James Bond Headliners of 2001





New James Bond Film To Be Shot In Scotland

December 30, 2001 - Ananova

The new James Bond film may be shot on location in Scotland.

Producers are believed to have wanted to shoot the movie in Cuba, Hawaii and Korea, but have scrapped the idea amid fears of terrorist attacks. They will now film it all in the UK, after visiting locations in the Highlands, Fife, Tayvallich in Argyll and Loch Long.

Kevin Cowle, of Scottish Screen's locations department, told www.record-mail.co.uk: "A number of sites are being considered, including the Rivers Tay and Forth for a chase sequence.

The producers are also searching for huge warehouse type buildings and we have suggested a number of different sites. It would be great if we could get a James Bond film."

- Perhaps the villain has a secret hideout in one of the lochs and uses the loch nest monster to scare off any visitors?





James Bond Of The Jungle

December 27, 2001 - Ananova

The Eden Project has been lined up as a location for the next James Bond film. The tourist attraction built in an old clay pit in Cornwall features a tropical rainforest. It could be used for scenes set in the Amazon jungle, reports the Daily Record.

The £80 million project attracted more than 1.5 million visitors in its first six months.

Eden's media director Paul Travers said: "Everyone who comes here says it needs a James Bond movie to be made here. It would be incredibly prestigious for us."

- From Scotland sets to jungle sets, this Bond movie may have the most locales ever.





Reservoir Dogs Actor Set For Bond Role

December 27, 2001 - Ananova

Michael Madsen is in talks to join the cast of the new James Bond film. Madsen will play Falco, a rogue CIA agent. He is best known for his role as Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs.

- Does Jack Wade know anything about this fellow?





Ian Fleming Is Back!

December 20, 2001 - DSBG

REJOICE fellow Ian Fleming fans, rejoice! For word has come from the EON Production camp that confirms several Fleming novel elements will make the transition to the silver screen. Not since 1989's LICENCE TO KILL has news like this thrilled any Bond aficionados.

Primarily most of these elements come from the 1955 novel MOONRAKER. This novel was made into the 1979 mega flic which virtually used only a few characters and the title. But the novel's plot about a multi-billionaire madman creating England it's first nuclear missile only to have it aimed into the heart of London still offers heartpounding suspense.

However, the suspense is slowly being revealed at Pinewood Studios outside London. 22 year old actress Rosamund Pike has been hired to play British agent Gala Brand. Her character was the Bond girl in the Moonraker novel. She is also the only girl Bond never slept with since she was engaged to another man.

For those of us who were around when Moonraker was shown at the local theaters, Ms. Pike was merely six months old. Her career is basically getting started but she is a former Wadham College student and has performed in numerous stage and film productions. Of those she was in A Rather English Marriage, Wives and Daughters and this years mini TV series Love In A Cold Climate opposite Anthony Andrews. She will be 'crossing swords' with OO7 in the 20th film epic yet to be titled.

Another scene from the novel that may be shown is the card game at M's club 'Blades' where Bond discovers how Hugo Drax cheats at Bridge. Although the character Drax has already been used in the 1979 film adaptation, perhaps another British gentleman/villain will get that honor.

- Hmm, maybe they will take one of the chapter titles from the book Moonraker as the title of the film. The one that seems to work is chapter 7 titled THE QUICKNESS OF THE HAND. Just a thought.





Bond 20 May Be Jinxed

December 14, 2001 - Ananova

Halle Berry says her character in the next James Bond film is called Jinx. The actress was talking to Entertainment Tonight about her role as a villain. The 20th Bond movie is as yet untitled and is due to start filming next month.

And for those of you who were concern if Ms. Berry's schedule on Bond 20 will be compromised because of X-Men 2, that sequel will begin filming in May 2002 and released the following spring. The film will be called X2. She will star alongside Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Famke Janssen. Bryan Singer is again directing.

- I just hope the movie is not Jinxed.





Halle Cannot Bare It

December 11, 2001 - Infobeat

Halle Berry, who reportedly received a $500,000 bonus to bare her breasts for a sun-bathing scene in Swordfish, has said that she has taken steps to insure that she won't be called upon to go topless if she gets the role as the next "Bond girl." In an interview with Cinema Confidential, Berry said she has been asked to play Bond's "nemesis" in the next feature. "I will not be topless," she interjected when asked about the film. "I actually have a clause that says, 'I will not be topless in this movie.'"

Asked about a remark by actor Samuel L. Jackson, who has appeared with Berry in three films (Jungle Fever, Losing Isaiah, and Strictly Business) that her breasts represented "probably an extra $20 million on the Swordfish box office," Berry shot back, "So when is he going to bare his stuff to make 20 more million dollars ... if that's what he thinks that does!"

- And reveal his shortcomings?





George Pops The Question Again

December 10, 2001 - Ananova

Former OO7 star George Lazenby is to marry ex-tennis player Pam Shriver.

The couple have been dating since February although they have known one another for over 20 years.

Lazenby played James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Shriver told the Daily Mail: "Half way through dinner, half way through a conversation, he just paused and asked me to marry him.

"It was a surprise to me, I think it was a surprise to him until the first word of the sentence."

- Just don't say, "We have all the time in the world."





OO7 To Face His Ultimate Enemy Next Year

December 10, 2001 - DSBG

James Bond has been up against some of the world's greatest villains, but next fall, Bond may have met his match at the boxoffice.

The next installment of Harry Potter is already gearing up for production and has been slated for release November 15, 2002. Bond 20 is slated to open on November 22.

Can OO7 have a strong open against Dreamworks wizard? If the boxoffice receipts of the first Harry Potter offers any evidence, Bond 20 may have a battle not seen since 1997 when Tomorrow Never Dies went up against Titanic.

- Iceberg, right ahead!





Dame Judi To Be Honoured With Bafta Fellowship

December 9, 2001 - The Scotsman Online

Dame Judi Dench is tonight receiving a Bafta Academy Fellowship.

It is in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film and television throughout her long and varied career.

She will receive the honour at a star-studded tribute which will be shown on BBC1 in January.

The accolade is the highest bestowed by Bafta and Dame Judi joins the likes of Sir Michael Caine and Stanley Kubrick in receiving one.

Among those taking part in the event will be Pierce Brosnan, Billy Connolly, Sir John Mills and Dame Maggie Smith.

Dame Judi was born in York in 1934 and studied drama at the Central School in London.

She has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre but is best known by many for her numerous film and television roles.

She is a five-time Bafta winner including the award for best actress for A Fine Romance, in which she starred alongside her late husband Michael Williams.

In 1999 she won an Oscar as best supporting actress for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love and was nominated last year for her role in Chocolat.

Other noted performances include her Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown and as M, the female head of the British secret service in the most recent James Bond movies.

- Congratulations from this website.





Charity Is Where The Heart Is

December 5, 2001 - The Scotsman Online

A JAMES Bond novel that was anonymously handed into an Edinburgh charity shop has turned out to be a rare first edition worth up to £5,000.

Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die was among a pile of otherwise insignificant books dropped off in a supermarket carrier bag at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund shop in Morningside Road one Saturday morning. Valuer John Fyfe spotted the book and called in Sotheby’s. It was found to be a 1954 rarity, in fine condition and complete with original red and gold-coloured dust jacket.

Jane Gaw, who works at the shop, said: "It was a busy Saturday and nobody knows the identity of the person who dropped it off."

- It is either a great gesture or someone doesn't know their Bond.





A Moment With Judi Dench

December 4, 2001 - DSBG

Dame Judi Dench was in town for the premiere of her new film, Iris. When asked about Bond 20 she had this to say. "They haven't even finished the script yet. I don't know what it's called or what I'm doing in it. But I start filming my scenes in the spring."

- Hope they give her more screen time with Brosnan. I would like to see another confrontational scene such as the one in GoldenEye.





Having A Halle Hayek Christmas

December 3, 2001 - DSBG

Dr. Shatterhand's Botancial Garden has received word that Halle Berry is confirmed to be the next Bond girl. News from the EON Productions camp is that they are working out the contractual agreement and how to work around the X-Men sequel that is suppose to start filming in early 2002 as well.

The second Bond girl waiting in the wings could very well be Salma Hayek. Ms. Hayek has gone on record of being interested in working with director Lee Tamahori.

"He made one of my very favourite films, 'Once Were Warriors'," explained the actress. It has been rumoured that part of the film will be set in Spain.

- Two beautiful women for the price of one. Should make Christmas 2002 very hot indeed.





Mumba Has No Bond Worries

November 29, 2001 - ShowBizIreland

Samantha Mumba has spoken out to the Irish press about forgetting the Bond role, her love life, and her hectic timetable.

After Halle Berry was confirmed as the new Bond girl, the Irish singer and actress has said she was never really interested in the role of a Bond girl.

"I think I once said I would love to be a Bond girl. Who wouldn't? But at 18 I'm to young. They have to be very sophisticated".

- No, they have to be more mature.





Busy Berry May Bond As Villain

November 27, 2001 - by Michael Fleming for Variety

NEW YORK -- Halle Berry is poised to star alongside Pierce Brosnan as the femme fatale in the next James Bond film, which is fast mobilizing for a Jan. 14 start at Pinewood Studios. Lee Tamahori is directing. Berry has been rumored for the role for several weeks and by all accounts very much wants to play the villainess. Potential scheduling conflicts are the reason a deal hasn't yet been closed. Berry is locked in to reprise her role as Storm in the "X-Men" sequel, which helmer Bryan Singer will shoot early next year for Fox.

Because the sequel's shooting schedule is still being worked out, Berry's reps at CAA and Vincent Cirrincione Management haven't been able to work out a scenario in which she could do both roles.

The Bond film certainly will be a spectacle. Scripted by Neil Purvis and Robert Wade ("The World Is Not Enough"), pic will be the 20th in the series and the 40th anniversary of the 007 franchise. MGM will release the film for the 2002 holiday season with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

Berry, whose last film was "Swordfish," is generating buzz for her latest effort, the Marc Forster-directed Lions Gate film "Monster's Ball," which opens Dec. 26.

- She most certainly will cause a 'Storm' on this Bond film.





Licensed For Shoot

November 26, 2001 - by Liza Forman for Variety

LONDON -- British actors union Equity has agreed to allow the next James Bond movie to go ahead, despite the labor dispute over U.K. pic production. Equity said Monday that a new deal with production company Eon could be the template for its negotiations with producers association Pact.

Both sides have been negotiating residual payments for Equity members since the beginning of the year.

Equity members are refusing work on U.K. productions, with the exception of a handful of pics for which special interim contracts have been set up. An Equity spokesman told Daily Variety that members had voted overwhelmingly to reject the latest Pact proposals and in favor of something similar to the Eon deal based on set percentages of residuals as well as a prepayment to the artist.

Pact's latest proposals are for a share of the net profits or a residual deal on TV/video and DVD in certain territories only once certain thresholds have been met.

Equity has yet to reply formally to Pact, but an Equity spokesman said it would be "unthinkable" to accept the conditions offered.

Pact had proposed two different arrangements for indie and studio productions. A major stumbling block on the studio model was the exclusion of North America and Europe in secondary payments, while Equity said it was not convinced that the indie model would pay enough.

A Pact spokesman said Monday it had already moved a long way toward Equity's demands, adding, "Whether the Eon agreement can form a basis for a deal for the industry remains to be seen." The 20th James Bond film will be the seventh pic that Equity has signed up under its interim contracts unveiled last month. Others signees include the Harry Potter sequel, Stephen Frears' "Dirty Pretty Things," "The Heart of Me," "Conspiracy of Silence" and "Two Men Went to War."

So far no films have been prevented from going into production.

- There's an old saying, "Money talks, everything else walks".





In The Money: James Bonds

November 21, 2001 - by Clare Stewart for The Times

UNIMPRESSED with paltry savings rates? Bored with pension plans? Then think about investing in a bond or, more precisely, James Bond. When it comes to movie memorabilia, while some stars lose their glitter and fade, Bond is smoothly confident. Why else would you part with £2,000 for a pair of shoes worn by a fictional character? Some Bonds are worth more than others. A good poster for Sean Connery’s film From Russia with Love could cost £3,000, according to the Reel Poster Gallery in West London. Roger Moore, while popular, cannot match Connery; posters for his films are in the £150-£950 range. But Moore is more popular than his successor, Timothy Dalton. Pierce Brosnan material looks more promising.

Cinema posters featuring Brosnan, who is soon to begin filming his fourth Bond film, are still to be found for under £100. They may seem a snip, but don’t bank on them appreciating in value. Many more collectors are buying up such items, so rarity is not assured, though some of the more unusual items are likely to hold their value. “Bond has emerged over the past three or four years as very collectable,” says Sarah Hodgson at Christie’s. “Traditionally the market was more focused around classic films such as Gone with the Wind.”

An Omega wristwatch worn in The World is Not Enough is one of the Bond items being sold at a special Christie’s auction in aid of the National Film & Television School (NFTS) on December 11. The estimate is £10,000-£15,000.

If that does not appeal, a large selection of Bond items will be sold the following day at Christie’s film and entertainment sale. A dinner suit worn by Connery in 1962, for example, is expected to sell for £1,500-£2,000, or you could spend the same amount on a pair of Church’s brogues worn by Brosnan.

- Time to dust off that 3 sheet Goldfinger poster I picked up back in 1985 for $5.00.





CBE For Horror Legend Lee

November 20, 2001 - BBC News

Christopher Lee - better known to film-goers as Count Dracula - has collected his CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. The 79-year-old actor is being honoured for services to drama.

"The Queen said 'You've had a long career' - it's 55 years now - and she asked me what I was doing now," said Lee after the ceremony. "So I told her about Lord of the Rings. I play Saruman the White the Great Wizard, who is 8,000 years old.

"It really is a great film - nobody's ever seen anything like it....It could even beat Harry Potter at the box office."

Lee is best known for a series of films he made in the Hammer Horror series, starting with the first Hammer production, The Curse of Frankenstein, in 1957.

He became one of British cinema's most famous baddies, playing Sir Henry Baskerville in the Hound of the Baskervilles, Fu Manchu, Rasputin, and the pagan leader Lord Summerisle in the cult film The Wicker Man. He also played Scaramanga in the James Bond film, The Man With The Golden Gun.

Lee was born in Belgravia, London, in 1922. His mother Estelle Marie Carandini was an aristocrat - but the line of succession stopped at her generation. His father was a lieutenant colonel but left home, after 16 years of marriage, when Lee was four.

As a boy, Lee gained scholarships to Eton and Wellington, but left school at 16 and joined the RAF. Grounded due to an eye problem, he transferred to the special forces where he became an intelligence officer during WWII.

It was when he was unemployed after the war that Lee tried acting, starting his film career in 1947. He has since entered the record books as the actor who has made the most screen appearances in film history - more than 250.

He is still much in demand as an actor who can bring menace and mystery to a role. His forthcoming films include The Lord of the Rings, in which he plays the evil Saruman, and the next Star Wars movie, in which he portrays Count Dooku.

- Congratulations from this website to a true English gentleman.





Brosnan Wants Five

November 19, 2001 - DSBG

Pierce Brosnan had an exclusive interview with ShowBizIreland.com and has gone on record by saying he wants to do a fifth Bond film after the completion of Bond 20. Contractually Brosnan is done after Bond 20 and it is primarily up to the producers if they want him to continue for a fifth run. Other rumors about Ireland being touted as a location for Bond 20 is definitely out. Principle photography begins Sunday, January 13th 2002. As of this writing, Bond 20 still does not have an official title.

- Casino Royale, anyone?





James Bond Books To Be Re-Issued

November 9, 2001 - Ananova

Penguin Books are to reprint the complete set of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels.

They will be re-issued in April 2002 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the completion of Fleming's first Bond novel, Casino Royale. New abstract covers have been designed for the 14 books in the series.

The complete set of books is as follows:

Casino Royale
Live And Let Die
Moonraker
Diamonds Are Forever
From Russia With Love
Dr No
Goldfinger
For Your Eyes Only
Thunderball
The Spy Who Loved Me
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
You Only Live Twice
The Man With The Golden Gun
Octopussy And The Living Daylight.

Puffin Books will also republish Fleming's children's classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

- I just hope the artwork on the covers will not be politically corrected.





Billy Bob Thornton Tipped For Bond Villain Role

November 9, 2001 - Ananova

Billy Bob Thornton is being tipped to be the next James Bond villain. The character is reportedly a Texan billionaire who wants to take over the world's oil supplies. The film's producers say the script for the movie has not been finalised yet.

The oil tycoon storyline is one of several being considered by Eon Productions as they prepare to make the 20th Bond film next year.

Thornton is soon to be seen starring with Bruce Willis in Bandits, which is being shown at the London Film Festival later this month.

An insider told Ananova: "Billy Bob is very keen to get involved in the Bond film. He loves the idea of making a Bond movie simply because he would surprise so many people.

"One of the reasons he made Bandits was to let folk see a new side and have some fun. He also thinks Pierce Brosnan is a very funny man."

- Sling Blade meets Fleming? Now I know the series is doomed. Actually, I personally feel this story is bogus. Why would the producers do another 'oil' plot. Certainly there are other ideas. We can only hope.





Leslie Bricusse Receives OBE

October 30, 2001 - DSBG

Congratulations to composer Leslie Bricusse, who wrote the lyrics for Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice. He has received an OBE for services to the film industry and the theatre.

The OBE (Order of the British Empire) was created during the First World War in 1917 by George V. The King recognised the necessity for a new award of honour which could be more widely awarded, in recognition of the large numbers of people in the British Isles and other parts of the Empire who were helping the war effort both as combatants and as civilians on the home front. For the first time, women were included in an order of chivalry, and it was decided that the Order should also include foreigners who had helped the British war effort.

From 1918 onwards there were Military and Civil Divisions, as George V also intended that after the war the Order should be used to reward services to the State, defined in a much wider sense to acknowledge distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds. The Order of the British Empire is the order of chivalry of the British democracy. Valuable service is the only criterion for the award, and the Order is now used to reward service in a wide range of useful activities. There are more than 100,000 living members of the Order throughout the world.

- For Mr. Bricusse, TWICE is the only way to live.





Anthrax Scare Comes To MGM

October 26, 2001 - Reuters

The anthrax scare has some movie studios, sports teams and record companies holding back the fan mail they receive on behalf of the stars.

There have even been reports of one Hollywood talent agency refusing to open letters addressed to stars and dumping the missives straight in the garbage.

No one would admit that Wednesday, but an informal Reuters survey showed there is concern and that precautions are being taken to shield the stars.

