|Birth Day||January 19, 2004|
|Birth Place||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Age||19 YEARS OLD|
|Created by||Ian Fleming|
|Original work||Casino Royale (1953)|
|Novel(s)||List of novels|
|Short stories||See list of novels|
|Film(s)||List of films|
|Short film(s)||Happy and Glorious|
|Television series||"Casino Royale" (Climax! first season's third episode) (1954, first) James Bond Jr. (1991–1992, most recent)|
|Portrayers||George Baker Pierce Brosnan Daniel Craig Sean Connery Timothy Dalton Bob Holness Michael Jayston George Lazenby Roger Moore Barry Nelson David Niven Toby Stephens|
James Bond, the iconic fictional British spy created by author Ian Fleming, may have an estimated net worth of $1.2 million by 2023. However, it is worth noting that this net worth calculation is based on various factors and fictional interpretations of Bond's lifestyle and assets. Born on January 4, 1900, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, James Bond has become a cultural phenomenon, known for his elegance, suave demeanor, and daring escapades. Over the years, Bond has been portrayed by several actors in numerous films, further contributing to his worldwide popularity and legend.
When I wrote the first one in 1953, I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument ... when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, [James Bond] is the dullest name I ever heard.— Ian Fleming, The New Yorker, 21 April 1962
It was not until the penultimate novel, You Only Live Twice, that Fleming gave Bond a sense of family background. The book was the first to be written after the release of Dr. No in cinemas and Sean Connery's depiction of Bond affected Fleming's interpretation of the character, to give Bond both a sense of humour and Scottish antecedents that were not present in the previous stories. In a fictional obituary, purportedly published in The Times, Bond's parents were given as Andrew Bond, from the village of Glencoe, Scotland, and Monique Delacroix, from the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Fleming did not provide Bond's date of birth, but John Pearson's fictional biography of Bond, James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007, gives Bond a birth date on 11 November 1920, while a study by John Griswold puts the date at 11 November 1921.
Whilst serving in the Naval Intelligence Division, Fleming had planned to become an author and had told a friend, "I am going to write the spy story to end all spy stories." On 17 February 1952, he began writing his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica, where he wrote all his Bond novels during the months of January and February each year. He started the story shortly before his wedding to his pregnant girlfriend, Ann Charteris, in order to distract himself from his forthcoming nuptials.
After completing the manuscript for Casino Royale, Fleming showed the manuscript to his friend (and later editor) william Plomer to read. Plomer liked it and submitted it to the publishers, Jonathan Cape, who did not like it as much. Cape finally published it in 1953 on the recommendation of Fleming's older brother Peter, an established travel Writer. Between 1953 and 1966, two years after his death, twelve novels and two short-story collections were published, with the last two books – The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy and The Living Daylights – published posthumously. All the books were published in the UK through Jonathan Cape.
In 1954 CBS paid Ian Fleming $1,000 ($9,113 in 2017 dollars) to adapt his novel Casino Royale into a one-hour television adventure as part of its Climax! series. The episode aired live on 21 October 1954 and starred Barry Nelson as "Card Sense" James Bond and Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre. The novel was adapted for American audiences to show Bond as an American agent working for "Combined Intelligence", while the character Felix Leiter—American in the novel—became British onscreen and was renamed "Clarence Leiter".
In 1957 the Daily Express approached Ian Fleming to adapt his stories into comic strips, offering him £1,500 per novel and a share of takings from syndication. After initial reluctance, Fleming, who felt the strips would lack the quality of his writing, agreed. To aid the Daily Express in illustrating Bond, Fleming commissioned an Artist to create a Sketch of how he believed James Bond looked. The Illustrator, John McLusky, however, felt that Fleming's 007 looked too "outdated" and "pre-war" and changed Bond to give him a more masculine look. The first strip, Casino Royale was published from 7 July 1958 to 13 December 1958 and was written by Anthony Hern and illustrated by John McLusky.
The James Bond character and related media have triggered a number of criticisms and reactions across the political spectrum, and are still highly debated in popular culture studies. Some observers accuse Bond novels and films of misogyny and sexism. Geographers have considered the role of exotic locations in the movies in the dynamics of the Cold War, with power struggles among blocs playing out in the peripheral areas. Other critics claim that the Bond films reflect imperial nostalgia. American conservative critics, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, saw Bond as a nihilistic, hedonistic, and amoral character that challenged family values.
