“Effective immediately, your licence to kill is revoked...”
BOND 18 . LICENCE TO KILL
The original title came from the first non-Fleming book: Licence Revoked. MGM ordered a change because Americans wouldn’t understand the word revoked. Meanwhile, the team found Timothy Dalton physically and intellectually right. Even Connery approved of him. But his second mission, made in Mexico instead of the planned China, and with a Noriega-style villain, was caught between Batman and Lethal Weapon. And as Broccoli duly reported, the American public didn’t respond as per usual.
“In making Bond an altogether tougher character, we had lost some of the original sophistication and wry humour... It was clear that we had to get back on to that track.” (Again?)
Dalton happily ended his contract, only two-thirds finished - while succeeding Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, no less, in Gone With The Wind' s tele-sequel, Scarlett, onApril 11, 1994.
Declining the next film, GoldenEye (name of Fleming’s beach-front house in Jamaica where he wrote his Bonds) meant that
Timothy Dalton holds the record
being considered for films made
by each of the four other 007s
- excepting the 21st Century’s Daniel Craig (and his successors).
Sad to see him go. Tim remained as close to Fleming’s Bond as he did to members of the Broccoli family. They invited him to be one of the producer’s pallbearers at his 1996 funeral.
Lupe Lamora . Praised as a great comic foil for Arnold Schwarzenegger in Stephen King’s Running Man, 1987, Cuban beauty Maria Conchita Alonso was asked to Lupe. She accepted, then changed her mind. Talisa Soto took over but refused the usual Playboy tie-in shoot - for what was only her second film. . “Lupe was truly a villainat first, but as we were working there were rewrites. They decided to soften her up and make her fall in love with James Bond.”.
The new villain, Robert Davi, helped find his girl. Talsia tested with him playing... 007! “And he was very good,” commented John Glen. Davi used his Brit accent for practical jokes on location by impersoanting Glen and phoning co-stars like the then unknown Benicio Del Toro as John Glen wanting a meeting at 4am...
And, sadly, inevitably,
the old team was fading away...
Both scenarist Richard Maibaum and credit-titles ace Maurice Binder (succeeded by Daniel Kleinman) died in 1991, Terence Young in ’94, visual effects supervisor Derek Meddings in ’95. Involved in their final Bond were director John Glen (who, despite the low US take, felt this was his finest hour), Robert Brown as M, Caroline Bliss as Moneypenny and, of course, Tim as Jim.
Bond, himself, was trapped in the successive MGM/UA take-overs and law-suits which kept him off-screen, whoever the hell played him, for the longest gap between Bond films. It was close on 007 years before January 16 1995, the first day of production of GoldenEye.