A spokeswoman at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. in Santa Monica said the James Bond studio was still passing on mail to the star's publicist or agent. "(But) Everything is scanned beforehand, we are very diligent about security," she said.

The studio said it has hired extra security staff with training to handle suspicious packages before passing them on to the likes of 007 actor Pierce Brosnan.

Asked if Hollywood studios were destroying mail sent by fans, the MGM spokeswoman said: "They may have started doing that, but I have not heard of it."

- It may be a good idea for the actors not to be eating powdered suger donuts while reading their mail too.





Jean Butler After Bond Girl Role

October 16, 2001 - ShowBiz Ireland

Red haired stunner and Irish dance queen Jean Butler is flying to London this week to talk to the Bond 20 producers about a role in the movie.

Jean, a friend of Pierce Brosnan and his new wife Keely Shay Smith, hinted that her relationship with the star of the movie may give her the advantage over others after the role.

The ex-Riverdance star said to Irish press: "The producers want to talk to me immediately, so I'm flying to London this week. I'm actually an old friend of Pierce's. I did a number of variety shows with him."

Other beauties attached to the Bond girl role have been Samantha Mumba and Russian stunner Anna Kournikova.

- From where I'm standing, Ms. Butler has 'a leg up' over the other candidates.





The Italian Job

October 16, 2001 - DSBG

He's back and Ancona, Italy has him. It's the JAMES BOND EVENT and it begins October 29th through November 10th. For more information check out their website at http://web.tiscali.it/sevenevent/images/foto/news/j_bond.htm

- While you're there can you please find Ms. Caruso. Apparently the last time they saw their agent she was checking out OO7's magnetism.





No Bond Role For Anna

October 15, 2001 - BBC News

Tennis player Anna Kournikova is not being considered for a role in the latest Bond movie, the film's producers have said.

The Russian athlete, famous for her good looks as well as her tennis abilities, was reported to be in talks with producers about a possible role as a "Bond girl", according to the Express newspaper.

But a spokeswoman for Eon Productions told BBC News Online that the story was absolutely untrue. The spokeswoman added: "We do not now where this story has come from but it is not true. The film is in pre-production and we are casting but Anna Kournikova has not been in any talks with us."

- Game, set and match.





Brosnan Denies His Goldmember

October 11, 2001 - ShowBiz Ireland

Pierce Brosnan's publicist Dick Guttman has denied ever hearing of a plan for the star to take a role in the new Austin Powers movie Goldmember.

Brosnan, who flew into Ireland over the weekend to start work in his new movie Evelyn in Dublin will not be staring in the movie.

Reports were that the Austin Powers Goldmember film would star the Irish actor after Tom Cruise pulled out. Pierce was to give a cameo in the upcoming third comedy with reports saying that Brosnan "will spoof his on-screen image in the sequel playing a promiscuous secret agent who puts Austin's bedroom exploits to shame".

A worker on the film said "It'll be obvious that Pierce is playing James Bond but Bond executives will ultimately decide.

Guttman went on to say, "I don't know where these stories come from. Pierce is in Ireland until Christmas then will be starting work on the new Bond so I don't even know where he would get the time. His calendar is gone for the next year already."

- Wait a minute, Pierce Brosnan is going to play a promiscuous secret agent and now his publicist is saying he is pulling out. I get it, it's a joke.





Bond's Licence To Compose

October 10, 2001 - The New Zealand Herald

Classical quartet Bond say they've been asked to write the score to the next James Bond film. The all-girl string quartet, dubbed the classical Spice Girls, say they're huge fans of the 007 films and would love to do it.

Bond is made up of four attractive young women - Australians Haylie Ecker and Tania Davis, both 24, and Britons Gay-Yee Westerhoff, 26, and Chater, 24.

They caused an outrage earlier in the year by appearing on their album cover naked.

Violinist Chater says: "Doing a soundtrack for a film is not something we would normally do, because we are serious musicians. What we want to do is break through musical barriers.

"We couldn't possibly say no to doing the soundtrack because all of us have watched every single film. We are particularly keen to get Sean Connery to star in our video."

- Whoa!, what happened to David Arnold? Or is he utilizing this group in his composition? Perhaps Bond is going to do the song? Only time will tell.





New Bond Adventure For PlayStation 2 Eyes Only

October 10, 2001 - Ananova

James Bond's latest adventure will only be available to PlayStation 2 owners. AGENT UNDER FIRE places 007 in 10 exotic locations with his traditional support of hi-tech weaponry, gadgets, sports cars and beautiful women.

It will be released by Electronic Arts on November 23 and can be pre-ordered now through Ananova's ecommerce partner Software First.

The official website for Agent Under Fire features exclusive screenshots, gameplay movies, level previews, character profiles and gadget descriptions.

The site also offers a forum for Agent Under Fire fans to communicate with each other and facilities to download wallpaper and screensavers.

- So for all you Ninetendo fans - please insert your $300 token now.





Brosnan To Meet Austin

October 8, 2001 - Megastar.com

Pierce Brosnan is to take on another James Bond role in the latest Austin Powers movie, Goldmember.

The 007 actor will play a secret agent but Bond executives at EON have not yet decided whether the Bond name itself will be mentioned.

But a film insider said: "It'll be obvious Pierce is playing James Bond," Peoplenews reports.

- First Sean Connery, then Honor Blackman and now Pierce Brosnan. Who are they going to pick next to be in this film, George Lazenby?





Bond 20 Prepares For Scotland

October 3, 2001 - DSBG

According to thescotsman.com, Bond 20 will be filming in Scotland early next year. This report came about when other movie projects shutdown due to the World Trade Center attacks and has caused 140 people to lose their jobs. The Bond film however has not been affected but could face a different foe when the British actor's strike hits the marketplace in early December.

- Scotland Forever!





Is It High Time For Two OO7s?

September 20, 2001 - DSBG

ShowBizIreland.com has announced that Sean Connery is in negotiations to reprise his role of Ramirez in the 5th installment of the Highlander series. But what is more interesting is that Timothy Dalton is confirmed to play the villain.

- No doubt Mr. Dalton will be there to scare the living daylights out of Mr. Connery.





COMMENTARY: What's A Spy To Do?

September 19, 2001 - DSBG

What a difference a day makes. Just hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers and The Pentagon, Hollywood makes many difficult decisions on films that have terrorist plotlines or contain images of the Twin Towers. Even the Spider-Man posters which has the doomed towers reflecting in his eyes have been recalled.

Which brings us to the fate of Bond 20. Only months from production, the filmmakers may also be in a delicate position of careful rewrites. Rumors have spilled onto the net that a helicopter chase through the New York skyline is prominent in the film. Of course, this may be very unsettling to American viewers as well as others. Especially if the chase involves a villain with terrorist connections.

Since 1962's Dr. No, Bond has been pitted against terrorist around the world. From SPECTRE to Karl Stromberg to Hugo Drax. In 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies, the filmmakers had an opening segment that showed a 'terrorist bazaar' which ends with the British Navy destroying it with a cruise missile. 1999's The World Is Not Enough had a terrorist named Renard who's death wish was to nuke Istanbul and the neighboring oil fields near the Caspian sea. Is it possible that Bond 20 may continue down this path?

Maybe or maybe not but whatever the outcome I feel it is now time for EON to film Casino Royale with a contemporary twist. SPECTRE most likely will never return to the silver screen and SMERSH is forever defunct. However the villain in Casino Royale, Le Chiffre, could be the paymaster of an Arab extremist group and it is Bond's duty to defeat him at baccarat. Assisted by Felix Leiter who has been called back into active duty to rid the world of this scum. Of course EON will have to add the usual chases and climatic fight scenes - but if anything, they must not fail by showing too much gratuitous explosions and brainless storylines.

Just like the tagline from GoldenEye - It’s a new world, with new enemies, and new threats, but you can still depend on one man.

- To coin a phrase - "For England James? No, for the World."





British Actors To Strike

September 18, 2001 - Empire Online

Hollywood may have successfully weathered the threat of strike action during negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild this summer, but the British film industry may not prove so fortunate. After a year of negotiations, actor's union Equity has made the decision to pursue strike action over disagreements concerning bonus payments.

The union has instructed members to refuse all work on UK productions from December 1. Names like Julie Walters, Simon Callow and Ricky Tomlinson have all pledged their support to the action, which could bring the British film industry to a standstill.

Ewan McGregor, also a strong supporter of the move, told BBC Online that he was "tired of making producers and distributors rich while I and my fellow actors are exploited."

The strike could have serious implications for a number of upcoming productions including the 20th James Bond movie.

The negotiations concern actor's right's to bonus fees when films are shown on television or sold on video or DVD. At present, unlike their American counterparts, British actors receive a one-off flat fee for their work and receive no additional payment for subsequent screenings. Equity is seeking arrangements similar to those in the US where actors receive monetary rewards relative to the success of individual films.

- Hmm, do I detect a 'Summer 2003' opening for Bond 20?




Is There An Irish Rose For OO7?

September 12, 2001 - ShowBiz Ireland

One lady looking for a role in Bond 20, is the Irish superstar Samantha Mumba, who is currently looking for a new apartment in LA.

Speaking to the press this week Sam said, "I'm going to get a little apartment in LA. It's fun, the weather's beautiful, there are great beaches and the shopping's amazing. But, to be a Bond girl would be the ultimate, it really would. It's such a high profile and exciting job to land and I'd be the first Irish girl to do it, if I managed to get the part."

Sam has obviously never seen A View to a Kill where Alison Doody played Jenny Flex and was actually the first Irish Bond girl... Sorry Sam.

- Not only that, but she was only 2 years old when Alison Doody performed in A View to a Kill. Now that's scary.





McClory Loses His Bond Suit Appeal

August 28, 2001 - by Lindsay Chaney for Variety

A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit by producer Kevin McClory who sought a share of profits from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's James Bond franchise.

McClory's suit against MGM and Danjaq Prods. claimed he was the co-creator of the cinematic James Bond character. (Danjaq is the production company co-founded by ``Bond'' producer Albert ''Cubby'' Broccoli, who died in 1996.)

The ruling Monday from a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) upheld a lower-court ruling last year that also dismissed the lawsuit, on the grounds that McClory waited too long to assert rights to the Bond character -- more than 35 years.

The appeals court ruling apparently brings to an end nearly 40 years of legal wrangling over ownership of Bond material.

In the late 1950s, McClory collaborated with ``Bond'' author Ian Fleming on a script of ``Thunderball'' and in a 1963 settlement to a lawsuit between the two men, McClory obtained some rights to the story. McClory's rights were the basis for both 1965's ``Thunderball'' and its 1983 remake, ``Never Say Never Again,'' both starring Sean Connery.

Things heated up again in 1997 when Sony paid $2 million for McClory's ``Thunderball'' rights and announced it would begin a competing Bond franchise under the theory that McClory was co-owner of the Bond character. Until then, no one had claimed McClory's rights could be the basis for an entire Bond franchise.

MGM immediately sued Sony, which countersued. In a 1999 settlement, Sony gave up all claims to the Bond character. McClory, as a party to the lawsuits, decided to press ahead on his own, even though he claimed to have received death threats on the Internet. His suit was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Edward Rafeedie in March of last year, and that dismissal was upheld by the appeals court on Monday.

- Mr. McClory, what part of the word 'NO' did you not understand?





Writers and Director Confirmed

August 24, 2001 - DSBG

It is confirmed at MGM that Bond 20 will be directed by Lee Tamahori (Along Came a Spider, The Edge) and written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Production will begin at Pinewood Studios in January, 2002.

- But what about the 'Title'?





Bond Back In An Aston Martin

August 24, 2001 - by Ken Gibson for Online Sun

James Bond will ditch his BMW for a British-built Aston Martin in his next film. The world-famous spy will thrill movie-goers with stunts behind the wheel of a stylish 180mph Vanquish supercar. The deal is a major coup for Aston Martin and it will delight 007 fans who consider the classy British marque to be the only true Bond car.

The original Bond, Sean Connery, drove a classic Aston DB5 in Goldfinger in 1964 — and Timothy Dalton roared round in an Aston V8 Volante in The Living Daylights in 1987. But for the past three films Bond has had BMWs after the German firm agreed a £20million deal.

Film maker MGM confirmed the deal yesterday. Aston's owners Ford would not say how much they paid to oust BMW. But they will also get two more of their cars into the as yet untitled movie, out next year.

The baddie will drive a Jaguar XKR — Ford also owns that British marque — and the Bond girl a Ford Thunderbird. Aston Martin chairman Wolfgang Reitzle said: "When people think of Bond they think of Aston Martin."

- Between BMW and Aston Martin - they have proved that Bond has a very big 'engine'.





Bond Film Plot Allegedly Leaked To Website

August 21, 2001 - Ananova

Details of the next James Bond film have been leaked to a fansite. Unofficial James Bond website bond20.com has posted what it claims to be the script for its opening sequence. The 20th Bond movie is due to be released in November next year.

The website claims Bond, to be played again by Pierce Brosnan, will discover his father was also a secret agent with the number 007.

He did not die, as was thought, in a climbing accident with his mother but may still be alive.

Bond will also battle an enemy called David Saten, who plans to use the internet against the free world. Saten, to be played by Nigel Havers, is abducting or murdering British, American and Interpol secret agents. The female villain will be a kickboxer called Divine Rapture.

The website also claim Bond will die in the film when he is entombed in a tank of ice cold water. But he is brought back to life with a drug by a Japanese enemy called Mr Shoka.

The website says the main action sequences will take place in the French Alps, Tokyo, Sydney and New York, with a "fight to the death" on the Statue of Liberty.

The anonymous source told bond20.com: "There is a scene involving England and the World Cup and there is a car that becomes a boat but extremely different to the Lotus in The Spy Who Loved Me."

- I think I have heard this one before. According to bond20.com, the script was sitting out on a table at EON. Why would someone at EON leave a script, that will be used for an $80 million dollar film, out in the open just so some FANatic will purloin it. Also, all the ideas mentioned above in this 'script' have been on websites since the Internet opened for business. And lastly, the 1975 script called James Bond of the Secret Service A.K.A. Warhead 2000, has Bond fighting his nemesis at the top of the Statue of Liberty. Just one problem with that fight scene, it was written by Len Deighton, Sean Connery and Kevin (I own SPECTRE copyrights) McClory. I don't think EON would want to lift a scene from a script that has ol' Kevin's name on it.





Bond Star Funds Tibetan School With Magazine's Wedding Cash

August 20, 2001 - Ananova

Pierce Brosnan is using some of the money from HELLO Magazine's coverage of his wedding to fund a school in Tibet.

The Irish actor was visiting the Kathmandu area with the Dalai Lama last year when he was shown around the school.

Brosnan says: "I was touched by the Tibetan people and the culture, which is surviving under great duress. It is a vocational school for young men, which teaches them a variety of practical skills such as metalwork so they can make and sell products that people need."

The star was told that the school would cost around £300,000 to build. He says: "Through various generous-hearted men and women we know and from proceeds from articles such as the coverage of our wedding, we're close to our goal."

- Don't you mean 'we have met our goal'!





Octopussy Villain Faces Trial Over Rape Claim

August 17, 2001 - by Sam Lister of The Times

STEVEN BERKOFF, the actor, director and playwright, is to face a civil trial for rape after a judge ruled that a case could be brought against him. Mr Berkoff, 64, one of the country’s most controversial and acclaimed theatrical performers, who has also starred in films such as A Clockwork Orange and Octopussy, lost his legal battle to have the rape claim brought by an actress thrown out of court yesterday.

The case follows an alleged incident in 1994 in which the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claims that she was assaulted, raped and suffered racial abuse from the actor. She is suing him for “substantial damages”, believed to be up to £500,000.

Judge Christopher Wigfield, sitting at Central London County Court, ruled yesterday that the case should go ahead. Such a civil action alleging rape is rare. After a combined appeal by The Times and six other national newspapers, he allowed access to the hearing, citing the private nature of the case as reason for his earlier refusal.

No criminal charges were brought against Mr Berkoff at the time of the alleged attack. A writ was issued by the woman, from West London, last August, to which Mr Berkoff failed to respond.

The judge yesterday dismissed claims by Mr Berkoff’s lawyers that the case should be struck out because the complainant did not serve papers on them within four months of issuing the county court writ.

Judge Wigfield said that the serious nature of the allegations demanded that Mr Berkoff be given the opportunity to defend himself in court. “The allegations are of a serious kind and the defendant has made it very clear in the evidence that has been provided on his behalf that he strenuously denies the allegations made and has a complete and credible defence to the claims made against him,” he said. “He should not be denied the opportunity of putting his defence to the court at trial.”

Alasdair Pepper, representing Mr Berkoff, said that his client was very disappointed with the decision and an application would be made for leave to appeal. “We had hoped the entered case would be thrown out,” he said. “We will be seeking to appeal and if it goes to trial he will be strenuously defending the action.”

The actor and his legal team have 28 days in which to apply for an appeal or submit a defence against the rape claim. Civil claimants need only to prove their case on the “balance of probabilities” rather than “beyond reasonable doubt”, as in a criminal case.

Mr Berkoff, of Limehouse, East London, was not in court yesterday but will have to give evidence at the trial should his appeal fail. Although one of the foremost actors of his generation,he has won greater plaudits for his cutting-edge theatre productions, including East, Salome and Decadence.

After yesterday’s ruling, his alleged victim, who wore dark glasses throughout the hearing, said that she was “extremely pleased” with the outcome: “I have wanted justice to be done for such a long time.” Peter Todd, her solicitor, said: “The complainant is very pleased, particularly with regard to the finding that the serving of proceedings was validly effected. She looks forward to justice being done at the forthcoming trial.”

Having paid the maximum county court fee of £500 when papers were lodged last August, the woman is allowed to apply for unlimited damages.

If the case is proved, it will be only the third time in British legal history that a woman was awarded damages for rape without a previous criminal trial. In 1997 a mother of one was awarded record damages of £74,000 and costs of £132,000 in the civil courts after accusing her former boss of twice raping her. She said she had been so devastated by the attacks that she delayed going to the police; by the time she did, evidence needed for a criminal conviction had been lost.

Two years earlier, a hotel worker successfully sued a former employer for £50,000 after claiming that he had raped her.

- This website will keep you posted on the outcome of this trial.





HELLO! Set To Sue Over Brosnan Wedding

August 15, 2001 - BBC News

Hello! magazine is set to sue the Irish Star magazine over the publication of what it believed were exclusive photographs of Bond star Pierce Brosnan's wedding to Keely Shaye Smith.

On Thursday the paper published a set of photographs which Hello! billed in this week's issue as world exclusives.

