Interesting article from Huffington Post regarding the settlement between MGM, the production company Danjaq, and the estate of Kevin McClory. What does this have to do with James Bond’s arch-villain and head of the evil organization known as S.P.E.C.T.E.R., Ernst Stavro Blofeld? Read on and learn:
For those who wondered what the deal was with Sean Connery’s last (until now unofficial) outing as James Bond, 1983’s Never Say Never Again, a thinly veiled remake of the 1965 Bond film Thunderball, the answers can be found in that article.
For those unwilling to check the article out, the bottom line is this: Mr. McClory collaborated with James Bond creator/author Ian Fleming with some concepts that he felt Mr. Fleming eventually “appropriated” without attribution and in the novel Thunderball. In the making of the 1965 movie, Mr. McClory came up with both the white-Persian-cat petting Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.E.R. Blofeld, always played by a different actor in film, would become Bond’s arch-villain and appear not only in Thunderball but in the three subsequent Bond films You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971).
After that four movie run as Bond’s archvillain, Blofeld abruptly disappeared from the series until returning in the intro segment of the 1981 Roger Moore Bond film For Your Eyes Only (perhaps due to the McClory lawsuit, the Blofeld-like character in this segment went unnamed even though he looked, acted, and carried a white Persian cat suspiciously like the one Blofeld had).
Mr. McClory apparently managed a favorable enough legal ruling regarding his contributions to Thunderball that this allowed another studio company to use the Bond, Blofeld, and S.P.E.C.T.E.R. concept and story in Sean Connery’s very last (unofficial) outting as James Bond in Never Say Never Again.
So fast forward to the above article. If the issues regarding Thunderball have been resolved, it means that not only could Never Say Never Again become part of “official” Bondian lore, but the character of Blofeld and his organization might just make a return. I suspect this is what the makers of the recent Daniel Craig Bond films are eager to do. They hinted to a worldwide organization behind the villains of the three Daniel Craig films though they never outright stated that the organization was S.P.E.C.T.E.R.
Could be interesting…