James Bond is set to enter public domain – What this means for next 007 future | Films | Entertainment

Fleming’s first Bond novel Casino Royale had a 1967 unofficial spoof movie starring David Niven before EON won back the rights in 1999, ahead of Daniel Craig’s debut in 2006.

Similarly, Thunderball producer Kevin McClory unofficially remade the fourth Bond movie with Sean Connery reprising the role in Never Say Never Again, which went up against Roger Moore’s Octopussy at the 1983 box office.

So it’s nothing new for EON, and by the sounds of it, they’ll very much have this 2035 date in mind as they prepare to reboot with the new Bond in what will be their last decade of full movie rights ownership of Fleming’s novels.

That’s according to Bond expert and franchise insider Mark O’Connell, whose grandfather was a chauffeur for Cubby Broccoli, Sir Sean Connery and Sir Roger Moore on the 007 movies.

The author of Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond fan, which Barbara Broccoli penned a prelude to, told Express.co.uk that 007 entering the public domain is very different to the likes of Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus and the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers, which just left copyright this week.

O’Connell told us: “There is scant revenue potential in remaking Animal Crackers for a modern-day studio trying to work its way through the streaming era. And that is why 007 is very different. As Bond’s movie producers EON Productions and MGM Amazon Studios team up post-Daniel Craig and his literary advocates Ian Fleming Publications pointedly reprint the original novels for newer readers, both houses are no doubt wholly mindful of what 2035 could mean for the property. Amazon Studios would not have ignored that caveat when taking on the MGM catalogue and its golden poster boy 007 in March 2022.

“Less maybe an ominous ticking clock and maybe more a gilded memo on the fridge door, the possible movie future of Bond will be fully mindful of the eleven years left on the original clock. Daniel Craig alone was in the role for sixteen years. But just like timers on deadly explosives in Bond movies, clocks can be reset. And with the ex-lawyer Michael G. Wilson still with his producing name above Bond’s metaphorical door, do not assume that someone will just ring a bell at midnight on New Year’s Eve 2034 with a ‘Time Commander Bond, please!’ shout-out and the keys to the DB5 are thrown in the air for anyone to catch.”

Nevertheless, non-EON productions of Bond will be able to go ahead, yet there are much-loved aspects from the 007 film franchise (like the gun barrel and music, as pointed out on Twitter by MI6 HQ), that will remain very much in the hands of the Broccolis.

O’Connell continued: “Of course, a name like director and Bond fan Christopher Nolan might be able to go off and start shooting a Bond film on January 1st 2035 and set it in the original 1950s world of Fleming’s character. Yet, he would not be fully able right now to use the Bond theme, an Aston Martin, the gun-barrel opening graphic, many of the movies’ immortal characters and a whole slew of particular elements. The recipes might be up apparently for renewal. But not all the ingredients can be.

“The reality is that the Bond rights are, of course, potential gold dust. As 007’s movie captains move forward with younger associates and producing partners coming on board, I personally would not assume they will drop that ownership baton lightly. Or, at all. Rightly protective of their movie franchise, the producers – and indeed all tentpole franchises – are successes quietly fanned by the efforts of legal teams, lawyers, legalities and contracts. Just ask George Lucas. Collectively, this is another solid reason as to why the 007th 007 is not rushing back to the movie screens without due diligence.

“As Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Wilson once again examine and ponder what James Bond means in a new era and where our heroism and villainy is, the longevity of their ability to source the Fleming works also no doubt needs deep thought. And the literary holders of the Fleming flame have long moved forward with newer continuation authors taking the mantle. But that is arguably a book success that is enabled in more recent times by 007’s movie might. Ultimately, they are two sides to the same coin. And no doubt neither hand wants to gamble just as Bond first did on the pages of Casino Royale.”

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