CommanderBond.net
  1. BOND 25, soon in your neighbourhood theatre…

    Rejoice – in just about 27 months James Bond fans can expect to meet 007 again at the cinema. And this time it’s not one of numerous more or less informed rumour outlets to claim such, but James Bond’s very own official and certified twitter account. According to yesterday’s lean tweet, BOND 25 will start in the US market on November 8th 2019, with a possible October release in the UK.

    Further details include that Bond veterans Purvis and Wade are responsible for the script – no surprise – and that further details are to be announced at a later date. Now that sounds interesting…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2017-07-25
  2. Sir Roger Moore, 1927 – 2017, RIP

    Sir_Roger_Moore_crop

     

    Today, along many terrible news, it is my sad duty to report the loss of Sir Roger Moore.

     

    You will, in all likelihood, be aware that most obituaries are in fact written long in advance, sometimes years. And at times – hopefully – even many years. It’s simply a custom of the trade; a sad duty, but evidently one you cannot escape.

     
    So when you are tasked with the assignment to write Roger Moore’s obituary you sit down one foggy morning in November 2015, a couple of memoirs and a stack of notes by your side – and only then you realise how daunting and depressing a task this is, to write a living person’s obituary.

     
    You start writing, go over the obvious facts, born where and when; grew up somehow; survived the war somehow, miraculously; education; career; early work. You mention the studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (where you cleverly let slip that Lois Maxwell was his classmate), you go over the first few step-stones (pebbles more like) of his budding career as extra, move on to small parts, arrive at his television work, Ivanhoe, Alaskans (do people even remember this?), Maverick. The Saint. The Saint. And more The Saint. Six seasons of TV history and you go on at great length how Moore spread out his charm and his presence over these years, how he gained worldwide fame, how he made the character his own and recommended himself for further parts.

     
    And on you move, the time is short, to Bond. To seven times of 007, twelve years of his work that would henceforth – in the public’s eye – overshadow everything else he did, whether it’s his non-Bond work or his private life. You mention the difference between his depiction of Bond and the literary character. You mention the famous raised eyebrow and how Moore, with his characteristic understatement, sold his own acting short to three expressions; and in so doing you illustrate his noble spirits and his sense of humour. And also how he was frequently underrated in his work. Not many actors can look at you from the wrong side of a set of crocodile teeth and keep a straight face. Moore could.

     
    Then you go on with the non-Bond parts and the work after Bond. With his commitment as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, which he was appointed in 1991. You stress how he supported the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund by visits to Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras, where he saw in the field the desperate conditions under which children in these regions often had to suffer. How Roger Moore spoke out to raise awareness to these circumstances, how he became a voice on HIV/AIDS and the horrors of landmine terror in war torn regions around the globe. How he became an important public voice and fund raiser for numerous UNICEF projects and initiatives and how his activities helped the poorest and weakest, those most in need of protection and support. Our support.

     
    It was for these activities Roger Moore was awarded the C.B.E. and later the K.B.E. Rightfully so he was immensely proud of the recognition since this work more than anything else in his career directly influenced the lives and fates of a great number of children for the better.

     
    You cut the personal life paragraph about spouses and family short, mainly because it’s none of our business; also it’s a bit yellow-page-ish. Leave that to the others.

     
    And then you arrive at the end of the page, a whole life of 89+ years in a couple of paragraphs, mostly filled with facts anybody could look up on the internet today.

     
    And none of it would really capture how Roger Moore – Sir Roger Moore – has influenced so many of his fans. How in nearly all of his roles there was a basic humanity shining through, something that (for lack of a better word and doubtlessly betraying my naïveté here) I would like to call a ‘quantum of nobility’ – a kind of empathy and strive for the good we all would be capable of. Whether in his Ivanhoe armour or his Simon Templar three-piece suit, there always was a trace of it present. Not a doe-eyed ‘I’m-the-good-guy’ bigotry either, Moore never missed a chance for a quick mischievous wink that told us not to take him too seriously.

