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The James Bond Fan Club Newsletter Spring 2014

Newsletter                                                      Spring 2014
New Clues on Bond 24
Speaking at the special preview of the relocated Bond In Motion exhibition in London in March, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson offered some tantalising clues about the next 007 movie, which will be no. 24 in the 50-year old franchise. At one point during the special launch, which was held at the London Film Museum, responding to a question about the progress of the next Bond adventure, Broccoli said: ‘We are at the early stages, we start filming at the end of the year and the next film will come out at the end of 2015, so it’s an exciting time for us’. She explained that she and Michael had been working on the script with screenwriter John Logan, director Sam Mendes, and 007 star Daniel Craig, ‘and it’s evolving’. She added: ‘This is the exciting bit when we get to get all the creative forces together and start developing the action sequences, and the sky’s the limit at the moment’. Broccoli also hinted that the search for an actor to play the villain was ongoing. Her fellow EON producer, Michael Wilson, also exclusively revealed that 007 will be driving a brand new version of the Aston Martin in Bond 24. Reflecting on the role of Bond’s iconic vehicle in the movies, which often saves 007’s bacon, Wilson pointed out that a ‘lot of people look forward to just knowing what the car is going to be in the next film’. He continued: ‘In the next film, by the way, we are going to have a new Aston people haven’t seen before’. It is thought that the currently untitled Bond 24 will have a 6-7 month main shooting schedule, commencing in November.
For His Eyes Only
Sam Mendes, who has been extremely busy in recent months preparing his Broadway revival of the musical Cabaret, was saluted by his peers and friends from the theatre and film world at a special event in the USA in March. They gathered at the Roundabout Theatre Company Spring Gala on Monday, March 10, in New York. The special gala evening, which took place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, saw Mendes’s ‘extraordinary’ career celebrated with speeches by Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, and Alan Cumming. Mendes was presented with the Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre.
A special video was also shown with contributions from other close friends and colleagues of Mendes, and this included a clip of Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig singing the famous song from Cabaret, which brought a whole new dimension to the usual image of ‘M’ and 007!

The 25 Steps to Direct Another Day
In an entertaining speech Mendes made in response to all the tributes at the Gala, he said: ‘One of the things I love about Americans is you do massive ego trips incredibly well’, adding: ‘Blimey, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many photographs of myself!’. The Skyfall director reviewed his career highlights and then provided the audience with some eclectic but entertaining tips for directors, based on his own experiences over the years. He began: ‘If there are any directors out there in the audience, or anyone who’s interested in directing, I’ve written 25 steps towards becoming a happier director’. Here is a brief selection: Number one: Always choose good collaborators, and the best ones ‘are the ones who disagree with you’.
Number two: Try to learn how to make the familiar strange – direct Shakespeare like it’s a new play.
Number three: If you have the chance, please work with Dame Judi Dench.
Number four: Learn to say: ‘I don’t know the answer’. Mendes also advised (for his number seven): If doing a play or film, you have to have a secret way in if you are directing it, ‘a way in that is yours’.
He continued: ‘American Beauty, for me, was about my adolescence’, and ‘Skyfall was about middle-age and mortality’. Mendes also counselled his audience (for point number 10): Buy a good set of blinkers and ‘do not read reviews’. And, for point number twenty-five, Mendes suggested: ‘Never, ever, ever forget how lucky you are to do something you love’. At one point, Mendes also revealed a note of exasperation when it comes to certain aspects of directing James Bond: ‘On screen, your hero can blow away 500 bad guys, but if he smokes one f----ing cigarette, you’re in deep s—t’!