Following the release of the film Dr. No in 1962, the line "Bond ... James Bond", became a catch phrase that entered the lexicon of Western popular culture: Writers Cork and Scivally said of the introduction in Dr. No that the "signature introduction would become the most famous and loved film line ever". In 2001, it was voted as the "best-loved one-liner in cinema" by British cinema goers, and in 2005, it was honoured as the 22nd greatest quotation in cinema history by the American Film Institute as part of their 100 Years Series. The 2005 American Film Institute's '100 Years' series recognised the character of James Bond himself as the third greatest film hero. He was also placed at number 11 on a similar list by Empire and as the fifth greatest movie character of all time by Premiere.
For the film adaptations of Bond, the pre-mission briefing by Q Branch became one of the motifs that ran through the series. Dr. No provided no spy-related gadgets, but a Geiger counter was used; industrial designer Andy Davey observed that the first ever onscreen spy-gadget was the attaché case shown in From Russia with Love, which he described as "a classic 007 product". The gadgets assumed a higher profile in the 1964 film Goldfinger. The film's success encouraged further espionage equipment from Q Branch to be supplied to Bond, although the increased use of Technology led to an accusation that Bond was over-reliant on equipment, particularly in the later films.
Most of the Bond novels and short stories have since been adapted for illustration, as well as Kingsley Amis's Colonel Sun; the works were written by Henry Gammidge or Jim Lawrence with Yaroslav Horak replacing McClusky as Artist in 1966. After the Fleming and Amis material had been adapted, original stories were produced, continuing in the Daily Express and Sunday Express until May 1977.
After Fleming's death a continuation novel, Colonel Sun, was written by Kingsley Amis (as Robert Markham) and published in 1968. Amis had already written a literary study of Fleming's Bond novels in his 1965 work The James Bond Dossier. Although novelizations of two of the Eon Productions Bond films appeared in print, James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me and James Bond and Moonraker, both written by Screenwriter Christopher Wood, the series of novels did not continue until the 1980s. In 1981 the thriller Writer John Gardner picked up the series with Licence Renewed. Gardner went on to write sixteen Bond books in total; two of the books he wrote – Licence to Kill and GoldenEye – were novelizations of Eon Productions films of the same name. Gardner moved the Bond series into the 1980s, although he retained the ages of the characters as they were when Fleming had left them. In 1996 Gardner retired from writing James Bond books due to ill health.
In 1973 a BBC documentary Omnibus: The British Hero featured Christopher Cazenove playing a number of such title characters (e.g. Richard Hannay and Bulldog Drummond). The documentary included James Bond in dramatised scenes from Goldfinger—notably featuring 007 being threatened with the novel's circular saw, rather than the film's laser beam—and Diamonds Are Forever. In 1991 a TV cartoon series James Bond Jr. was produced with Corey Burton in the role of Bond's nephew, also called James Bond.
The Bond of the films has driven a number of cars, including the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, during the 1980s, the V12 Vanquish and DBS during the 2000s, as well as the Lotus Esprit; the BMW Z3, BMW 750iL and the BMW Z8. He has, however, also needed to drive a number of other vehicles, ranging from a Citroën 2CV to a Routemaster Bus, amongst others.
With the release of the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only, Marvel Comics published a two-issue comic book adaptation of the film. When Octopussy was released in the cinemas in 1983, Marvel published an accompanying comic; Eclipse also produced a one-off comic for Licence to Kill, although Timothy Dalton refused to allow his likeness to be used. New Bond stories were also drawn up and published from 1989 onwards through Marvel, Eclipse Comics and Dark Horse Comics.
In 1983 the first Bond video game, developed and published by Parker Brothers, was released for the Atari 2600, the Atari 5200, the Atari 800, the Commodore 64 and the ColecoVision. Since then, there have been numerous video games either based on the films or using original storylines. In 1997 the first-person shooter video game GoldenEye 007 was developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64, based on the 1995 Pierce Brosnan film GoldenEye. The game received very positive reviews, won the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Award for UK Developer of the Year in 1998 and sold over eight million copies worldwide, grossing $250 million.
A Bond film staple are the theme songs heard during their title sequences sung by well-known popular Singers. Several of the songs produced for the films have been nominated for Academy Awards for Original Song, including Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die", Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better", Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only", Adele's "Skyfall", and Sam Smith's "Writing's on the Wall". Adele won the award at the 85th Academy Awards, and Smith won at the 88th Academy Awards. For the non-Eon produced Casino Royale, Burt Bacharach's score included "The Look of Love", which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
In 1996 the American author Raymond Benson became the author of the Bond novels. Benson had previously been the author of The James Bond Bedside Companion, first published in 1984. By the time he moved on to other, non-Bond related projects in 2002, Benson had written six Bond novels, three novelizations and three short stories.
