As the promotion for No Time To Die is in full swing, one of the tools used by the studio was releasing TWO new film trailers for it.
Dubbed ‘The Final Trailers’, there was one for International audiences and one for the U.S. It’s kind of interesting to note the differences between the two. The U.S. one focuses much more on the film being the long awaited ‘epic conclusion’ to Daniel Craig’s James Bond. It hypes up the fact that everything we’ve seen has been building to this finale. It’s one you simply can’t miss!
The International trailer doesn’t really delve into that aspect as much. So, why the difference in this marketing strategy? It’s a good question. I suspect the studio believes Americans are much more hooked into the continuity craze that have gripped films thanks to Marvel, and they’ll respond more strongly to that than anywhere else in the world. That’s just my guess. If anyone has another theory on that, let me know.
Anyway, after seeing the ‘Final’ U.S. trailer I got inspired to revisit another concluding film in the Bond series – Never Say Never Again.
Unlike an ongoing story that will supposedly get all wrapped up, the 1983 film starred Sean Connery in his triumphant return to the role as 007 after twelve years.
Connery left the part after 1967’s You Only Live Twice. He had reached a breaking point being in the middle of a constant maelstrom of attention by the press and fans. The role left him little time to do other film roles he craved and he became increasingly angered by what he felt was an unfair deal he had signed with producers Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. He never felt he was fairly compensated when the Bond films became more successful than anyone ever imagined. This tense relationship reached a breaking point and after his fifth Bond film he quit.
Connery was convinced to return as James Bond in 1971 for Diamonds Are Forever. What made him change his mind? An offer that then made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
The deal was Connery would be paid $1.25 million dollars, a bonus if filming went longer than scheduled, stipulation that he would not have to talk with producers Broccoli and Saltzman at all, 12.5% of the gross the film would earn and United Artists studio agreed to finance two films of his choosing as long as they didn’t exceed one million dollars.
You can see why Connery grudgingly came back to the part. He would donate his Bond paycheck to the Scottish International Education Trust, a charity he founded.
So that seemed like Connery was permanently done with Bond. He famously vowed he would never play 007 again. It took awhile, but the series found a rejuvenated life with new Bond Roger Moore. His films got bigger and more successful as they progressed.
Then in 1983 the surprise announcement that Connery was indeed returning to the part in a competing Bond film against the official Eon produced series. He was going to eat his “never” declaration and his wife Micheline would make the suggestion of the famous title of the film for him.
The background to how it happened gets a bit convoluted. But basically producer Kevin McClory held the rights to Thunderball, and was allowed to remake the film after ten years of the official Bond film in 1965. He first approached Connery in the 1970s to help work on the script, but eventually Connery decided he himself would star in it and be 007 one more time.
That set the stage for what was billed as ‘The Battle of the Bonds’. Never Say Never Again and Octopussy would be released the same year. The press went nuts with the news that Connery was coming back to the role that made him famous and played up the competition between Connery and Moore.
This all brings me back to that ‘Final’ trailer for No Time To Die. It inspired me to put together something of a recap of the real life drama and tense relationships that led to Connery’s return in the competing Never Say Never Again. It was clear Connery had a very love/hate relationship with the part. Even while promoting the film, the 53-year-old Connery was asked relentlessly whether he would come back and do another Bond film. But again he said this was going to be his last Bond film.
There’s sort of a interesting parallel that Craig is the same age as Connery was when he gave James Bond his final goodbye. Wouldn’t it be cool if Craig somehow came back in a few years to do a remake of Thunderball too?