Life is a cabaret, old chum
The revived 2014 version of Cabaret, which Mendes originally directed for the Roundabout Theatre Company back in 1998, stars Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams in the main roles. With its iconic main song ‘Come to the cabaret’ (by Kander John and Ebb Fred), the musical is set in a nightclub in interwar Germany. Interviewed on ‘Charlie Rose’ on Bloomberg TV on April 14, Mendes explained in detail why he personally has been so fascinated by the production over the years. He said he thinks the musical is a ‘special’ and classic piece of theatre, and argued that it is one of the great explorations of Nazism, with the nightclub setting as the perfect metaphor for the gradual entrapment of the German people under the Nazis. Mendes also pointed out that he has had a close working relationship with Alan Cumming for about 21 years. In fact, Cumming, who played Boris Grishenko in Goldeneye (1995), was in Mendes’s 1998 version of Cabaret and has almost made the role his own. It is interesting to note that, according to the showbiz columnist Baz Bamigboye, Mendes has been overseeing things for Cabaret in between scouting for locations for Bond 24. Phew! Where does he find the time?
Mendes on ‘evil’
Indeed, Mendes was introduced to the audience in the ‘Charlie Rose’ interview as ‘a very busy man’, and that’s probably an understatement! Not only did he offer various reflections on the nature of Cabaret but he also talked about his ongoing production of King Lear at the National Theatre in London, which stars Simon Russell Beale in the main role. In fact, Mendes has done nine plays with Russell Beale over the years, and the two men have clearly put a lot of thought into their latest Shakespeare production, and into the reasons why the King can be seen not just as ‘bad’ but ‘evil’. Mendes said he wanted to ‘add to the debate’ over Lear’s motivations: his version of the play asks an audience ‘whether they can be moved by someone who has caused great destruction’. He said he was ‘stripping away the layers of the onion’ by exploring why Lear is associated with so much violence and allows the collapse of his own Kingdom (or nation). Mendes described the play as ‘bleak’ and ‘nihilistic’, and said he hoped it would add something more to the various versions of the play in the past. Interestingly, as we have noted in previous JBIFC Newsletters, Russell Beale has expressed interest in the past about playing a villainous role in a Bond movie, and came close to having a (non-villain) part in Skyfall, but was thwarted by a scheduling clash. Will he be in Bond 24? Time will tell.
Ejiofor ‘front-runner’ for Bond Villain?
Talking of ‘evil’ men, all sorts of weird and wonderful rumours about the casting for the next Bond movie’s baddie have started to pop up since the beginning of 2014, including none other than the unlikely figure of John Travolta (who eagerly nominated himself as a potential Bond villain, much to the bemusement of commentators). One of the more credible reports, however, has come in the leading American showbiz journal, Variety, which carried some intriguing claims on April 4 that the award-winning British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor could be a strong contender for the role of lead villain in Bond 24. According Justin Kroll, a film reporter for the journal, 36-year old Ejiofor, who was nominated for an Oscar for his powerful performance as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave, is being eyed up by studio executives for Bond 24, which starts shooting later this year. Kroll claimed that ‘sources’ have told Variety that Ejiofor is the ‘top choice’ to play the villain, and Kroll added: ‘No offer has been made yet, and scheduling would have to be worked out, but sources insist he is the front-runner for the job’.
Interestingly, Kroll also reported that the film-makers are on the look-out for one Scandinavian and one British woman to play the new Bond women in the story, which has been penned by Skyfall’s John Logan. Unsurprisingly, Kroll said the studio had no comment to make in response to his report.

From a View to a Quill
So, what does M’s special ‘Eyes Only’ dossier say about Mr. Ejiofor? He has built up a wide variety of TV, theatre and film roles during his career. Born to Nigerian parents in London, he attended school in the capital and then trained at the famous London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. His movie roles have included parts as ‘The Operative’, the ruthless swordsman in Serenity (2005), Detective Bill Mitchell in Inside Man (2006), the villainous revolutionary Luke in Children of Men (2006), and CIA officer Peabody in Salt (2010). He is currently filming the role of Loomis, a brooding and coldly calculating scientist, in Z for Zachariah, a dystopian sci-fi thriller starring Chris Pine and Margot Robbie. In March, he joined Pine and Robbie for some location shooting in a remote part of New Zealand. On stage, Ejiofor’s roles have included some award-winning Shakespearean roles, which may be a big plus in his favour with Sam Mendes. In an interview with the ‘Radar’ arts section of the UK’s Independent newspaper (April 12), Ejiofor (quite understandably) steadfastly refused to comment on the Bond 24 rumours. However, while doing publicity recently for his new movie Half of a Yellow Sun, he did respond to an inevitable Bond-themed question by commenting: ‘It’s not for me to talk about that really, but it’s an extraordinary franchise’.
