Sony’s Failed Bid to Launch a Rival James Bond Film Series Explained

In the late 1990s, Sony attempted to launch its own series of James Bond films beginning with Warhead 2000 AD; here’s why it didn’t happen.

Sony once planned to make a rival james bond movie franchise – here’s why those plans went nowhere. James Bond made his film debut in 1962 Dr. No, with Sean Connery’s Bond becoming instantly iconic. Connery’s star power combined with the franchise’s mix of action, glamour, and gimmicks made it the first true movie franchise, which has been around for 60 years and still going. Connery fell in love with the character and the producers behind the show and left after 1967 you only live twice (which has changed a lot from the novel).

In the years since, actors like Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig – who ended his run with 2021’s no time to die – have put this mark on the role. While James Bond movies can vary wildly in quality, from the superb The Spy Who Loved Me to the castigated die another day, the series has always known how to reinvent itself for a new generation. The Bond films produced by EON are considered canon, although there are two other 007 adventures; 1967 James Bond parody Casino Royale with David Niven and Peter Sellers and 1983 Never say never.


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Following the success of the James Bond film series, there have been several high-profile lawsuits over the property. The best known concerns the book thunder ball, which author Ian Fleming originally developed as a screenplay with the intention of making it the first Bond film. He then adapted this screenplay into a novel, which led to a lawsuit by writers Jack Whittingham and Kevin McClory, who developed the project with the author. The lawsuit was settled out of court, granting McClory the script rights to thunder ball, its history and its characters. This led him to co-produce the 1965 adaptation and later redo it with Never say never. In the late 1990s, he struck a deal with Sony to remake thunder ball again, and combined with owning the rights to Casino RoyaleSony planned to launch its own rival franchise of James Bond films.

Timothy Dalton - James Bond

This Sony Bond had the working title Warhead 2000 ADSean Connery apparently being considered the villain while Timothy Dalton (whose best Bond is License to kill) and Liam Neeson were approached to play 007. Of course, MGM was unhappy with Sony’s plan and took legal action. Sony fired back, stating that owning Casino Royale and thunder ball the rights gave them the ability to produce new Bond series. They also claimed that McClory helped establish the Bond series on the big screen and was therefore entitled to a share of royalties from past EON productions, with the most recent entry at this point being 1997. tomorrow never dies.

This legal wrangle caused a pre-production on Sony Warhead 2000 AD to close, and a settlement between Sony and MGM was reached in 1999. The former relinquished any rights to make a James Bond film and they traded to MGM the rights to Casino Royale – which became one of Craig’s best – for Spider-Man. In the aftermath, McClory had to fight his royalty claim on his own, which was rejected, as it was decided he had waited too long to mount it. Sony’s plan to produce a rival Bond franchise didn’t work out, though they then tried to create a new spy saga with it. xXx. This 2002 action-adventure claimed that james bond was out of touch with the new millennium, even though xXx lost the box office race to die another dayPierce Brosnan’s last outing as 007.

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Andrea G. Henderson