IAN FLEMING

And you thought we were done with James Bond articles for a while, didn’t you? Not so. With Skyfall continuing to tear up the box office in both North America and overseas, and with it officially becoming the highest-grossing Bond film in the domestic market, it’s not going away. Add to this the fact that MGM is giving the film a push for award consideration (a long shot, sure, but that theme song by Adele certainly has a chance to win something), and you’ve still got Bond on the brain a month after the film opened. It’s time to look back to one of Bond’s beginnings. Not the books, and not the start of the film franchise in the 1960s. Instead, let’s crack open the DVD of Casino Royale, which rebooted the franchise from the rocky path it was on behind frontman Pierce Brosnan. For the Collector’s Edition of the Casino Royale DVD and Blu-ray, which came out in 2008, director Martin Campbell explains in the then-new how the series was given a new start. He is joined by the film’s producer. There will, of course, be spoilers for Casino Royale below, but you might also want to make sure you see Skyfall before reading this in its entirety, considering there are one or two interesting connections between the films. And on to the commentary…

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The James Bond Files

After wading through the MGM bankruptcy hiatus, pre-production, principal photography, marketing and release anticipation, the latest James Bond adventure is finally upon us. (If you live outside of the U.S., there’s actually a good chance that this wait ended a week or two ago, but we’ll let that go.) Skyfall hits theaters early in IMAX on November 8 and then in wide theatrical release on November 9. Now you have a chance to finally see the brand new, completely original Bond. Sort of. One of the great things about Bond movies is they have a certain level of familiarity. If made well, you can expect some common elements that make it feel like a quintessential Bond film. Sure, we all like originality, but you can trust almost any James Bond film to cover familiar territory. Here’s a James Bond history lesson and how it relates to the upcoming film.

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The James Bond Files

If you want to make the perfect Vesper, you’ll follow James Bond’s off-the-cuff recipe with the key elements of Gordon’s gin, vodka, Kina Lillet, and slice of lemon peel. If you want to make a memorable James Bond movie, you’ll include the key elements in the franchise’s recipe which has been honed over the past 50 years. Sure, there are plenty of Bond films that have deviated from the full recipe. Some elements have been left out of films intentionally to reset the Bond actor (I’m looking at you, Live and Let Die). Other times they have been downplayed for a fresh view of the series (such as 2006’s Casino Royale reboot). And sadly, there have been moments when the missing elements were left out completely or flubbed (like the sometimes awkward Quantum of Solace). However, every good Bond movie has most – if not all – of these key elements that make up the great recipe for the entire franchise.

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The James Bond Files

Not only are FSR’s resident Bond nerds (specifically yours truly and my partner in espionage, Brian Salisbury) gearing up for the release of Skyfall in November, but we are also rubbing our hands together with anticipation of opening our new Bond 50 Blu-ray box sets that came out this week. Since we’re in the movie news business, we can watch all 22 of these films, we can chalk up the 40+ hours of movie watching to a full work week. We bet you’re feeling an extreme amount of jealousy right now (or an extreme amount of pity for us… not quite sure which). But as we prepare to watch all the James Bond movies again, we’ll also reflect upon the different actors who have played James Bond in the past. Here’s a quick breakdown of the legendary (and one not-so-legendary) Bond actors over the years. Fortunately, since Daniel Craig has signed on for some additional post-Skyfall movies, this piece should still be relevant for a while, and that’s a valuable commodity in the ever-changing world of the Internet.

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Drinking Games

This year, film fans celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond on the silver screen. In 1962, Sean Connery became a legend as Ian Fleming‘s dashing secret agent in Dr. No. Now, with the impending release of Skyfall in November, MGM and Fox are releasing all 22 James Bond films in a giant Blu-ray box set. If you start watching them now, you just might get through all of the films by the release of Skyfall. But pace yourself because the 46 hours of films – from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace – can be pretty powerful when mixed with this drinking game and a few martinis (or Vespers, if you so choose).

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The James Bond Files

 This is a glorious year, and not just because we’re like 56% sure that the Mayans are incorrect with their calculation that the world will end. Their apocalyptic inaccuracy notwithstanding, this November, the sky will fall. For this, ladies and junior mints, is the year of Skyfall. Any year that boasts the release of a new James Bond film is one of note. But the turmoil experienced by MGM, which jeopardized this celebrated franchise’s future, it’s especially exciting to be but mere months away from the release of the twenty-third installment. Here at FSR, we are Bond nerds. More specifically Mr. Kevin Carr and myself are absolute James Bond freaks. We will therefore be celebrating the impending release of Skyfall every week with various articles about the Bond universe until that fateful November 9th. To kick things off, we thought we’d help you hold your own against Bond nerds you may encounter in your own life. The great thing about these films is that no matter your level of cinephilia, if you’ve resided on planet Earth throughout a goodly portion of your life you are bound to have seen at least one or two of 007′s movies. We’d even hazard you’ve liked a couple. However, whenever you cross paths with someone as obsessed with Britain’s deadliest cinematic spy as Kevin and I are, calling yourself a fan is an invitation for interrogation. Immediately they will begin firing trivia questions at you designed to test your Bond mettle. Here are a […]

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Duncan Jones burst onto the scene three years ago with his debut film, Moon, a quiet slice of science-fiction perfection that featured Sam Rockwell as a lone space station astronaut counting down the days to his return to Earth. Jones followed that up two years later with the sci-fi thriller Source Code. It was a far more traditional film than its predecessor, but there was still lots of speculative fun to be found. Sophomore slump successfully averted the question became what would Jones do next? He was rumored for several projects (including the Superman reboot) and has spoke openly of his plans to return to the sci-fi genre with his original script, Mute. Per Variety, Jones has signed on to direct a biopic about 007 creator, Ian Fleming. The film will follow Andrew Lycett‘s biography “Ian Fleming, The Man Behind James Bond,” but there’s no confirmation yet if it will focus on a singular section of Fleming’s life or be more all-encompassing. Fleming worked briefly as a journalist before finding his niche in British Naval Intelligence during WWII, and later went on to create the most famous fictional spy in the world.

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It’s not the first time another author has filled in for Ian Fleming, but Jeffery Deaver is the latest to take on reviving Fleming’s popular spy.

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Don’t you wish you’d created the most well-known spy in history? Then James McAvoy could play you in a movie!

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Ten Spies Who Stole Moves from James Bond

Ever since Ian Fleming began penning his James Bond series in 1953, spy adventures and espionage have been hot topics for cinema and television. From Xander Cage to Maxwell Smart, we’ve got the top 10 spies influenced by James Bond.

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Leonardo DiCaprio to Play Ian Fleming

He was never considered a viable option to play James Bond when Pierce Brosnan stepped down (that part eventually went to Daniel Craig), but Leonardo DiCaprio may be the perfect person to play Bond’s creator.

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Shoot First, Ask Questions Never

James Bond author Ian Fleming didn’t only write books, he also had his own plans on how do deal with the Nazis. Sadly, none of his plans got put into effect, but a new museum exhibit will tell you how it would have gone down.

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Check out this slick behind the scenes look at the oddly named 22nd Bond film.

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