From a View to a Spill
As noted above, various Bond 24 casting rumours have been emerging since the beginning of the year. Two months ago, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet revealed that two of the nation’s most beautiful actresses had screen-tested for roles in the next 007 movie: 29-year old Ida Engvoll, and 28-year old Disa Ostrand. Ida Engvold commented about her test: ‘I can’t say anything about it. Everything around the franchise is so secretive’. But she added that her screen-test ‘went fine’ in the circumstances: ‘You’ve only one take to do it...’, she said. Disa Ostrand, also responding to questions about her test, said she would ‘go completely crazy’ and be ‘super happy’ if she secured a role in the next movie. Given the strong input from Swedish actresses to the Bond series in the past, the Aftonbladet report did carry some weight. However, it must be remembered that EON screen-tests lots of potential people for roles. And past history suggests that it is not wise for anybody to ‘spill the beans’ (as the English would say) and speak even one word to the press about being tested.
Double O No!
Last year, during the early months of summer, some groundless rumours appeared on the internet linking Penelope Cruz (the wife of Javier Bardem, the Skyfall villain) to Bond 24. We thought these rumours (clearly based on wishful thinking by somebody) had been firmly fed to the sharks when a spokesperson for Cruz told US Weekly in 2013: ‘Penelope Cruz is not in talks to be a Bond girl in a James Bond movie. The stories are totally false’. However, there were groans all round when these rumours were recycled yet again in mid-April this year, much to the glee of media gossip columnists and to the exasperation of others. A good example came in the London Evening Standard newspaper (April 15), which asked: ‘Cruz to make a stir as next Bond girl?’. The paper also commented: ‘Cruz will be in good company, with 12 Years a Slave award-winner Chiwetel Ejiofor reported also to be in talks’. But it’s worth reproducing (for the benefit of the Standard and numerous other lazy journalists) what Javier Giner, Cruz’s Spanish publicist, has officially stated to El Pais in weary response to the latest Cruz rumours: ‘There is no offer. It’s not true’.
The Name’s Bond... Fake Bond
In fact, as many 007 fans know, the global thirst for news about a new Bond film always opens up opportunities for various fakers and fraudsters, quite unethical individuals who try to take advantage of all the interest generated. The London Metro newspaper recently carried a report on a classic example of this (March 20). A fake ‘Bond 24’ teaser poster and trailer appeared on the net, claiming the next 007 movie would be called... wait for it... Come and Dive (a truly awful title, sounding more like a 1970s sex comedy!). The teaser featured a close-up of Daniel Craig, with a woman standing in the background in what could only be described as a cemetery. No serious Bond fans were taken in by any of this, of course. Sony Pictures quickly confirmed to the Metro that the teaser poster and trailer were indeed fake. The teaser was rapidly taken down from YouTube. However, the hoaxers obviously went to a lot of trouble to give their hoax some legs: they even set up a Facebook page and e-mailed a press release to several film news outlets.
