Is it possible that a James Bond script could be worse than a Sharknado script? Read on because the answer may shock you. Then eat you.

Welcome to Weird Scripts Week! This week I’ll be reviewing odd scripts, odd ideas, and writing that’s just plain odd. It will all culminate Friday when I’ll be reviewing the strangest premise I’ve ever reviewed here on Scriptshadow. So buckle up, snort the nearest hallucinogen, and get ready to mutter “WTF” at least 182 times!

Genre: Action
Premise: When a plane goes down in the Bermuda Triangle, the United States and Britain enlist none other than James Bond to find out what happened.
About: This is an old discarded James Bond script from 1976 that was deemed too weird and “out there” by the studio. The fact that Sean Connery decided to pitch in on writing duties (a man who doesn’t have a single writing credit to his name in his 50 year career) probably didn’t help.
Writers: Len Deighton, Sean Connery, and Kevin McClory
Details: 150 pages (first draft – November 11, 1976)

bond_2312061b

I admit I’m not the biggest Bond aficionado. While I appreciate the character and understand why he’s so popular, I haven’t been a fan of the franchise’s direction as of late. My frustration boiled over while watching Quantum of Solace, a film that clearly had no script to speak of. That movie seemed to be more concerned with winning a Guiness record for most countries shot in than it did entertaining an audience.

I liked the films a lot more when I was younger. My favorite scenes were always the “cool gadgets” scenes, where a character would introduce a number of killer gadgets for Bond to use on his mission. Ever since Bond went dark, however, these scenes have been dropped, distancing me even further from the franchise. Strangely enough, franchises like Batman and Mission Impossible have thought these scenes good enough for their films, making Bond look even more out-of-touch.

Luckily, today, we get to go back to a time of Bond purity, a time when James didn’t take himself too seriously. The problem is, they may have strayed too far off the reservation, as the feedback I’ve heard about this script makes Sharknado sound like a contender for the Palme D’or. Let’s find out palme d’more, shall we?

As if sensing that it would eventually be featured on Scriptshadow Weird Scripts Week, “James Bond of the Secret Service” goes cuckoo almost immediately. We start out on a seaplane that’s carrying the United Nations Secretary General. As the plane enters the Bermuda Triangle (we know this because the Secretary General says, “I’ll be okay once we get past the Bermuda Triangle”) a laser beam from an undisclosed location (Europe??) shoots the plane, killing its power, forcing it to land on the water.

Once in the water, a giant contraption rises up, “takes” the plane, and pulls it underwater, bringing it all the way to the sea floor, where we see, among other things, planes, boats, stacks of gold bars(??) and oh, AN UNDERWATER KINGDOM!!! It turns out the Bermuda Triangle has been the haunt of a city/kingdom called Arkos. Never mind the fact that to build an underwater city in the year 1976, it would’ve cost 30 trillion dollars.

Eventually, we meet the creator and president of this secret underwater society. His name is Blofeld and I kid you not, he has a white cat which he strokes throughout his conversations with everyone. Blofeld, believe it or not, actually has a very legitimate goal. He wants to rid the world’s seas of pollution. How sweet of him. And yet, it just makes things even more confusing (why does the bad guy have a noble goal??)

So he sends a wire to all the world’s leaders telling them that if they throw any trash in the ocean, even an empty potato chip bag, there’s going to be hell to pay. I’m not sure what that means, since his influence seems to be restricted to the Bermuda Triangle, but it’s enough of a threat to scare most of the leaders.

Now you may be asking, where’s James Bond in all of this? I’m glad you asked. In the first 67 pages of the screenplay, James Bond gets THREE SCENES! And two of those scenes consist of a girl applying sunscreen to his back. I’m not kidding. In a script titled, “James Bond of the Secret Service,” James Bond is onscreen for 12 of the first 67 minutes.

Eventually, the United States and Britain figure out where Arkos is and send James Bond to a nearby island to infiltrate it. Luckily, Bond has a cover-story. He’s actually a finalist in the international backgammon championships and is set to play Largo, Blofeld’s evil underling. Once there, he gets attacked by a shark, only to find out that the shark is actually a robot!! It turns out the whole of Arkos is protected by an army of robot-sharks.

Not only that, but Largo’s deranged head-scientist has found a fitting way to deliver his nukes to the offending nations. By using Hammerhead sharks! Apparently the wider eyes make it easier to rest the nukes on top of their body. A full two pages is dedicated to explaining this concept.

This all culminates when Largo decides enough is enough, and sends his army of sharks to Manhattan. His plan? To blow up the statue of liberty and then program his sharks to go into New York City sewers and attack the local population. Eventually, the city of Arkos itself uproots and heads to Manhattan, where city battles city. The End.

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Oh man.

Oh dear Jesus.

This started off weird but then just got bad. And I mean really really bad. Who gives their main character – the most iconic action hero in history no less – three scenes in 67 pages?????

And get a load of some of the writing here. I’ve hand-picked some gems for you:

“He has a large shark laboratory – for cancer research.”

