Film: Die Another Day (2002) – Villain Gustav Graves’ lair is an “Ice Palace” deep inside the Arctic Circle.


    Artwork for Icebreaker (1983) and Die Another Day (2002)

    ROLE OF HONOR (1984)

    007 resigns from the Secret Service and finds himself being recruited…by SPECTRE!

    • Book: Villain Jay Anton Holy is obsessed with computers and the criminal applications of computers.
    • Film: A View to a Kill (1985) – Villain Max Zorin is obsessed with computers and the criminal applications of computers.
    • Book: Bond “resigns” from the secret service and poses as a free agent in order to attract the attention of villain Jay Anton Holy.
    • Film: Licence To Kill (1989) – Bond resigns from the secret service and poses as a free agent in order to attract the attention of villain Franz Sanchez.
    • Book: Bond is instructed by secret service envoy Percy Proud while on leave in Monte Carlo.
    • Film: GoldenEye (1995) – Bond is evaluated by secret service envoy Caroline while on leave in Monte Carlo.
    • Book: Armed with only his ASP handgun, Bond battles a collection of heavily-armed masked terrorists room to room in a secret SPECTRE training simulator where 007 discovers several of his team dead.
    • Film: Die Another Day (2002) – Armed with only his P99 handgun, Bond battles a collection of heavily-armed masked terrorists room to room in a MI6 training simulator where Bond discovers several of his colleagues dead.
    • Book: The villain has an elaborate game room in his home where he role plays the Battle of Bunker’s Hill with toy soldiers.
    • Film: The Living Daylights (1987) – The villain has an elaborate game room in his home where he role plays the Battle of Gettysburg with toy soldiers.
    • Book: The climax takes place aboard an airship over Geneva.
    • Film: A View to a Kill (1985) – The climax takes place aboard an airship over San Francisco.

    NOBODY LIVES FOREVER (1986)

    Things get personal for 007 as SPECTRE puts a price on his head.

    • Book: Key West is a featured location.
    • Film: Licence To Kill (1989) – Key West is a featured location.
    • Book: Tomboyish female bodyguard Nannie Norwich uses a small gun that she conceals in a leg garter holster.
    • Film: Licence To Kill (1989) – Tomboyish CIA Pilot Pan Bouvier uses a small gun that she conceals a leg garter holster.

    NO DEALS, MR. BOND (1987)

    007 battles the heirs of SMERSH who are killing members of a defunct WWII espionage operation.

    • Book: Bond kills love interest turned villain Heather Dare in cold blood at the end of the novel.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – Bond kills love interest turned villain Electra King in cold blood at the end of the film.
    • Book: M tells Bond the #1 rule is there will be “no deals” if he’s captured.
    • Film: Die Another Day (2002) – Bond tells M he understands the #1 rule is there will be “no deals” if he’s captured.
    • Book: Gardner’s original title was Tomorrow Always Comes
    • Film: Tomorrow Never Dies?

    SCORPIUS (1988)

    007 battles a deadly cult leader who uses brainwashed followers to assassinate major political figures.

    • Book: Villain Valintine Scorpius uses a religious cult to front his nefarious activities.
    • Film: Licence To Kill (1989) – Villain Franz Sanchez uses a religious cult to front his nefarious activities.

    WIN, LOSE OR DIE (1989)

    007 returns to the Royal Navy to protect world leaders during a superpower summit.

    • Book: Bond dogfights in a Harrier fighter jet.
    • Film: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Bond dogfights in a MIG fighter jet.

    BROKENCLAW (1990)

    007 battles a half Chinese, half Blackfoot Indian sadist who plots to cause a worldwide stock market crash.

    • Book: Bond is tortured by heritage-obsessed villian Brokenclaw Lee in an antique Native American torture device.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – Bond is tortured by heritage-obsessed villainess Electra King in an antique Turkish torture device.

    THE MAN FROM BARBAROSSA (1991)

    007 plays observer to a secret WWII war crimes trial on the eve of the Gulf War.

    • Book: Baku, Azerbaijan is a major location.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – Baku, Azerbaijan is a major location

    DEATH IS FOREVER (1992)

    007 must save members of a Cold War spy network after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    • I found no similarities between this book and the films, but isn’t it interesting that this book was published when EON was embroiled in legal issues over 007 and no film was being developed?

    NEVER SEND FLOWERS (1993):

    007 battles a psychotic actor who plots to assassinate the Royal Family.