     
    But there definitely was a reason writing colleagues used the phrase ‘gentleman spy’ back in Moore’s day. And it had nothing to do with the dinner jacket. Or much less than people like to think today. Though the mere term “gentleman” seems almost so outdated now it’s probably on the verge of becoming one of the big insults of our brave new world – with Roger Moore many fans felt a grain of just this quality, the gentle character, the humane spirit, was always present. And not as a part of the role but as a part of the man himself. The kind of gentleman that didn’t disappear with the dinner jacket.

     
    Roger Moore did more than just depict the hero on screen; for the fans of my generation he was often also a first role-model – and surely not the worst you could think of. The absence of Roger Moore – a noble man in the best of ways and long before the ‘Sir’ was added – will also mark the end of an era.

     
    And finally you arrive at this sentence. And you realise you also arrived at the end of this obituary. And you are deeply sad for the loss that is yet to be, hopefully far in the distance. And you put the piece in the drawer and hope.

     
    Today, it was my sad duty to open this drawer and report the loss of Sir Roger Moore. We will miss you.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2017-05-23
  3. Waltz on, Blofeld

    The new German bi-annual Zeit-Magazin Mann has an extensive Christoph Waltz interview as cover story of its premiere issue. Naturally, Waltz’s role in last year’s SPECTRE was also a topic. A brief excerpt:

     

     

    Financially, SPECTRE has been a huge success. It had a box office of $ 880 million, only one other James Bond film earned more.

     

    And yet, Waltz isn’t satisfied – with his own performance, with the result.

     

    ‘I cannot claim that I’ve really nailed Blofeld. Overall it held water, was okay. But it wasn’t what I’ve been looking for. I was searching for more inspiration.’

     

    He has been getting this vibe even before shooting started, but by then it was already too late.

     

    ‘An actor can only be really good when there are shared possibilities.’

     

    He refuses to be any more specific about it, but it’s clear what he means by that: apparently the chemistry between him and director Sam Mendes didn’t play out the way he would have wished for.

     

    How does one survive a PR spectacle such as James Bond?

     

    First he says ‘I’ve survived worse’ and then he adds ‘There is a tendency to excessiveness. I understand you want to invite as many guests as possible to a premiere. But does it absolutely have to be the Royal Albert Hall? That doesn’t really help the whole cause. In the end it’s a film, and it should remain a film. The next premiere will probably be a national holiday; it almost was this time. I don’t see what’s so bad about the Odeon at Leicester Square for a premier cinema?’

     

    At the end of SPECTRE his Blofeld is still alive – is a sequel with Waltz possible?

     

    ‘I don’t know about that, nobody knows. It wasn’t talked about, except in the press. Right now nobody even knows which studio will produce the next and if Daniel will return. All of that is filed under “carry on”‘

     

    Excerpt from Zeit-Magazin Mann No. 1 / 2016

    Translation by HS

     

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-09-06
  4. Sir Ken Adam 1921 – 2016

    Sir Ken Adam – Photo: Thomas Schmidt (NetAction)

    Sir Ken Adam – Photo: Thomas Schmidt

    On March 10th 2016, Sir Ken Adam passed away in London, aged 95. The world of movie making and especially the world of James Bond mourns the loss of one of its most talented production designers who has influenced the style of the Bond movies like barely anyone else. His ground breaking set designs include seven James Bond films: Dr No (1962), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). In his career, he won two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, 1975 for Barry Lyndon and 1994 for The Madness of King George and was nominated three more times. He is survived by his wife Letizia, to whom the team of Commanderbond.net wishes to express their sincerest condolences.

    Sir Ken Adam was born on February 4th 1921 as Klaus Hugo Adam in Berlin-Tiergarten. He was the third of four children of a wealthy Jewish family who ran a large sports and fashion store. In 1934, the family fled from Nazi terror to London. In 1937, Adam joined the Bartlett School of Architecture, following the advice of art director and Academy Award winner Vincent Korda who told him that this would be the best way to start a career as a movie architect.

    He took a break from his education in 1941 and joined the British Royal Air Force to become a pilot and fight the Nazis in his native country, knowing full well that he wouldn’t be treated as a prisoner of war but killed as a traitor in case he was captured by the enemy.