Largo has faded the last sentence of his own dialogue. (what does that even mean???)

“Frankly, we don’t know what’s happening in this so-called Bermuda Triangle.”

“I’ve seen that man. He’s called Emilio Largo. Runs the Shark Island op. quite close to Shrublands. As a matter of fact, I’m playing him in the backgammon finals in Nassau.”

“You’re not Fatima.” “No. She was my twin sister – she’s dead.”

“So you see, even with the brain removed, the shark will continue its motion.”

Blood trickles down the cheek of the Statue of Liberty like a tear.

Is 1976 the year LSD was invented?

They couldn’t even get the sluglines right. At the end of every slugline, instead of putting “day” or “night,” they’d put the names of the people in the scene.

The script’s biggest faux-pas by far, though, was its inadequate use of Bond. The first half-dozen times we were with him (so, maybe, the first 85 pages of the script), he was either getting sun-screen applied, sleeping with a girl, listening to his bosses talk about Arkos, or being told what to do.

A main character is supposed to be ACTIVE. Preferably, you want your protagonist making decisions on his own, driving the story with those decisions. Now you can’t always do that because the story may dictate otherwise. With Bond, for instance, he works for people. Therefore, they need to give him orders before he can act.

However, the ideal scenario is to get those orders out of the way early, and then have your hero start creating his own storyline. If he has to check back in every 10 minutes to get a new order, then you have a hero who’s 100% reactive. And reactive characters aren’t nearly as compelling as active characters.

The reason Ripley, from Aliens, is considered one of the top 5 action heroes in history is because of how active she is in that movie. Outside of the opening act, she’s making all of her choices. She’s deciding what she and the others must do. We LOVE THAT as audience members. And while I’m by no means a Bond expert, I’m guessing that we see a much more active Bond in these recent movies.

I was hoping to read five scripts this week that were so weird, you’d all be able to read them and laugh with me. I can’t even recommend “Secret Service” for that, because I know you’ll be bored out of your mind by page 30. Let’s hope for something a little more fun tomorrow. But, if you’re into self-torture, download this script and give it a try.

Script link: James Bond of the Secret Service

[x] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Audiences want to follow your hero. It’s okay if you throw a teaser scene into your opening before you get to your protagonist, but preferably, you should start with your protagonist or get to him as soon as possible. The interest in your story will sink exponentially the longer your hero isn’t on screen.

What I learned (practice edition): It’s advisable that you avoid adverbs in screenwriting. They just sound clunky. So here we get a couple of lines: “Bond dismally enters the plane.” And: “Bond drags himself wearily into a waiting car…” How would you change these lines to eliminate the adverbs, yet still get the requisite feeling across? Show off your writing skills in the comments section below!

  • S.C.

    I’ve got this script, but then again so have a lot of people, it’s been out there for some time.

    mr.scottcrawford @ hotmail

    Carson’s right, this script’s WAY off base.

    A little bit of background – just a little bit, because it’s a very long story.

    Ian Fleming worked on the story for an original Bond movie back in the late 50s with writer/director Kevin McClory and screenwriter Jack Whittingham. The movie – which McClory would have directed – fell through, so Fleming turned the script into a book, “Thunderball”. McClory sued for plagrism, won damages and the film rights.

    Meanwhile, the OFFICIAL Bond movies became an international phenomenon. McClory threatened to release a rival Bond movie with a different cast (Richard Burton? Laurence Harvey?). He was persuaded to make Thunderball a co-production with the offical Eon team. As part of the deal, McClory couldn’t remake Thunderball for ten years.

    When ten years passed, this was the script he produced (Len Deighton signs his scripts “not a word from me” – I suspect the script is mostly the work of Kevin McClory).

    Here’s the full story.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_for_Bond

    More later!

    • S.C.

      PICTURES!

      Sean Connery location scouting for James Bond of the Secret Service:

      https://georgesjournal.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/getattachment-aspx1.jpg

      Concept art

      http://cinetropolis.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/warhead-11.png

      • carsonreeves1

        I love the first picture. A shelfie!

    • S.C.

      A little more…

      Kevin McClory was planning a $20 million production starring Sean Connery as Bond and directed either by himself, Richard Attenborough or maybe even Connery. Trevor Howard would play M while Orson Welles would play Blofeld.

      Eon tried to stop McClory making Warhead (a.k.a. James Bond of the Secret Service), while McClory tried to stop Eon making The Spy Who Loved Me (Stromberg had an undersea city and was trying to stop mankind polluting the ocean).

      McClory lost.

      McClory sold his rights to Jack Schwarztman (husband of Talia Shire, brother in law of Francis Ford Coppolla, father of Jason the actor and Jack the DP, etc). Schwartzman ditched the Warhead script (for reasons of legal prudence, budget concerns and probably taste) and had Lorenzo Semple, Jr. write a more straightforward adaptation of Thunderball.

      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2dp5jv_james-bond-never-say-never-again_tv

      Despite Eon’s attempts to block it, Never Say Never Again (co-written by an uncredited Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais) came out in 1983 and was a box office success, despite costing more and making less than the official Bond film Octopussy.