The Irish Star is 50% owned by Richard Desmond, the proprietor of OK! Magazine, a rival to Hello! If a settlement is not reached, legal action is likely to commence within the next week, according to magazine's solicitors Charles Russell. The Irish Star was unavailable for comment.

Mr Hall told BBC News Online of his reaction at seeing the photographs in the Irish Star.

"We were very, very angry," he said. "We spent six months negotiating the rights and they cost us a seven-figure sum. I asked the editor of the Irish Star how he got the pictures and he said he didn't know - that's ridiculous."

Chris Hutchings, solicitor for Hello! at Charles Russell told BBC News Online: "No negatives were supplied by our clients. One can assume that the pictures were scanned - but that's speculative at this stage."

Mr Hall dismissed the suggestion that anyone at Hello! might have been involved in scooping the exclusive.

"There's no way this could be an inside job - the photos were marshalled by a security officer at all times."

Mr Hutchings said that the magazine would be pressing for a substantial settlement.

"I can't divulge the amount, but it was a very valuable feature and a very substantial sum was paid, and they will be looking for an appropriate sum of compensation for spoiling the exclusive," said Mr Hutchings.

In 2000, OK! obtained an injunction against Hello! after the latter bought photographs of the wedding of Michael Douglas to Catherine Zeta Jones, to which OK! had obtained the exclusive rights.

Mr Hutchings said that if the Irish Star did not respond, legal action could follow swiftly. "They've had a letter of complaint, but we haven't heard back yet. If we don't have a satisfactory response with undertakings, legal action will be commenced in the next week."

- I personally think this is a plot devised by SPECTRE. Perhaps a two way mirror with Rosa Klebb behind it.





Where Is Bond Now?

August 9, 2001 - DSBG

According to ShowbizIreland.com publicist Dick Guttman confirmed that Brosnan and his bride Keely Shaye have been forced to cancel their planned honeymoon due to media leaks.

“Pierce and Keely had planed a two week break in Italy. They were going to take a cruise around Sicily. It was all going to be very romantic. But the story got out into the media. So, they have canceled that now. I think they are going to go somewhere else which they will decide on at the last minute.”

- Why would you pay your publicist to tell the world where you are going on your honeymoon anyway?





No View To A Thrill As James Bond Star Marries

August 4, 2001 - By Alex Richardson for Reuters

A security operation worthy of James Bond swung into action on Saturday as 007 actor Pierce Brosnan married former model and TV reporter Keely Shaye Smith at a romantic Irish abbey. The fictional British secret agent has battled Oddjob, Goldfinger and a string of other movie villains, but his current screen incarnation Brosnan faced a new enemy, the world's media, as he tied the knot at 800-year-old Ballintubber Abbey, in County Mayo, western Ireland.

A crowd of around 300 local people and tourists had joined journalists outside the picture postcard abbey, founded in 1216 by Cathal O'Connor, King of Connaght, and reputedly the oldest church in Ireland to have been in continual use. But their hopes of catching a glimpse of the bride and groom were thwarted by a team of security guards employed to protect the exclusive picture deal Brosnan had struck with a glossy magazine reportedly paying close to $1,000,000 for the privilege.

All the crowd saw of the groom as he arrived for the late afternoon wedding was a waving hand thrust through the tinted window of his dark Mercedes Benz as it swept through the gates of the abbey. They saw even less of the bride, who arrived in a white Rolls Royce limousine decked with white ribbon.

A wicker porch edged with cream and lavender flowers had been built around the entrance to the ancient stone building, and as the bride, groom and bridesmaids stepped from their cars minders draped sheets across the gap to stop anyone stealing a picture. Particular care was taken to prevent the media catching a glimpse of Shaye Smith's Richard Tyler designed dress.

Around 100 guests were bused in by a fleet of coaches and greeted at the gates of the church by a lone piper decked in the green and red of County Mayo. The hour-long Roman Catholic ceremony was performed by Limerick-born Monsignor John Fleming, rector of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, who Brosnan met during the filming of the Bond movie ``The World is Not Enough'' in Italy.

The interior of the abbey had been decorated with pale pink roses, blue cornflowers, lilies, lavender and ivy by a team from a London florist who moved in three hours before the service.

Afterwards the groom's hand appeared again through the window of the wedding car to give a ``thumbs up'' sign to the crowd as the newlyweds were whisked to their reception at the five-star Ashford Castle hotel 20 miles away in Cong, a grand Victorian pile on the shores of Lough Corrib.

Actor John Wayne stayed at the hotel during the filming of ``The Quiet Man'' in the village 50 years ago, and other guests over the years have included Britain's King George V, Princess Grace of Monaco, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and movie stars Brad Pitt, John Travolta and Sharon Stone.

A marquee had been erected in the grounds of the hotel, built on the site of a 13th Century castle, and guests were to be entertained by the couple's favorite band, the Chieftains, taking time out from a North American tour to play at the reception. But security was tight at the hotel too, with reports of security men in boats patrolling the northern shores of the lough to stop any photographers getting too close.

Brosnan, 48, is the fifth actor to play Bond, the creation of former Reuters journalist Ian Fleming. The actor, born in Navan, north of Dublin, met Californian Shaye Smith, 36, when she interviewed him in Mexico in 1994. The couple have two sons together, Dylan, four, and Paris, who was born in February and christened in a ceremony at the abbey on the eve of the wedding. Brosnan's English first wife, Cassandra, died from ovarian cancer in 1990 at age 41.

- Actually the security was there to prevent Blofeld and Irma Bunt from 'crashing' the wedding reception.





Brosnan Prepares For Wedding Day

August 2, 2001 - By Alex Richardson for Reuters

James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan is expected to marry former model and TV reporter Keely Shaye Smith in Ireland on Saturday in a ceremony shrouded in secrecy. No details about the wedding have been made public, but the couple are widely expected to tie the knot at 800-year-old Ballintubber Abbey, in County Mayo, western Ireland.

Staff at the abbey were referring callers to Brosnan's London publicist, who refused to comment on the star's plans, even declining to confirm the wedding would take place at all, despite press reports about the nuptials.

After the service, the couple are expected to hold a reception at Ashford Castle hotel in the village of Cong, a grand Victorian setting on the site of a 13th-century castle overlooking the River Cong and Lough Corrib.

One local hotelier told Reuters the 007 star was spotted in Cong -- location of the 1951 John Wayne movie ``The Quiet Man'' -- earlier this month finalizing his plans.

Shaye Smith was snapped by photographers boarding a flight at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday and told reporters that her wedding dress was designed by Richard Tyler, hinting that the dress was hidden among her baggage for the flight.

Founded in 1216 by Cathal O'Connor, King of Connaught, Ballintubber Abbey lays claim to being the oldest church in Ireland to have been in continual use.

A report in the Irish Star tabloid on Thursday said security staff would erect a giant awning around the entrance to the abbey to protect the exclusive picture deal Brosnan is reported to have struck with a glossy magazine for a six-figure sum.

Security is also likely to be tight as the couple and their guests make the 20-mile journey to Ashford Castle for the reception.

According to press reports, the Catholic ceremony will be performed by Limerick-born Monsignor John Fleming, rector of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, who Brosnan met during the filming of ``The World Is Not Enough'' in Italy.

Brosnan, 48, the current screen incarnation of British secret agent James Bond, met American Shaye Smith, 36, when she interviewed him in Mexico in 1994.

The couple have two sons together, Dylan, four, and Paris, who was born in February. Brosnan's first wife, Cassandra, died in 1990 from ovarian cancer.

- Godspeed.





Plans Announced For Huge Film Studio Complex

August 2, 2001 - Ananova

The man behind the James Bond films has announced plans to build a new studio complex in Britain. It will boost the country's film industry and create more than 200 jobs.

Peter Lamont says he is now looking at four sites in the south west of England to build the massive new centre. As chairman of the newly-created Full Picture Company, Lamont said he is delighted to be bringing the project to life.

Lamont worked on 16 of the 19 Bond movies as art director and eventually set designer. He won an Oscar for his work on Titanic.

Interest in the British film industry from private investors is currently growing at about 35%, with the industry in the UK alone worth about £230 million a year. With the country's homegrown talent of cast, crew, technicians and craftspeople, the company believes it can tap into a further £125 million a year. The firm also announced it has agreed in principle £66 million in funding from British backers, and is now looking at four 200-acre sites in the South West on which to build the complex.

A spokeswoman for the company said she could not give the location of the four sites as it is still commercially sensitive. Wherever it is based, once up and running in about four years' time, the site will include Europe's largest studio as well as state-of-the-art special effects facilities and TV stages. It will also include accommodation for film crews and a visitor centre, making it a major tourist attraction for the region as well as a working studio complex.

- Looks as if the Bond films may have a future home.





Moonbuggy! Going, Going, Gone!

August 1, 2001 - News.Com.Au

An anonymous American bidder has paid $212,856 for the moon buggy used by James Bond in the film classic Diamonds are Forever.

Organisers for the auction at London's Planet Hollywood said they were "disappointed" by the sum paid as the buggy had expected to fetch between $425,713 and $567,617.

The moon buggy - created by Oscar-winning designer Ken Adam and custom car-maker Dean Jeffries - grabbed the public's imagination when Sean Connery, as Bond, escaped from a Nevada Desert moonscape in the 1971 movie.

After filming the Bond film the moon buggy fell into disrepair, but was rescued by the James Bond International Fan Club and Archive.

Following last night's sale the buggy, of which no copies were made, will remain at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, which has leased the machine until April 2003. It has been on display there since 1993.

The auction witnessed bids from around the world via telephone and Internet links and was beamed live to American television.

- Must have been that defected wheel, which fell off during filming, that caused the 'disappointed' bid.





Sean Connery To Do Skoda

August 1, 2001 - Ananova

Skoda are reported to want Sir Sean Connery to appear in a new TV advert for their cars.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Skoda are willing to pay Connery £1 million to drive its new Octavia model in an advert to be shown in mainland Europe.

The paper says the ad will show Connery driving the car through the Scottish highlands before emerging at the Eilean Donan Castle near the Kyle of Lochalsh.

Connery will be forever linked with Aston Martins thanks to his role as James Bond.

- If the commercial shoot offers Connery the luxury of playing golf between takes, count him in.





Diamonds Are Forever's Moonbuggy Could Be Yours

July 31, 2001 - DSBG

The moonbuggy, used by James Bond to escape his enemies in Diamonds Are Forever, is expected to fetch up to £200,000 at tonight's Planet Hollywood auction.

The buggy, which featured in the 1971 classic film, is going under the hammer at an event which also sees the sale of some of the original Thunderbirds puppets, Dr Evil's costume from the movie Austin Powers and props from the movies Gladiator, Sleepy Hollow and Mission Impossible.

Unlike other vehicles that have graced the screen with OO7, the moonbuggy was the only model made, the space machine became famous when Sean Connery, as Bond, crashed through the building of multi-millionaire Willard Whyte's Nevada desert space facility 'Techtronics' to escape capture.

After the film the buggy - created by Oscar-winning production designer Ken Adam and custom-car designer Dean Jeffries, who also created the Green Hornet's car 'Black Beauty', - was discarded and allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. It was later found and restored by the James Bond International Fan Club and Archive.

The auction is due to begin at Planet Hollywood in Coventry Street, Piccadilly, London, at 7pm GMT, 3pm EDT.

- It would make rush hour traffic more interesting.





Edge Director Plucked For 20th Bond Picture

July 30, 2001 - by Michael Fleming for Variety

NEW YORK - Lee Tamahori is in the cross hairs to direct the 20th installment of the James Bond franchise, which will begin shooting in early 2002 with Pierce Brosnan returning as 007 for a fourth time.

Though at least a half dozen A-list shooters vied for the untitled MGM project, the New Zealand-born Tamahori emerged as the clear front-runner late last week.

Tamahori made his feature debut with the critically acclaimed urban drama ``Once Were Warriors,'' and he has proved himself adept at directing drama through such films as the Alec Baldwin/Anthony Hopkins starrer ``The Edge'' and, most recently, ''Along Came a Spider.'' The Paramount sequel to ``Kiss the Girls'' cost in the low-$30 million range and has grossed about $74 million in the U.S.

The effort to land a Bond helmer has been unfolding for the past several months, with numerous directors considered by the studio and franchise producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

The three previous Bond films have collectively grossed more than $1 billion worldwide. The most recent one, 1999's ''The World Is Not Enough,'' was directed by Michael Apted.

The new Bond film will be released in late 2002, in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Bond series based on the Ian Fleming novels.

None of the parties involved could be reached for comment over the weekend. Negotiations are expected to begin within the next few weeks.

- Hmm, if this proves to be true, could Australia or New Zealand be the next Bond location?





Stars Bond With Moore

July 26, 2001 - MegaStar

Hollywood stars have honoured James Bond legend Roger Moore at a tribute lunch.

Joan Collins, Sir Michael Caine and George Segal were among those who spoke of their high regard for the 73-year-old screen idol at a Variety Club Children's Charity event in central London.

Moore, who has supported the charity for sick, disabled and disadvantaged children for many years, presented a Sunshine Coach on behalf of Variety Club to the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy.

"I'm honoured and delighted", said Moore. "It's recognition of having lived long enough and having also worked very happily for the past 10 years for Unicef and also having done various things for Variety."

Moore said his work with United Nations' children's charity Unicef involved meeting UN workers, 80 per cent of whom are out in the field.

This helped when he raised money because he could tell contributors how the cash was being used, he added.

- I think Roger Moore may end up being remembered to many children as 'a saint' rather than OO7.





EW Picks the Next Bond

July 24, 2001 - DSBG

Gossip magazine ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY has tossed in their opinion as to who they think will be the next OO7 after Brosnan hangs up his Walther. They judged seven actors by Tux-ability (T), Babe-ability (B), Gadget-ability (G) and Bond-ability (OO7). The actors are:
CHRISTIAN BALE - TBGOO7
RUSSELL CROWE - B
RUPERT EVERETT - T
HUGH JACKMAN - BOO7
JUDE LAW - TBG
EWAN MACGREGOR - BG
CLIVE OWEN - TOO7
Christian Bale was the one EW picked overall as the successor to Brosnan.

- And now you know why I'll never pay for this magazine.





Is James Bond About To Meet His Match?

July 23, 2001 - by Adam Sherwin for The Times

A NEW action hero is about to give James Bond some explosive competition. Andy McNab, the Gulf War hero-turned-novelist, has signed a million-pound deal to turn his undercover agent Nick Stone into a big-screen star. Brad Pitt is being lined up to play Stone, an ex-SAS freelance operator hired to carry out “deniable operations” for British Intelligence.

Miramax Films has snapped up four of McNab’s bestsellers and hope to turn Stone into an action hero franchise to match James Bond.

Like Bond, Stone will have a series of glamorous and duplicitous girlfriends. But where 007 escapes a tight corner with dry wit and a raised eyebrow, Stone will be packing some heavy ammunition.

The first film will be Crisis Four, in which the British agent is blackmailed into tracking down and killing a rogue CIA agent who turns out to be his former lover.

Mark Lucas, McNab’s agent, said: “Nick Stone will be the anti-James Bond. Andy will co-produce the films but we are not insisting on a British actor. Brad Pitt has got the perfect combination of brains and brawn and he is ideal for the role.”

- Die Hard meets OO7.





Moonbuggy To Be Star Of Auction

July 23, 2001 - Ananova

The dune buggy which James Bond used to beat a hasty exit in Diamonds Are Forever is expected to fetch up to £200,000 at auction later this month.

The dome-topped space age vehicle is among a range of movie and TV-related items going under the hammer on July 31.

The film and entertainment auction will take place simultaneously at Planet Hollywood branches in London and San Francisco.

Sir Sean Connery was seen jumping into the buggy as he investigated millionaire Willard Whyte's Nevada Desert space centre. As he crashed out of the training centre, pursued by villains, the scene became one of the most famous chase sequences in the Bond films.

Unusually, only one buggy was ever built. It played a key role in marketing the film and went around the world to advertise it. But after its starring role to plug the film, it fell into disrepair until being located by film fans and restored.

It has been on display at the Las Vegas branch of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain since 1993 and is priced at between £150,000 to £200,000.

- If you see a mad professor in a minibus, just smile.





Aston Martin Wants James Bond To Drive Its New Model

July 18, 2001 - Ananova

James Bond could be back behind the wheel of an Aston Martin in the new 007 film. Aston Martin hopes Bond will drive the new £158,000 Aston Martin Vanquish, which goes on sale in the UK in August.

But the film's producers Eon Productions says no decision has been made about which car will feature. Filming is due to start next year.

Pierce Brosnan has driven BMWs in the 007 films Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough.

In the early days of the Bond series, Sean Connery drove an Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger. Timothy Dalton also drove an Aston Martin - the Vantage Volante - in The Living Daylights.

Aston Martin, which is owned by Ford, will make 200 of the 180mph Vanquish models this year and 300 next year.

There is now a waiting list for the car which lasts until the middle of 2003.

- Without the ejector seat, no doubt.





TWINE On GameBoy Color

July 12, 2001 - Reported by Gareth Holden for ConsoleDomain.com

Electronic Arts will publish The World is Not Enough for the Game Boy Color, making history as the first licensed Bond title for the handheld system.

Players will step into the role of British secret agent, James Bond, in this third-person arcade/action game. Bond will be equipped with 15 state-of-the-art gadgets to conquer the eight movie-based levels, which will include a submarine level and one set on the streets of London.

The game will be released in Autumn 2001.

- Now you'll have a license to kill in the palm of your hand.





Brosnan Wants Brett Ratner As Next Bond Director

July 12, 2001 - Ananova

Rush Hour 2 director Brett Ratner has revealed Pierce Brosnan wants him to direct the next Bond film.

Mr Ratner told www.zap2it.com that the Broccolis didn't want him to do it.

The Broccoli family run the company that has produced all the James Bond films since Dr No in 1962.

Mr Ratner said: "He (Pierce) called me and said I want you to direct the movie. He said he was a huge fan. Unfortunately, he has nothing to do with it.

"The studio (MGM) wants me, and Pierce Brosnan wants me but the Broccolis don't want me. But I begged them. I call them everyday and send them cookies."

"It's 'cause I'm American really. I'd be the only American director ever to direct a Bond. Also, I'm not 50 years old, and I have a mind of my own, and I'm a strong personality.

"I'm sure it could use some new lifeblood. I'm trying to infuse some excitement into them."

- No, the main reason you are not being considered is because the producers want class and style brought to the films. Not someone who will use this low-life publicity stunt to get your new movie noticed. Thank you Mr. Ratner, your 15 minutes are up.





