|On the 28th April
1976 Kevin McClory announced his
intention to make 'James Bond of the
Secret Service', later 'Warhead', based
on the original 'Thunderball' storylines.
This had followed a 10 year term the High
Court in London had set before any new
production could commence on the original
had attracted Sean Connery - the two
being involved in scripting, with Len
Deighton. Filming was to start in
February 1977, planned for New York,
Japan and the Bahamas. But the project
fell through after Cubby Broccoli took
out an injunction to stop the production.
McClory had also taken out an injunction
to stop filming of 'The Spy Who Loved Me'
after it was discovered it was to feature
SPECTRE (which McClory was claiming he
had co-created). Over six years later,
'Never Say Never Again', the second
unofficial Bond picture, was produced.
It opens promisingly
with a top theme song sung by Lani Hall
and an original title sequence with Bond
on a training exercise. It is without the
planned pre-title sequence which was to
have been set at a medieval pageant with
knights on horseback and Bond
steeplechasing an assassin through a car
park. But it doesn't continue as strongly
as it starts and the quality of the film
can be summed up by Petachi's Ford
Cortina and the presence of the M.F.I.
Furniture Group in its credits.
It does feature
excellent performances from a
not-so-serious Sean Connery, a superb
Rowan Atkinson as the British agent
abroad (maaaaarvellous), Alec "lucky
bloody you" McCowen as an
alternative 'Q' and Klaus Maria Brandauer
as 'Maximillian Largo'. The film does
have its highlights including the Monte
Carlo chase sequence - "don't touch
him, he's mine". Ricou Browning
returned to undersee underwater filming
(after sterling work on 'Thunderball').
elements? The fight at Shrublands, the
'human torpedo capsules' and Kim
Basinger. The script had also caused
problems, with writers continuing to work
on it during production. There was also
continual delays with filming - a monsoon
in the Bahamas put filming back by a
week, Irvin Kershner (the director)
"was not the fastest guy in the
world" according to Jack Schwartzman
(the producer) and re-shoots were
necessary by the end of the planned
production date. Sean Connery was surely
wondering if he should have said 'never'.
for 'Never Say Never Again' were acquired
from Taliafilm by MGM in December 1997.
Nurse: Mr. Bond, I
need a urine sample. If you could fill
this beaker for me?
James Bond: From here?
(A homage to the TV
series Porridge, written by Ian Le
Frenais and Dick Clement, uncredited
script associates on 'Never Say Never