      In the late 1990s, McClory was at it again. In addition to remaking Thunderball, McClory thought he was entitled to make his own series of Bond films, or even a TV series called SPECTRE (since McClory owned the rights to that name). Sony, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin became attached. More lawsuits. Eon won again.

      In 2000, Eon (who owned the rights to all but two of the books AND the character of James Bond) bought the rights to Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, Casino Royale (a whole other story) and SPECTRE for about $20 million. Eon now owns everything to do with making films or TV shows about James Bond.

    • S.C.

      Sorry, missed the script link Carson provided. Anyway…

      How a screenplay evolves… some pretty weird stuff here too.

      Brainstorming, 1958

      Plan to film in The Bahamas for the tax benefits. Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory had a mutual interest in SCUBA diving. Story could revolve around atomic bomb(s). Fleming had idea for boat with underwater hatch, as the Italians had used during the war.

      McClory had worked on AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS and so proposed using lots of cameos from famous actors, lots of travelogue and filming in Todd AO.

      Memorandum by Ernest Cuneo, 1958

      The Russians are the bad guys. British intelligence thinks there’s a mole in USO (as in Bob Hope USO). Bond joins USO as an entertainer(!) after working out a routine help from with Noel Coward, Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier (cameos). Bond travels around the world (lots of travelogue shot in Todd AO). Bond discovers Russian plot to drop atomic bomb at air force base where USO concert taking place through boat with underwater hatch. Story ends by cutting between USO concert (more cameos) and an underwater battle.

      Fleming didn’t think the whole USO thing worked, didn’t want Russians as bad guys (he thought the cold war was ending… in 1959!), concerned there were no Bond girls.

      First treatment by Ian Fleming, 1958

      The Mafia are the bad guys. M is concerned about Mafia presence in, of all places, Shoeburyness, where the air force has atomic bombs. Bond goes undercover as a biker(!) at a biker bar run by Mafioso Emilio Largo, but is unable to stop Largo and his gang half-inching an atomic bomb from the air base, flying it out in a helicopter while posing as government men claiming the bomb is leaking. Mafia demands $100 million not to use the bomb.

      Bond tracks Largo to The Bahamas, where his girlfriend is Domino Smith, an undercover police woman. Bond does an underwater recce of Largo’s yacht (which has an underwater hatch). Eventually, Bond and Felix Leiter follow the yacht in a nuclear submarine to the Grand Bahama Rocket Base, where Largo plans to hide the bomb. Underwater battle between submariners and Mafia men. Largo shot with a speargun by Domino.

      Second treatment by Ian Fleming, 1958

      Screenwriter Jack Whittingham came onboard after the first treatment, suggested Largo could steal TWO atomic bombs, and could do so by crashing a plane into the sea. Also came up with an opening of Largo throwing an informant into a shark pool. Fleming wrote these ideas into a second treatment. Oddest moment: Felix Leiter is killed by sharks!

      First and second screenplays by Jack Whittingham, 1959

      Expansion of previous ideas. Bond girl now Largo’s mistress named Gaby who isn’t happy – according to her own dialogue – unless her bottom is black and blue from having been pinched all day. Gaby does redeem herself – when Largo escapes in a seaplane with the second bomb, Gaby explodes it, killing them both.

      “Thunderball” novel by Ian Fleming, 1959

      The villains are now SPECTRE, a supergroup of spies and gangsters from around the world (Fleming had the idea for SPECTRE but chose to use the Mafia for the early screenplays). Fleming adds several chapters of James Bond getting treatment at Shrublands clinic. Bond girl is now Domino Vitelli nee Petachi, the mistress of Largo and the sister of the man who hijacked the bombs. Ransom is now £100 million and the targets are the Grand Bahamas Rocket Base and Miami. Underwater battle, Largo shot with a speargun by Domino.

      THUNDERBALL movie, 1965

      Reasonably faithful (by Eon standards) of the novel. Script adds plastic surgery plot and several new setpieces – the jetpack escape, the break in to Palmya, the Junkanoo chase and more. After underwater battle, final fight takes place on the yacht Disco Volante. Largo shot with speargun by Domino.

      James Bond of the Secret Service a.k.a. Warhead, 1970s

      Very little to do with anything so far. Shrublands is now a training center for SCUBA divers. Atomic bombs recovered from sunken Soviet submarine. Underwater city, Statue of Liberty, robot sharks. Largo’s death is different, too.

      NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, 1983

      Closer to the novel than you might expect. Instead of hijacking a plane, villains hijack cruise misiles. Shrublands is there. Fatima Blush re-enters the script but in a better written role. Most of the story takes place in the South of France and North Africa – in fact, Bond only goes to The Bahamas to stick closer the book (and, possibly, for tax reasons – not sure). Robot sharks are back! Or at least remote-controlled sharks. In a reversal of the first movie, the final battle is on land and the fight with Largo is underwater (where Domino shoots him with a speargun).

      Fun fact: Francis Ford Coppola did a rewrite of the script as a favor to his brother-in-law, producer Jack Schwartzman.