    • Book: David Dragonpol uses a walking stick gun.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – Valentin Zukovsky uses a walking stick gun. (To be fair, the walking stick gun first appeared in 1953’s Casino Royale.)

    SEAFIRE (1994)

    007 and his fiancée battle a madman who plots to torpedo an oil tanker off the coast of Puerto Rico.

    • Book: Bond rides a high-powered motorcycle along the ramps and roofs of Roman ruins.
    • Film: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Bond rides a high-powered motorcycle along the ramps and roofs of a Vietnamese village.
    • Book: The villain uses para-hawks to attack Bond.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – The villain uses para-hawks to attack Bond.
    • Book: The climax involves the use of a stolen Russian mini-sub in the Caribbean.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – The climax involves the use of a stolen Russian mini-sub in the Black Sea.

    COLD aka COLD FALL (1996)

    007 tracks a militia terrorist army over the course of several years.

    • Book: M is kidnapped when he makes a surprise appearance in the field.
    • Film: Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – M is kidnapped when she makes a surprise appearance in the field.
    • Book: Bond performs a HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening) drop.
    • Film: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Bond performs a HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening) drop.
    • Book: Sukie Tempesta gets Stockholm Syndrome, falls in love with the villain, and turns on Bond.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – Elektra King gets Stockholm Syndrome, falls in love with the villain, and turns on Bond.

    Raymond Benson
    THE FACTS OF DEATH (1998)

    007 infiltrates a mathematically minded Greek cult who kill by the numbers.

    • Book: The villain’s target is Istanbul.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – The villain’s target is Istanbul.
    • Book: Hera, named after a Greek Goddess, sexually teases Bond as she tortures him in a chair.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – Electra, named after a Greek Goddess, sexually teases Bond as she tortures him in a chair.
    • Book: M’s seeks Bond help after her friend and lover Alfred Hutchinson is assassinated.
    • Film: The World is Not Enough (1999) – M’s seeks Bond help after her friend (and lover?) Sir Robert King is assassinated.
    • Benson’s original title for The Facts of Death was…The World is Not Enough!

    Finally, although not an official Bond novel, the most striking and mysterious similarity between a Bond book and a film are the almost identical plot lines of Jim Hatfield’s self-published Bond novel, The Killing Zone (1985), and the film Licence To Kill (1989).

    THE KILLING ZONE (1985)

    • Book: The plot of this “rogue” Bond novel has 007 going after a south American drug lord Klaus Doberman after he murders Bond’s good friend Bill Tanner. Along the way, Bond discovers Doberman is attempting to globalize his cocaine empire by making an alliance with Russia.
    • Film: Licence To Kill (1989)– The plot of this “break-a-way” Bond film has a rouge 007 going after South American drug lord Franz Sanchez after he mutilates Bond’s good friend Felix Leiter. Along the way, Bond discovers Sanchez is attempting to globalize his cocaine empire by making an alliance with China.

    You may be asking, “How is it possible for authors, like Gardner, to miss some of these glaring similarities?” Gardner answered the question himself in a 1993 interview in 007 MAGAZINE. In it Gardner states, “I have not watched a Bond movie since 1979. The first thing I said was I was not going to be influenced by the movies.” I’d say it’s time to fire up the VCR, Mr. Gardner.

    But to be fair to EON, they are not “stealing” these ideas. EON owns all film rights to the literary James Bond and just as they can use any elements from the Fleming books, they can also use any elements from the continuation novels. And to be fair to the screenwriters, good ideas float mysteriously in the air and are frequently plucked down by more than one person at the same time. I mean, someone was going to put James Bond in a blimp eventually. It is possible that much of what I’ve listed above is genuine coincidence. And there is at least one instance where the idea flowed the other way — Eon featured Bond on the Rock of Gibraltar in The Living Daylights (1987) before Gardner did so in Win, Lose or Die (1989).

    But, if nothing else, this list illustrates how the literary James Bond and the cinematic James Bond are as symbiotic as they were back in the days of Fleming. So why not join them in a more direct way? Why use Colonel Moon when you could use Colonel Sun? Was the title Die Another Day really a better choice than Icebreaker? Why not go for a straight adaptation of some of the more cinematic continuation novels like Nobody Lives Forever, High Time To Kill, or The Man With The Red Tattoo?

    Here’s hoping someday they will.



    Thanks to forum members DLibrasnow, James Boldman, and General Koskov for their contributions to this list. This is an UPDATE of an article that first appeared on CBn on Aug 26, 2001.

    To discuss this topic visit this thread in the CBn Forums.

    johncox @ 2004-03-01
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