Creators speak out about James Bond projects that never happened

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Quentin Tarantino reveals he came close to directing a Bond film whilst author Charlie Higson talks Young James Bond. 

With the release of No Time To Die, Daniel Craig handed back his licence to kill and his time as James Bond came to an end. Whilst the world waits to see what the next incarnation of 007 looks like, a couple of creators have been chatting about just how close they were to working in the James Bond universe, although neither project looks like it would have been a mainline 007 film.

Firstly, none other than Quentin Tarantino has been chatting about his brush with Bond, stating that back in the 1990s he came close to directing Casino Royale, back when the rights to Ian Fleming’s book weren’t under the sole stewardship of EON Productions, the right holders to all things James Bond.

In an interview with Zeit, Tarantino said: “Oh yes, I had read the book and thought it was pretty good. It basically tells James Bond’s origin story. If I could have done it, it would have been my post-Pulp Fiction project. At that time, the producers of the Bond series did not have the rights to this book, and there was a decades-long legal battle over it. So it would have been conceivable that I would have filmed the book.”

Yikes. Imagine Tarantino making a Bond movie off the back of Pulp Fiction? We can only imagine what a fever dream that would have been. Also in the interview, the filmmaker also appeared to walk back a little on his retirement plans, or at the very least admit that they weren’t entirely logical.

Also on the topic of 007, author of the Young James Bond series, Charlie Higson has been chatting about the possibility of his books ever getting the film treatment but much like Tarantino, Higson said that it will probably never happen. Speaking to Radio TimesHigson said that “when the Young Bond books came out… Eon automatically own all screen rights to Bond and back then they were relaunching Bond with Daniel Craig, [it was] set in the modern world, all of that, and the last thing they wanted was to muddy the waters with a series about a young Bond set in the 1930s.”

Higson did offer a note of hope, adding, “but, you know, the world of media has evolved so much since then. The big thing now is ‘the universe’ – might they be planning a James Bond universe? Who knows? But they probably have no interest in making Young Bond.”

Higson is probably right, but both ideas mark interesting footnotes in the history of the character. The next chapter in 007’s decades-long movie will likely be revealed at some point this year but until then, we’ll simply have to wait and see.

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