      Conclusions…

      The only scene to survive all scripts, novel and films is one of nuclear weapons going in/out of a boat’s underwater hatch. Everything else changed, evolved, came and went.

  • peisley

    The Bermuda Triangle idea is pretty cool. I miss the stupid awesomeness of the earlier films, too.

  • S.C.

  • Gregory Mandarano

    Oh Jorah.

  • lesbiancannibal

    too late here for me to tell whether you’re trolling with the Blofeld comment Carson.

    But who cares – the bond girl in this is called Justine Lovesit. Hahahaahahaha haaha haa. I bet she does 007.

    • S.C.

      The Bond girl in one of the unmade James Bond treatments (Bond XV for the nerds) was called Betje Bedwell – say it out loud!

      • Buddy

  • andyjaxfl

    WIL(pe) #1 – A despondent Bond enters the plane.

    WIL(pe) #2 – Bond hauls himself into a waiting car.

  • Citizen M

    “He has a large shark laboratory – for cancer research.”
    I think shark cartilage was being investigated for medical usage in those days. I remember the early AIDS sufferers taking shark cartilage in the hope it would help.

    Largo has faded the last sentence of his own dialogue. (what does that even mean???)
    Largo is showing a video of himself talking. He turns the sound down on the video.

    On page 27 and I’m quite enjoying it so far. The villain is almost as important as Bond in a Bond movie, so all the time devoted to Blofeld and Largo in the beginning makes sense. A lot of the writing is describing the Arkos, and actual screen time would go much quicker because we’d be seeing it, not reading it. (The Arkos appears to be a gigantic submarine rather than an underwater city.)

    It’s also divided into many short numbered scenes, presumably to aid identification during development, which adds to the length. It is a first draft after all, not a polished spec.

    Although the premise of an underwater villain is preposterous, they try to make it believable by e.g. describing compression chambers and helium-air mixes, and little deatails like rubber shoe soles flattening under pressure.

    Of course, there’s the Bond Girl with the silly name, in this case Justine Lovesit, and the Bond quips:

    Justine is rubbing suntan oil on Bond

    BOND
    (raising a leg)
    Don’t miss anywhere. There are
    places where sunburn could prove
    fatal.

    (I wionder if Connery came up with that line himself.)

    • Citizen M

      Finished it. Not bad. Gets really-far-fetched at times, but some big scenes and true to the Bond movies of that era.

      Agree with Carson we needed more Bond, and he needed to be more proactive. The humor needed a punch-up too.

  • Bifferspice

    i really enjoyed casino royale, but i hated skyfall with a passion, and i have next to no hope for the next one, or bond in general while mendes stays in charge. the further they’ve gone since casino royale makes me feel they have no idea what they’re doing. it’s a shame. casino royale stayed close to the book (and it’s the best bond book too, in my opinion). they should have carried on and remade the books. fleming was fun. instead, QoS sank the reboot before it even got going. i know i’m massively in the minority with skyfall and everyone loves it, but just thinking about it makes me angry! haha! i’m just going to go and watch dr no again.

    • brenkilco

      Casino Royale is an enjoyable book but I’m not sure why you consider it Fleming’s best. Most critics I think would choose From Russia With Love or maybe OHMSS. And probably Dr. No would get the nod for the book where the typical Bond elements were most perfectly mixed. Royale is pretty short and apart from the torture scene there isn’t that much too it besides the card game- though admittedly nobody could describe a card game like Fleming.

      • Bifferspice

        i don’t know why, i guess it feels more contained and low-key, yet still keeping the bond elements that i like. the books get progressively more stupid (i believe he changed his writing based on the films becoming massive, as he wanted to make them bigger and bigger), and i just preferred the lower key plots. while a bit daft, i could get my head around the premise of casino royale, and found it far more tense than some billionaire holding the world to ransom with a space laser. to be honest, the bits i always liked best in the books were where fleming went all snobbish about food and drink. i could read just books about that to be honest (eg his book thrilling cities, which is bond with all the stuff about spies and villains and action taken out)

        • brenkilco

          No writer could describe the sights, sounds, smells and feel of a place better than Fleming. He really was a very fine writer.

  • Magga

    I’m the first to moan about franchises and big Hollywood movies, but I watched Skyfall, having seen every Bond movie as a kid and then not watched one after I turned 18 or so, and was very engaged. I had trouble understanding why it was so much fun, when other things I liked as a kid but can’t engage with after voting age, like Marvel and Transformers and whatnot, were so unbearably dullard silly. Then I realized that not only were they using little CGI, but it didn’t look like an effects move for the most part.An action movie that doesn’t feel like a Pixar movie with actors superimposed is such an extreme rarity that I’ll see whatever Mendes does with the series, no question. I’ll get to Fury Road too, but as much as we see evidence that it was made as a real movie, everything from it looks outlandish and composited. Still, when Bond, Max AND Star Wars are actively trying to reduce their independence on the gaming look, that tells us something about our future, I hope

    • Ninjaneer

      If you liked Skyfall you’ll prolly love the new Casino Royale.