From a View to a Thrill
Christopher Walken, who played the micro-chip magnate (and psychopathic villain) Max Zorin in A View to a Kill (1985), gave a fairly rare interview to the BBC’s Radio Times magazine in March to help publicise his role in the spy film Turks & Caicos, which is directed by David Hare, and co-stars Bill Nighy as the central character, the long-serving but disillusioned British MI5 officer Johnny Worricker. The film, in which Walken plays a shadowy and rather devious CIA agent named Curtis Pelissier, was premiered on the UK’s BBC-2 TV channel on March 20, and has also been given a limited cinema release in the USA. It is the second film in David Hare’s Worricker espionage ‘Trilogy’, a sequel to 2011’s Page Eight (which starred Nighy, Rachel Weisz as political activist Nancy Pierpan, and Ralph Fiennes as Alec Beasley, the British Prime Minister). As the Radio Times noted, Christopher Walken, who is now 70, has spent a career disturbing cinema audiences, which can perhaps be traced back to his ground-breaking role as a disturbed Vietnam vet in The Deer Hunter (for which he received the 1979 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). Walken conceded to the magazine: ‘I think I got a kind of villainous, disturbed thing going on quite early in my career. There is a tendency – just because of the mechanics of making movies – that if you do something that is a success, you might get asked to do it again’. He continued: ‘Of course there are things that I don’t get offered very often. Things I’d like to do. Wholesome things. I don’t get offered ‘dad’ parts. Or granddad parts. Or avuncular parts. Men with families and jobs’. But Walken made it clear he isn’t about to argue with his luck. He recalled a conversation he once had with Roger Moore on the set of A View to a Kill: ‘We were waiting around to shoot the scene where I get killed and Roger, who’s a dear friend, asked me, “Do you always die?” I answered, “Yeah, pretty much” and Roger said, “I’d love to do that, but they never ask me!”’.
Was ‘M’ on the Double-O List?
New ‘M’ Ralph Fiennes reprised his Page Eight role as the fox-like UK Prime Minister Alec Beasley in Salting the Battlefield, the third movie in the Johnny Worricker trilogy, which was shown on BBC-2 on March 27, just a week after Turks & Caicos was screened. A DVD containing all three films was released in the UK on April 21. Fiennes, who will be back as Bond’s new boss Gareth Mallory in Bond 24, gave a fascinating interview to the UK Sunday Telegraph’s ‘Seven’ arts magazine in March, to help publicise his new movie The Grand Budapest Hotel. At one stage in the interview, the new ‘M’ revealed that he was once considered for the role of 007, and he described how he met with Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli 20 years ago to discuss the part: ‘There was a conversation that was great and a meeting with Cubby Broccoli that was terrific. I think that’s all I can say, except that it didn’t lead to anything on both sides. I don’t think I felt ready to commit and I think they were looking at Pierce (Brosnan)’. Fiennes, now 51, said he had no regrets about not being Bond and was looking forward to playing ‘M’ again. He added: ‘I think I would’ve been a terrible Bond, actually. I think I’m happier playing M. And I think Daniel Craig is a brilliant Bond’.
Fleming... Ian Fleming
Many Bond fans saw the glossy 4-part TV series Fleming, which was premiered on American TV and, in the UK, started screening on Wednesday, February 12, on ‘Sky Atlantic’. The entertaining series, which stars Dominic Cooper as the Bond creator, is now available on DVD. There was an avalanche of tie-in material to help publicise the show, and also a well-managed Facebook site. One special ‘Sky’ insert designed to publicise Fleming in the BBC’s Radio Times magazine (February 28) was entitled ‘In 007’s Footsteps’, a guide on how to live like Bond (or, should that really be live like Ian Fleming?? The programme’s makers arguably blurred the two). Apparently, budding Bonds should lunch at Scotts restaurant, gamble at Crockfords (a Mayfair Club), swirl a Martini at Duke’s Hotel, hang out at the real-life MI6 building near Vauxhall Bridge, head for Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands of Scotland (MI6’s Scottish base), visit Bond’s bespoke tailor Anthony Sinclair in Mayfair (who dressed Sean Connery in the early Bond movies), and play golf at the 300-acre Stoke Park Hotel and Country Club (which appeared in 1964’s Goldfinger). So, there you have it. Oh, and don’t forget a gold bar supplied by Auric Enterprises to pay for it all.
