James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have not picked up an option to the film Sebastian Faulks’ 007 novel, Devil May Care, Variety reports.
The pair told the trade paper that the novel’s 1960s setting made it less desirable as a Bond film property.
“We love the book, but because it is set in the 1960s, we haven’t considered making it in the near future,” Broccoli and Wilson.
Devil May Care‘s film rights are shared between the Ian Fleming Estate and Faulks, who penned the novel on the centenary of the James Bond creator’s birth.
Neither the Ian Fleming Estate, nor Faulks have given up on a film adaptation of the novel, claims Variety. However, both issued the following statement to the paper: “There have been no discussions about the film rights whatsoever.”
The novel’s movie rights cannot fall into a rival movie studio’s hands as Danjaq, Eon Productions’ parent company, has had ownership over the series’ copyrights and trademarks since the 1950s. As a result, even if a film company managed to snag the rights, Variety notes that they couldn’t use the James Bond name, music, the 007 alias and trademark gunbarrel opening among the other staples of Eon’s 22-strong film series.
Released in May, Devil May Care arrived on an epic wave of publicity and instantly shot to the top of bestseller lists worldwide. Set in 1967, Faulks’ book places Bond on the trail of the sinister Dr Julius Gorner.
Broccoli was among the first to have read the novel. When Faulks was announced as the Centenary author in July last year, Corinne Turner, IFP’s managing director, commented, “We gave a sneak preview of the manuscript to Barbara Broccoli, who said if I had told her the family had found an old manuscript of Ian’s in the basement she would have believed me.”
The news continues Eon’s commitment to not adapt continuation James Bond novels (despite the occasional reference to them, such as Die Another Day‘s Colonel Moon as a nod to Kingsley Amis’ Colonel Sun).
Variety speculates that Charlie Higson’s Young Bond novels “appear ripe for cinematic adaptation”.
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