      Skyfall looked amazing but the script was bad. Very, very bad. The Casino Royale script was nothing to write home about but it was competent.

      I’m no fan of Quantum of Solace but even that stinker script, as far as I remember was much better than Skyfall.

  • brenkilco

    The early Bonds will never be topped simply because they were the product of an extraordinary creative team- long gone- that the producers were smart or lucky enough to assemble. Editor Peter Hunt, production designer Ken Adam, composer John Barry and to a lesser extent director Terence Young, DP Ted Moore and effects guy John Stears. Even the sound guys on those early pictures were wildly talented. And though their details became increasingly irrelevant you can’t neglect the imagination of the source novels.

    In a creative sense it’s all been downhill since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service forty five years ago. The Bonds really do belong to the sixties. But of course they never died. The Craig movies are reasonably entertaining but they’re too dark, too Bourne influenced, too convoluted and flat footed in their plotting, and too humorless.

    • Bifferspice

      spot on. i’d also say they were awesome because there was nothing else like them, and now there is, so they don’t feel as different and exciting as they used to. i would love a bond set back in the 60s, but it will never happen, unfortunately. they also haven’t had anyone as perfect as connery for the role, no matter how good craig was in C.R. that kind of charisma and chemistry fitted to a new and sparkling role just can’t be recreated as well as an original.

  • Matthew Garry

    A quick fix for avoiding adverbs is changing it out for an adjective

    “Bond enters the plane, dejected.” or “A dismal Bond enter the plane.”

    “Bond drags himself into a waiting car, weary.” or “A weary Bond drags himself into a waiting car.”

    A better approach is usually realising that adverbs are tiny bits of “telling” and not “showing.” As such it’s usually better to provide a context in prose where the adverb is no longer needed as a modifier for the action, since it should be clear from the situation how a certain action is going to play out.

    • brenkilco

      You explained that nicely. Oh, damn!

    • Frankie Hollywood

      “Bond wearily enters the plane.”

      “Bond drags himself dismally into a waiting car…”

      That was easy.

    • ThomasBrownen

      I don’t know if anybody else here listens to the Writing Excuses podcast, but their most recent episode (10.23) was about showing/telling and touched on how to use adverbs too. It’s worth checking out!

      • Frankie Hollywood

        Amen. I’m tired of being told not to use adverbs, or I shouldn’t use this or that or whatever. As long as the writing’s entertaining, I’ll use whatever I want.

  • brenkilco

    Of course you are aware, as described in other comments that Producer Mcclory was limited to remaking Thunderball. One wonders if this script was partly an effort to see how much creative license the traffic would bear.
    Len Deighton’s credit is odd. So far as I know the great spy novelist has no produced screenplay credits though he may have contributed to miniseries based on his work. As a novelist he actually wrote three, linked, novel trilogies. That’s nine books in roughly continuous sequence featuring the same characters and containing so many twists and counter-twists, 180’s that become 360’s and then keep going that eventually it becomes a little insane. Best to stick with his no name protag i.e. Harry Palmer.

    • S.C.

      Some copies of the script are signed “Not a word by me – Len Deighton”.

      I agree, this seems like a vomit draft BUT if they’d stuck closer to the book a la Never Say Never Again, McClory might have won their court case and got the film made instead of having to sell the rights to Jack Schwarztman. Swings and roundabouts.

      • brenkilco

        I find the final result of all this Never Say Never Again a pretty lame entry with nothing much going for it but Connery’s charm The action is meh. Carerra and Brandauer are both weirdly over the top. And Basinger, well, she got better with age, didn’t she?

        • S.C.

          I actually have a lot of affection for Never Say Never Again, I’ve watched it loads of times!

          It’s really pointless to argue over which Bond film you like most because it’s such a personal opinion. There are some who think today’s script is one of the greatest unproduced films of all time.

          And I would like to see more of Kim Basinger, for sure.

  • Randy Williams

    In my script, “Bond dismally enters the plane” becomes…

    Bond enters the plane knowing the chicken selection will run out long before the flight attendants get to his cabin seat and he will make that jump at 35,000 feet and parachute to the enemy fortress below on a stomach of cold Grouper.

    • Garrett

      That’s quite the imagination. Maybe hey should tap your for the next?

  • ChadStuart

    To be fair, this was the worst era of Bond. The same year as this script the official series had a battleship swallowing even bigger battleships or something, and a few years later a space platform where a bunch of good looking people were going to restart the human race after everyone else below would be killed.

    The 70s were just kooky.

    The first “gritty” reboot of Bond came in the early 80s with “For Your Eyes Only” getting back to its espionage roots because fans and critics were not enthused with the direction Bond was taking. It’s actually one of the better entries since it successfully melded Roger Moore’s humor with a sense of danger for the character.

  • Randy Williams

    I can see this is going to be a fun week. Thanks Carson!!
    Right off the bat on page 2 of this script we have…

    The stewardess is talking to a rather camp STEWARD at
    the bar in the rear of the cabin.
    STEWARDESS- I don’t understand what he’s talking about.
    STEWARD- Well! ‘She’s’ perfectly suited to be the new Secretary General
    of the United Nations, then!