‘Alimentary, Dear Leiter’
Or so Sean Connery’s 007 quipped to Felix in Diamonds Are Forever, playing on the famous saying by Sherlock Holmes, and making those with specialist medical knowledge in the audience laugh out loud, leaving other cinemagoers quietly puzzled. Apparently, however, Holmes’s creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not originally invent the well-known phrase ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’ for his detective. It was probably first used in a stage show in 1899 by an actor called William Gillette. This interesting revelation, and numerous other gems of information, appeared in How To Be Sherlock Holmes, a highly-entertaining documentary shown in the UK on January 14. Sir Christopher Lee, who so memorably played deadly assassin Francisco Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), was in fine form as one of the contributors to the BBC-4 Holmes documentary, which was part of the BBC’s excellent Timeshift documentary series.
The fascinating programme explored the big and small-screen evolution of Conan Doyle’s famous Baker Street detective, and the various actors who have played him over the years - on the stage, on the silver screen, and on TV. Among the numerous names mentioned was, of course, ex-Bond Roger Moore, who played Holmes in the now rarely-screened Sherlock Holmes in New York (1976), with Patrick Macnee as Dr. Watson.
As many Bond fans know, Macnee, who played the super-suave secret agent Steed in the cult 1960s TV series The Avengers, was reunited with Moore when Macnee played Sir Godfrey Tibbet alongside Roger’s 007 in A View To A Kill (1985). And the Bond connection did not stop there: Macnee narrated a documentary called Ian Fleming: 007’s Creator in 2000.

Did You Know?
Patrick Macnee, who now resides in California, has had a truly amazing and diverse acting career over the years, and once had a go at playing Sherlock Holmes himself, in a 1993 TV movie, The Hound of London. Moreover, as well as playing Dr. Watson to Roger Moore, Macnee also played the same role twice alongside Christopher Lee as Holmes. In 1984, Macnee even appeared in an episode of the TV detective series Magnum, P.I. as a retired British secret agent who believed he was... Sherlock Holmes!
Bond Bits: Brief Items of News You May Have Missed
The UK’s ‘Vintage’ music cable channel devoted a special late-night hour (called ‘For Your Eyes Only’) to screening some fairly rare Bond music tie-in videos early in the New Year...
The hour included the nicely dramatic video version of the theme to OHMSS by ‘The Propellerheads’, from David Arnold’s Shaken and Stirred album in 1997 (set on the London Underground, with Arnold as one of the men in the control room monitoring the action) (the Underground, of course, was later revisited by Skyfall in 2012)...
The special hour also included Duran Duran’s 1985 video for their song for A View to a Kill (set at the Eiffel Tower), plus a rare live performance of Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Wings, and then - oddly - Play Dead by Bjork and David Arnold was included from 1993! This was then followed by Licence to Kill (1989) by Gladys Knight...
Hmmm. Somebody at ‘Vintage’ appeared to have got their wires crossed, to say the least! Or perhaps they just thought Play Dead sounds suitably ‘Bondian’ and it’s by David Arnold, so let’s throw it in anyway! But it was a nice surprise, whatever the thinking. Thanks, Vintage. More please...
Interestingly, when David Arnold introduced a well-attended special screening of You Only Live Twice at the British Film Institute (BFI) recently, he said he thought his compositions for his Shaken and Stirred album (especially the OHMSS theme) may have played a key role in him being selected by Barbara Broccoli to become a Bond film composer...
The special YOLT screening, which took place in the NFT1 screen of the National Film Theatre at London’s BFI Southbank on January 23, also happened to take place on Arnold’s birthday. Interviewed on stage before the screening, and wearing a cast and crew hooded top from The World Is Not Enough, Arnold said that YOLT was special to him because it was the very first 007 movie he saw as a young boy. Barry’s music also had a huge influence on Arnold’s desire to become a film composer himself...
David Arnold fans will be able to see David in action at ‘David Arnold: Live in Concert’, his London concert debut, which will take place at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank on the evening of Sunday July 6...
Licence to grip: the ‘Driving’ section of the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper reported on February 2 that one of Q’s secret weapons has become a reality: a winter tyre with retractable studs to improve grip on the snow and ice has been developed in Finland, so that drivers could do away with the need to carry snow chains and have traditional studded tyres. The system is virtually identical to that used by Timothy Dalton’s Bond in his Aston Martin in The Living Daylights...