    In 1947, he became a British citizen and adopted the first name Ken. Soon after that, he got his first job in the movie business as a draughtsman at Twickenham Studios and started working his way up in the industry. Through his work on Captain Horatio Hornblower in 1951, he made himself a bit of a name as an expert for historic ships which lead to him working on The Crimson Pirate in 1951. While shooting this movie on the Italian island of Ischia, he met his future wife Letizia who was a model at that time. They married a year later and Letizia would become his lifelong source of inspiration.

    In 1956, his work on Around the World in Eighty Days gained him his first Oscar nomination (with Ross Dowd and James W. Sullivan). His other two unsuccessful nominations were for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Addams Family Values (1993). Ironically, four of his five nominations (including his two wins) were for historic set designs and not his futuristic, Bauhaus influenced style that made him famous.

    His work on The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) brought him in contact with producer Albert R. Broccoli, who would later hire him to do the set designs for the first James Bond movie Dr No. In the years to come, Adam would design some of the 007 franchise’s most iconic sets and elements: Dr No’s underground lair (including the famous, minimalistic “Tarantula room”), the interior of Fort Knox and of course the gadget-ladden Aston Martin DB5 for Goldfinger, the underwater vehicles and the Disco Volante hydrofoil boat for Thunderball, the famous hollowed-out volcano for You Only Live Twice, the moon Buggy and Blofeld’s lair for Diamonds are Forever, the tanker interior for The Spy who Loved Me for which the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios was specially built and of course the space station and the Space Shuttle control room for Moonraker. Additionally, he was responsible for the production design of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (and the car itself), based on the book by Ian Fleming.

    Even though Adam’s famous credo was to design the sets “larger than life”, many of his creations were taken for real by the audience. This also happened with one of his most famous sets, the “War Room” for Dr. Strangelove. No story about Ken Adam would be complete without this anecdote: when Ronald Reagan became President of the United States he demanded to see this room and was slightly disappointed that the equivalent didn’t even remotely look like what he saw in that movie. Despite the great result, Adam vowed to never work again with Strangelove director Stanley Kubrick, as his erratic way of working led to the production designer suffering from not one but two nervous breakdowns. Luckily, Adam broke this vow to work with Kubrick on Barry Lyndon, for which he won his first Academy Award in 1975.

    He won his second Academy Award for The Madness of King George in 1994. In 2003, Ken Adam received a knighthood for his services to the film industry and Anglo-German relations. In 2012, Ken Adam donated his entire archives to the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, including many drawings, photographs and memorabilia (among them his two Oscar statues) under the condition that the archives would be made publicly accessible. The process of digitizing all these materials and publishing them as an online archive is still in the works and has been postponed from March 2015 to mid-2016. Sadly, Ken Adam didn’t live to see this last project being finished.

    Heiko Baumann @ 2016-03-12
  5. We told you so…

    CommanderBond.net team and members hereby congratulate Sam Smith on winning an Oscar for Writing’s On The Wall. Now it is written there: Best Original Song.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-02-29
  6. SPECTRE – The Tour

    SPECTRE Poster

    After the spectacular success that was SPECTRE – The Motion Picture and in preparation to the spectacular success that SPECTRE – The Auction will no doubt turn out to be (just as SPECTRE – The DVD, SPECTRE – The Blueray(™) and SPECTRE – The Streaming Experience, amongst others…) there is one more spec-tacular event for fans to crave and rave about and for me to report to you. It’s SPECTRE – The Tour! Never heard of it? Why, it’s a secret, dummy; people are not supposed to hear about it!

    That’s why it came as a sort of surprise to us when, contrary to all intentions and every rule of clandestine operational procedure, we finally did hear about it, though. Albeit too late for Glasgow, that was yesterday. And too late for Manchester, that was this morning. Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, this time they really kept mum about it.