    Damn, girlfriend, outing the UN secretary like that!

  • S.C.
    • Garrett

      I like how they fit “A Ridley Scott film” on the top part of his helmet. As in… “Don’t forget!!” I wonder if it will stay there throughout the movie…

    • Frankie Hollywood

      First trailer looks pretty damn good.

      Love the line, “I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

      • jeaux

        Can’t wait. Read the book awhile back. So good! A lot of science “shit” in it though.

    • S_P_1

      Anyone notice how Star War-ish Matt’s environmental suit looks like the Jedi X-Wing fighter flight suits?

    • Midnight Luck

      this looks like what INTERSTELLAR wished it was. Amazing.
      and everyone under the sun is in it. Including Matt Damon, AGAIN! (he gets around)

  • Gregory Mandarano

    Bond enters the plane, then, dismally, the plane enters bond.

  • fragglewriter

    It sounds like the writers wanted to keep the audience entertaining and subplots exciting that they threw in anything that would make an exciting scene, but also confused themselves. Also, LSD era didn’t help.

    I watched “Blood Simple” by the Coen Brothers for the first time last week. Compared to their filmography, it’s a slow story but basic. I watched the entire movie even though I felt like turning it off halfway as the choices the female character made was asinine, but realized days later that it had a clear goal, the characters were active and the story was easy to foliow.

    • Bifferspice

      i love that film. mind you, i love everything* those guys make.

      *except a serious man, which was terrible.

      • fragglewriter

        That’s one film that I want to see. Lol

      • Ninjaneer

        Waaaaa??

        A Serious Man is one of their best movies. Accept the Mystery :)

        I could easily see how if you are not properly prepped for what to expect you could be very disappointed. I’d guess that most people would appreciate it more the second time around.

        It’s one of those movies where the genius is not immediately apparent but if you look into it more it surfaces and also becomes hilarious.

      • Citizen M

        • Ninjaneer

          A Serious Man has a very narrow target audience and almost no commercial appeal so I would never make a movie like this but I love that movie.

          If you watch it again you’ll see that much of the dialogue is veiled discussion regarding the movie’s theme… to accept the mystery.

          The humor isn’t for everyone but every time I re-watch some clips on youtube from the movie I crack up

  • Cyarax

    So, this whole week is devoted to reading weird scripts and laughing at/making fun of them? Also, is the AF script actually going to be amateur or…? You mention it will make the the BL, so I assume that’s where you picked it from?

    Just curious.

  • Poe_Serling

    Just recently I stumbled upon this entertaining Bond article, and it seems like the perfect day to share it. Courtesy of Derek James over at the Cracked website:

    JAMES BOND IS NOT A MAN, BUT A CODE NAME…

    When the 007 franchise launched in 1962, Sean Connery was 32 when he received his license to kill. That was almost 50-years ago, and James Bond has aged like a fine Beaujolais spiked with antifreeze. How is the same 30-something special agent who fought the Cold War-era Russians now taking on post-9/11 terrorism?

    The Theory:

    There has been a theory among fans that there is no one single James Bond, but that “James Bond” is a codename passed on from one agent to the next as each retires (just as the titles of M and Q pinball from agent to agent). The theory explains the agelessness of Bond–note that Daniel Craig’s Bond became 11 years younger whereas Judi Dench’s M aged by four years.

    This also explains how James Bond’s personality changes dramatically from actor to actor. For example, in one film you have Timothy Dalton’s Bond burning a man alive (around the 9:00 mark). Pop in another DVD and you see Roger Moore’s Bond is doddering around in a clown costume.

    The more you look into it, the more it makes sense. George Lazenby’s Bond had his wife murdered in the last film he appeared in, so fans could assume that his 007 retired out of grief. Timothy Dalton’s Bond went rogue and was kicked out of MI6. Pierce Brosnan’s final outing ended with Bond being abandoned by British intelligence. Next movie, there’s a new Bond in the tuxedo and the old one is presumably on a beach somewhere collecting a government pension.

    Hell, even the guy who directed Die Another Day believed this theory. Wait, that was the Bond movie with the invisible car, right? Fuck that guy.

    Why Does it Make the Film Better?

    We like the realism that this theory gives the Bond franchise, particularly since 007 movies have the propensity to fly off the rails every few years (see: Moonraker, Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist, that invisible fucking car).

    On the downside, it throws a real monkey wrench in Cracked’s patent pending “James Bond Immortality Diet,” in which we advise you to hydrate solely with Gordon’s and Lillet and to bed at least three secretaries daily.

    • HRV

      Or maybe it’s all just related to the business of movie making.

      • Poe_Serling

        Of course it’s about the $… this is just another weird/silly/fun theory put out there by die-hard fans of popular film franchises.

    • S.C.

      The original idea for Charles Feldman’s CASINO ROYALE was that there were lots of people called James Bond so everyone though he was, like, super amazing cause he was doing all these different things, and if you killed him, he would pop up elsewhere, cause he was immortal. Kinda got lost in the mix when the film got made.

