Miramax Books, the publishing division of the movie production powerhouse responsible for such films as Kill Bill and Shakespeare in Love, has purchased the U.S. publishing rights to the first two Young James Bond novels by Charlie Higson, according to a report by Pamela McClintock in tomorrow’s Variety.
Film rights are not part of the deal between Miramax and Ian Fleming Publications, the company founded by Bond creator Ian Fleming and wholly owned by the Fleming family. The acquisition was announced by Miramax co-chair Harvey Weinstein and Miramax Books president & editor in chief Jonathan Burnham. The deal’s price tag was not disclosed, but was understood to be in the six-figure range.
“The Miramax name coupled with the James Bond brand is a powerful combination,” Weinstein said. “It is an honor to be connected to the Ian Fleming estate and to be involved in one of the world’s most recognizable icons.”
Variety revealed that the idea for the Young Bond book series, which has not found favor among traditionalist James Bond fans [see: 007 Fans Take Aim at IFP’s ‘Young James Bond’ Concept], came from Ian Fleming Publications with the guidance of literary consultant Kate Jones. The first book, which will be published in spring 2005, finds the 13-year-old James Bond at a Scottish Castle where he discovers that the owner is conducting ominous experiments in a secret lab. The book will be published in the United Kingdom by Penguin Books children’s imprint Puffin.
There are currently five books planned in the series, reports Variety.
“It’s exciting to be re-launching the Bond franchise for a new generation,” Burnham said.
Burnham and U.K.-based Miramax European literary acquisitions exec Lola Bubbosh identified the series and approached Ian Fleming Publications, while Miramax VP of business & legal affairs Jon Yaged negotiated the deal with Ian Fleming Publications managing director Corinne Turner.