Spied in Surrey: Colin Firth, who in the past has often been on the ‘Men who could be Bond’ lists so beloved by journalists, has become a cross between 007 and Harry Palmer in his new thriller, The Secret Service. Wearing dark-rimmed spectacle, Firth shot some scenes for the movie outside a church in Deepcut, near Aldershot in Surrey, in October, 2013...
To Bond or not to Bond? That was one of the questions that the British media also once attached to Michael Fassbender during a renewed bout of ‘who will be Bond’ fever. So, it seemed quite ironic that a new movie version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, starring Fassbender, spent a couple of weeks in January-February filming at Hankley Common, near Elstead in Surrey, on exactly the same spot that was used for the Skyfall Scottish lodge sequences...
The former Skyfall location at Hankley saw the construction from mid-January of a medieval village on the very Scottish-looking Surrey heathland, together with a small church, and in late January/early February (and again briefly in March) various pivotal scenes and some dramatic crowd fight sequences were shot for the new movie, with a suitably misty atmosphere supplied by special FX machines...
Interestingly, the production company behind Macbeth, Thistle Films, who are based at Twickenham Studios, issued a letter to local residents in Elstead, prior to filming, which assured them: ‘There will be no explosions, helicopters or pyrotechnics’. Wonder who they had in mind?! ...
Other locations for Macbeth, which co-stars Marion Cotillard (and who Fassbender refers to on-screen as ‘Lady M’) have included Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire...
Hankley Common, in Surrey, located on Ministry of Defence land, is fast becoming something of a hot-spot for film-makers in the UK. As well as Skyfall in 2012, the area also recently saw some location filming for the new Man from UNCLE movie, starring Henry Cavill (who once tested for 007, but lost out to Daniel Craig)...
Small world? The local area is also not far from where some pipeline sequences were shot in the woods for Pierce Brosnan’s third 007 movie The World Is Not Enough (1999)...
Sophie Marceau, who played the beautiful but manipulative Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough, is still rated as a one of France’s most popular entertainment figures. She has now appeared in 39 films and has built up an extensive career that has included acting, directing and screenwriting...
In Marceau’s latest film, Une Recontre (The Meeting), released in April, 47-year old French actress plays a woman who refuses on principle to have an affair with a married man. The film was directed by Lisa Azuelos...
The musician Goldie, who played Zukovsky’s gold-toothed henchman ‘The Bull’ in The World Is Not Enough, won high critical praise when he made his theatrical debut in the Jamaican crime drama Kingston 14 in early April, at the Theatre Royal in Stratford...
Fry Another Day? Samantha Bond, former Miss Moneypenny to Brosnan’s 007, was one of the celebrity bakers in the BBC’s Great Sport Relief Bake Off, screened on the UK’s BBC-2 channel on January 13...
Meanwhile, the four-times Miss Moneypenny has been on sparkling form in the comedy play Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, alongside Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound, Katherine Kingsley, John Marquez and Lizzy Connolly. It is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, and is on at the Savoy Theatre in London...
Samantha Bond was also profiled recently in the BBC Radio Times magazine (April 12) for an article on stars and their theatre dressing-rooms. She described for readers some of her past experiences, including working with former ‘M’, Dame Judi Dench: ‘Dame Judi is as lovely as you’d imagine but very naughty. She was constantly trying to make me laugh on stage’...
The art of Arterton: actress Gemma Arterton, who played MI6 agent Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace, was very much in the limelight again recently when a new version of the famous play The Duchess of Malfi, originally written by John Webster back in 1612, opened in mid-January in the new indoor Jacobean theatre that is part of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London...
Designed by architect Jon Greenfield, the small theatre seats just 340 people in two galleried tiers, and the opening night of Arterton’s play saw the theatre lit solely by candlelight, creating a suitably dark and atmospheric look in the tradition of old 17 th century English theatre...
Arterton, who played the title role as the Duchess, received some great reviews from the critics. The UK’s Daily Mail (January 17), for example, said ‘Gorgeous Gemma shines in the gloom’, while The Independent (January 17) entitled its review with ‘Gemma lights up new venue’. The play ran until February 16...