      • Ninjaneer

        I like that idea… I call dibs!

        • Will_Alexander

          Hey, Ninja. I know you’re busy with your new baby, and you certainly don’t owe me a thing, but I am curious if you’ve cracked open the Tesla script and what you made of it. I’ve got a producer interested in maybe trying to get it made in Europe and I’m looking for all the feedback I can get. Thanks, and congratulations again.

          • Ninjaneer

            Lol, a few days ago I was thinking about how I haven’t rad it yet and felt bad :(

            I’m in a fog of sleeplessness right now but so my notes might be crazy but I’ll read it tonight and try to get you some notes by tomorrow.

            Oh yeah, congratulations on having someone interested in the script! That is awesome :)

      • wlubake

        Like Dread Pirate Roberts!

    • Mallet

      This theory has been floating around for years, if not decades, and I don’t mind it, but it was made impossible by the latest Bond film “Skyfall” when Bond and M goes to his family estate so we know he truly is the one and only James Bond.

      So either all the earlier pre-Daniel Craig films never happened (so the series is rebooted every time there is a new actor playing Bond) or its is a “comic book” universe, where the characters never really age and look different every time a new artist takes over.

    • Scott Strybos

      I would think ‘James Bond’ would HAVE to be a codename because how willing he is to reveal it to every goddamned person he meets—I can’t believe he would give out his real name to so many terrorists. He even repeats his last name, to make sure they heard it correctly.

      • Poe_Serling

        Good point. In the scheme of things, it’s just all fun speculation on the part of the Bond fans.

        Speaking of fun and games, I just noticed there’s no mention of Ferrell/Wiig’s A Deadly Adoption on Lifetime’s TV schedule for June 20th.

  • Thomas Anderson

    Off topic but I showed up late last week so I figure I can ask it this week.

    Looking for the script “Good Time Gang” by Max Landis.

    If any kind soul out there has it, I would love a copy.
    Please send it to “misformabuse@gmail.com”.

  • http://apairoftools.wordpress.com/ Sebastian Cornet

    Funny that Carson should mention Ripley, because a friend and I watched Aliens on Saturday. Far as Ripley being the most active character and taking charge…I think it’s more nuanced than that. The first time she’s most active in the movie is when she goes crawling in the air shafts after Newt and then comforts her.

    Then she gets her first BIG moment when she commandeers the APC and rescues the Marines–and that is well past the 1-hour mark. After that, though, I think she’s in more of a power-sharing situation with Hicks. She doesn’t become the ultimate badass until everybody else is taken out of commission and she has to go rescue Newt and fight the Alien Queen later. When you think about it, it’s almost the same formula as in the first movie, just upgraded to fit Cameron’s action-packed script.

    I think her character works because you do get to see hints of a strong character (her arguing with the Company, which also makes her an underdog), her argument with Bishop, her standing up to Vasquez during the briefing, etc.

    So, as an audience, we’re just waiting for the moment when the shit hits the fan and our reluctant hero is left with no choice but to let her inner warrior spring to the surface.

    Now I must go and flinch non-stop in a corner at having written a cliche like “inner warrior.”

  • http://screenwritingbae.tumblr.com tyrabanksy

    Oh man, this sounds awesome.

  • Lucid Walk

    I agree; Ripley from ALIENS is one of the top 5 action heroes in history.

    And just for s#$!s and giggles, I wonder who the other four would be?

    Indiana Jones? John McClane (Die Hard)? Batman? Jason Bourne? Katniss Everdeen (just saying)?

    If you have anyone else in mind, feel free to chime in

    • brenkilco

      Not sure what criteria we’re using. Or even how we’re defining action hero. A little unfair to single movie characters if they’re going to be asked to match the impact of characters who appeared in a series. And back in the day it was rare outside of B pictures for a character to appear in a sequel, let alone a series. That said, let’s add some historical perspective.

      Dirty Harry, Bullit, Tarzan, Mad Max, James Bond and the Man with No Name. And since John Wayne, after the mid fifties anyway, was pretty much always the same guy, maybe there should be a way to list him.

    • Frankie Hollywood

      Good call. Google “action heroes” and Ripley shows up everywhere.

      Love him/hate him, you gotta put Rambo on the list.

      I like/love Women, so here’s my list:
      Black Widow
      Hit-Girl
      Sarah Connor
      Katniss
      Alice
      Selene
      Mystique
      Laura Croft

      and a little TV cheat: STARBUCK

      • IgorWasTaken

        I like badass women

        Thank you for sharing.

  • S_P_1

    When Sean Connery starred as James Bond the names of real world dictators wasn’t widely known. The global villain was Russia and Communism. The Connery films reflected the era of it’s times.

    I prefer the Daniel Craig films. They eliminated the camp and brought James Bond into the modern world.

    Sean Connery defined the image. Daniel Craig is the essence of what 007 represents.

