I was mainly referencing the fact that those two are recurring collaborators of the gothic prince of crime and saying that as a joke
Surely by the time Burton's active Sir Christopher is getting on a bit to play Bond? In 1988 when Beetlejuice was Burton's first hit, Lee would have been 65. Christopher Lee would have been an amazing Bond for the '60s, maybe even early '70s, but even he can't do it as a pensioner. Put another way, he's five years older than Roger Moore.And Michael Gough as Q with the movie being directed by Tim Burton
As a huge Bond, Hopkins, and Purefoy fan i absolutely love this. TND is made in large part by Pryce’s giddy scenery chewing but Hopkins would have been terrific in the role too. Im imagining your mentioned speech as something alone these lines, one of my favorite things Hopkins has done:TOMORROW NEVER LIES (1996)
James Purefoy IS James Bond
“Whatever you say, Mr. Bond. Just remember: ‘Tomorrow’ never lies.”
(Sir Elliot Harmsway, 1996)
As 1994 dawned to a close, the Broccoli family and EON Productions were facing a number of contradictory dilemmas. On one hand, the future of the Bond franchise – once seemingly so grim – offered clear signs of hope after a much needed comeback. On the other, that very same future appeared to be lacking – perhaps excessively so – a clear direction to follow. Back in 1990, the antics of Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti and his takeover of MGM/UA had placed the franchise on hold shortly after the release of the unsuccessful Licence Revoked (1989), forcing EON into an unexpected hiatus as the company sued Parretti to protect its creative assets. Thus, from a production standpoint, Michael G. Wilson and the Broccolis – Barbara and Albert, the latter of which was preparing his retirement – had faced the equivalent of a torturous purgatory, with little end in sight.
However, the collapse of Parretti’s financial empire, the seizure of MGM by Crédit Lyonnais, and the successful outcome of the EON lawsuits across 1992 had all conspired to get things back on track again. The biggest immediate obstacle for the return of 007 had been the complexity of bringing Timothy Dalton back for a third outing, based on Broccoli’s insistence on a return for two to three additional films and Dalton’s steadfast resolve to return for a single film. Having eventually reached a compromise deal, Dalton had made his eventual return on John Woo’s GoldenEye (1994), a mostly well received return after a five-year hiatus which, despite not meeting EON’s high expectations, had at the same time proved James Bond still had a future, and had been easily the most profitable and successful film of the Dalton era. But with neither Dalton – who had faced a tough, grueling production – nor Broccoli – keen to secure a much desired cinematic triumph – fully satisfied with the results, both men amicably chose to end the partnership.
James Bond lived to fight another day, but a new actor and a new approach was needed, both of which were intimidating challenges to overcome. Casting proved especially difficult as early favorites failed to convince EON and the more desirable, high profile options turned down the role, forcing an exhaustive search that extended itself well into 1995. At only 30 years old, English actor James Purefoy was only marginally older than George Lazenby had been after his surprise casting on OHMSS, and was thus initially seen as too young for the role despite an admittedly strong audition. Furthermore, Purefoy was essentially unknown, having only done stage and minor television work up to then. However, as his competition gradually dropped out or was eliminated, Purefoy reportedly secured the role after impressing an ailing Cubby Broccoli in a second screen test. Shortly after his 31st birthday, Purefoy was announced as the next Bond in June 1995, resulting in a flurry of much needed publicity for EON.
On the storyline front, Dalton’s departure led to the leading outline for Bond 18 – a revenge story set in Japan - being discarded. Instead, screenwriter Bruce Feirstein decided on a plot based around the rapidly approaching British handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. This, it was felt, was both relevant enough and more directly associated with the concept of Britain as a world power than recent plots, even if it opened up the uncomfortable prospect of being, perhaps, a bit too contemporary. Coincidentally, an apocryphal story suggests the producers were concerned enough to approach a number of foreign policy experts to discuss the implications surrounding a handover-based plot, a rumor so outlandish that it suggests Henry Kissinger himself was almost asked for advice at one point. This, while difficult to believe, does hint at EON’s long term desire to avoid political plots that might result in backlash against the finished film.