    Anyway, here goes the schedule of the ballyhoo:

    SPECTRE ON TOUR will stop at each of the following locations:

    Monday 15th February – George Square, Glasgow (007 hours from 9am)
    Tuesday 16th February – The Lowry Plaza, Manchester (8.30-11.30am); Centenary Square, Birmingham (2-6pm)
    Wednesday 17th February – Churchill Way, Cardiff (007 hours from 9am)

     

    Well, now you know when and where, only the what is still a bit nebulous, much like the spectral nature of the entertainment this is supposed to somehow secretly promote. By way of osmosis or something equally sticky…

    SPECTRE – The Tour will bring to you a display with an Aston Martin DB10; a real, genuine, made-for-the-screen-only toy car for millionaires. Supposedly there is also some other small fry, I would have to research on that. Only since it’s already a bit late I suggest you just stop reading this piffle and go into the great outdoors, preferably in Birmingham or Cardiff and just find out for yourself.

     

    Good luck with that…

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-02-16
  7. SPECTRE – The Auction

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    From time to time even a 00-agent has to go beyond the vulgarities of casinos and roulette tables to make some serious money in style, all for the good cause of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), a number of other charities and the United Nations Mine Action Service. And what better way to do this than taking 24 absolutely unique lots – from EON as well as  donations from Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes, Jesper Christensen, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli – to the halls of Christie’s to sell them off to the highest bidder?

     

    Can’t think of any, really.

     

    Of course there is a little, well, let’s call it hurdle, namely the price tag. Serious money here really does mean serious. On this occasion one of only two Aston Martin DB10 show cars will change hands, currently the only one to do so. It’s expected to earn the cause anything between 1 and 1.5 million sterling. So it will not surprise you to hear the live auction is an invitation-only affair, although bids by internet and telephone will be accepted. However, there also is to be an online-only auction from Tuesday 16 February to Tuesday 23 February where you can bid on 14 of the lots. For further information please visit Christie’s site here.

     

    The life event will take place on 18 February at Christie’s London. If you think you belong into the relevant target audience – some of us do – and haven’t received yet your invitation you may want to contact your personal assistant at Christie’s and raise an eyebrow.

     

    Oh, I almost forgot. There is of cause also a reason for this I should inform you about. The reason being that 18 February 2016 is a Thursday. What, you need more than that to spend a few million? How about that this event incidentally also is supposed to mark the release of SPECTRE in various trademarked formats, Blue-ray, DVD and whatnot. Now that should really open your cheque book.

     

    Tremendous thanks to source “Surrie” for digging this up and letting us know.

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-01-21
  8. Sam Smith strikes again…

    Is this Smith's Writing On The Wall...?

    Is this Smith’s Writing On The Wall…?

    As some Irishman – during an English adventure – once said, the wonders never cease. In fact 2016 starts with surprise after surprise; and by far not all of them are bad ones. After winning a Golden Globe a mere few days ago, to his own astonishment, Sam Smith supposedly may find himself once more caught off guard by today’s news. It seems that his main title song for SPECTRE, Writing’s On The Wall, has been found worthy of an Oscar nomination.

     

    How is it possible Smith sings about things written on walls since the end of last September and nobody bothers to check out even once what it actually is that’s scribbled there? Turns out it might be a name…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-01-14
  9. Writing’s on the Wall secures Golden Globe 2016

    Now awarded with the Golden Globe

    Now awarded with the Golden Globe

    Entirely unexpected and mostly out-of-the-blue Sam Smith’s main title song for SPECTRE, The Writing’s on the Wall, earned itself a Golden Globe yesterday evening. Smith himself said at the occasion he “genuinely didn’t think” he’d get this – and he certainly wasn’t alone in this belief. Be that as it may, CommanderBond.net crew and members hereby congratulate on this surprising turn of events. Here’s to you, Mr Smith!

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-01-11
  10. SPECTRE explosion sets world record

    SPECTRE has officially set a Guinness World Record for the Largest Film Stunt Explosion. Barbara Broccoli, Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux collected the award in Beijing on behalf of special effects supervisor Chris Corbould. The explosion was filmed near Erfoud in Morocco, and used 8,418 litres of fuel and 33kg of explosives.

    Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said: “It is absolutely tremendous that the Guinness World Records have recognised Chris Corbould’s incredible work in SPECTRE in which he created the largest explosion ever in film history.”

    Kenny Stewart @ 2015-11-10
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