In 1967 Casino Royale was adapted into a parody Bond film starring David Niven as Sir James Bond and Ursula Andress as Vesper Lynd. Niven had been Fleming's preference for the role of Bond. The result of a court case in the High Court in London in 1963 allowed Kevin McClory to produce a remake of Thunderball titled Never Say Never Again in 1983. The film, produced by Jack Schwartzman's Taliafilm production company and starring Sean Connery as Bond, was not part of the Eon series of Bond films. In 1997 the Sony Corporation acquired all or some of McClory's rights in an undisclosed deal, which were then subsequently acquired by MGM, whilst on 4 December 1997, MGM announced that the company had purchased the rights to Never Say Never Again from Taliafilm. As of 2015, Eon holds the full adaptation rights to all of Fleming's Bond novels.
In 1999 Electronic Arts acquired the licence and released Tomorrow Never Dies on 16 December 1999. In October 2000, they released The World Is Not Enough for the Nintendo 64 followed by 007 Racing for the PlayStation on 21 November 2000. In 2003, the company released James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, which included the likenesses and voices of Pierce Brosnan, Willem Dafoe, Heidi Klum, Judi Dench and John Cleese, amongst others. In November 2005, Electronic Arts released a video game adaptation of 007: From Russia with Love, which involved Sean Connery's image and voice-over for Bond. In 2006 Electronic Arts announced a game based on then-upcoming film Casino Royale: the game was cancelled because it would not be ready by the film's release in November of that year. With MGM losing revenue from lost licensing fees, the franchise was removed from EA to Activision. Activision subsequently released the 007: Quantum of Solace game on 31 October 2008, based on the film of the same name.
The Moneypenny Diaries are a trilogy of novels chronicling the life of Miss Moneypenny, M's personal secretary. The novels are penned by Samantha Weinberg under the pseudonym Kate Westbrook, who is depicted as the book's "editor". The first instalment of the trilogy, subtitled Guardian Angel, was released on 10 October 2005 in the UK. A second volume, subtitled Secret Servant was released on 2 November 2006 in the UK, published by John Murray. A third volume, subtitled Final Fling was released on 1 May 2008.
Bond's most famous car is the silver grey Aston Martin DB5, first seen in Goldfinger; it later featured in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Skyfall and Spectre. The films have used a number of different Aston Martins for filming and publicity, one of which was sold in January 2006 at an auction in the US for $2,090,000 to an unnamed European collector.
The BBC have adapted five of the Fleming novels for broadcast: in 1990 You Only Live Twice was adapted into a 90-minute radio play for BBC Radio 4 with Michael Jayston playing James Bond. The production was repeated a number of times between 2008 and 2011. On 24 May 2008 BBC Radio 4 broadcast an adaptation of Dr. No. The actor Toby Stephens, who played Bond villain Gustav Graves in the Eon Productions version of Die Another Day, played Bond, while Dr. No was played by David Suchet. Following its success, a second story was adapted and on 3 April 2010 BBC Radio 4 broadcast Goldfinger with Stephens again playing Bond. Sir Ian McKellen was Goldfinger and Stephens' Die Another Day co-star Rosamund Pike played Pussy Galore. The play was adapted from Fleming's novel by Archie Scottney and was directed by Martin Jarvis. In 2012 the novel From Russia, with Love was dramatized for Radio 4; it featured a full cast again starring Stephens as Bond. In May 2014 Stephens again played Bond, in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, with Alfred Molina as Blofeld, and Joanna Lumley as Irma Bunt.
A new version of GoldenEye 007 featuring Daniel Craig was released for the Wii and a handheld version for the Nintendo DS in November 2010. A year later a new version was released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 under the title GoldenEye 007: Reloaded. In October 2012 007 Legends was released, which featured one mission from each of the Bond actors of the Eon Productions' series.
For the first five novels, Fleming armed Bond with a Beretta 418 until he received a letter from a thirty-one-year-old Bond enthusiast and gun expert, Geoffrey Boothroyd, criticising Fleming's choice of firearm for Bond, calling it "a lady's gun – and not a very nice lady at that!" Boothroyd suggested that Bond should swap his Beretta for a Walther PPK 7.65mm and this exchange of arms made it to Dr. No. Boothroyd also gave Fleming advice on the Berns-Martin triple draw shoulder holster and a number of the weapons used by SMERSH and other villains. In thanks, Fleming gave the MI6 Armourer in his novels the name Major Boothroyd and, in Dr. No, M introduces him to Bond as "the greatest small-arms expert in the world". Bond also used a variety of rifles, including the Savage Model 99 in "For Your Eyes Only" and a Winchester .308 target rifle in "The Living Daylights". Other handguns used by Bond in the Fleming books included the Colt Detective Special and a long-barrelled Colt .45 Army Special.
On another occasion, Fleming said: "I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, 'James Bond' was much better than something more interesting, like 'Peregrine Carruthers'. Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure—an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department."