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It’s Time to Take a Punt at The Gardner and Benson Novels

By Adam Farrington-Williams (FelixLeiter)
December 23, 2004

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John Gardner and Raymond Benson
Ever since the early 90s, Bond fans have been puzzled as to why EON has refused to adapt the continuation novels for their own films. Whether the producers are weak or just intellectually conservative, noone can really tell. But the fact is that there are 21 genuinely enthralling novels still sitting in the closet, waiting to be adapted to film. Now it may be that not all of these novels are adaptable, especially since some of them were written in the 80s when various organizations still existed that aren't around today, but surely the time has come where EON has to resort to the novels?

The “classic” Bond fan is becoming tired of the incipit rubbish that is being produced nowadays. And let me just assure you, this has nothing to do with Brosnan. It is the writers that get up my nose. Now the writers, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have obvious talent, but unfortunately most of this is going to waste. At least it was dissipated on the last film, Die Another Day. We want the UNION and Anoton Murik, not invisible cars and satellite after satellite! A bit of depth in some of the characters wouldn’t go astray either, which is an element that adapting the novels could bring to the series.

A New Trilogy
If ever there was a time to adapt these novels, it would be now. It’s the start of a new era. A new Bond, a new direction. Just imagine...Bond 21: High Time To Kill, based on Raymond Benson’s 1999 novel. Bond 22 would be Doubleshot, based on Raymond Benson’s 2000 novel and finally, Bond 23: Never Dream Of Dying, based on Raymond Benson’s 2001 novel. The Union trilogy is bound for success. Exotic villains, beautiful women, masterful locations and an ingenious plot to go with each title; what more could one want?

The novels of the 'Union Trilogy'

A trilogy is just what the series needs. Something to keep the movie-goers on edge and give the series an almost Matrix feel. A whole new outlook and attitude on Bond, something we haven’t seen since the exciting releases of Goldfinger and Thunderball. It’s not that the series is struggling financially; rather, it’s slowly losing appeal to the “older” Bond fans.

Everyone Wins
Another advantage of adapting these novels is this way more films can be produced in shorter periods of time; which, in turn, means more money for EON and more Bond adventures for the fanatics. Everyone is happy instead of this opaque production time and vague details that last three years (or possibly more) as opposed to one to two.

So it comes down to this...EON’s time to make their decision: take their punt on the novels or back the current writers to come up with something original that the fans enjoy. Most unlikely! But I suppose, ultimately all EON want is to make money and not chase the real “Cubby” Broccoli dream. If that were not so, they would have taken the punt years ago!

Article written by Adam Farrington-Williams (FelixLeiter)



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