The 22d James Bond adventure, Quantum of Silence, is scheduled for a November 7th release, the year marking creator Ian Fleming's 100th birthday anniversary.
The creator of James Bond, 007, licensed to kill, was born May 28, 1908.
Besides a new movie, a new James Bond novel is being issued in May 2008, commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications, Ltd. Already, in January, the Royal Mail issued a set of six special stamps honoring Ian Fleming and his creation, suave and deadly British agent James Bond.
Shaken, Not Stirred
Ian Fleming wrote 12 novels and nine short stories that established a James Bond film and merchandising empire.
The first James Bond novel was written over a two month period prior to the 42-year-old Fleming's marriage March 24, 1952 marriage to Ann Rothermere. Casino Royale introduced the suave super spy. Live and Let Die followed. James Bond's adherents grew as more Bond novels followed. From Russia With Love, his fifth novel, got a boost in popularity in 1961 when President Kennedy listed it among ten favorite books provided to an American magazine. In his sixth Bond novel, Fleming was inspired by his cousin Christopher Lee's protrayal of Dr. Fu Manchu to create the villainous Dr. No and suggested Lee as Dr. No in the eventual movie. Incidentally, instead of Sean Connery, Fleming favored Roger Moore as Bond.
During his recovery from a heart attack, Fleming wrote a children's classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, based on bedtime stories he told his son. He continued writing. His last novel was another Bond book, Man With the Golden Gun, published in 1963.
Bond. James Bond.
Fleming spent the years during World War Two in british Naval Intelligence and, like Bond, advanced to the rank of Commander. Among his activities was developing Operation Golden Eye, a plan for the defense of the British outpost at Gibraltar should Spain commit to the Axis. He also worked with Intrepid, codename for William Stephenson, who developed training and operations of British agents in Canada and the U.S. at a time when England was under imminent threat, Churchill believed, of invasion by the Germans. In correspondence with William "Wild Bill" Donovan, Fleming offered valuable advice on setting up the Office of Strategic Services.
In 1942, Fleming helped organize a British response to a specialized German operation with 30 Assault Unit, tasked with intelligence-gathering while accompanying British Commandos during Allied raids on Fortress Europa. The 30 Assault Unit grew from a strength of 60 to 450 by VE Day.
No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Die
Dr. No was the first of the Fleming books to be filmed. Producers chose the Jamaica-based story due to a relatively uncomplicated plot, only one big special effects set piece, and only one location for shooting. From Russia With Love followed. Goldfinger is considered by aficionados the high-water mark among Bond movies. Producers wanted Orson Wellse as Auric Goldfinger but hired German actor Gert Frobe who, as with Ursula Andress in Dr. No, had his voice dubbed with the exception of a very few lines. Fleming visited the set as he had on the previous two movies, but died less than a month before Goldfinger's release.
Fleming's association with Jamaica began towards the end of World War Two when he visited the island for an Allied conference. In 1952, he returned, moving into a house he designed dubbed Goldeneye on Jamaica's north coast. Fleming's passions were books and golf.
Ian Fleming died August 12, 1964. James Bond continues to thrill audiences with special effects-laden movies, new novels, even spin-off books about Miss Moneypenny, M's secretary.