80’s Bond Turmoil! (Never Say Never Again)

Not only was there significant changes in interest rates that resulted in a volatile financial bond market, but there also were drastic changes occurring within the acclaimed James Bond film franchise in the 80’s!

The 80’s marked not only the third decade for the James Bond film series, but also a a clear shift in the direction and vision of the bond films when John Glen became the new director of the series from 1981 to 1989. One of the more noticeable and often criticized changes that were noted by bond fans was the loss of style, suaveness, and overall established character of Bond, for the adoption of what has been stated by critics as a “workman” style/persona portrayed by director John Glen’s Bond.

 

As an avid Bond fan growing up and still to this day (Not a fan of the Craig films),  I feel that Roger Moore who starred in the earlier 80’s films, stayed true to the established persona of Bond, while the late 80’s Bond, Timothy Dalton added a new, somewhat darker and more direct take of Bond’s character.

 

Interestingly, in 1983, a non EON productions (The studio that produced all bond films to that date) Bond film was released. Never Say Never Again(1983) was directed by Irvin Kershner (Director of The Empire Strikes Back) and starred the return of the original Bond, Sean Connery! This surprising deviation in the Bond film saga competed directly with the release of Octopussy(1983) by EON productions. This conflict was dubbed, “The battle of the bonds” by entertainment media.

 

As mentioned, Never Say Never Again(1983) was produced by an independent production company that was completely separate from EON Productions, which had been the producer of all previous bond films to date. However, the script for Never Say Never Again was written by Kevin McClory, one of the three original writers of the Thunderball who retained filming rights of the Bond novel following a long-drawn out legal battle that occurred in the 60’s.

Surprisingly, after 12 years since his “final” role as Bond in Diamonds are Forever(1971), Sean Connery returned as bond in Never Say Never Again(1981) despite saying he would “never again” play the role of James Bond. Quite ironic to say the least! One can only wonder if the title of the film is a reference to the reluctant short lived return of Connery as the role of Bond.

Appropriate to the length of time since we have last seen Sean Connery as James Bond, Never Say Never Again’s story revolves around an aging Bond who is brought back into action to investigate the disappearance of two nuclear weapon which appears to the work of SPECTRE, a global terrorist organization within the bond universe in the novels written by Ian Flemming.

Despite Never Say Never Again‘s deviation from the original Bond production company, the film held it’s own in box offices and today is regarded as apart of the official Bond series/plot-line. In the future, I wonder if we will see the equivalent of perhaps Pierce Brosnan returning as Bond in competition against Daniel Craig? Something tells me this is highly unlikely, yet unfortunate. Thoough you never know!