The announcement of Sebastian Faulks as the writer of a new James Bond novel to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth has received an incredible amount of publicity, including news items, features and interviews – it even made the front page of UK newspaper The Guardian.
This flurry of media activity continues with a new interview with EW.com’s Popwatch blog. Whilst Faulks keeps schtum about the novel’s plot (“If I tell you, I will be strapped to a chair naked and whipped with knotted rope”), he indicates his new Bond novel, Devil May Care, will be firmly rooted in 007’s literary incarnation, and not based on his filmic counterpart.
“Mine is the book Bond, and [my book] is set in 1967. Which is just after the last [Fleming] book. So we pick him up as Ian Fleming’s Bond, and not Roger Moore’s Bond, or Pierce Brosnan’s, or Daniel Craig’s. I’ve just given Fleming’s Bond another chapter.”
“The idea was that it should read as though Fleming had written it. On the other hand, I didn’t want to write an exact imitation, because obviously with James Bond, there’s a danger of parody and self-parody.”
In line with this statement, Faulks confessed not to have read any of the other continuation novelists. “My commission was from the [Fleming] family, and they strongly believe in Ian Fleming’s value as a writer. And that’s one of the reasons they went to someone like me rather than a genre thriller [writer]. Therefore, I felt that all I wanted to do was immerse myself in Fleming and not be distracted by anyone else’s take on the character.”
Inevitably, the possibility of Devil May Care being adapted for the big screen arose. Said Faulks, “Well, it’s a possibility. It’s been read by [producers] Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson. They were both very positive about the book. But I’m sure that their choice of story for the next movie will be dictated by hundreds of other considerations to do with Hollywood and franchise and marketing. I’d be delighted if it works.”
Of Daniel Craig’s debut outing, Casino Royale, Faulks told EW.com, “Oh, it was powerful, well-made, and exciting. The girl was great, too. [Craig] was certainly a lot tougher than Roger Moore, who was very soft.”
“And Fleming does stress the cruelty of Bond, particularly in the early novels. I think that was one of the things that made the creation appealing and rather shocking when it first came out. But if you actually analyze the way that Bond behaves, both towards his enemies, and towards women, it isn’t actually a sadistic or unnecessarily cruel. He only kills in self-defense, or if absolutely necessary for his mission. Although he is an incurable womanzier, he doesn’t actually treat the women badly. In fact, he frequently falls in love with them and is jilted by them sometimes.”
For the full interview, head on over to EW.com’s Popwatch blog. Stay tuned to CBn for all news on the literary 007.
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