After being EON’s second option to direct GoldenEye, New Zealander director Martin Campbell was brought in to direct the new project, under the working title “Tomorrow Never Lies”. Additionally, and following an unsuccessful attempt to bring back John Barry, composer David Arnold was brought in to compose the soundtrack. In spite of corporate pressure to choose from a selection of musicians who had submitted a number of alternatives, Arnold prevailed upon MGM to have k.d. lang sing the main theme “Tomorrow Never Lies”, a Shirley Bassey-styled song. Choosing to renew the MI6 cast that had, for the most part, been introduced in GoldenEye, the producers scored a coup by signing up Sir Anthony Hopkins as the film’s main villain, having been unsuccessful to convince him to take on the Augustus Trevelyan role last time around. Despite several changes regarding the eventual Bond girls, Natasha Henstridge and Monica Bellucci were eventually hired to take on the major female roles.
Filming took place across the first half of 1996 in England, Italy and Hong Kong, featuring a rough start for production and a number of challenges – including Hopkins’s mounting dissatisfaction with the script, attempts by MGM to force changes in the storyline, and Purefoy getting acquainted with the role – which were only solved after much work by Campbell and Barbara Broccoli. Sadly, the end of the filming process coincided with Cubby Broccoli’s death of heart failure at age 87, marking the end of an era for the franchise.
Tomorrow Never Lies’s pre-title sequence is set in a terrorist arms bazaar in the Khyber Pass, which is successfully infiltrated by James Bond (James Purefoy) after climbing a dangerous, unstable icefall. Transmitting to MI6 and the Royal Navy, Bond identifies a number of infamous terrorists, including mercenary Stamper (Götz Otto) and nuclear specialist Kim Dae Yung (Calvin Jung). Against M’s (Judi Dench) advice, Admiral Roebuck orders the Royal Navy to fire a cruise missile at the bazaar. Realizing Stamper and Yung are buying uranium, and with the missile unable to be self-destroyed, 007 causes a commotion and, after being unable to prevent both men from fleeing with the material, makes a daring escape in a MIG fighter, narrowly avoiding death. Meanwhile, on the South China Sea, HMS Indomitable leaves Hong Kong carrying several tons of gold as part of the planned evacuation of the island. Taken off course by a satellite, the ship is sunk by an experimental drill called “the worm”, the entire crew massacred in what is made to look like an attack by the Chinese Air Force.
Back in London, Bond learns of the mounting threat of war between China and the UK, with powerful media mogul Sir Elliot Harmsway (Anthony Hopkins) fanning the flames of war via his media empire and his successful newspaper “Tomorrow”. With Stamper having been identified as a potential associate of Harmsway, M orders Bond to investigate the magnate, who is holding a high class party during the Carnival of Venice. Warned that former lover Paris (Monica Bellucci) is now Harmsway’s wife and a potential target for information, Bond attends said party, meeting and briefly flirting with the mysterious Sidney Winch (Natasha Henstridge) before finding and approaching Mrs. Harmsway, who remains resentful over how Bond ended their relationship. Captured and beaten by Stamper due to Elliot Harmsway’s suspicions, Bond escapes and successful disrupts his party, humiliating Harmsway and, after some effort, regaining Paris’s trust. Paris, desperate to leave a loveless marriage, tells Bond that her husband is behind the theft of uranium. After an unsuccessful police raid of Harmsway’s yacht – which is empty -, a frustrated Bond returns to his hotel to find Paris dead in a staged suicide, and narrowly avoids an attempt to be killed as well.
