Are you a James Bond fan? If so, we’re not surprised. There’s something simply cool and fun about a Bond movie. Not only does he save the day (and usually the entire world… secretly, of course!) but he also gets a great car, gadgets, and a beautiful woman.
While you may have stood in line for the latest Bond movie, we doubt you know everything about them. Here are some facts that even some of the most enthusiastic “007” followers may not know…
10. You have one very dedicated family to thank for the franchise
Obviously, a lot of people have been involved in the making of the Bond films over the years. But there’s one family in particular that’s been the driving force behind keeping them going for decades.
The Broccoli family has produced James Bond movies since 1975. These movies are truly a family affair – with Albert R. Broccoli who produced until 1984 when his stepson Michael G. Wilson came on board. Then in 1995, Broccoli let his daughter Barbara Broccoli take over production of the James Bond franchise. So now two generations of the Broccoli family has managed the Bond films, bringing us hours of fantastic entertainment.
9. Ian Fleming didn’t get rich on the first movie
The Bond franchise is a bit of a cash cow, clearly. That’s why they keep churning new ones out, right? But author Ian Fleming didn’t exactly rake in the dough on his first movie adaptation. Not even close, actually. But then, the first movie wasn’t exactly a blockbuster.
In 1954, CBS paid Fleming $1,000 to obtain the rights to turn his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, into a one-hour show. This was part of the series named Climax Mystery Theater. The show featured Barry Nelson as James Bond and Peter Lorre as villain Le Chiffre and was shown to TV audiences on October 21, 1954.
8. The biggest box office hit it in the franchise might not be what you think
If we asked you what the biggest smash hit (financially) in the Bond franchise is, you might immediately think of the Daniel Craig version of Casino Royale, or maybe even Goldeneye. But it’s not either of those, in fact. Casino Royale actually only ranks fourth on the list, and Goldeneye is a distant eighth.
The top earner? It’s Skyfall, which was released on November 8, 2012. The domestic box office in the USA was $304,360,277. That’s more than a hundred million more than the second highest grosser, Spectre. The international box office was truly phenomenal – more than $1 billion, at $1,110,526,981! The Bond movies have been super successful overall and have grossed $7 billion, with their international box office totals.
7. Enjoy Daniel Craig as Bond… while you can
Daniel Craig wasn’t the obvious choice when he got cast as Bond prior to Casino Royale. He didn’t have the same suave, dark-haired look of a Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan, so naturally some fans were skeptical. And then, of course, people saw him in the film and almost immediately, the debate opened up about whether he was a better Bond than Sean Connery.
However, you probably won’t be seeing him in the role much longer. The next James Bond film will be released on November 8, 2019. This is the final film, currently dubbed ‘Bond 25’, that Craig has been contracted for with them. Craig has been working on a TV show and originally was reluctant to do one last Bond movie, but it is great that he didn’t want to disappoint his enthusiastic fans.
6. That 2019 Bond film is still a total mystery
While it’s certainly great that Daniel Craig is returning to the role (at least) one last time, that’s about all we know about the film at this point. Most of the time, production companies share a plot synopsis or a few details. This time, it simply says “unknown.” This Bond movie has not been without a few bumps, though. Pregnancy bumps, that is. Production was pushed back due to Craig wanting to help his pregnant wife, Oscar winner Rachel Weisz.
Just last year they were searching hard to find a great director, and that is one piece of info that we do have. The newest Bond will be helmed by acclaimed director Danny Boyle, who was the man behind films like Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and Slumdog Millionaire, and has won an Oscar. For now, we will simply have to be patient and wait.
5. Sometimes Bond’s gadgets have given us a window into the future
Many of Bond’s gadgets are pure entertainment and just add to the adventure. But a few of them seem as if they are a peek into what will be available to the rest of us one day.
The 1985 movie A View to A Kill featured a Ring Camera. Today, tiny cameras can be placed just about anywhere. But in the 1980s, the thought of that technology, being that tiny, was simply unheard of. In that same movie, there was a cute Robot Dog. Now, admittedly it did not quite look like Fido but it certainly was cute. Today you can buy all types of adorable little robot pets including cats and dogs.
In the 2008 movie Quantum of Solace, there was a Multitouch Table, similar to using a large tablet. It’s the size of a table that about 6 people can use. Now you’ll see large screens that people can move documents around with the touch of a finger – why, it’s so Bond-like!
4. Sean Connery wasn’t very “007” when it came to playing Bond
Some of the actors who played James Bond have done plenty of their own stunts. They certainly could not have done all of them, of course, for insurance reasons. One of the actors who refused to do any type of stunt at all, though, might surprise you (well, unless you read the header): Sean Connery.
As his fellow Bond, George Lazenby, noted, “Sean Connery wouldn’t step down a step without saying ‘stunt man!'” Now, let’s be fair. Some of those Bond stunts are a bit daunting. It’s easy for us to make a quick judgement from our comfy, plush movie seats while munching on buttery popcorn. Then again, you’d think the dashing guy who played Bond (and was also a Mr. Universe competitor!) would at least be up for racing a car, skiing down a hill or a few small adventures!
3. The first big-screen Bond was a real player… and not just on-screen
You may not know who George Lazenby is, but he’s the guy who briefly played Bond in exactly one movie: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. And while he didn’t play Bond for long, he sure lived the James Bond lifestyle. He estimates that he was intimate with more than 1,000 women and during the peak of his fame he seduced an average of 5 women each day. He credits his luck with the ladies to being “a good looking Australian” and also having the confidence to approach them.
We think Lazenby was chock-filled with confidence in lots of ways. It might surprise you to know that he got the role of James Bond with absolutely zero professional acting experience! Can you imagine someone getting the lead role in a blockbuster movie like that today?
2. Can you spot the 1963 Aston Martin DB5?
Everyone knows that part of the fun of watching Bond movies is not just the adventure, but also the cars and cool gadgets that Bond has. It might surprise you to know that one Aston Martin car has popped up in six James Bond movies, making it quite unique. Typically a car or gadget appears only once. Even more amazing is the fact that its appearances have spanned decades.
The 1963 Aston Martin DB5 you’ll first see in Goldfinger (1964) and then in Thunderball (1965). It also reappeared more recently in Goldeneye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royale (2006), and then the super popular Skyfall (2012). So, it is easy to say that the Aston Martin is James Bond’s car. While he may drive others, this is one of his all-time favorites!
1. So… who will be the next Bond?
Many fans are hoping Daniel Craig will stay on in the role of James Bond, and it has been rumored he has been offered $150 million for another two films. But eventually, he’s going to hang up the Walther PPK, and someone else will need to step into the role. So, who could it be?
Names that have been included in entertainment magazines, on social media, and throughout internet message boards include actors like Idris Elba, Damian Lewis, Aidan Turner, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hardy, or Jamie Bell. For now, we’re just going to have to continue to speculate and see who slides into the black tux and orders his martini… shaken, not stirred.