Helmers On Bond Short List

July 11, 2001 - SciFi Channel

Stuart Baird (U.S. Marshals) and Stephen Hopkins (Lost in Space) are on the short list of directors to helm the next James Bond movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The next film, the 20th in the longstanding franchise, will star Pierce Brosnan as 007.

Directors Brett Ratner and Tony Scott were also reportedly interested, but neither is still under consideration.

- Although this is only gossip, my money is on Stuart Baird who is also an accomplished film editor. And we all know how film editors have contributed to this series.





Want To Own A Piece Of Octopussy?

July 10, 2001 - DSBG

Now get your mind out of the gutter, that's not what I meant. But for those who love auctions and love to own something that was used in a Bond film, here is your chance. Providing you have the cash. The Acrostar Jet from the pre-credit sequence in Octopussy (1983) is up for bids at American Movie Classic's First LIVE Online Auction beginning at 9pm EDT this Thursday, July 12th.

The plane has been in many air shows in the past and is in need of repairs but would be welcomed in any collection. Included in this bid is an Octopussy poster signed by Maud Adams.

Also up for bids is a poster from Diamonds Are Forever.

Another AMC collectible auction will take place July 28th at 2pm EDT. Many OO7 items will be up for bid including some Opium Bags from The Living Daylights and props from GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough.

- Soon to be 'the property of a lady' or gentleman.





Bond Star To Marry In 'Quiet Man' Church

July 10, 2001 - Reuters

DUBLIN-James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is to marry fiancee Keely Shaye Smith in an Irish church that featured in the 1952 John Wayne movie The Quiet Man, it was reported on Monday.

The Roman Catholic ceremony would take place at St Mary's Church in Cong, in western Ireland, in the grounds of the exclusive Ashford Castle Hotel where the reception was to be held, an Irish newspaper said.

Widower Brosnan, the current screen incarnation of British super-agent 007, twice postponed the wedding to Smith, 36, last year after his teenage son Sean suffered spinal injuries in a traffic accident.

Brosnan, 48, born in Navan, north of Dublin, was reported to have signed a six-figure contract with a British magazine for photographs of the August 4 wedding.

- After the reception, Brosnan will reanact the famous John Wayne/Victor McLaglen fight scene with his former producers of Remington Steele.





James Bond Type Gadget Fools Police

July 10, 2001 - Ananova

A Dutch car driver has been fined for using a device that made his registration number vanish.

The plate disappeared while he was driving, but could be seen again when he stopped. He was caught after officers in a patrol car spotted his vehicle, apparently without a licence plate.

Police in Heerde say they come across drivers trying to use similar tricks to evade speed cameras once or twice a year. "Once we had a car which could move one number in front of the other," a police spokesman said.

"We also had a registration number with a contraflash, so it was invisible on photographs. But we've only seen an invention like this in a James Bond movie."

The 39-year-old driver was fined and allowed to carry on his way.

- Where can I get one of these plates?





Corgi's Are Forever

July 9, 2001 - BusinessWire.com

CHICAGO - Corgi Classics has signed an exclusive distributor agreement to market Corgi's "007 James Bond" line of die cast car collectibles packaged with MGM-licensed Bond DVDs.

One of the most successful film franchises in motion picture history, the Bond movies remain popular with movie buffs. Each MGM DVD movie will be offered with the specific Corgi vehicle used by James Bond in that film. For example, the DVD movie "Goldfinger" will pack with Bond's Aston Martin DB5. Packaging will incorporate artwork from the film's title.

"Collectors want to augment their collections with unique pieces or items," said Corgi Classics Sales Manager Ross Hadley. "What we're doing is adding a new dimension to a `007' collectibles line that has been successful since 1965. And we're doing it with new tooling for nearly all of the Bond vehicles we manufacture."

- Finally we get to own Corgi vehicles from On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy.





Judi Dench Helps Coma Victim

July 9, 2001 - The Daily Record

OSCAR winner Dame Judi Dench has formed a close bond with coma-stricken Scots tour guide Carole Sandover.

Carole suffered serious brain damage in the South African coach crash which killed 27 British holidaymakers in 1999.

Aberdeen-born Carole's family said they had found new strength through Judi.

The actress, who plays spy boss M in the new James Bond movies, will visit Carole, 45, this week in a bid to speed her recovery.

Carole's husband Tony said: "It is fantastic to have the support of someone like Judi and she has been an inspiration to us."

Judi will visit Carole at the Heatherley Cheshire Home, West Sussex, tomorrow.

The screen favourite will also appear at a special concert on August 3 in Surrey, to raise funds to send Carole for treatment at the famous Schmeider Clinic in Germany.

- Perhaps it is better to change the title of Dame Judi to Saint Judi. Yet another example of a fine human being.





Is Brosnan Better Than Moore?

July 3, 2001 - DSBG

According to E-Online, MGM publicist Dick Guttman has gone on record saying the Brosnan OO7 films “have cumulatively grossed more than $1.3 billion, more than all the Roger Moore 007 films combined.”

Dr. Shatterhand found this very interesting since the cost of living and the fact that more theaters worldwide are showing the films now then they were back in the Cold War 70s and 80s. With that in mind I decided to do some calculating.

Keep in mind that the former USSR did not allow the Bond movies to be shown in their country until the early to mid 1980s. This would make a big difference in itself. Also, ticket sales have more than doubled worldwide since the late 70s. The average U.S. ticket alone cost in 1979 was $3.50 compared to $8.00 today.

According to Kimberly Last James Bond OO7 OHMSS, the three Brosnan films have only grossed a total of 1.1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

If we were to adjust the worldwide ticket sales of the seven Roger Moore films to today’s cost of living prices (using the American Institute for Economic Research calculator - http://www.aier.org/colcalc.html), you will see that Moore’s films total $2.3 billion. Brosnan’s films are $1.2 billion less than the Moore films.

Comparing individually certain films, Moore’s The Spy Who Love Me (1977) grossed a total of $538 million compared to Brosnan’s GoldenEye (1995) at $405 million. On the other hand, Brosnan’s Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) grossed $376 million compared to Moore’s A View to a Kill (1985) at $249 million.

- I guess this is what some call 'smoke and mirrors'.






Possible Villain For Bond 20?

June 29, 2001 - DSBG

According to AintItCoolNews.com - actor Nigel Havers may be 007's next nemesis in the Bond series. Havers has performed in such films as Speilberg's EMPIRE OF THE SUN and David Lean's PASSAGE TO INDIA. He also played the part of Lord Lindsey in the Academy Award winning picture CHARIOTS OF FIRE. He is recently seen on British TV's version of the X-Files called DANGERFIELD. An interview by BBC Online has Mr Havers quoted as saying he would love to do an epic film. Perhaps the Bond producers may grant him his wish. Bond 20 is scheduled to begin filming in early 2002.

- This story is unconfirmed, but Dr. Shatterhand will keep a close eye on it.





Dracula Star Is And Is Not Bond

June 25, 2001 - DSBG

Little-known actor Gerard Butler has been confirmed to be the next James Bond. Barbara Broccoli wants him to take over when Pierce Brosnan gives up the role, according to the Daily Record. The Scottish actor is currently starring in Wes Craven's Dracula 2001. He said: "I was getting phone calls from Los Angeles saying that it had been announced on CNN that I had been named the new Bond. Since then I've had calls from Israel and South Africa."

Now EON Productions, the producers of the OO7 films, have dismissed the story as "nonsense".

A spokeswoman for the 007 company said "There is no truth in this story whatsoever. Pierce Brosnan must be a bit miffed with all this talk about his job."

Eon Productions says: "Pierce Brosnan IS James Bond and there are no plans to find a new actor to play him."

- May it be noted here at Dr. Shatterhand's Botanical Garden that the issue of Brosnan's future replacement will be put on moratorium until Bond 21.





At Wimbleton Greg Rusedski Wants To Bond On Her Majesty's 2nd Service

June 25, 2001 - The Mirror

GREG RUSEDSKI dreams of winning Wimbledon but there is another unfulfilled ambition that burns almost as fiercely within him.

The British No.2 is a James Bond nut and would love the chance to play super suave spy 007 on the big screen.

Rusedski is such a Bond fan that wife Lucy has bought him all 17 films on video and he also has a framed poster of Sean Connery hanging in his exclusive London home.

But boyhood fantasy will give way to reality this week as Rusedski bids to become the first Brit to win Wimbledon for 65 years. "I would love to play James Bond but I guess that won't happen," said Rusedski. "The next best thing would be to get a walk-on part in one of the movies. That would be cool.

"I don't have the dark hair or the British accent to play Bond, but just to be in one of the films would be enough.

"I don't know if I could play a villain. But I could come on and offer Bond a drink. It would have to be a vodka Martini - shaken, not stirred, of course." Rusedski has already done some work outside of tennis, filing behind-the-scenes tennis reports for the American station CNN.

The name's Rusedski...Greg Rusedski.

- From Wimbleton with Love-30





Bond Will Be Back... But In A BMW?

June 17, 2001 - by Gina Davidson for ScotlandOnSunday.com

It seems James Bond is more likely to be shaken than stirred by the prospect of getting behind the wheel of a BMW.

After negative publicity surrounding the German marque, the producers of the 007 movies appear reluctant to see their man taking control of a Beamer.

BMW recently headed a list of the motor industry’s biggest flops after its ill-fated merger with Rover - an affair which ended in a £2.5bn divorce bill and almost bankrupted the German company.

The car was also branded "uncool" by the producers of the latest Hollywood box office hit Swordfish when they were searching for a four-wheeled star. The uproar caused when the British Aston Martin was replaced by BMW as the car for the archetypal English spy has never died down.

It was claimed that the German company had struck a three-film product placement deal which would see Bond drive its flashiest sports cars in return for an estimated £80m.

When Pierce Brosnan first stepped into the polished brogues of Bond in the 1995 film Goldeneye, he slipped behind the wheel of a BMW Z3 Roadster Prototype. Then he progressed to the BMW 750iL in Tomorrow Never Dies before briefly moving on to the BMW Z8 in The World Is Not Enough, before it was sliced in two.

A spokeswoman for Eon Productions, the producers of the Bond movies, told Scotland on Sunday: "The car for the next film has not been confirmed. I can’t say that it will or won’t be a BMW. We get a lot of companies wanting us to use their vehicles and we will have to wait and see what happens."

A decision not to renew the relationship with BMW for the next movie, due to begin shooting next January, could open the door for British car manufacturers already making waves in Hollywood.

Aston Martin could be reunited with Bond after it supplied its new model for Angelina Jolie’s latest movie Tomb Raider. Reports have also suggested that the Ford-owned company has already sent details of its 200mph, £158,000 Vanquish to Eon Productions, detailing ways it can be fitted out with gadgets. Car companies know that just a few minutes in a hit film can provide enough worldwide exposure to boost a firm’s image and sales.

However, a spokesman for BMW said he did not believe the company had a tarnished reputation in the UK because it was the firm’s second largest European market. It sold 68,000 cars last year and 35,000 so far this year. He added that more than 200 screenplays per year landed in the company’s film department in Munich, and processing them made up almost 50% of the work of that department.

"At the moment it’s not certain what kind of vehicles 007 will drive in the 20th Bond. The script is not yet finished so it’s too early for BMW and Eon to judge in which way a BMW car could appear, if at all," said the spokesman.

"We are expecting the script and we are in continuous contact with Eon. There was no three film deal - we negotiated each of the last three movies from case to case. For us it depended on the story, on the availability of cars and on which vehicle is good enough for Bond.

- Personally the best scene with a Bond car was the Aston Martin/Farrari race in Monte Carlo. Although the BMW is a superb car, I would rather see Aston Martin back in Bond 20.





Goldfinger Makes AFI's Heart Stopping List

June 12, 2001 - DSBG

The American Film Institute showed their top 100 best American film thrillers of all time Tuesday evening and at number 71 was GOLDFINGER. Many Hitchcock and Spielberg films dominated the list with JAWS at number 2 and PSYCHO at number 1. It is probably fair to assume that Goldfinger was chosen as the quintessence of the entire Bond series.

- Not bad since the film was British made.





Bond Line Most Favorite Among British Film Goers

June 11, 2001 - Ananova

A new poll of British film goers has revealed the nation's favourite film catch phrase.

More than 2,000 cinema goers took part in the poll which was conducted by London's City University and WENN.

James Bond came out on top with the line: The name's Bond, James Bond. It was first said by Sean Connery in 1962's Dr No. Second was Arnold Schwarzenegger's line from 1984's Terminator: I'll be back.

The full line up of the top 20 favourite film catchphrases is:
01 Bond, James Bond - Dr. No
02 I'll be back - Terminator
03 Play it, Sam - Casablanca
04 Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn - Gone With The Wind
05 You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! - Italian Job
06 Here's Johnny - The Shining
07 You can take our lives, but you'll never take our freedom - Braveheart
08 Life is like a box of chocolates - Forrest Gump
09 Show me the money! - Jerry Maguire
10 Phone Home - ET
11 I'm the King of the World - Titanic
12 To infinity and beyond - Toy Story
13 May the force be with you - Star Wars
14 Go ahead, make my day - Sudden Impact
15 You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? - Taxi Driver
16 I made him an offer he couldn't refuse - The Godfather
17 That's another fine mess you got me into - Way Out West
18 Why don't you come up and see me - She Done Him Wrong
19 Look at me Ma, I'm on top of the world - White Heat
20 I coulda been a contender, I could've been somebody - On The Waterfront.

- Top of the world, Mr. Fleming, Mr. Broccoli and Mr. Saltzman.





John Gardner's THE LIQUIDATOR On TCM

June 7, 2001 - DSBG

One of Dr. Shatterhand's favorite 'Non Bond' spy films from the mid 1960s is on Turner Classic Movies June 16th at 12:00 am EDT. THE LIQUIDATOR stars Rod Taylor as Boysie Oakes, a reluctant American playboy recruited by the British secret service to be their silent assassin and to eliminate any counterspies. Trevor Howard also stars as Colonel Mostyn, an 'M' type character who recruits Boysie, and Jill St. John plays Iris. But some Bond fans might get a kick out of Shirley Bassey singing the title song. Great fun with tongue and cheek humor. The movie is based on the novel by John Gardner who penned the OO7 novels of the 1980s and early 90s such as Nobody Lives Forever and Brokenclaw.

- The name is Oakes, Boysie Oakes.





Barbara Broccoli To See Robbie

May 30, 2001 - Ananova

Robbie Williams' gig at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will be watched by one of the producers of the James Bond movies. According to the Daily Record, Barbara Broccoli will be at the gig in July to see if Robbie could be the next 007. Robbie has always said he would love to play the role when Pierce Brosnan quits.

- Why can't you just be a good rumour and DIE?





Connery Was Cheap

May 25, 2001 - Ananova

Connery landed James Bond role 'because he was cheap'

Sean Connery says he only got the role of James Bond because he was cheap. Connery says Bond author Ian Fleming really wanted Cary Grant for the role in Dr No, but he would have cost too much money.

Connery told the Daily Record: "I got it because they could afford me. Ian Fleming, a terrible snob, but a very interesting guy, wanted Cary Grant or Trevor Howard. They couldn't afford either of them.

"The movie's budget was $1 million. Then the Americans devalued, so it was $960,000. I think I got $5,000."

Connery says playing the part of 007 was a lot harder than many people think. "There have been four others and they have all had problems with it," he said. It is maybe easier to be the first because you set the bar which they all have to cross. To get the combination of trying to be dangerous and funny and smart, although you are not necessarily all three anyway. At the time I set a certain standard and those who have followed certainly haven't done it any better."

- And he called Fleming a 'snob'?





John Cleese Will Be Q

May 24, 2001 - Ananova

John Cleese has agreed to appear in three more James Bond films.

Cleese appeared in The World Is not Enough as R, the assistant to Desmond Llewelyn's Q. Llewelyn was killed in a car crash in December 1999. Cleese says that, in the next film, his character will become Q.

"But only on account of this awful accident," he told About.com.

He said: "I actually said to Desmond, it was his idea he should have an assistant because I suppose he felt at some point he was going to have to move on.

"I always assumed that he would do the next two or three because he had no trouble with his lines and then there was this terrible car accident".

Although Cleese will be involved in the next three films, he admits he will only spend about four days on set for each film.

- Moving up in the world or at least moving up the alphabet.





Shirley Bassey Offers 'Diamonds' To Stop AIDS

May 17, 2001 - Ananova

The sparkling stars came out in Cannes to prove that diamonds are still a girl's best friend. Movie stars past and present turned up in force for a charity auction with the theme of diamonds to help raise money for the fight against AIDS.

The glittering array of celebrities included Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Dame Shirley Bassey, who performed her classic James Bond hit Diamonds Are Forever for the audience.

The Cinema Against AIDS event is held every year during the Cannes Film Festival to raise funds for the American Foundation For AIDS Research (Amfar).

This year's bash followed the theme of diamonds and up for grabs in the auction were 12 diamond necklaces worth about £25,000 each. Dame Elizabeth was wearing a pink chiffon dress encrusted with jewels, sparkling diamond earrings and necklace. But despite all the jewellery she insisted that diamonds were not a girl's best friend: "They give you a lot of fun, but people are more important,".

- Let us hope that Diamonds remain forever, not AIDS.





Inventor Lands 007 Film Role

May 16, 2001 - Chippenham News

VETERAN inventor Bob Channon hopes his latest creation could feature in the new James Bond film.

The producers of the latest 007 film are keen to use Mr Channon's tiny, remote-control surveillance helicopter for stunt filming in the secret agent's next cinema outing.

But the Nitrohawk helicopter, which took the Corsham-based engineer 10 years to develop and weighs just 15kg, is already proving successful in more serious and commercial roles.

The miniature aircraft, capable of carrying high-tech surveillance equipment, is in demand for commercial uses such as land and building surveys.

And Mr Channon also hopes his creation could help clear up anti-personnel landmines in global troublespots.

He is in talks with Warminster-based Specialist Gurkha Services, which specialises in the removal of landmines, and other unexploded objects.

The Nitrohawk, which is under two metres in length, can get as close as six feet to an object to video it, sending information back to a monitor up to a mile away.

This means it could identify places where landmines are, reducing the risk to those on the ground with the dangerous job of removing them.

Film producers are keen to use the £25,000 helicopter as its 156mph top speed makes it ideal for close-up filming of high-speed stunts.

"The camera works independently of the helicopter. It's a two-man operation, one person does the flying while the other can be looking at what is coming back through the monitor," said Mr Channon.

"I think it's going to be used for the next Bond film."

As well as his new helicopter, Mr Channon is the man behind a special infusion pump system for diabetics.

A diabetic himself, he invented the pump more than 20 years ago and it is still in use today.