Then, on March 25, as part of its launch of its plans for new arts coverage, the BBC revealed that this will include a TV screening (on BBC-4) of Gemma Arterton in The Duchess of Malfi...
The ever-busy Arterton will also end 2014 starring in another theatre production, a musical adaptation of the film Made in Dagenham, which will run at the Adelphi Theatre from October, 2014...
Gemma was also a co-host, along with Stephen Mangan, at the prestigious Olivier Awards ceremony, bringing a touch of movie-star glamour to the London theatre world’s annual big night out. The event took place at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, on Sunday, April 13...
Two of the nominees at the glittering Awards ceremony were ‘Bond family’ members past and present: former ‘M’ Dame Judi Dench and M’s assistant Rory Kinnear (who will be reprising his role in Bond 24)...
While the seven-time Olivier Award winner Dame Judi did not win the best actress award for her role in John Logan’s play Peter and Alice, losing out to Lesley Manville, Rory Kinnear, on the other hand, was more successful: he won a best actor award for his role as Iago in Sir Nicholas Hytner’s production of Othello at the National Theatre on London’s Southbank. Well done, Rory...
Speaking after he gained his award, Kinnear commented that the play had been ‘the most thrilling professional experience’ of his life. He also paid generous tribute to his ‘astonishing’ Othello co-star Adrian Lester, and also to William Shakespeare for writing such good plays! He added: ‘It was incredibly thrilling to play the part. People love the villain. In some ways it’s a lot easier than Othello. What he had to put himself through, I’m delighted I didn’t have to do it’...
Talking of memorable villains, Mads Mikkelsen, who played Ian Fleming’s first fictional baddie Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, goes from strength to strength. As many fans know, he won a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012 for his role in The Hunt and, more recently, he won high praise for his interpretation of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the first series of the TV drama Hannibal...
In January, Mikkelsen’s new movie Age of Uprising was released in which he plays an enigmatic horse-merchant hell-bent on revenge after two of his horses are stolen. And he has now reprised his sinister Dr. Lecter. Interviewed to help publicise the new second series of Hannibal (screened on the ‘Sky Living’ channel in the UK), the 49-year old Danish star promised his version of Lecter is even more evil in the second series...
Meanwhile, Eva Green, who played Bond’s tragic love-interest Vesper in Casino Royale, bounced back onto the big screen in March with the release of her latest movie 300: Rise of an Empire, a sword-and-sandal epic in which Green plays the villainess Artemisia, a formidable Greek-born warrior queen...
Ian Fleming devotees should look out for the new book Goldeneye, Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica by Matthew Parker, which will explore the James Bond author’s colourful life in Jamaica in detail. It will be published by Hutchinson in the UK on August 14, 2014...
We were sad to hear of the death of the iconic comic book and sci-fi writer Steve Moore, who passed away on March 16, aged 64. Devoted fans of Octopussy (1983) will recall that Steve did a special comic-strip adaptation of the Roger Moore movie for Marvel’s UK branch...
Twenty years after she first tasted musical success, singer Sheryl Crow, who sang the main theme song for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), is still going strong and has just released her eighth album, called Sheryl Crow: Feels Like Home. The 51-year old singer now lives on a ranch in Tennessee...
And speaking of Bond theme singers, early March saw claims emerge in the UK press that the EON producers would like Adele to return to Bond by singing the theme tune to Bond 24. The inevitable unnamed ‘source’ told that ever-reliable (not!) newspaper The Sun: ‘The chiefs here have made their feelings known to Adele that they want her back for the next film’...
The mysterious source also claimed to the newspaper: ‘Daniel has made it clear he loved Adele and wants her back but she has not responded, which is making them sweat’. Hmmm. Wonder how much this ‘insider’ charged journalists for this particular story? Adele, who received an MBE for services to music from Prince Charles in December, 2013, is currently working on her third album, the follow-up to her smash-hit album 21...