As the tension grows, an angry M orders Bond to suspend the investigation on Harmsway – who has returned to Hong Kong – and focus instead on helping find the Indomitable. Bond flies to the South China Sea and tracks the wreck of the ship, devoid of its cargo and showing signs of entry by the worm drill. While submerged, he once again finds the ambitious Sidney Winch, who, as it turns out, is a protégé of Harmsway and the owner of a marine salvage company. Sidney – who seizes the evidence Bond took from the wreck – fights Bond over her claims of salvage rights, all while the agent tries to persuade her that Harmsway is behind the sinking. Summoned by Harmsway to his Hong Kong HQ, Sidney unwisely reveals what she knows. In a dramatic speech, Harmsway explains how his family built Hong Kong, and states his intention to break into a nuclear power plant, and use the stolen uranium to cause a nuclear meltdown that will turn the city into a barren wasteland. The stolen gold, he adds, will be payment for Britain’s ingratitude towards his family’s work.
Creating a distraction, Bond and Sidney escape the building, resulting a dramatic car chase. Caught again by Stamper, Harmsway takes Sidney to his yacht – from where he will cover the dramatic explosion for his media empire – and orders Yung to place Bond at the exact site of the planned meltdown and plant evidence, which will be used by “Tomorrow” to blame MI6 and bring down the British government. Once Harmsway’s men break into the plant, Bond escapes, overpowers and kills Yung at the last possible moment, averting the nuclear meltdown. Taking Yung’s helicopter, Bond flies to Harmsway’s yacht and crashes into it, creating chaos. Determined to avenge Paris, Bond confronts Harmsway and kills him with his own “worm” drill. Forced to fight Stamper in order to save Sidney – who is being left to drown - Bond only prevails after a brutal fight. As the Royal Navy cycles in, Bond and Sidney share a romantic moment.
Dedicated to the late Cubby Broccoli, Tomorrow Never Lies premiered on December 1996, with only a few months to go until the actual handover. Despite some mild controversy in China and the colony itself, an effective media campaign championing both the film and the start of a new Bond helped TNL to quickly surpass GoldenEye, eventually becoming the most successful Bond film since Moonraker with a staggering box office of over $340 million. Critics were, for the most part, unusually complimentary of the film’s tone, performances – with Purefoy, Bellucci and Hopkins singled out – and action as they considered it a superior follow up to the previous film, while criticizing aspects of the plot and, in spite of a fun performance by Henstridge, finding main heroine Sidney Winch superfluous compared to Bellucci’s Paris Harmsway. That aside, an additional minority did criticize the film as not being fresh or novel enough.
Against such a strong response by audiences – and finding Purefoy to be very charismatic on the role -, EON was ecstatic, securing the box office triumph that had been so elusive and, it was felt, cementing the transition of the franchise from the Cold War to the rapidly approaching 21st Century. Continued changes in management at MGM – with former owner Kirk Kerkorian regaining control – meant pressure to continue to franchise was renewed, allowing Purefoy to gear up for the inevitable sequel, 1998’s Fire and Ice. It was to be a long and initially successful tenure for James Purefoy as the secret agent, which was nonetheless increasingly soured by the onset of fatigue in the early 2000’s and the difficulty in replicating the success of TNL.
Highlights of the film include the arms bazaar sequence, Harmsway’s speech about his plans and his relationship to Hong Kong, Paris’s scenes with Bond, and the seductive banter between Sidney and 007. Perceived as a much needed boost to the franchise, Tomorrow Never Lies is now regarded as one of the best Bond films – perhaps the best since The Spy Who Loved Me -, with Elliot Harmsway heralded as one of the most effective and charismatic Bond villains. The film is also noteworthy for attempting to give some dramatic depth to the complex relationship between Bond, Paris and Harmsway, an attempt which is nonetheless undermined by Paris’s early death in the storyline and her replacement with the more action-oriented Sidney Winch.
Author’s Notes: The plot is based on Feirstein’s original script for TND, somewhat adapted to include a few concepts that were introduced later on the production stage. An earlier GoldenEye – which I think is plausible if Dalton had been signed up early – gives EON more breathing room before Kerkorian starts adding pressure for a quick sequel, ensuring TNL is able both to use a handover-based plot and avoid the absurd process of last minute rewrites of its plot (which in turn makes it possible to enlist Hopkins). K.d. lang’s “Tomorrow Never Lies” is OTL’s “Surrender” (such an epic tune!).
