A new television mini-series chronicles the early life of the author who created James Bond – Ian Fleming. In four installments the mini-series is said to recount Fleming’s WWII’s experiences involving espionage, spy gadgets and intelligence work.
In between all his government work young Fleming will enjoy late night evenings with boozing and babes. Of course all these life experiences are seeds that inevitably will inspire him in the creation of Agent 007.
There have been two other Fleming bio’s before that I know of. Goldeneye: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (1989) and The Secret Life of Ian Fleming (1990) where Jason Connery played the author. I vaguely recall seeing some of the Connery one and don’t remember one thing about it.
Supposedly there was yet another film about young Fleming’s exploits, Ian Fleming: Bondmaker, which I know absolutely nothing about only that it doesn’t contain the phrase ‘Secret Life’ in its title. I guess it wanted to try to distinguish itself from the other two movies about Fleming and attempted to come up with a more unique title.
I’m not sure about the quality of any of these Fleming movies. Only that they don’t seem very easy to find. So that makes me suspect that perhaps they’re not really worth trying to seek out.
Now we have a new Fleming film to add to the list – Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond. Dominc Cooper plays young Fleming in WWII-era London. Based on the trailers it looks like the movie will spend a great deal of focus on his work in Navel intelligence balanced by his romancing of his future bride Ann O’Neill played by Lara Pulver. An actress by the way I’m anxious to see again since her appearance in that Sherlock episode!
They’ll be fancy dinner parties, romantic encounters with beautiful women, extravagant vacation getaways and of course suspenseful spy intrigue Fleming will find himself in.
I imagine through the story we’ll see some hints and foreshadowing of the world of Bond that Fleming will create. They’ll be sort of ‘light bulb’ moments. Perhaps there will be some innocent flirting Fleming will do with a secretary, someone will refer to a character as ‘Q’, Fleming will pick up the Birds of the West Indies book or stuff like that.
I’m not sure how accurate all this will be. I sometimes wonder how much of Fleming’s background with the world of spying is exaggerated or indeed true. I’ve already heard the film does feature a disclaimer stating this all won’t be completely faithful to the truth.
This is going to air in four-parts, so I’ll probably wait until they all air and watch them in one viewing. I’m betting it won’t be as exciting as a James Bond movie, but hopefully it will be worth seeing. The trailer looks pretty good.
Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond debuts on BBC America on January 29th at 10PM.
I've seen the film of Fleming which had Charles Dance playing him. It is unbelievably boring and disjointed with scenes that just don't follow on from one another. You hit the nail on the head that producers of these Fleming biopics try to foreshadow what happens with the James Bond character but if you read the excellent John Pearson biography of the man you get the impression that although Fleming did travel to exotic locations, drank them dry and savoured the finest in food and women he was more an observer of clandestine activity than participant. He spent most of WW2 at the Admiralty co-ordinating missions; he was more Bill Tanner but with Bond's lifestyle habits.
Saw the trailers and I'm anxious to see this. After having seen the trailer, I can imagine there being some exaggeration, which is hardly surprising since the producers are trying to tap into the Bond fan base audience. According to some accounts from his friends and colleagues over the years, Fleming never saw any real action. As the above comment mentioned, Fleming spent the best parts of the war behind a desk setting up his team of commandos and organizing the missions. In fact there's a book called Ian Fleming's Commandos which details all this, haven't got round to reading it yet.
Anyhow Lara Pulver is worth seeing in anything, especially after that Sherlock episode, but I have a lot of reservations in the casting of Cooper. I really can't see him in this role, hopefully I'm wrong.
Saw the first two episodes, so far so good. Exaggerated, old school, and fun. Pulver was born to play Lady Ann, whilst Cooper is actually pretty good. I'm glad they show how rotten Fleming was in his personal life, as opposed to his cavalier like persona on the war front. Sure some of his escapades are made up for good entertainment, but this could have been a hell of a lot worse, and I'm glad to say its pretty good so far.