    • brenkilco

      In none of the Connery Bonds is Russia or Communism the threat. From the beginning Bond’s adversaries were super villains or an all powerful, criminal fraternity. Even in From Russia With Love the ultimate villain is SPECTRE. Other than their dour tone don’t see how the Craigs differ.

      • S.C.

        The only Bond film in which the Russians are the “bad guys” (excluding the pre-credits teasers) is FOR YOUR EYES ONLY in which the British and the Russians use “independent operators” to recover a MacGuffin from Albania (at the time under Chinese influence – FYEO may be the only spy story to exploit Albania as a battleground for spies).

      • S_P_1

        I was referring to the actual political global climate back then, not the books or the films.

        A large Asian man with a razor brim hat isn’t exactly what I had in mind.

        Craig’s Bond isn’t tongue-in-cheek or campy. He reflects the times we live in.

        Connery’s Bond is a martini drinking gentleman packing a Walther PPK. Which happens to be a German handgun, but he’s from England.

        I guess England was on good terms with East and West Berlin back then.

        I’m not discrediting Sean Connery. I’m just not interested in the franchise returning to that era.

    • Citizen M

      In the early novels, Bond’s nemesis was SMERSH, a Russian organization similar to the KGB. In the film versions of the novels, SMERSH was changed to SPECTRE, an international terrorist organization.

      • brenkilco

        The introduction of SPECTRE in the film version of From Russia With Love- It had been mentioned briefly in Dr. No- actually improved the book’s plot with the evil org playing the Russians and Americans off against each other. SPECTRE makes it’s first print appearance aptly enough in the source for todays’ script Thunderball.

      • IgorWasTaken

        “SMERSH” sounds like some subsidiary of CHAOS on Get Smart.

  • IgorWasTaken

    According to Wikipedia, there was a real SMERSH –

    SMERSH (Russian: СМЕРШ, acronym of Russian: Смерть шпионам (SMERt’ SHpionam) – “Death to spies”) was an umbrella name for three independent counter-intelligence agencies in the Red Army formed in late 1942 or even earlier, but officially founded on 14 April 1943. The name SMERSH was coined by Joseph Stalin. The main reason for its creation was to subvert the attempts by German forces to infiltrate the Red Army.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMERSH

    And if you look here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMERSH_%28James_Bond%29, you’ll see info about Fleming’s use of the real name.

    It also includes this about the films –

    Although twice referred to, SMERSH never appears in the official film series; first, in From Russia with Love (1963), Bond initially thinks he is fighting SMERSH, only to learn that the villains are from SPECTRE, including Rosa Klebb, the former head of SMERSH who has secretly defected to SPECTRE. Bond’s love interest Tatiana Romanova says she knows Klebb as SMERSH’s head of operations, and obeys her orders, presuming them from SMERSH. Second, The Living Daylights (1987) features a faked SMERSH re-activation. Throughout, it is referred to with its full name, Smert Shpionam, rather than the better-known acronym; General Pushkin, then head of KGB, says it has been inoperative for 20 years. SMERSH is also an element in the 1967 spoofed film adaptation of Casino Royale that centres upon Le Chiffre’s attempted recovery of SMERSH monies via baccarat at the Royale casino.

  • S.C.
    • S.C.

      This is one from a couple of years ago, I think for Alamo Drafthouse.

      I love painted posters.

      http://www.impawards.com/2013/posters/heat_ver4.jpg

      • Midnight Luck

        “Action’s Never Been So Hot!”
        Ironic, because there was literally no action in it. (that I recall)
        It was incredibly boring and talk, talk, talky. (and not funny)

        But I love the painted poster as well.
        Yet no matter what the poster is for, Everything always looks like
        BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA to me:

        Of course I also really like this other Minimalist version someone else created.

  • IgorWasTaken

    OK, so why weren’t the Russians/Soviets the bad guys? Why invent the bad guys?

    I never considered that before now, after reading some posts here. Maybe because it was the Cold War, Americans were jumpy (after all, there were real-live drills just in case the nukes rained down), and the bad guys in the films were doing such dastardly stuff that the producers/studio were concerned: If the bad guys are “the Russians”, audiences might believe this stuff is real and they’ll freak out.

    After all, Columbia Pictures included this disclaimer at the beginning of Dr. Strangelove –

    It is the stated position of the United States Air Force that their safeguards would prevent the occurrence of such events as are depicted in this film. Furthermore, it should be noted that none of the characters portrayed in this film are meant to represent any real persons living or dead.

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Bond trudges inside, and slumps into a seat.

    The use of words like “trudges” and “slumps” convey the emotion of depression without being on the nose and writing “Bond looks depressed. He sits down.”

  • Jack F.

    “why does the bad guy have a noble goal??” Well, it worked for Captain Nemo. Not here, though. Keep the weird coming!

  • http://antixpress.com/ kidbaron

    Glanced through the comments and didn’t see any mention of “The Spy Who Loved Me.” If I recall correctly, the movie had nothing to do with the novel. Some of Carson’s synopsis sounds like bits from the movie though. An underwater city, a villain fascinated with water and Jaws.