THE DEATH COLLECTORS will return in
“PER FINE OUNCE”
It was just a jokeSurely by the time Burton's active Sir Christopher is getting on a bit to play Bond? In 1988 when Beetlejuice was Burton's first hit, Lee would have been 65. Christopher Lee would have been an amazing Bond for the '60s, maybe even early '70s, but even he can't do it as a pensioner. Put another way, he's five years older than Roger Moore.
Could not agree more.As a huge Bond, Hopkins, and Purefoy fan i absolutely love this. TND is made in large part by Pryce’s giddy scenery chewing but Hopkins would have been terrific in the role too. Im imagining your mentioned speech as something alone these lines, one of my favorite things Hopkins has done:
Ohh interesting, can you share it?@LumineVonReuental - out of curiosity, are there places you’ve found some of these alternate plots? I’ve found a very skeletal treatment for Dalton ‘91 (what you here named Goldeneye, more commonly assumed to be Property of a Lady) on MI6.com and I’ve stumbled across the very early Dalton Goldeneye script with the high speed rail/evil sommelier PTS but some of these other abandoned treatments are really quite something
Roy Jenkins as the Prime Minister of Great Britain? Man I wish that would have happened!!
Lumine, after reading your excellent(& so creative!)ideas for James Bond films, I am really, honestly
starting to think that Barbara Broccoli should hire YOU to write the script of the next James Bond
movie(would you reboot him completely & just pretend NTTD had never happened?)
Branigan doing a Bond song? I love it.. she woulda been perfect for All Time High. It woulda made it so much more memorable song. I sub to a guy on YT who makes edits of what if movies and he did a Lazenby Bond move circa 1984 and he used Self Control as the theme song for it, it worked perfect. So her doing it isn't out of the ordinary at all.
Love this series.. so many what if's! Really digged the Gibson/Neeson entries as well as Lazenby's. Will we get to see any more of his movies? I always wondered how he would done LALD.
Another good option would be what if Sam Neil took it. Granted you've done did TLD but that would be a fun what if even if you do a sequel.
As a huge Bond, Hopkins, and Purefoy fan i absolutely love this. TND is made in large part by Pryce’s giddy scenery chewing but Hopkins would have been terrific in the role too. Im imagining your mentioned speech as something alone these lines, one of my favorite things Hopkins has done:
@LumineVonReuental - out of curiosity, are there places you’ve found some of these alternate plots? I’ve found a very skeletal treatment for Dalton ‘91 (what you here named Goldeneye, more commonly assumed to be Property of a Lady) on MI6.com and I’ve stumbled across the very early Dalton Goldeneye script with the high speed rail/evil sommelier PTS but some of these other abandoned treatments are really quite something
Pryce's Carver is one of my top five villains, personally, and I entirely agree.Thanks for that, you're very kind! (though, naturally, I certainly wouldn't be a good fit for the job)
If it were up to me, I'd just go for the usual soft reboot and treat CR-NTTD as its own self-contained storyline. Probably go with a Bond on his early thirties, no origin story, already on his prime, going on a standard Bond adventure, ideally moving away from a couple of tropes that need some rest (like Bond resigning from MI6 but returning to duty). Certainly wouldn't mind retaining Fiennes, Whishaw and Harris if they want to stay, they've been great.
Would also love to see a 60's-style Bond movie at some point as a single spinoff, not connected to the main series (like, say, The Batman in terms of the DC Universe).
Revisiting previous entries is sort of hard because it means coming up with more and more original stuff, which is hard enough on entries in which there is already substantial background. So probably we won't be seeing Lazenby again, unless I wanted to write something like his retirement film on the DAD universe we went to recently (in which, presumably, he has done as many movies as Moore).