Late February saw some interesting gossip from the Daily Mail showbiz columnist Baz Bamigboye (February 28) that Bond 24 will start shooting in November, 2014, a month later than planned. Bamigboye added, rather mischievously: ‘I wonder if the delay has anything to do with a skiing trip director Sam Mendes recently took – his first. Perhaps he picked up some stunt ideas on the slopes and wants to use them?’...
The BBC’s big March 25 announcement of its plans for new arts coverage (mentioned earlier) also included the ‘Shakespeare Project 2016’, which will include Henry VI in two parts, both executive produced by (yes, you guessed it) Sam Mendes...
If Sam and the Bond 24 crew struggle for space at Pinewood, there’s always the new Pinewood Studio Wales. Both Pinewood executives and the Welsh Government are very keen to publicise the new studios and the great potential of Welsh locations. On Monday April 7 a special talk was given at Pinewood Studios by Pinewood Pictures and the Welsh Government on new funding and production opportunities in Wales. Our spies tell us there were some interesting faces in attendance...
Naomie Harris, who played Eve Moneypenny in Skyfall and will reprise the role in Bond 24, is currently playing a role in another spy movie, a big-screen version of John Le Carre’s 2010 novel Our Kind of Traitor, in which she stars opposite Ewan McGregor...
Naomie plays Gail Perkins in the movie, which commenced shooting in late March and is directed by Susanna White. April saw some key scenes being shot in London, which was doubling up for Switzerland, complete with cars with Swiss number plates...
You know the name, you know the number: Bond is back – on Four, BBC Radio-4. Former Bond villain Toby Stephens (Gustav Graves in Die Another Day) will once again play James Bond in the latest radio adaptation of a Fleming 007 novel, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which will be transmitted on BBC Radio-4 on Saturday, May 3, at 2.30pm in the UK...
Stephens first played 007 in a BBC radio production of Dr. No in 2008, then in Goldfinger in 2010, followed by From Russia, With Love in 2012. In OHMSS Stephens will be facing up to Alfred Molina, who played Dr. Octopus in Spider Man 2, while Joanna Lumley will play Blofeld’s evil assistant Irma Bunt, who oversaw his ‘Angels of Death’ in the original Fleming novel. A young Joanna, of course, played one of the ‘Angels of Death’ in EON’s 1969 movie version...
Issue no. 25 of MI6 Confidential magazine, which concentrates on action and animation, is now available and on sale through the JBIFC. The latest issue includes an interview with veteran 007 stunt double and coordinator Vic Armstrong, an article on the James Bond Jr. animated TV series, and Lana Wood recalling her time working with Sean Connery on Diamonds Are Forever (1971)... 

  Magazines  
Hi there..
If you haven't already ordered your copy of MI6 Confidential issue #25, here's a little taste of what's inside:
Action and animation is the predominant theme of this issue as we have an exclusive in-depth interview with action unit supremo Vic Armstrong, talk to the stunt team behind the fiery climax to Licence To Kill, uncover the secret history of the often overlooked spin-off James Bond Jr. and celebrate the successful spy series Archer with the cast and crew. Oh, and we also chatted to two of the Bond girls from Diamonds Are Forever.
In This Issue
  • Doubling 007 - Vic Armstrong took 007 to new heights as stunt double & coordinator
  • Fire And Fury - Stunt performers for Licence To Kill discuss the spectacular climax
  • James Bond Jr - The secret history of the TV animated series spin-off
  • The Man Who Green Lit Bond - An exclusive conversation with UA’s David Picker
  • The Cars of Ian Fleming - A look at the 007 author’s taste in personal motors
  • Bond Bound - Lana Wood recalls her time with Sean Connery on Diamonds Are Forever
  • London Calling - Unveiling the Bond in Motion exhibition in the British capital
  • The Bond Connection - The cast and creative team talk about their TV spy-spoof, Archer
Buy your copy of issue #25 online
I'll be back soon, any news, views or comments you may have - email me directly at: davidblack@007.info



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