- This new invention is certainly an 'All Time High'.





Roger Moore To Play Gay Role

April 30, 2001 - BusinessWire

Roger Moore is to play a gay man in a new comedy.

The former James Bond will co-star with Cuba Gooding Jr in Boat Trip - the first film from director Mort Nathan.

Moore will play Lloyd, an elegantly dressed gay man who served for 30 years in the army.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the story will revolve around two straight men who embark on a Caribbean cruise in search of love and romance,only to realise that they are on a gay cruise.

Gooding will play one of the straight men who befriends the only female member of the crew, who mistakenly thinks he's gay.

- Well, now I know how Cuba became his choice to play OO7.





EA GAMES Creates James Bond 007 In...Agent Under Fire for the Playstation 2

April 30, 2001 - BusinessWire

Giving Bond fans a fresh new reason to cheer, EA GAMES(TM) is in development with the latest interactive entertainment title based on MGM and Danjaq's blockbuster international superspy, James Bond. James Bond 007 in...Agent Under Fire(TM) for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system will deliver a unique and complete action, stealth and driving experience that thrusts the player into the deceptive and exciting world of secret agent 007. The game will feature an all new and original single player storyline -- written exclusively for the platform -- while staying true to the Bond legacy by delivering all the furious action, stealth, whirlwind driving, state-of-the-art gadgets and sophisticated spy-craft that 007 fans crave.

As Bond, the player must defeat the evil criminal mastermind Malprave, head of a rising terrorist organization that is bent on ruling the world with their clone technology and army of clones. Helping players along the way in Agent Under Fire will be the gorgeous Zoe Nightshade and a cast of familiar characters. Each of the more than 10 exotic locations around the world will contain a generous offering of challenging, well-balanced missions and objectives.

Agent Under Fire gives players the option of blasting their way through each level using high tech weaponry, quietly relying on spy-craft tricks and state-of-the-art gadgets as well as nerve tingling stealth to accomplish mission objectives - or both. The driving levels will feature an array of 007-inspired exotic cars and automotive combat from the Bond movies. Only through the clever utilization of Q-lab weapons and gadgets along with Bond-style wit, will the player be able to thwart Malprave's plans...and get the girl.

Agent Under Fire will utilize next generation console technology to help bring life to the full environmental physics and detailed 3-D environments, such as a massive deep sea oil rig set atop a secret underwater base. The game will feature rich and highly detailed graphics, such as strikingly beautiful women, and the thrilling Bond moments that distinguish the 007 films from all others.

Agent Under Fire for the PlayStation 2 is being developed by EA in Redwood City, CA and will be published and distributed worldwide in late 2001.

- Get ready, "Agent Under Fire" will become the new 'rumoured' movie title.





Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Director Dies

April 23, 2001 - Ananova

Ken Hughes, the director of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, has died at the age of 79.

He suffered complications from Alzheimer's disease at a nursing home in Panorama City, California.

Hughes also directed the James Bond spoof Casino Royale, starring Woody Allen, among a host of other films.

- Sincere condolences from this website.





Robbie's OO7 Hopes Bomb Out

April 23, 2001 - Ananova

The James Bond casting director has ruled out Robbie Williams landing the role of 007 when Pierce Brosnan hands in his licence to kill.

The singer was thought to be keen to land the movie role after posing as the secret agent in his video for number one single Millennium, which featured strings from the theme tune to You Only Live Twice.

But Debbie McWilliams, who cast Bond hits like The World Is Not Enough, told internet radio station netfm.com he was not right for the famous part.

"Robbie Williams, bless him, I don't think is quite what we're looking for," she said. "Russell Crowe, maybe, but I think it will be somebody less well known than them."

She said a Bond had to be "devastatingly handsome, incredibly fit and available".

"Strangely enough, if you saw what was in my postbox, it seems that every man who walks this earth thinks he is James Bond."

In the interview, part of netfm.com's Bond week which kicks off today, she said she had not caught sight of the next film in the series, known in the industry as Bond XX.

"The script is on the producer's desk but I haven't been able to open it yet. I gather we're going to some far-flung places this time."

McWilliams, who also cast 007 movies such as Goldeneye, The Living Daylights and A View To A Kill, said she was unhappy about Denise Richards being cast in the most recent film, 1999's The World Is Not Enough.

"I wouldn't want to be held responsible for that piece of casting. She wasn't my idea of a nuclear scientist."

- Wait a minute. She is credited for casting THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and yet does not want to be held responsible for Denise Richards part. I suppose she thought Tanya Roberts had strong theatrical training.





Roger Moore Tips The Next James Bond

April 23, 2001 - Carlton.com

While James Bond casting directing Debbie McWilliams believes that Russell Crowe would be the perfect replacement for current 007 Pierce Brosnan (she's really going out on a limb with that choice, eh?), one-time ladykiller and spy-slayer Roger Moore has his own opinions. And they're as quirky as the seven-time Bond star.

The 73-year-old actor tells Popcorn that he'd like to see Cuba Gooding Jr installed as the next 007, claiming it's about time there was a black James Bond. Gooding Jr won a best supporting actor for his work alongside Jack Nicholson in 'As Good As It Gets' and was last seen surviving the brutality of Robert De Niro in 'Men Of Honour'.

Moore's choice is just the latest name to be linked with the role of Bond, which will become available after Pierce Brosnan bows out next year in the as-yet-untitled 'Bond 20' (it is not, repeat not, titled 'Beyond The Ice)'. Despite remaining a tabloids' favourite, it's unlikely that Robbie Williams will be asked to star as Britain's king of espionage.

Cuba Gooding Jr for Bond? You read it here first (and possibly last).

- When Roger was playing the part of OO7, a reporter ask him if he did his own stunts. Roger replied, "Of course I do. I also do my own lying."





Brosnan May Make More Bond Films

April 19, 2001 - Ananova

Rumours that Pierce Brosnan is to quit playing James Bond after his fourth appearance as the spy could be premature.

Brosnan told the Calgary Sun: "I'm on record that I want this next Bond film to be the most surprising, realistic and edgy of any I've done. If this one works out the way I hope it does, I'd certainly be up for coming back for a few more."

The next Bond movie is the last Brosnan's contractually obliged to make. The movie is due to start filming in the autumn.

- Realistically speaking this is a surprise to me and it is keeping me on edge.





Two OO7s Shaken and Stirred

April 19, 2001 - Teletext.com

Both former OO7 Roger Moore and current James Bond Pierce Brosnan have come out against the secret agent's macho image. Moore, 73, said he regretted how the Bond movies romanticised violence. "I was only a hero because I had a script that said I was going to win. I don't like guns." He now hates 007's "awful pose with a gun".

Roger Moore was the "definitive Bond" says John Glen, director of five 007 movies. He reveals that the violence in Licence To Kill may have contributed to MGM/UA's decision to part company with him as Bond director. Glen also talked about his strained relationship with Timothy Dalton, whose casual style offended Glen's perception of Bond.

Meanwhile, Brosnan, 48, said Bond should be allowed to display fear and vulnerability. Brosnan, who starts filming the 20th Bond movie in October, said: "I just try to make the man real.

"I think it necessary for an action hero to have fear and vulnerability. I don't think it demeans the character," he said, adding his fourth Bond film will be his last.

Credited by critics as being the best Bond since Sean Connery, Brosnan said they never met until the Scottish actor visited the set of The World Is Not Enough, released in 1999.

"He was very gracious. I can't really remember what we said: I was so in awe of meeting the fellow."

- Hmm, James Bond in awe of James Bond.





Brosnan Denies Whitney Houston Rumour

April 17, 2001 - ShowbizIreland

Irish actor Pierce Brosnan has firmly denied reports that Whitney Houston has been approached by 007 producers about becoming the next Bond girl. "That's news to me," says Brosnan. "I don't know her. But I think she's got a great voice. I think she's got talent out there as an actress."

Brosnan, who is getting rave reviews for his performance in the Tailor of Panama, confirms he has turned down the starring role in Basic Instinct 2 - for the second time. "I just didn't want to go there," he says.

The actor's publicist in LA also confirmed to ShowBizIreland.com that the actor and his fiancee Keely Shay Smith choose Ashford Castle in Mayo for the wedding together and that Keely had no issue with Pierce having spent time with his late wife Cassandra Harris in the castle.

- Whew! I thought for a moment that with Whitney as a Bond girl the next movie title was going to be BLOWFINGER.





Brosnan Wants Ang Lee To Direct Bond 20

April 3, 2001 - Ananova

Pierce Brosnan wants Ang Lee to help direct the next James Bond film. The movie is due to start shooting later this year, with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson again in charge. The only snag may be Lee's insistence on being given the final cut on his films. Brosnan said: "Final cut is a mighty thing to give up, so Barbara and Michael and myself have work to be done."

- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Fleming?





Russell Crowe Lining Up For A Licence To Kill

March 29,2001 - Hong Kong iMail Newspapers Ltd.

LOS ANGELES: Oscar-winning Russell Crowe is on a roll, with the latest Hollywood speculation tipping him to be none other than the next James Bond.

John Glen, the man who has directed five of the Bond movies, said Crowe was the only man who could take over the licence to kill.

``I see the Bond movies going on for another 20 years and I can't think of anyone better than Russell to fill his shoes,'' the veteran director told People News, adding: ``To play Bond you need a great screen presence and someone who is believable in the part.

``Looking at him you could easily imagine Russell capable of savagely bumping off the baddies with a wry comment.'' Many think that after proving his action credentials in Gladiator and Proof Of Life, the natural next step would be to take over the role immortalised by Sir Sean Connery and Roger Moore when present incumbent Pierce Brosnan retires from the role.

We haven't yet seen him wielding a Walther PPK, but on present form the Kiwi hunk would certainly be able to handle Bond's legendary womanising.

- The name is Gladiator, James Gladiator. Do you think Meg Ryan can play the Bond girl?





Benicio del Toro Wins Best Supporting Actor For 'Traffic'

March 25,2001 - DSBG

Benicio del Toro who played Dario in Licence To Kill won the Oscar for 'Best Supporting Actor' in Traffic. Del Toro - who stopped to shake hands with co-stars Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, was clearly delighted and a popular winner, eliciting whoops of approval from the audience when he took to the stage.

The 'Best Supporting Actress' was won by Marcia Gay Harden for Pollack, who thanked the crowd for even watching the film in the first place.

The category had been an open one but no-one will deny that with two British actresses nominated here the UK was hoping for early results at this year's Oscars. Some pundits might say that once again Dame Judi Dench (M) has fallen foul to the problem that having more than one British actor in a category split the vote.

- Dame Judi Dench will always be a winner at this website. She can perform in a small role and still dominate the picture.





Campbell Says "No" To Another Bond

March 23, 2001 - DSBG

Film director Martin Campbell, who helped jumpstart the 007 franchise with GoldenEye, was asked if he would direct another 007 film.

``It was great fun, but I just don't know how many more control rooms I could blow up.''

Campbell went on to direct The Mask of Zorro and last years Vertical Limit.

- But think of the 'bang' up job you would be able to show.





And The Spy Will Always Love You

March 21, 2001 - by Vitoria Newton for The Sun Online

POP diva Whitney Houston is being lined up to star as a Bond girl alongside Pierce Brosnan in the next 007 film.

Whitney, 37, has already agreed to the project in principle, and is now waiting to enter final negotiations with movie bosses. Multi-millionaire beauty Whitney - whose No. 1 hits include I Will Always Love You - is due to meet the widow of famous Bond producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli this week.

Dana Broccoli is chairman of her late husband's company, Danjak, and has the last word on everything to do with the James Bond movie franchise.

It was her who decided heart-throb Sean Connery was sexy enough to play Bond. Dana was also instrumental in signing up actor Timothy Dalton to appear as the British secret agent. Now she is said to be "extremely keen" to get Whitney involved in the new Bond movie, being filmed later this year.

A source said: "The movie bosses think Whitney would make a fantastic Bond girl and are desperately working out a deal which will be acceptable.

"She has all the glamour, talent and star power to make a huge impact.

"Whitney would also be a perfect choice to sing the big song from the soundtrack because of her amazing voice.

"Preliminary talks have taken place and both sides expect a deal to be struck soon."

If talks are successful, Whitney will join a long line of famous Bond girls including Ursula Andress, Honor Blackman, Joanna Lumley, Denise Richards, Sophie Marceau, Barbara Bach and Grace Jones.

The Bond movie will not be the first time Whitney has appeared on the big screen. She made her major film breakthrough in The Bodyguard, starring alongside Hollywood heart-throb Kevin Costner and singing on the hugely successful soundtrack - which included the smash I Will Always Love You.

Whitney, who is married to singer Bobby Brown, is currently in Los Angeles filming a pop video with The Backstreet Boys.

- I think they should get Whitney to sing the title song and Bobby Brown can be the evil drug lord.





Plot To Kidnap Pierce Brosnan Foiled

March 19, 2001 - Ananova

Cocaine barons in central America plotted to kidnap Pierce Brosnan while he was making his new film. But their plan to hold him to ransom for £2 million was foiled by film bosses.

They were tipped off by hired secret agents.

Brosnan was filming The Tailor of Panama when the plot came to light. He was guarded by ex-spies from the Israeli secret service Mossad. According to the Daily Star, the set of the film was surrounded by security guards while Brosnan and his co-stars Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis were around. The film's director John Boorman admitted: "The actors felt so oppressed. "They couldn't move without armed guards surrounding them, so we gradually toned it down."

Brosnan is the latest celebrity to have a plot against him foiled. Russell Crowe has had FBI guards after a plot to kidnap him was uncovered.

- Quick, someone check and see if Franz Sanchez is still alive.





Composer Wins Libel Payout In Bond Theme Case

March 19, 2001 - Ananova

Composer Monty Norman has won £30,000 libel damages over a newspaper article which said he did not write the James Bond theme.

Mr Norman sued The Sunday Times over the October 1997 article which he said "rubbished" his whole career.

The two-week hearing before Mr Justice Eady and a jury at London's Law Courts centred on whether the theme's composer was Mr Norman or fellow composer John Barry.

Mr Norman has the work registered with the Performing Rights Society and has always received the royalties.

Times Newspapers denied libel and argued it was true Mr Barry was the composer of the tune, described to the court as one of the most famous pieces of music in the world.

Mr Barry, 67, whose soundtracks include many Bond films, Born Free, Zulu and Midnight Cowboy, told the jury Mr Norman's claim that he, and he alone, wrote the tune was "absolute nonsense".

The case for Times Newspapers was that Mr Barry was brought in to write the theme at a late stage - six months into the project - because Mr Norman had run out of inspiration and there was a crisis.

Mr Norman, 72, of Maida Vale, west London, described the article as "scurrilous".

He said it damaged his reputation not just by saying that he did not write the Bond theme but by suggesting that he had been dishonestly taking the credit - and the royalties - for a composition that was not his.

Times Newspapers now faces a costs bill unofficially estimated to be well above £500,000.

Mr Norman said afterwards: "I am absolutely delighted - and vindicated. The Sunday Times always said that they were only interested in the truth. Well, now they've got the truth."

- I guess the Sunday Times now has to face the music.





Found: Soundtracks Of The 20th Century

March 19, 2001 - By Gina Davidson for Scotland On Sunday.com

THEY put the crack in Indiana Jones’ whip and the boom in James Bond’s explosive escapades.

They perfected the art of noise in some of the most famous films of the last century and captured on tape important moments of history. And then their aural efforts were left for decades to gather dust.

Now millions of these recordings by the masters of sound at Elstree Film Studios in London have been unearthed and, for the first time, will be made publicly available on the internet.

Four million sound effects were discovered last month when the collection, which had been stored at the film studios, was bought by recording company The Tape Gallery.

The extraordinary collection spans decades of motion picture and world history, including sound effects from every James Bond film.

Lloyd Billing, managing director of The Tape Gallery, said the recordings had been stored at Cinesound, part of Elstree studios.

He added: "There’s everything from every Aston Martin James Bond drove to 1,000-plus crowds from Cromwell, to the sounds of tribal chants in Zulu.

Billing, recognised as the UK’s leading soundman in his field, believes that by putting the sounds online, the availability of historic moments - both real and filmic - will bring the past to life and be of real value to film makers, musicians, web designers, theatres, schools, museums and production companies.

"This collection is unique, it has been recorded by the world’s greatest sound recordists, it contains sounds that no other library could possibly achieve. It’s now a massive undertaking to catalogue and digitise this vast collection.

"We have worked out for one man to catalogue and put online one million sound effects would take 10 years - so we’ve got a huge programme ahead - and of course the sound has been recorded in different ways over the years, from reel-to-reel to Digital Audio Tape and CD."

As the sound effects become available, he said, the public will be able to search, audition, purchase and download them instantly and they will cost between 50p and £10. Once purchased, users are then licensed to use the sounds in any project, but can not resell them.

- Sounds pretty good to me.





James Bond Star to Visit Seoul National Assembly Next Month

March 19, 2001 - Yonhap News

Roger Moore, best known for portraying super-spy James Bond in several films, will visit the National Assembly next month.

Moore, who serves as the goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), will have a luncheon meeting with National Assembly Speaker Lee Man-sup on April 19 to discuss the organization's activities in the 59th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September, for which South Korea will likely hold the presidency.

- A Saint Bonding with the Koreans.





Playing Miss Moneypenny Was My Shortest Role . . . It Was Over By 11AM

March 16, 2001 - by Nina Myskow for The Mirror

COOL, elegant and ravishingly pretty, actress Samantha Bond makes the perfect Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond blockbusters. But it's ironic that this cameo role is the one that gets her most recognition, because she is one of our most successful actresses.

And this is her moment on TV. She stars in The Hunt, a two-parter which begins on ITV on Wednesday - and in police drama NCS, to be screened on BBC1 on March 26 and 27.

Sam is married to actor Alexander Hanson and they live with their children Molly, nine, and Tom, eight, in Twickenham, South West London. We met at the Langham Hilton Hotel. Surprisingly unstarry and unluvvy, she is someone you warm to immediately.

I DON'T get excited about food. I'm just not particularly interested. And I suppose I just don't care enough about food for it to be a problem. I eat because if I don't eat, I get tired. So I tend to eat terribly sensibly. Me, I'm perfectly happy with some salad and a piece of fish. And I don't have a sweet tooth, which is a help. Nor a massive appetite.