For what it's worth, I rather like Pryce's Carver, one of my favorite Bond villains. Since most of the flaws in the character come from the script and how the character was substantially altered - and crucial backstory removed -, he certainly could have been better with a stronger script like the one featured in the TND entry, but I could not resist the idea of casting Hopkins. Talk about a what if in the franchise!
Well, they come from various places, but the vast majority are assembled by combining small details that appear here and there (books, articles, Bond fan pages, etc.) so I can flesh out a story from there. It's certainly the hardest part of writing this TL - other than casting - because I have to come up with a lot of stuff and/or judge whether some of the OTL ideas require changes to work or not. So it really varies.
Here's the basic info on what I've done so far:
LONGITUDE 78 WEST: There's only loose details, including some character names and brief notions of how the plot went from the Mafia to SPECTRE. I mostly combined the Thunderball novel and film with those details.
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS: Found a detailed outline of the Bond prequel treatment, so here it was more adapting it to fit into the TL format and trimming what was not needed (like a whole subplot regarding a relative of Bond).
WARHEAD: There's detailed info on the infamous Warhead treatement, which includes character names and the basic structure. It is, however, an unfilmable mess of a treatment, so I had to work on it extensively to make it somewhat coherent and not seem like Austin Powers twenty years before its time (for example: the proposed sharks with laser beams).
TOMORROW NEVER LIES: An outline of the original script can be found. Again, I adapted it by adding parts from OTL TND whenever I felt the treatment wasn't working.
PER FINE OUNCE: Entirely made up. All we know about PFO is a single surviving manuscript page and some loose details lacking context. As I said at the time:
"a pastiche based on what we know of the original PFO, Bondian elements of the era, and certain names from a subsequent Jenkins novel (A Cleft of Stars) which may have also been based on the unpublished PFO."
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE: Again, made up. Allegedly, the original script for YOLT before Roald Dahl was supposedly faithful to the novel, haven't read any details on it. So I just tried to imagine how a novel YOLT would look in the 80's.
ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE: Again, quoting from the entry: "I don’t have access to the original Maibaum script – which was said to be faithful to the novel -, so I’ve combined novel and book, and then made some minor alterations for the plot." Now I got Helfenstein's OHMSS book, which does go into further detail, but I didn't feel the need to alter the previous entry.
A VIEW TO A KILL: There's no alternate treatment (even the Halley's Comet nonsense is just an idea, no details), so I simply tried to alter the OTL film whenever I felt it was worth it. The motorcycle chase, as wwbgdiaslt correctly noted, was part of one of the Octopussy scripts.
GOLDENEYE: A book about Dalton as Bond came out recently, going into detail about two Bond 17 outlines (already titled Goldeneye, not Property of a Lady as it's commonly believed). I mostly used the first and altered a few details, as I feel the second was inferior.
CASINO ROYALE: Some details about Ben Hecht's scripts have surfaced on the internet. Nothing much, but I was able to work with it by adding some stuff from novel Casino Royale, the 1967 film, and by inventing some plot points.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY: All we know from alt-FYEO is a few loose details, some of which contradict each other (it is said the "Archer" was either the villain or a Bond girl). So I combined those details with the Moonraker script - which included several unfilmed sequences reused on other films -, Fleming short stories, and so on.
SPECTRE: This one was particularly difficult, as all there is are rumors which may well be just noise. I collected what few info I could find, and tried to think how Thunderball might look in the 90's this time, but almost all of it is an educated guess.
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER: How I wish we had the script for this one! Supposedly it is on a university archive to which Maibaum donated his personal papers, but since I live as far away from the US as possible, no way for me to access it. We do have some details in certain books - including a number of alternate pre-title sequences which involved Irma Bunt before the actress suddenly passed away -, but not much, so I combined film and novel, and then came up with additional stuff to make it coherent.
OCTOPUSSY: There are substantial details in Bond bibliography, though they can only provide a general idea of how it might have looked like. So I just filled in the blanks by using those details as a framework.
And that's it for now. Almost finished with Skyfall! I will say it is released on 2011, and it's not Craig or Cavill as Bond.