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Discussion in 'Misc. Films' started by X The Bends X, May 20, 2006.
Umm, it depends. Most Bond movies to a certain extent have been based on the books, but to lesser degrees of faithfulness. The totally original Bond films are really GOLDENEYE, TOMORROW NEVER DIES, and THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH.
As far as faithful adaptations:
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE
Not very faithful:
LIVE AND LET DIE
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
DIE ANOTHER DAY (meant to be an adaptation of Fleming's MOONRAKER)
Faithful in title and/or a few extraneous details only:
THE SPY WHO LOVED ME
A VIEW TO A KILL
Inspired by Fleming's short stories:
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
LICENCE TO KILL
Goldeneye had many elements borrowed to the novel Moonraker and you could say that TWINE's Elektra was inspired by Vesper Lynd, somehow.
Not really. TWINE doesn't have any direct link to its source material besides some really loose similarities, and neither does GOLDENEYE. Furthermore, neither were *intentional* adaptations, whereas DIE ANOTHER DAY was an actually intentional adaptation of Fleming's MOONRAKER.
The character of Trevelyan was inspired by Hugo Drax, intentionally or not. He even has a scar, hates England even though he was considered British and wants to destroy London. There are good deal of similarities, and one could say yhat he was much closer to the original Drax than Gustav Graves (in quality anyway, Graves was just a spoof of Drax).
It can only be "inspired by" if inspiration was taken from the book. It wasn't - Trevelyan was a totally original character that wasn't taken from Fleming. While there are similarities, similarities does not equal "inspired by."
I liked Sean Bean as 006 and turns out to be bad guy all long.
Alec: "For England, James?"
Bond: "No, for me"
It is arguable that even the "non Fleming" Bond movies have plot elements from the novels, therefore are indirectly inspired from them.
That's not inspiration though, it's accidental similarity. There's a clear distinction between the two.
Wether it is accidental or not is debatable. There are similarities between Die Another Day and Colonel Sun, and if I am not mistaken other post-Fleming Bond novels. It could be coincidence, of course, this is not impossible in a creative process, but it could also mean that they picked up plot elements from Bond novels without acknowledging it.
Not in the case of GOLDENEYE, where if you follow the process of the creation and Trevelyan, you'll see that the inspiration for that character was *not* from Fleming.
Perhaps (though I'll be damned in DIE ANOTHER DAY has *any* similarity to COLONEL SUN, aside from a villain who happens to be a Colonel), but we can't just say then that these were "inspired by" without really knowing, then, can we? As far as we know, we can only safely rule that these are coincidental similarities, and evidence points to that.
Where are the evidences pointing to that, exactly? And what do you know for sure about Trevelyan's genesis to say he was "not" inspired from Fleming, even loosely? He has objectively similarities with Hugo Drax: his scar, he is perceived as an Englishman even though he is not, he deals with the Russians, he wants to destroy London, he changes identity following an accident, he took years to establish it, such change of identity occured near the end of an era (WWII for Moonraker, the Cold War for Goldeneye, etc). Were these similarities intentional? I don't know, but they are there, I am just mentionning them, and while it cannot be proved without doubt that they were intentionnal, such a link cannot be dimissed as purely incidental. I was maybe bold to say that it "borrowed" from Moonraker, but Goldeneye is in a way much closer to Moonraker than Die Another Day. As for Colonel Sun, the name is quite similar to Colonel Moon's, and Sun's plot is to sabotage a conference, which in DAD is echoed by Moon's henchman ruining a Taiwan/China meeting. But it is true that DAD borrows from practically everything, related or not to James Bond, even the fx of the videogames!
The evolution of the character from concept to screen.
In the original draft by Michael France, there was no scar, he didn't want to destroy London, and he doesn't change his identity. I'm trying to remember even if he was a Lienz Cossack in the original draft - I'm thinking he was just a normal Englishman.
The similarities came as the story was rewritten over and over again - it's highly unlikely that at that point Drax was used as a basis. Trevelyan was a purely original character.
I don't think so. Between the two, I'd say DIE ANOTHER DAY clearly has more similarities, and had more distinct similarities to Fleming's novel in earlier drafts.
The early draft of Trevelyan might have been very different from the screen version, it is possible that they modified it to make him a more bondian villain (physical oddities, Easter European or at least non-Anglo Saxon background, etc). And in the end, Trevelyan shared objectively a good deal with the novel Drax. Moreso than Graves I would say, whose hate for England is rather arbitrary, and related to no particular historical period. Besides, Graves doesn't want to directly attack England, something Drax and Trevelyan do, their hate are aimed towards the British people.
It is difficult in a James Bond movie to have characters that are "totally" original. Actually, the codes of the series make it nearly impossible. We expect a particular type of villain, a particular type of atmosphere, etc. Characters that are "original" have to be similar to the "cannonical" ones. Trevelyan's similarities with Drax might be only accidental, and can easily be explained by the encessity to based each Bond villains on certain types. But whatever the explanation, these similarities cannot be dismissed. It's not like Stoker's Dracula and Vlad Tepes, who shared nothing but a name and a bit of the same background (and there are proofs to it both in the Genesis of the novel and in the finished product).
I'm not arguing about similarity, I'm arguing about *intentional* similarity, which with Alex Trevelyan there was none. As the character was changed, he unintentionally became more like Hugo Drax. But the character, in his creation, was not inspired by Drax.
Trevelyan was a more typically Bondian villain in the first draft than he ultimately ended up, for what it's worth. The changes that were made to the character can be explained by their desire to change the character from a mentor figure to a friend, and also to change the focus of the plot from an anti-America to an anti-London storyline.
But they can't be called adaptations or inspirations unless we have proof that they are. Otherwise, we can only assume the similarities are unintentional.