Average, that's all I am. People are constantly asking me if I work out, and the answer is: "No, I don't." I have been to a gym. But, like, once. And the following week I was pregnant, so I terminated my membership. But for the last nearly 10 years, I've been juggling two children and working. Quite enough exercise for anyone. I've never been on a diet. Not since I was a teenager, and I'm 39 now. I was a very late developer physically. Until I was 14, I was like a stick, with protruding hip bones. At that point, I was desperate to be a ballet dancer. But I developed puppy fat, in a big way, between 15 and 17. I just became too heavy. I felt it, dancing. It physically affects what you're doing. Because the two things I was really, really good at, were turning - spinning, pirouetting - and jumping. And suddenly, in about six months, I was carrying over a stone more than I'd been used to. I was in the late 10s. I weigh somewhere between 91/2 and 10 stone now. I'm nearly 5ft 7ins and a size 12. But I also got breasts late. And you'd suddenly go up on point and try and spin, and your balance was off. Very depressing. I did that terrible teenage thing. Stupid diets. Like, not eating. Then eating sandwiches in the middle of the night because I was hungry. And so that put the mockers on my ballet career. Puppy fat is something that ballet schools do know about. They'd have worried, if I was good enough. But I wasn't. So I went to drama school, and my mum sent me to a health farm for a week. She didn't want me to be sad. I lost about half a stone, and it calmed me down about the issue of being heavy. I got my first job in rep. Rehearsing all day, and playing each night. It just works its way off you. It's been fine since.

When I was pregnant with Molly, I became enormous. I put on about 21/2st. I was the size of a house - I so loved it. And I'd just got my shape back, and had gone up to the Royal Shakespeare Company to play Rosalind in As You Like It when I was pregnant with Tom. So I had two years of it. I felt very good. You were allowed to lie on the sofa for no good reason. Richard and Judy practically moved in with me! But I loved not having to excuse my figure. I've made it sound ever so easy, but all women worry about their bodies. And particularly as an actress, when your body is part of your job. You're supposed to look good in a corset, or in a such-and-such. Corsets I'm all right at, actually. But bathing suits I was never good at. It was all a bit lumpy. Funnily enough, it's all so much better since the children. It's not that it's a different size. It just seems more the right shape, somehow.

Growing up in West London, I was the middle child. It makes you more determined, because nothing comes easily. It was a happy childhood, but, well into my grown-up years, there was constant striving for, particularly, my mother's approval.

Although ballet was my first love, I'd never have been as good as I'd wanted to be. And I would have been retired by now! Acting was like going into the family business. My father is an actor called Phillip Bond, and my mother became a producer. Pat Sandys. She produced The Bill. It helps to have come from a sensible stable. And I've been incredibly lucky. I've worked constantly. I've played Moneypenny in the last three Bond films, and there's one more with Pierce Brosnan. It's the smallest part I've played in a career that's nearly 20 years long. I was really lucky on the last film - I got five days. But the first, I was finished by 11 in the morning. But Pierce is a wonderful man, and it's great fun. As was The Hunt. I've loved doing it. I play Patricia, the lady of the manor. She has a wandering husband who has an affair.

COMPLETELY different from NCS, which stands for National Crime Squad, where I'm very tough, streetwise, together, bright.

And I've got a Kavanagh coming up, and a drama on Sky called The Ransom. And a Midsomer Murder. I haven't been seen on TV for over two years, and suddenly this. It will drive people insane!

So last year was a very busy year, filming. Fortunately, my husband Alex understands. He's just finished at the National Theatre, and he's a fantastic singer and played the leads in Aspects Of Love and Sunset Boulevard. We met when I went to see a friend in a musical.

He proposed in six weeks, and we got married 18 months later. Alex is tall, dark and handsome. A very gentle man. He's funny, and can be wilful and charming. We're both terrible home-makers - we like making nests. We like not doing very much and watching the telly. It's lovely. It is.

And he's a wonderful father. And yes, I'm smiling when I think about him. That's because I still love him. There was a year when we were apart. Just after the children were born, we separated. It wasn't something I wanted to happen in the least. The children were very small - two and one.

I don't believe that things go wrong because of one person. That's too naive. One person will take the action. The pair of us had got stuck. The children came very quickly, and we each turned the other into a demon.

But I went to South Africa with the National Theatre, and it was a week that absolutely changed my life. We went to Soweto for the day, and the experience makes you look at everything differently. Families living in a room the size of my bathroom, made of corrugated iron. I remember thinking: "I have so much. I have my house, my two children. We all have our health. There's one bit that didn't work." When I could suddenly see my life was OK, it was incredibly soon after that that Alex said: "I miss you." That was years ago now. We've been back together longer than we were together in the first place. It's one of the few things I really feel proud about, apart from my children. The fact that we had the courage to try again. When no one bothers. Everyone goes: "Wey! That didn't work. Get another one." It's made us stronger. It's the difference between two people in their twenties falling in love, and all the passion of that. And then two maturer people, thinking: "I really do love him." And: "I really do love her. And I'm going to sort this out and make it work." And in a sense the love is much deeper.

Marriage is hard, kids are hard work. To actively want, in 10 years' time, when they've gone, hopefully, to university - to still want to be sitting on the sofa, talking about nothing at all to the man you love... I'd like that. But that's not going to happen unless you put work into it.

Someone once said: "What causes most disappointment is expectation." Brilliant. I think there's a great deal to be said for looking where you are now. It's one of the things I've learnt over the last few years. Quite a harsh lesson. I lost my closest girlfriend to cancer. And I lost my mum last year. Oh dear, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! That's the first time I've said it. Let me blow my nose. She was a wonderful woman, but never one to make a fuss. When I played Juliet opposite Ken Branagh, Mum's comment was: "Well, we can talk about that for a long time." And then it was never mentioned.

But there are wonderful, funny gifts when people leave you. When we were sorting out the house, I found a box with my cuttings. I had no idea. And I do now know that she was very proud of me. I knew that before we lost her. When someone's ill, you have a little bit of time to say what you wanted. But I was amazed. And immensely moved. I wept buckets.

So when people say: "Are you very ambitious?" I go: "What would I be ambitious for?" It's not going to happen at 40 that Hollywood says: "Hey!" It's nothing I've ever striven for. And where I am now, it seems good. My work is there, my life at home is fulfilling and wonderful. It always sounds so bland to say that one is quite content. It's not a very modern thing to say. But I am content. Not all the time. But most of the time.

MUSTN'T MESS WITH MUSSELS MY BIGGEST DOWNFALL

MUSSELS. I love them, and they don't love me. And so I have to have this terrible bet with myself. I cannot eat them if I'm working the following day. I'm nearly always very, very ill. Throwing up, big-time. But I still eat them. Once a year I let myself have them - it's a huge celebration. I haven't had them for 18 months, but there are some pauses coming up. I could have a bit of a mussel space.

MY HEAD START

IN The Hunt, I'm a redhead, my natural colour. And in NCS I'm a peroxide blonde. White. I had never dyed my hair before last October, and it was a shock, I can tell you. So this is trying to get back to the colour I am in real life.

MY FAVOURITE DRINK

JAMESON'S whisky. I like it on the rocks, in a heavy tumbler. The whole thing. It's my nightcap, and I'd like one every night, if possible. I have quite good stamina, because I'm Scottish-Welsh rooted, so I have pretty good staying-power. But not when you're filming. I have a glass of wine with supper.

MY BIGGEST HATE

MY size-7 feet. That may not sound very big, but it feels it when you're trying to buy elegant shoes. Because of years of dancing, my feet are not the most attractive. Not the bunions, yet, but a lot of calluses. And you cannot wear little strappy sandals if you've got big feet. They look hideous. My fantasy, if I ever won the Lottery, is to have my shoes made for me.

MY WORST VICE

SMOKING, 20 a day, but they are ultra-lows. I stopped when I was having my children. I started again about six years ago. I just drifted. But if you catch me smoking after June, you'll know I'm a very poor person. I've got a bet on with my son Tom, and if I haven't stopped by June 7 I have to pay him what I spend in a year. Isn't he smart? So I am going to stop. I really hate the fact that I do it.

MY DARK SECRETS

I'M the wrong colouring for sunbathing. Don't do the sun, don't like the heat. I am the woman underneath the parasol. But I got a brilliant garment from Dickens and Jones last summer. It's got a hood and long sleeves, it comes down to the floor, and it's sun-reflective material.

- Well, there you have it. Everything you wanted to know about Samantha Bond, but were afraid to ask.





Writer's Claim Over 007 Tune 'absolute nonsense'

March 15, 2001 - by Joanna Bale for The Times

AN Oscar-winning composer told the High Court yesterday that a fellow musician’s claim to have written the famous James Bond theme in the Sixties was “absolute nonsense”. John Barry claims that he wrote the music, but that he agreed on a deal in which Monty Norman would take the credit in return for future involvement in Bond movies.

Mr Barry, 67, was giving evidence for The Sunday Times, which is contesting Mr Norman’s libel action over an article in October 1997 reporting that he did not write the tune.

Mr Norman, 72, of London, says the article, published under the heading “Theme tune wrangle has 007 shaken and stirred”, “rubbished” his whole career.

The theme, described to the court as one of the most famous pieces of music in the world, gripped the public in the 1962 movie Dr No.

The case, being heard before Mr Justice David Eady and a jury in London, centres on whether the composer was Mr Norman or Mr Barry, whose soundtracks include many Bond films, Born Free, Zulu and Midnight Cowboy. He told the court yesterday that he had written the theme.

Mark Warby, counsel for Times Newspapers, said: “Mr Norman has said that he, and he alone, composed the James Bond theme. What do you say to that?” Mr Barry replied: “I say it is absolute nonsense.”

James Price, QC, for Mr Norman, said that the article damaged his reputation by suggesting that for 35 years he had been dishonestly taking the credit, and the royalties, for a composition that was not his. The hearing continues.

- Now I am really confused. Was this a verbal deal between Norman and Barry? Or is there a written deal somewhere?





Bond Wears Brosnan Out

March 13, 2001 - SciFi.com

Pierce Brosnan told the Cinescape Online Web site that he's not eager to jump back into the role of James Bond. "If the studio had its way, we'd be churning them out every 18 months," Brosnan told Cinescape columnist Cindy Pearlman. "I think it's wiser to have larger gaps between them. It's a taxing movie, and you need to rest up between adventures."

As for the proposed 20th installment in the venerable film franchise, Brosnan was tight-lipped, saying only, "I want this next Bond to be the most surprising and realistic of any I've done."

- How about my idea? The villain is a former lover of 007 and her henchman is their illegitimate child who is a psychopath.





First Bond Novel Sells For Record £11,400

March 8, 2001 - by Adam Sherwin for The Times

A FIRST edition copy of Casino Royale, the novel in which James Bond made his debut, has been sold for £11,400 at auction, believed to be a record for an Ian Fleming book. Bidding was fierce for the 1953 spy thriller. Only 4,700 first edition copies had been printed, priced 10s 4d. Fleming, an ex-naval officer, went on to become one of the most succesful thriller writers.

An estimate of £5,000 was placed on the novel by the auctioneers Dominic Winter, of Swindon, Wiltshire. But the antiquarian book dealers Bromlea and Jonkers, fending off 12 rival bidders, were happy to more than double that.

Christiaan Jonkers, of the Henley-on-Thames firm, said: “We specialise in Fleming first editions and we think this is a record for an auction. It really is in immaculate condition.”

Casino Royale was filmed as a spoof in 1967 with David Niven as Bond. Peter Sellers, Woody Allen and Ursula Andress also starred.

- And to think my English Literature professor told me that reading Ian Fleming would never amount to anything.





James Bond Article Left Composer's Ex-Wife Shaken and Stirred

March 8, 2001 - Ananova

Actress Diana Coupland has supported her ex-husband Monty Norman in a High Court libel case. She told a jury a newspaper article which reported the composer did not write the James Bond theme was blatantly untrue.

Ms Coupland starred in the 1970s TV sitcom Bless This House with Sid James. Her voice was used for the song Under The Mango Tree in the Dr No scene where Ursula Andress emerges from the sea in her famous white bikini.

The 70-year-old was giving evidence on Mr Norman's behalf during his libel action against The Sunday Times over an article published in October 1997. She said she was very angry when she read the article. She told Mr Justice Eady and the jury in London: "I telephoned Monty immediately and said 'This is appalling, and as I was with you when you wrote the James Bond theme I would be very happy to give evidence for you'."

Mr Norman's counsel, Mr James Price QC, asked her: "Did you know at that stage he was going to take action?" She replied: "No, but I thought he should."

Ms Coupland, who lives in Oxfordshire, said she was married to Mr Norman from 1956 to 1975, and they have a daughter. For the past 21 years she has been married to TV producer Marc Miller.

Mr Price asked if she had been in regular contact since 1975 with Mr Norman. "Sadly it was an unhappy divorce and we had very little contact other than to do with my daughter's upbringing and education," she said, agreeing this had continued up to the present day.

- I think they need to bring in Ursula Andress and clear this up about Ms. Coupland stealing her singing voice.





Sunday Times 'Rubbished' My Career, Claims Composer

March 6, 2001 - Ananova

Monty Norman has told a High Court jury a scurrilous Sunday Times story had rubbished his whole career. Norman is suing the newspaper for libel for reporting he did not write the James Bond theme.

The award-winning composer said the October 1997 article made him out to be a no-person.

He told the court: "I was devastated and distressed and still am."

Times Newspapers deny libel and will argue John Barry was the theme's composer.

Mr. Norman told the jury: "It was a scurrilous and slovenly researched article that rubbished my whole career. It said my whole career - all 53 years of it - was a failure and that the piece of music I was best known for I hadn't written. Apparently, John Barry had written that. It meant I had stolen it and been receiving for 40 years royalties that did not belong to me." He added: "If you read that article I am a no-person. It's airbrushed out my whole career. Suddenly, I do not exist and the only person of any note was John Barry. My feeling is the article was saying 'Here is this nobody, so he couldn't have written it. It must have been this somebody who had written it'."

When asked how he felt about the suggestion he had agreed Mr. Barry could write the theme "on certain terms", Mr. Norman said it was "monstrous" to suggest he would have agreed to anything like that.

"There has been a lot of talk about John Barry as the great composer and so on. John Barry at that stage had written a couple of minor films ... he was an orchestrator who was beginning to make a name for himself. At that stage I had already had five major musicals. I had also worked on five major cast albums and two films, so I was riding high and there was absolutely no reason to give up any part of my own baby to anyone."

Mark Warby, counsel for Times Newspapers, has told the court the article was a classic example of a report and comment piece on a live dispute - and was neutral and sensibly balanced with the reader reaching no other conclusion than Mr. Barry was claiming to have written the theme.

It was put to Mr. Norman today he should have sued Mr Barry and not the Sunday Times.

Mr. Norman replied: "It is the Sunday Times that have rubbished my career and that is why I am suing them."

- Why didn't Mr. Norman sue Mr. Barry? Or is it true that John Barry 'did' write the music?





Composer Sues Sunday Times Over James Bond Theme

March 5, 2001 - Ananova

Award-winning composer Monty Norman has brought a lawsuit against The Sunday Times for libel for reporting he did not write the James Bond theme.

The tune first gripped the public imagination in the 1962 movie Dr No.

It rang out again in the Royal Courts of Justice in London as 72-year-old Mr Norman began his action over the October 1997 article.

His counsel, James Price QC, told Mr Justice Eady and the jury that the two-week case centred on whether the theme's composer was Mr Norman or fellow-composer, John Barry.

Mr Barry, whose soundtracks include many Bond films, Born Free, Zulu and Midnight Cowboy, listened as Mr Price said Times Newspapers denied libel and would argue Mr Barry was the theme's composer.

The newspaper, said Mr Price, claimed the instantly recognisable tune owed nothing to Mr Norman except for a snatch of a much-altered melody line.

Mr Price said there was no attempt to justify Mr Norman's claim that the article also meant he was a little-known and unsuccessful musician.

Counsel said Mr Norman first trained as a singer and earned his living with bands on TV, radio and stage, before turning to composing, although he had no formal musical education.

Apart from Dr No, he had also written the music for stage and film musicals such as Expresso Bongo, Irma La Douce, Songbook and Poppy, and had won Ivor Novello, Evening Standard and Laurence Olivier awards.

Mr Price said the article damaged Mr Norman's reputation not just by saying he did not write the Bond theme but by suggesting that for 35 years he had been dishonestly taking the credit - and the royalties - for a composition that was not his.

He said the piece referred to Mr Barry as Oscar-winning but hurtfully suggested Mr Norman was a nonentity by calling him little-known and saying he started his career as pop balladeer "the singing Barber of Hackney".

It also suggested, said Mr Price, that Mr Norman was no good at the job as the Bond producers did not employ him for the following movies, bringing in Mr Barry in his place.

- Although I am a big fan of John Barry's music, if the Sunday Times is claiming John Barry is the rightful creator of the famous James Bond Theme, then why has it taken this long for Mr. Barry to claim the rights? Barry has said in articles that Monty Norman wrote the music, but a certain form of it. Barry later enhanced it.





007 Brosnan Is a Father Again

February 28, 2001 - Reuters

LOS ANGELES - The fiance of actor Pierce Brosnan, environmental journalist and author Keely Shaye Smith, has given birth to the couple's second son together, a spokesman for the star said on Wednesday.

Paris Beckett Brosnan was born on Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to a brief statement issued by publicist Dick Guttman.

The couple's first son together, Dylan Thomas Brosnan, is three years old.

Smith and the Irish-born James Bond star had planned to marry last year but postponed their wedding after Sean Brosnan, the actor's teenage son from his first marriage, was seriously injured in an automobile accident.

The couple are now planning to tie the knot this summer. Brosnan's wife of 10 years, Cassandra, died in 1991.

- I guess between Keely and Pierce they'll always have Paris.





Brosnan Unlikely To Play Bond Again

February 28, 2001 - Ananova

Pierce Brosnan won't play James Bond again once he finishes the next movie.

Samantha Bond says she thinks he'll hang up his gun after the next Bond film. She has played Miss Moneypenny in all the Brosnan Bond films.

She said: "He'll probably call it a day after the next one. The rest of his career is going so brilliantly he can do that."

Bond told Teletext filming on the new 007 movie was due to begin in January. She admitted she'd be reluctant to continue in the role of Miss Moneypenny once Brosnan goes. "There will be big changes when Pierce goes. That relationship would change," she said.

Miss Moneypenny is a delight to play, said Bond, but she wishes she had a few more lines. "I'm a realistic actress and with her you have to remember she will only ever get ten lines of dialogue per film," she said.

- Now remember, there is no such thing as a small part. Just small people.





Connery Had The Most Fun With Indiana Jones

February 19, 2001 - Ananova

Sean Connery says Indiana Jones was the most fun of all the films he's made. Connery says making the film was also hard work. The former Bond actor has also said he'd rather watch anyone else play James Bond than himself. "The best experience was Indiana Jones because I enjoyed working with Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford," he says.

