James Bond 007 is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelvenovels and two short story collections. The character has also been used in the longest running and most financially successful English language film franchise to date, starting in 1962 with Dr. No. After Fleming's death in 1964, subsequent James Bond novels were written by Kingsley Amis (as Robert Markham), John Pearson, John Gardner, Raymond Benson and Sebastian Faulks. Moreover, Christopher Wood novelised two screenplays, Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond while other writers have authored unofficial versions of the character.
Commander Sir James Bond, *(KCMG, RNVR) is an officer of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) (commonly known as MI6). He was created in January 1952 by British journalist Ian Fleming while on holiday at his Jamaican estate, Goldeneye. The hero, James Bond, was named after an American ornithologist, a Caribbean bird expert and author of the definitive field guide book Birds of the West Indies. Fleming, a keen birdwatcher, had a copy of Bond's field guide at Goldeneye. Of the name, Fleming once said in a Reader's Digest interview, "I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, 'James Bond' was much better than something more interesting, like 'Peregrine Carruthers.' Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure — an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department."*KCMG~Order of St Michael & St George, RNVR~Royal Naval Vounteer Reserve
James Bond 007 is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. The character has also been used in the longest running and most financially successful English language film franchise to date, starting in 1962 with Dr. No. After Fleming's death in 1964, subsequent James Bond novels were written by Kingsley Amis (as Robert Markham), John Pearson, John Gardner, Raymond Benson and Sebastian Faulks. Moreover, Christopher Wood novelised two screenplays, Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond while other writers have authored unofficial versions of the character.
In the late 1950s, EON Productions guaranteed the film adaptation rights for every 007 novel except for Casino Royale (those rights were recovered in 1999). In 1962, the first adaptation Dr. No was made, which featured Sean Connery as 007. Connery starred in six more films after his initial portrayal (including 1983's Never Say Never Again, which was not part of the EON series). George Lazenby replaced Connery (for one film) before the latter's last EON film, after which the part was played by Roger Moore (for seven films), Timothy Dalton (for two films), Pierce Brosnan (for four films) and Daniel Craig (two films to 2008). As of 2008, there have been 22 films in the EON series. The 21st film, Casino Royale, with Daniel Craig as James Bond, premiered on 14 November 2006, with the film going on general release in Asia and the Middle East the following day. Notably, it is the first Bond film to have been released in China. The second James Bond film to feature Daniel Craig is Quantum of Solace, which gets its title from a short story of the same name by Ian Fleming (For Your Eyes Only, 1960), but shares no similarities with the plot. Daniel Craig is expected to return as James Bond for a third movie in the as yet unnamed "Bond 23."
The film series has grossed over $4 billion (£2 Billion) (nearly $11 billion when adjusted for inflation) worldwide, making it the highest grossing film series ever. The 22nd and newest movie in the series, Quantum of Solace, was released in the UK on 31 October 2008. As of 9 November 2008, global box office totals for Quantum of Solace were almost $161 million (£ 103 million), placing the Bond series ahead of the Harry Potter film series even when not adjusting for inflation.
The "James Bond Theme" was written by Monty Norman and was first orchestrated by the John Barry Orchestra for 1962's Dr. No, although the actual authorship of the music has been a matter of controversy for many years. In 2001, Norman won £30,000 in libel damages from the British paper The Sunday Times, which suggested that Barry was entirely responsible for the composition.
Barry did go on to compose the scores for eleven Bond films in addition to his uncredited contribution to Dr. No, and is credited with the creation of "007", used as an alternate Bond theme in several films, as well as the popular orchestrated theme "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." Both the "James Bond Theme" and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" have been remixed a number of times by popular artists, including Art of Noise, Moby, Paul Oakenfold, and the Propellerheads. The Beatles used a portion of the "Bond theme" in the introduction of their song "Help" as released on the American version of the "Help" LP. The British/Australian string quartet also named bond (purposely in lower case) recorded their own version of the theme, entitled "Bond on Bond." [wikipedia]
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