mercredi 21 avril 2010

James Bond: Bloodstone ? Awww...

"James Bond: Bloodstone" may be the name of Bizarre Creations' super secret racing game in the 007 universe, reports Strategy Informer.
Activision will published the game, their second title after the adaptation of Quantum of Solace since taking over the licence from EA.

HMV list "James Bond: Bloodstone" as a 'driving racing' game, though whispers suggest it might have some first-person shooting too. Platforms are listed as Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.
So it's apparently ' bye bye PC ' too ...Sigh .

Whatever this James Bond title is called it won't be tied to any movies coming out, especially as the upcoming 23rd Bond film has been put on indefinite hold.

So is it back to the improbable 007 Game universe where Bond can do pretty much anything , from defusing atomic missiles on a space station ( NightFire anyone ? ) to piloting some hightech underwater sub ?
Not to mention the constant use of gadgets which would make our dear old Q cringe with sadness...

UK soap actor Adam Croasdell is understood to be providing the voice of James Bond.

Whether this Activision and Bizarre title is purely a driving game will likely remain secret until E3 this June.

The game has been repeatedly delayed, but is expected to hit shelves in October this year.

lundi 19 avril 2010

Has James Bond finally met his match ?

LONDON, April 19, 2010
007 producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions, today announced they have suspended development on the next James Bond film previously scheduled for release 2011/2012.

“Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on BOND 23 indefinitely. We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of BOND 23,” stated Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli jointly.

EON Productions have produced twenty two James Bond films since 1962.
In 1995, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli took over the 007 franchise from Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and are responsible for producing some of the most successful James Bond films ever, including CASINO ROYALE and more recently QUANTUM OF SOLACE. The James Bond franchise is the longest running in film history.
EON Productions and Danjaq LLC are affiliate companies and control all worldwide merchandising for James Bond.

mercredi 14 avril 2010

Bonnie Parker is no Domino...

When he didn’t want Julie Christie to be Domino in Thunderball and couldn’t spring Raquel Welch loose from 20th Century Fox, Cubby Broccoli next signed the equally unknown Faye Dunaway, two years away from her movie debut in Otto Preminger’s Hurry Sundown.
“She had a change of heart,” said Cubby, “and we let her out of it.”
He never gave up, though.
He tried to tempt her into Bondage in the 70s and 80s: Diamonds Are Forever and Octopussy.
No way!

Tony Crawley

mardi 13 avril 2010

Richard Maibaum - the Man who created the screen Bond

“The success of the Bond films stems directly from the success of the novels. However, they do present problems for a screenwriter. I told Ian he wrote too well; he had an untransferable literary quality... all those descriptive passages, beautifully chosen words that reveal the characters, great hunks of interesting details. It all has to be cut. I’m limited to setting down only what can be said and done by the actors and photographed by the cameras. Take Goldfinger - there were only four lines used from the original book.
“As a young man, I worked as an assistant writer for Alfred Hitchcock on Foreign Correspondent. He told me: “Audiences shouldn’t have time to think about logic. If I have 13 bumps, I know I have a good picture.” By bumps, he meant shocks, high points, thrill... The old lady in Goldfinger who suddenly appears with a machine gun - she’s a bump! From the beginning of Dr. No, the producers and I have not been satisfied with 13 bumps. We always aim for 39! To make every foot of film pay off in terms of excitement, comedy or drama. Nothing must drag. As Hitch said: “Dear boy, don’t be dull.”

Ian Fleming 's James Bond first choice ?

I thought I knew all the guys who’d tried to be or were considered for James Bond. From Hollywood heavy John Payne (a kind of Robert Mitchum wannabe), Trevor Howard, Peter Finch and Michael Billington to Edward Underdown, Richard Harris, John Richardson and Peter Sellers, etc, etc.
Surprise, surprise. When British movie star Richard Todd died in December 2009, obituaries in the British media revealed  that the Scots-Irish actor had been invited to add 007 to his collection of British heroes such as Wing Commander Guy Gibson, Robin  Hood and Sir Walter Raleigh. Fortunately, he was too busy. As an actor, Todd was as boring as his roles (his were squeaky clean-cut heroes, so the villains always had far more charisma)... boring as his friends (Ronald Reagan included)... and boring as his second career (dairy farmer).
NdA : not quite sure about the truth regarding what's been said in the TV obit though . Ian Fleming's James Bond first choice , really ?

Tony Crawley

mercredi 7 avril 2010

Maggie Nolan invented Body Painting ( sort of )

There is a girl called Dink in Goldfinger.
Not important. Part of the wallpaper... You see her butt getting a friendly pat from 007 while taking the air at a Miami pool. She is played by a London actress called Maggie Nolan who was far better known to the male population as Great Britain’s foremost nude model, Vickie Kennedy.
And it is she, not Shirley Eaton, who is the goldened girl in Robert Brownjohn’s famous credits sequence.
I was at the shooting one afternoon, watching Brownjohn angle his camera and movie projector this way and that to enable various clips from all three Bond films (up to then) to be wittily and sexily projected upon Maggie’s shining body.
I recall 30 minutes or more spent on making sure Sean’s golf-putt landed right in the centre of Maggie’s cleavage ...
Yes, I must admit to watching her statuesque body, as well. (And I was paid to do so!). “It’s hard work,” she said during a tea break. “Takes an hour a day - twice - before and after lunch - to get all the gold painted on me. (Not to mention getting it off). Then I had to stand and/or lie on a hard platform for hour after hour with the projector flickering Mr. Bond all over me. Still, the result made it all worth while.”
Even so, most fans thought it was Shirley Eaton.