"It was hard-working film-making. It was a fun-spirited film-making experience."

On his 007 role, he sayd: "Each one has a hard time playing the Bond role. Everyone plays it differently. Maybe I set too high a standard."

He said he didn't mind being identified with 007 even though he hasn't played the role in 17 years. Connery declines to comment on why women still find him sexy even at the age of 70. "Sorry, but I am going to take that with me to the grave," he says. He was speaking at a press conference in Berlin where he is promoting his new film Finding Forrester.

- So does that mean he'll never say never to playing Professor Jones?





Planet Hollywood Pays $60,000 For Ursula Andress Bikini

February 14, 2001 - The Canadian Press

LONDON (AP) - The bikini worn by original Bond girl Ursula Andress in the James Bond film Dr. No sold for more than $60,000 US at Christie's auction house Wednesday. "This is the most important piece of memorabilia ever sold at auction," said new owner Robert Earl, a co-founder of the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood, who bid for the ivory-coloured bikini by telephone. He said he plans to display his prize in the chain's new restaurant in Times Square in New York City. In the first Bond film, Andress emerged from the sea in the bikini, defining the sexy image of the Bond girl and achieving screen immortality.

The swimsuit was one of more than 250 items from 21 James Bond movies at the largest-ever sale of props from the films.

The most expensive item was a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 driven by actor Pierce Brosnan when he starred as James Bond in the 1995 film Golden Eye. It went to British computer entrepreneur Max Reid for $228,737.

The car was a Valentine's Day present for his wife, Helen, but Reid said he'd probably share it.

"Every boy dreams of being a James Bond character sometime," Reid said.

A specially adapted Rolex wristwatch worn by Roger Moore in the 1973 film Live and Let Die sold for $36,250. A clapperboard from the film Tomorrow Never Dies sold for $9,370.

A Walther PPK air pistol held by Sean Connery in the advertising poster of From Russia With Love sold for $20,445 and an Omega stainless steel diver's watch owned and signed by Pierce Brosnan sold for $10,222.

The sale total, Christie's said, was $869,348.

- What a shame, I was hoping to make a killing on those Topps MOONRAKER cards.





SPECTRE Rears It's Ugly Head, Again

February 12, 2001 - DSBG

Dr. Shatterhand's friends at OO7Forever have uncovered a website designed by associates of Kevin McClory. McClory is the man who successfully sued Ian Fleming for writing THUNDERBALL and not crediting him and Jack Whittingham for the ideas that make up that story from their screen treatment JAMES BOND OF THE SECRET SERVICE. Since those days, McClory has been a thorn in the sides of the late Albert R. Broccoli and MGM. He goes as far as calling MGM modern day pirates. McClory's website is titled Spectre Organization and appears to have stopped being updated since July of 2000. The site is very biased and favors McClory and his attempts to secure the rights to make another Bond movie. Check it out at www.spectre.ie.

- There is a useful four letter word and McClory is full of it.





Bond Sale Hit By Authenticity Bug

February 12, 2001 - by Richard Brooks, Arts Editor for The Sunday Times

A SALE of James Bond memorabilia to be held at Christie's this Wednesday is being investigated by trading standards officers because of doubts over their authenticity.

This weekend trading officers from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea confirmed their inquiry into items in the auction, billed as one of the biggest sales of 007 artefacts ever.

Star lots include the silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 from GoldenEye, the bikini worn by Ursula Andress in Dr No and the specially adapted Rolex wristwatch from Live and Let Die. Christie's is expecting the sale to raise up to £400,000; a similar auction in 1998 raised nearly £500,000.

Any doubts about the authenticity of some of the items in the Bond sale will be a big blow to the auction house, which, like Sotheby's, the other leading London auction house, has in recent years been subject to inquiries about the way it has conducted its business.

Various items are being queried both by trading standards officers and by the James Bond archive and fan club.

They include a gun said to be from Never Say Never Again, two harpoon guns from Thunderball, 007 cufflinks, bullets said to be from The Man with the Golden Gun, Andress's towelling robe from Dr No, and various props, such as a telephone bug detector "thought to be a prototype for the prop used by Connery in From Russia with Love".

There is also a double-panel poster from Thunderball for sale at between £600 and £900, which is clearly a single panel.

"Christie's is a name the public latches on to," said Graham Rye, president of the Bond archive and fan club. "Yet I'm worried about the lack of provenance of certain goods. People want to be sure they are owning the real thing."

Trading standards officers, who last week interviewed Carey Wallace, organiser of the Bond sale, and the Bond archive are keen to ensure that the descriptions of goods in the catalogue are correct.

Yet the gun, a prop Walther PPK, estimated to fetch between £2,000 and £4,000 and said to have been bought for Connery in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again, does not appear to be the same as the gun used in the film.

This was a Walther P5, as the still of Connery, also in the catalogue, reveals. The clear difference is in the shape of the muzzle. The sale gun has a round muzzle while the one in the film is triangular.

The firearms film rental company that has supplied James Bond films since 1962 has confirmed the gun barrel difference between the PPK and P5.

A rubber Walther P99 stunt gun used by Pierce Brosnan in the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies is said in the catalogue to be one of only five made for the stealth boat scenes in the movie. The gun is on sale for between £2,000 and £4,000. According to experts, many more were produced and are valued at £40 each.

There are also doubts over the Thunderball harpoon guns. "The pictures of the two on sale in the catalogue do not match those from the still of the movie, which is also in the catalogue," said Rye.

The catalogue is worded carefully: "The harpoon guns, believed to have been purchased for the film and possibly used as set dressing, although not identifiable in Thunderball."

Such harpoon guns were widely available as high-street items for skin-divers in the 1960s.

Concerns have also been raised about 007-stamped bullets in the auction, which are said to have come from The Man with the Golden Gun. The catalogue, however, admits they "were probably made for promotional purposes".

Similar bullets were offered in Christie's 1998 Bond sale. However, Bond experts say they have never heard of such bullets, nor have they ever seen any visual evidence linking these bullets to the film.

Some of the most intense bidding is expected for the pale blue towelling robe worn by Andress as Honey Ryder in the first Bond movie, Dr No.

However, there is no indication in the catalogue if the name of the actor appears inside. Films made at Pinewood in that period would have a wardrobe department that labelled every item of the principal artists' wardrobe.

The robe in the film also looks far too large for Andress, as if it were a man's. Although there are no doubts about the authenticity of the famous bikini worn by Andress as she emerged from the sea in Dr No, there is a dispute over its sale.

It is believed Christie's and Wallace may face a claim for not paying their contact an introductory commission for the swimsuit when it was brought to them for the sale.

A jacket worn briefly by George Lazenby, who was Bond just once in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, is on sale for between £600 and £800, even though it was simply lent to him during a Bond festival.

This weekend Wallace was not returning phone calls. Christie's issued a statement saying it could confirm that it was contacted by trading standards officers: "We met them last week and provided them with additional information. We understand that they will not take any further action."

Kensington and Chelsea said on Friday it was "currently investigating" allegations over authenticity. It declined to say whether or not it would take further action.

New rules to stop "cultural icons" from going abroad are being proposed by the culture secretary, Chris Smith. He wants to lift the rule where only items more than 50 years old are barred.

- Two words come to mind: BUYER BEWARE!





Sean Connery Backs Submarine Blockade

February 12, 2001 - Reuters

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Anti-nuclear protestors, backed by James Bond star Sean Connery, tried to bring Britain's main Trident nuclear submarine plant to a standstill on Monday.

Demonstrators blocked the entrance of the plant, taking direct action against nuclear installations and equipment involved at the Trident system.

Sean Connery, who could not attend the demonstration at the Faslane base in person, gave his backing for the Trident Ploughshares campaign.

Connery told former Scottish National Party head Alex Salmond: "I cannot be with you in person because of filming commitments. But be assured that I am with you in spirit and give you best wishes for your demonstration and your just cause."

Organisers of the protest, which began at dawn, hope that hundreds of supporters from across Britain and Europe will unite for the demonstrations.

Strathclyde police said they had arrested 40 men and 19 women out of a group of around 200 protesters at base's north gate.

Some protestors had strapped themselves at the top of large scaffolding tripods to make it more difficult to remove them.

The naval base on the west coast of Scotland is home to four of Britain's nuclear submarines, which Ploughshares argue are illegal because they cannot distinguish between military and civilian targets.

At a similar protest last year, more than 180 people including nuns and Japanese monks were arrested.

- As it says on Connery's arm: Scotland Forever!





UK Studios Merger Takes On Hollywood

February 12, 2001 - BBC News

Pinewood Studios, famed for its James Bond movies, is buying rival Shepperton studios - which made 102 Dalmatians - creating a firm valued at more than £100m. The move will bring together two of Europe's biggest studios, enabling the joint company to attract big-budget film-makers.

Two-thirds of the work at Pinewood, in Buckinghamshire, and west London's Shepperton already comes from Hollywood.

Shepperton is owned by a consortium which includes film directors Ridley Scott, the director of blockbuster hit Gladiator, his brother Tony, who directed box-office triumph Enemy of the State.

Pinewood was sold last year by leisure group Rank for £62m and is headed by former Channel 4 boss Michael Grade.

The enlarged business will have the same number of stages as its Hollywood contemporaries.

- Watch out Hollywood, the British are coming - the British are coming!





Brosnan Pokes Fun At 007 Role In Latest Film

February 12, 2001 - Gulf Daily News

BERLIN: PIERCE BROSNAN presents a brilliant and funny parody of the 007 James Bond character which made him famous in The Tailor of Panama which screened at the Berlin film festival competition yesterday.

Director JOHN BOORMAN said that Brosnan was terribly happy to escape the banality of cinematic heroism in the movie, an adaptation of a JOHN LE CARRE black farce about spying gone wrong in Panama.

Brosnan is more than politically incorrect toward women in this film, he is a downright heel. It is with relish that he this time around portrays a perfect English cad, rather than a perfect English gentleman.

Le Carre said that he had felt it was important to show what had and what had not changed since the end of the Cold War.

The film tells the story of a tailor, played by GEOFFREY RUSH, who gets involved with a British spy (Brosnan) and makes up information in order to get paid, setting off a series of events that eventually lead to a US invasion of Panama.

- Of course film director John Boorman also directed Sean Connery in a wedding dress for his film Zardoz. Do I detect a pattern here?





Agent 007 Heading Back To Japan

February 6, 2001 - The Japan Times Online

NEW YORK (Kyodo) British super-spy 007 will travel to Japan on a mission for the first time in nearly 40 years in the next James Bond novel, set for publication in May 2002, according to author Raymond Benson. The only other Bond adventure set in Japan is "You Only Live Twice," written in 1964 by 007's late creator, Ian Fleming.

In order to gather background material for the new book, Benson, a 45-year-old Chicago resident, will visit Japan in early April with the help of the Chicago office of the Japan National Tourist Organization, an affiliate of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.

The organization expects the novel to help attract more tourists to Japan.

"If the novel is published and made into a movie, it would be a great opportunity to make Japan better known" in the world, an official at the Chicago office said.

Benson was chosen in 1995 as the new Bond writer by a publishing firm established by Fleming. He has written five Bond stories so far.

In the next tale, the enigmatic hero is sent to investigate the death of a British man who is married to a Japanese woman and heads a large company in Tokyo.

Planned stops during Benson's visit to Tokyo include the Ginza shopping district, the Kabukicho entertainment area and the Tsukiji wholesale fish market. He also hopes to travel to Sapporo and Naoshima, Kagawa Prefecture.

- Perhaps Bond will meet up again with Tiger Tanaka or Dikko Henderson?





Austin Powers - Son Of Spies!

February 5, 2001 - Carlton.com

Three months ago Popcorn exclusively revealed that director Jay Roach wanted 'Austin Powers 3' to be a prequel and hoped Sean Connery would star in the movie. Well, according to the New York Post, the 'Meet The Parents' helmer is about to get his wish granted.

The American paper reports that Roach and 'Austin Powers' star Mike Myers have already signed up Connery and Honor Blackman to play the long-lost parents of the supersexy British spy in the third instalment of the comedy franchise.

Blackman, of course, played Bond girl Pussy Galore in 'Goldfinger' - a name that has subsequently been the source of many a gag in the two 'Austin Powers' movies (Alotta Fagina, Felicity Shagwell, etc), while Connery was the original 007.

Although Roach has been quite open about his plans for the third 'Austin Powers' movie, Mike Myers has remained tight-lipped about the project. True to form, Myers' spokesperson is denying any deals have been made for 'Austin Powers 3', telling the New York Post that "no script has been written". Sean Connery will be seen on UK screens this month in 'Finding Forrester', while Honor Blackman pops up in 'Bridget Jones' Diary' this April.

- I can see it now. Sean Connery playing James Powers and Honor Blackman playing Pussy Powers in the delivery room giving birth to Austin. And Daddy says, (heavy Scots accent) "Push, Pussy, Push".





MGM Buys Stake In Cablevision Unit
Movie Studio Gets 20% Of 4 Networks

February 2, 2001 - by Harry Berkowitz for Newsday.com

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, whose films range from James Bond to Woody Allen to the Pink Panther, is buying a 20-percent stake in American Movie Classics, Bravo and two other cable networks controlled by Cablevision Systems Corp. for $825 million, the two companies announced yesterday.

The MGM partnership is expected to provide the four film- and arts-oriented networks and their 145 million subscribers with access to a 4,100-film library, while allowing the Bethpage-based cable company to maintain control of the four networks it had just recently considered selling off in their entirety.

The movies, including United Artists and Orion Pictures titles, span 19 James Bond films, 19 Woody Allen films including "Annie Hall," all the Pink Panther films, "Rocky," "Silence of the Lambs," "Dances With Wolves" and "Rain Man." MGM films include "Hannibal," the "Silence of the Lambs" sequel.

The all-cash deal, which puts the total value of the four networks at $4.125 billion, was negotiated after Cablevision rejected recent offers under $4 billion from CBS owner Viacom Inc. and Barry Diller's USA Networks to buy the four completely, sources close to the negotiations said. Philadelphia-based Comcast Cable had also discussed a possible deal.

The four networks, part of Cablevision's Rainbow Media unit, also include the Independent Film Channel and WE: Women's Entertainment, which was formerly called Romance Classics.

- I can hear it now: "Tonight on Women's Entertainment - Roger Moore stars as OO7 in Octopussy".





Bond Memorabilia On Show

February 2, 2001 - BBC News

A collection of James Bond memorabilia - including the bikini worn by Ursula Andress in the film Dr No - is going on show to the public to preview a forthcoming auction. The costume is expected to fetch between £40,000 and £50,000 when it comes up for sale at Christie's in London on 14 February.

Andress is said to have decided to sell the two-piece after she discovered it in the attic at her home.

The Swedish-born actress shot to fame when she emerged from the sea wearing the cotton bikini in the 1962 movie, the first official James Bond film.

"This bikini made me into a success," the 64-year-old performer said.

Also going on show at the Stoke Park Club at Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, is the silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, which is estimated to be worth between £100,000 and £150,000.

An earlier sale of Bond memorabilia, in September 1998, raised £478,000, with the most valuable item proving to be Oddjob's lethal steel-rimmed bowler hat, which fetched £62,000.

Christie's film specialist Sarah Hodgson said: "There are numerous other items being previewed including Bond props, gadgets, costumes and original posters.

"We have a diverse range on preview including a shark-gun used by Roger Moore in Live And Let Die and casino chips used in The World Is Not Enough.

"The items should appeal to the huge Bond fanbase around the world."

Casting is reportedly under way for the 20th Bond film, which has a rumoured working title of The Infection of The Ice. It is due for release in November 2002.

- With a title like that I would guess Ian Fleming is rolling in his grave. Let alone how do you make a hit song out of it. I'm still holding out for Casino Royale or Shatterhand.





The Truth About Catherine

January 31, 2001 - JamesBond.com

EON Productions and MGM/UA want to confirm that there is no truth in the rumour currently circulating in the media that Catherine Zeta-Jones has been screen tested for a role in the next James Bond film. Furthermore,there is no truth in the statement that we are planning to make a film in which James Bond will be played by a female actress. We would also like to add that the title of the next James Bond film will not be "Beyond The Ice".

- Was there any doubt?





007 Brosnan To Marry In August

January 30, 2001 - Teletext.com

James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is set to marry his long-term partner Keely Shaye Smith in August at Ashford Castle hotel in County Mayo.

He has booked all 83 rooms at a reported cost of £40,000.

Brosnan, 48, and Smith, 35, planned to marry last summer but had to delay when Brosnan's son Sean was seriously injured in a car crash. A second delay occurred when Smith also had a car accident.

- And if there is another mishap, the Justice of the Peace is across the street.





Survey Names Sir Sean As Top Film Actor

January 29, 2001 - Ananova

James Bond favourite Sir Sean Connery has been ranked as the greatest British movie actor of all time.

The Scottish star, whose voice is known around the world and whose distinguished looks mean he is still a sex symbol at 70, topped a poll of movie fans above figures like the late Lord Olivier and Sir John Gielgud.

The Orange Film Survey, of more than 10,000 voters, found Julie Walters was the most popular British actress.

Sir Sean found fame as 007 starring in six official films and returning to the role in the unofficial Never Say Never Again.

He is followed by Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Alec Guinness who died last year. Sir John Gielgud, recognised as one of the finest actors Britain ever produced but who was more at home on the stage than the screen, fails to make the top 10.

Instead younger actors like Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle are rewarded with places.

Walters, an Oscar nominee for Educating Rita, is followed by Dame Judi Dench, who took the best supporting actress Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare In Love.

Catherine Zeta Jones, tipped for an Academy award nomination this year, is in third place.

Top British actors: 1 Sir Sean Connery; 2 Sir Anthony Hopkins; 3 Sir Alec Guinness; 4 Hugh Grant; 5 Sir Michael Caine; 6 Pierce Brosnan; 7 Robert Carlyle; 8 Ewan McGregor; 9 Sir John Mills; 10 Lord Olivier.

Top British actresses: 1 Julie Walters; 2 Dame Judi Dench; 3 Catherine Zeta Jones; 4 Elizabeth Hurley; 5 Emma Thompson; 6 Liz Taylor; 7 Barbara Windsor; 8 Helen Mirren; 9 Dame Margaret Rutherford; 10 Dame Maggie Smith.

- Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton where are you?





Indiana Jones Tops Hero List

January 26, 2001 - BBC News Online

Whip-cracking archaeologist Indiana Jones has been voted the top movie hero of all time by readers of film magazine Total Film. The readers' poll put the character, played Harrison Ford, ahead of British secret agent James Bond.

James Bond has to content himself with the number two spot

Dr Jones, an American professor of archaeology who travels around the world saving precious artefacts from Nazis in the 1930s, has appeared in three films over the last 19 years.

Harrison Ford figures twice in the poll - his character Han Solo from the Star Wars films was voted the sixth best film hero.

Film heroes
1. Indiana Jones
2. James Bond
3. Maximus (Gladiator)
4. John McClane (Die Hard)
5. Ellen Ripley (Alien)
6. Han Solo (Star Wars)
7. Thomas "Neo" Anderson (The Matrix)
8. William Wallace (Braveheart)
9. Leon (Leon)
10. Richard (Rick) Blaine (Casablanca)

The most recent film hero to be included in the poll in Russell Crowe's Maximus from Gladiator, while the oldest is Rick Blaine - the smooth bar owner played by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.

Total Film editor Matt Mueller said: "Cinema thrives on spectacle and drama, so you need big characters to fill the big screen.

"Indiana Jones won by a massive margin, not just because Harrison Ford is as handsome as they come but because he's a boys' own hero for a generation who like their idols to be a smart as well as sexy."

Sigourney Weaver's battling character from the four Alien movies is the highest-ranked woman in the poll, figuring at number six.

Keanu Reeves, in the guise of Neo in The Matrix, also figures in the top 10, as does Mel Gibson, as the Scottish rebel, William Wallace, Bruce Willis, for Die Hard, and Jean Reno in Leon.

- But they failed to say that Indiana Jones' father is James Bond.





Brosnan's Got Family Trouble?

January 23, 2001 - ShowBiz Ireland

Pierce Brosnan's publicist in LA has told ShowBizIreland.com that neither he nor Pierce had been contacted about reports in the UK tabloids about his daughter and drug addiction. "No one contacted me about that story. Pierce is very busy with the imminent arrival of his Keely's new baby so he has not been nor is not going to Europe. The premier of his new film The Tailor of Panama is being held at the Berlin Film Festival and he is not going," Guttman said.

The story was that the daughter of the Irish 007 star is battling a devastating addiction to cocaine according to tabloid press reports.

Charlotte, Brosnan's daughter from his marriage to his wife Cassandra who died of cancer, was admitted to the famous Priory clinic according to the UK tabloid The Sunday People.

Attractive Charlotte, who failed to make an impression as an actress is being treated at the £4,000 a week clinic to overcome the drug-induced depression ruining her life.

Pierce (47) is desperately worried about his daughter and is said to have flown over from LA to visit her according to the tabloid.

However the actor, who was made a grandfather by Charlotte three years ago and Pierce is very close to her, has not been over according to his publicist.

It's been a long road for the Irish born star whose own father was never there for him growing up. After moving from Ireland when his was a boy he married Cassandra Harris who died of Cancer 10 years ago.

His son Chris was arrested for drunk driving and now faces arrest in California for snubbing a court. His other son Sean was recently involved in a car crash.

- So why doesn't the media give this man some breathing room and allow him to keep his personal life private?





Do I Hear OO7?

January 18, 2001 - Electronic Telegraph

Diamonds are forever, but for the James Bond fan the suave agent's memorabilia are even more desirable. Lewis Jones reflects on the man, the martinis and an upcoming sale at Christie's auction house

'The girl at the switchboard at the Ministry of Defence flicked the switch to Hold and said to her neighbour, "It's another nut who says he's James Bond. Even knows his code number. Says he wants to speak to M personally."' The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)

AH yes, the name's Bond. James Bond. There are few men outside China who have not impersonated 007 at some point in their lives. For a while in the Sixties I did so quite constantly. I read the books, saw the films, played with the toys - the Corgi Aston Martin, gold with red upholstery, with axle-blades, retractable bumper guns and, best of all, an ejector seat; the black attaché-case with self-assembly rifle and cunningly secreted plastic knife. Seeing them again 25 years later, at Christie's auction rooms in South Kensington, I feel a childish pang - and an adult one, too, as they now carry estimates of £200-£300 and £400-£600 respectively.

An alcoholic chain-smoking killer, a misogynist, a snob and a sadist, Bond might seem a rather excessive role model for a boy, even by Cold War standards, but I've never quite outgrown him, and still find him heroic in his vices. When I order a martini, or make a bet at a casino, the ghost of 007 still leers at my elbow, insufferably suave. But as I contemplate the lots in this grand car-boot sale, I wonder what might prompt me to covet them. I can imagine selling my old toys, but not buying them.

Nor do I imagine that Ian Fleming is much read these days. An American collector, asked if he preferred the films or the books, replied that he didn't know there were any books - so it's not surprising that among more than 200 lots there are no old typewriters and only one lot of first editions (Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty's Secret Service, estimate £150-£250). The rest is all props and spin-off merchandise. A battered number plate, jb 007, is estimated at £4,000-£6,000; the Aston DB5 driven by Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye (1995) at £100,000-£150,000.

Sarah Hodgson, who runs Christie's entertainment department, says Bond memorabilia are easily her biggest draw; for the first such sale, in 1998, the print run for the catalogue was 7,000 (2,000 is customary). There are a lot of Bond enthusiasts out there, particularly in America, where Hodgson will be showing highlights at Christie's in Los Angeles before next month's auction in London.

Collectors tend to favour one of the five actors who have played the role (if you exclude Peter Sellers in Casino Royale, 1967). As the first, funniest and most magnetic Bond, Sir Sean Connery remains a favourite, though it will be recalled that James once turned down a knighthood, in a telegram to M from Jamaica: eye am a scottish peasant and eye will always feel at home being a scottish peasant; posters for Connery's films (especially Goldfinger and From Russia with Love) are at a premium. For those who identify with Roger Moore's interpretation of the Commander as a creaky old smoothie, the sale includes one of his seduction outfits from Live and Let Die (1973) - 'cream yellow robe and pyjama set, with burgundy piping and matching burgundy slippers with JB appliquéd' (£3,500-£4,500). Also offered is a singularly unappetising pair of black brogues, worn by Pierce Brosnan in The World is Not Enough (1999) - £1,500-£2,000.

Over the years, Bond has been increasingly upstaged by Q's gadgets, and from Live and Let Die there is a Rolex with circular saw. Beaten-up and wonky, with no mechanism for watch or saw, it struck me as a nutty item on which to spend £15,000-20,000; it had a forlorn, tragic air, like Cinderella's paste tiara, kicked into a corner of a dusty old stage. Fantasy is a fragile thing, and when it collides with commerce in so blunt a way - under the hammer - bruises are to be expected. On Valentine's Day, in an electronic market of dreams, a bidding war will be fought between hobbyist Brits from the Home Counties, with their special sheds of Bondiana, and dotcom ironists on WAP phones in California for the sacred relics of mass entertainment. And there's bound to be at least one call from a Mr Bond.

The James Bond auction is being held at Christie's, London SW7 (020-7581 7611) on 14 February

- I wonder if you get any 'compressed gas bullets' with that Rolex?.





KGB Thought James Bond's Weapons Were Real

January 15, 2001 - Ananova

The KGB thought James Bond's weapons were real and tried to keep pace by working on new gadgets like a lipstick gun, according to a US museum.

The International Spy Museum, which opens in Washington in February 2002,

also reveals that the director of the CIA in the 1960s often watched Mission Impossible.

After each episode, the director would call those in charge of spying gadgets and tactics and ask: "Can we do that?"

The museum will cost $29 million and showcase thousands of years of espionage.

Malrite will run the museum. Its founder Milton Maltz came up with the idea for the spy museum.

Mr Maltz said many ideas for the museum came from an advisory board of historians and former spies with the FBI, CIA and KGB. A couple of years ago, the ex-spies gathered to swap stories, Mr Maltz said.

"Sometimes they would say, 'Is it still classified?' One side would tell their story and the other side's story would be different. It was fabulous because it was spy versus spy," he said.

Malrite has been collecting artifacts for the museum by buying items on the internet and asking former agents for souvenirs from their careers. The new museum's prized possession is an Enigma machine used by the Nazis to encrypt top-secret messages.

Among the other attractions will be a "spy school," where visitors can learn how to bug a room, try on disguises and use spy cameras.

While the museum will address the careers of real-life spies such as Mata Hari, there will also be a nod to Bond and his colleagues from the world of fiction.

That's because the real world influenced the entertainment industry and vice versa.

- So it was Hollywood that won the Cold War.





Former 007 Continues Mission After Crash

January 15, 2001 - Ananova

Roger Moore has completed an assignment in Sweden for the UN after being involved in a car crash.

The 73-year-old former James Bond star, and his Swedish girlfriend Christina Tholstrup were being driven from the airport to a television studio in Gothenberg, Sweden.

Airbags inflated and nobody was injured, said Unicef general director Ingvar Hjaertsjoe, whose son was driving the car.

Moore, who has been a goodwill ambassador for Unicef since 1991, did not go to a doctor but continued to the television studio, where he helped raffle a classic Volvo sports car.

- Shaken and stirred no doubt.





The Man With The Golden Air Pistol

January 14, 2001 - Ananova

The truth behind the famous image of James Bond clutching his Walther PPK is finally out - the man with the golden gun was really holding an air pistol.

Sean Connery struck the pose as publicity for From Russia With Love and the image of a tuxedo-clad 007 holding the gun has endured for almost 40 years.

But on the day of the shoot the props department forgot to bring Bond's Walther PPK - and a harmless fake was used instead, reports the Mail on Sunday.

The truth has been revealed by photographer David Hurn, who owned the air pistol and has now decided to put it up for sale.

Mr Hurn recalled arriving at Shepperton studios in 1963 to take the picture.

"We turned up at the studio and I was introduced to Connery. He was all ready to strike his pose when it emerged that the props department had not thought to bring his gun.

"By sheer coincidence, I owned a Walther air pistol which I used for target shooting and it was in the boot of my car," he said.

Mr Hurn said they took the pictures and advised the film's publicity department to airbrush out the gun's barrel and sight because they looked nothing like a real Walther PPK.

But he said: "Somehow the photographs were left untouched. The most remarkable aspect of the story is that not one of the world's thousands of gun experts has ever noticed."

Now Mr Hurn, of Tintern, Gwent, is selling the gun and it is expected to fetch at least £5,000 when it is auctioned alongside other Bond memorabilia at Christie's in London on February 14.

- Wait until SPECTRE hears about this. Blofeld's agents shot dead with a BB gun.





Judi Dench's Husband Loses Fight With Lung Cancer

January 12, 2001 - Ananova

Actor Michael Williams has died after a battle with lung cancer.

The 65-year-old appeared in sitcom A Fine Romance with his wife Dame Judi Dench, but was known in his own right as a classical actor.

He died yesterday at his home surrounded by friends and family, a statement issued by his agent Julian Belfrage Associates said.

With no aspirations to conquer Hollywood, Williams was content to win plaudits for his work in theatre and on TV with the occasional dalliance with movies.

Brought up in Liverpool, he proved his abilities during a 14-year stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company where he worked with Sir Peter Hall.

At the age of 12, introduced to Shakespeare, he decided he would be an actor. His parents, however, had other ideas and encouraged him to go into insurance. Their son dutifully joining Commercial Union, where he worked in the same office as Leonard Rossiter, another aspiring actor.

Williams had two years in the insurance trade before heading off for two years in the RAF after which he passed auditions for Rada.

Getting together with his wife was a long, protracted affair. He first became aware of her when a colleague at Nottingham Playhouse, where he was in rep, told him he had just split up with her.

They became nodding acquaintances and over the course of nine years regularly met up for chats but romance failed to blossom. Eventually they holidayed together and soon Williams could not bear to be parted from her.

When one of her productions headed for a tour of Australia, he jumped on a flight and surprised her by turning up unannounced. He stayed for a further six weeks.

"I asked her to marry me. Jude, quite rightly, said 'no, it's too romantic here with the sun and the sea and the sand. Ask me on a rainy night in Battersea and I'll think about it'. Some time after we got back we were walking down the road in Battersea and it happened to be raining, so I asked her again and this time she agreed."

The couple have one daughter Finty, whose real name is Tar Cressida, and a grandchild Sam.

- Sincere condolences from this website.





Bikini That Had 007 Shaken And Stirred Up for Sale

January 11, 2001 - Reuters

LONDON - The white bikini that left James Bond shaken and stirred in one of the most memorable scenes from the British spy film series has been put up for sale. Swiss-born actress Ursula Andress shot to stardom when she emerged from the sea wearing the white cotton bikini in the 1962 movie ``Dr No,'' the first 007 film.

``This bikini made me into a success,'' Andress, now 64, said.

The actress decided to sell the two-piece after she discovered it in the attic at her home, the Daily Telegraph reported on Friday.

The bikini is expected to fetch up to $75,000 when it is auctioned at a sale of Bond memorabilia at Christie's in London on February 14, the paper said.

- Do the sea shells go with it?





The Name's Clinton, Bill Clinton

January 11, 2001 - Ananova

Bill Clinton could be about to make his debut as a movie star in the next James Bond film.

According to Sky News, Bond's producers have offered the US President a cameo role when he leaves office in a few days' time.

Clinton is said to be fascinated by the idea of moving from politics to acting, although his role in the film wouldn't be much different from his current day job.

The scene in which he may appear involves Bond attending a reception at the White House with Clinton playing the President.

The next Bond film isn't due to be released until 2002

- Tentative title: "From Monica with Cigars"





MGM Strikes Bond Movie Deal with ABC Television

January 10, 2001 - Reuters

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has struck a licensing deal to air 13 of its classic James Bond movies on the ABC television network through Sept. 2002, the studio said on Wednesday.

Sources who knew of the deal put its value at $25 million, but a studio spokeswoman declined to comment.

The movies range from 1960s hits like ``Goldfinger'' and ''Thunderball'' up to 1983's ``Octopussy'' and will appear on ABC as part of the network's Sunday Night Movie series.

ABC is a unit of the Walt Disney Co.

- Hmm, I wonder if ABC will air their "narrated" version of On Her Majesty's Secret Service?





Brosnan At UN To See What He Can Do For World Body

January 8, 2001 - Reuters

UNITED NATIONS - Pierce Brosnan, the Irish born actor who plays James Bond, visited U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday to see what he could do for the world body.

Asked if he would give Brosnan "license to kill" for peace as the fictitious British agent Bond had, Annan told reporters: "Definitely not."

But "if by that you mean the power to make sure there are no wars and to stop all those who are committing these wars," Annan said he needed such license himself.

Brosnan has indicated an interest in "getting involved" at the United Nations and was visiting Annan and other U.N. specialists on disarmament, peacekeeping and children, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

Annan's office and some other U.N. agencies use celebrities as roving ambassadors to publicize the work of the world body.

"Celebrities can be very effective advocates, provided the issue is right," Annan said.

Brosnan, 47, could "use his voice to help us in some of the work we do, just like Michael Douglas, who has been very active in disarmament," Annan added.

Brosnan did not speak to reporters.

- Why should he speak to reporters when they ask ridiculous question as they did Kofi Annan.





East Germany Used Nuclear Tags on Dissidents

January 3, 2001 - Reuters

LONDON - In a ploy worthy of a James Bond villain, East German dissidents were "tagged" with radioactive chemicals that allowed secret agents to track them with hidden Geiger counters, New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

So that targets would not hear the distinctive clicking of the counter at close range, Stasi secret police agents wore the detector strapped under one arm, while a vibrating alarm was slung under the other arm.

The magazine's article was based on a paper by Klaus Becker, a leading radiation protection expert.

Evidence of the radioactive tracking exercise, dating from the 1970s and 1980s, was found in the vast Stasi archives by officials of the Berlin-based Gauck Commission, a German government agency investigating the former secret police.

"It is a remarkable story," Becker was quoted as saying. "It's the first well-documented case of such a thing."

"It really is the stuff of James Bond movies," said Barrie Lambert, a radiobiologist at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London.

"It's an unpleasant thing to do. The risk is not limited to the person being tagged. You'd be exposing other people, such as a spouse."

The Stasi files revealed that dissidents were labeled with radioactive substances in a number of ways. If people could not be sprayed with a radioactive solution the spies would label their cars, documents or paper money, according to Becker.

If the floors of rooms used for meetings by dissidents could be treated, the Stasi could follow anyone who attended.

The Stasi also developed an airgun that could fire tags made of small pieces of silver wire into car tires.

Becker said that while doses of radiation were usually below what would seriously harm or kill, there were mishaps.

"The Stasi marked West German deutschmarks with large amounts of scandium to see how they circulated and for what purpose. While they expected to retrieve them, they didn't and the notes disappeared without trace," said Becker.

The Stasi later calculated that if more than one note was in a man's pocket, the effect on his fertility "came close to castration," said Becker.

It has long been suspected that the Stasi used radiation as a weapon, but Becker said it would never be officially proved whether it was true that large X-ray machines were used to covertly irradiate dissidents in political prisons.

Becker left East Germany in 1951, aged 18. He later became a senior official of the Juelich Nuclear Research Establishment in West Germany.

- Didn't Q come up with this gimmick at the beginning of OHMSS?





Catherine Zeta Jones 'wants to be Bond, Jane Bond'

January 2, 2001 - Ananova.com

Catherine Zeta Jones wants to become the first female Bond. The Welsh star has reportedly told filmmakers she wants to appear in the next James Bond movie - as Jane Bond. But she is up against Lara Croft star Angelina Jolie, who is also eyeing up the role of a female 007. Zeta Jones said: "There is no way I am going to play Pierce Brosnan's sidekick, thank you. I'd play Bond, Jane Bond." Film producers are said to be worried about changing Bond's sex, the Daily Star reports. A movie insider said: "She's one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood at the moment and 007 producers believe she would be the perfect choice to be Bond's right-hand woman. "The face of Bond changes all the time and no-one bats an eyelid but there would be quite a stir if he changed sex." Zeta Jones did a screen test for the 20th Bond film, Beyond The Ice, but is said to have got cold feet as she wanted a bigger part.

- Hmm, do you think Michael Douglas wants the part of Moneypenny as well?





What's New Pussy Galore?

January 1, 2001 - Ananova.com

Tom Jones is being lined up to sing the theme tune to the next James Bond film. Despite rumours Robbie Williams was set to perform the title track, Peoplenews.com claims the film's producers want Jones, who sang the song for Thunderball in 1965. Peoplenews quotes a source within the Bond production team as saying: "It's early days, but we are desperately keen to have Jones do it." "The recent themes have not been huge successes but Tom Jones is a legend and the song would almost certainly be massive".

-As long as they don't use Sheryl Crow again.





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