Tony Crawley
Pic © Media Bis 2010

samedi 3 avril 2010

It's a tough job but...


My first year in London as assistant editor of the Rank Organisation’s Showtime Magazine.

First assignment: Catching up with the Beatles on the last day of A Hard Day’s Night (doing the jumping in a field near Twickenham Studios).

Next: Watching Sean Connery make Goldfinger (ironically delivering a line about the Beatles to Shirley Eaton).

Next: Interviewing Honor Blackman at home. One helluva week! I recall the school clock opposite her Hammersmith apartment striking 12.

High noon! Good timing - she’d just got up.

“Night-clubbing until 4.30,” she explained, curling up on her sofa.

She’d been on the UK screen scene since 1947 - a long wait for fame.

“Our writers just don’t seem able to write for women. It was a fight to get Cathy Gale’s character approved in The Avengers. Same for Pussy Galore. She’s a fascinating creature, the least predictable of all of Bond’s flames. As for James, it would be very square of me to knock his bad traits - viciousness, ruthlessness with women... That’s why we like him, isn’t it? He’s rather a gorgeous type to have a wild affair with. A weekend in Paris, say. No more than that. You couldn’t pin him down.”

Tony Crawley Photos © Media Bis 2010 www.crawleyscasting

Sylva Koscina , the best Bond girl that never was !

Sylva Koscina was the best Bond Girl that never was...

She was so nearly Daniela Bianchi in From Russia With Love, 1963. And Claudine Auger in Thunderball, 1965.

Sylva was missed, not miffed.

Her attitude was, win some, lose some. And she adored the UK films she did make, for producer Betty Box (who turned down the Bond franchise), including her copy-Bond, Deadlier Than The Male, with one of the many nearly-007s, Richard Johnson ( NdA : one my all time personnal Bond ripp off favourite ) . Sylva, a Yugoslav-born Italian star, was perfect Fleming material.

Maybe a tad too hot... “As you can see, I dress simply in my private life. Cinema - is different. I invented the topless look, you know. In Three Tales of Love, with Rossano Brazzi. Very easy for me to wear a transparent halter like that. A bra I do not need. Today, no. Maybe in a few years... I don’t lke them. They are cumbersome, ugly, no? Not feminine at all. The only time I wear a bra is when I have to take one off in the movies! This is not exhibitionism. This is my work.”

Yes, ma’am. Tony Crawley [Every 007 film has a page on Tony’s website, crawleyscasting]

The name's Taylor...Rod Taylor ...Who ?

Cannes, 1997

There was one helluva lotta interest in Welcome To Woop-Woop at the 50th Cannes festival.

It was another off-beat Australian movie from Stephan Elliott, flamboyant director of the highly successful Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, in 1994.

Woop-Woop, however, was the sound of instant vomit.

A major (and quite delirious) disappointment.

No matter, it had served my purpose. It had brought the craggy Aussie, Rod Taylor - the Russell Crowe of his hey-day - back to Europe.

We’d not sunk a schooner or two together for 28 years. Back in 1969 was when he’d summed up his movies for me (The Birds, Zabriskie Point, The Time Machine, The Mercenaries) as “the usual Rod Taylor bullshit.”
Now he had a bigger surprise...

The cowardly British spy, Boysie Oakes, in The Liquidator (by John Gardner, no less) had not been the only spy offered to him when he was a hot Rod. “I’m sure I never told you this before, but back in the 60s Cubby Broccoli - dear old Cubby! - said he had something for me. I should do a test. He had these books written by Ian Fleming. Whaddyer mean, I yelled, a fucking TV series? No fucking way!”
Taylor laughed, cracked open another bottle. “I should be shot in the head.”

Tony Crawley
Photo © Tony Crawley

[Every 007 film has a page on Tony’s website, crawleyscasting]

The name's Warbeck...David Warbeck...Who ?

This time Sean was gone. For good. (Well, never say never...)
To take over Live And Let Die, Hollywood wanted McQueen, Newman or Redford. (Honest!) Pat McGoohan still refused.
Cubby checked Michael McStay, Simon Oates and John Ronane while waiting for Roger Mortuary to be free.
When he wasn’t... well, I ran into David Warbeck promoting his awful Russ Meyer flick, Black Snake ( NdA : still worth seeing ...But not for Warbeck ! ) .
A New Zealander of Scots descent, David was a London schoolteacher between acting gigs.
He had great news for me.
If Roger wasn’t free of The Persuaders, it would be Bond, David Bond. “That’s what they tell me.”
We did an interview, to be released as soon as his news became official.
It didn’t.
On holiday in Menton, I saw a British paper: THE SAINT IS NEW 007. Damn!
Warbeck would be considered again (twice) and became (a) totally ignored by UK films and (b) a star of Roman rip-offs of Bond/Rambo/Indy, whatever action hero was hot.
He was also James Coburn’s pal in Sergio Leone’s Duck You Sucker!
In one spaghetti thriller, Warbeck actually said: “You’re muddling me with Roger Moore.”
Nice guy, nice try... but not quite.

Tony Crawley
[Every 007 film has a page on Tony’s website, crawleyscasting]