Blofeld May Plague Bond Again Thanks To Legal Settlement

Blofeld May Plague Bond Again Thanks To Legal Settlement

You'd think SPECTRE could handle a few measly lawyers, wouldn't you?

James Bond of Her Majesty's Secret Service has faced off against any number of colorful and unlikely opponents, but there's one he hasn't seen since For Your Eyes Only who might be about to get a comeback. Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his organization SPECTRE - aka SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion - have been in mothballs thanks to legal difficulties with their creator. All that's over now, so there's every chance that the spy world's favorite cat fancier will turn up again, at a cinema near you.

But how did this happen? Well, it's all thanks to Ian Fleming, who - along with collaborators Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham - tried, back in the late 1950s, to put together a James Bond screenplay. It came to nothing, but Fleming later used the screenplay as a jump-off for his novel Thunderball. As soon as McClory and Whittingham saw SPECTRE in print, they sued. Whittingham, tiring of the whole business, gave his rights to McClory before the case saw court, and McClory later won, soaking Fleming for 35,000 as well as legal costs. Plus, he kept the rights to SPECTRE and its leader.

Here's where things got sticky. SPECTRE first appeared in print in Thunderball, but it first saw screen life in Doctor No; the filmmakers assumed that, since Fleming had sold them the rights to all past and future Bond novels, except for Thunderball, Blofeld and his organization was fair game. SPECTRE had appeared in two other Bond novels - Blofeld himself got strangled in You Only Live Twice - so surely all was well? No, said McClory, all damn well wasn't well, and so - after some legal back-and-forth - Blofeld swiftly passed out of the Bond movie canon. For those of you who want a complete version of this abridged tale, have a look over here.

McClory tried to make a go of it with his own movies, but never had much luck, and MGM stopped him from using Bond as a character. Without Bond, Blofeld had no purpose, and - despite occasional agitating from McClory - the whole thing pretty much sank into oblivion. Then McClory died in 2006, and his estate proved much more amenable to a deal. "Danjaq and MGM have acquired all of the estate's and family's rights and interests relating to James Bond," said the filmmakers in an official statement, "thus bringing to an amicable conclusion the legal and business disputes that have arisen periodically for over 50 years."

What does this mean for SPECTRE, now the world's fascinated by Al-Qaeda? Possibly nothing, possibly everything; but the cat man's back, and he didn't need a cloning facility to pull it off.

Source: Guardian

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Huh. I just started watching the Bond movies from the start and did wonder whatever happened to the man. And here it is. Jolly good.

If Blofeld is in the next Bond film, he has to be played by Patrick Stewart. It would be a sin to pick anyone else.

Donald Pleasence will always be THE Blofeld to me but I'd love to see him return to the big screen.
Skyfall did a really good job of combining old school Bond elements with a modern setting and I hope they continue down this path rather than turning into a Bourne clone!

Yeah, that's kind of irrelevant now. At least I hope. Do we really need a Bond movie with an organization that stands for "Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion"? It sounds like something from a Spy Kids movie. That's why I don't like old Bond flicks. They're too naive and immature. I especially despise the ones with Roger Moore.

And as usual, when Karloff writes an article I don't know what the fuck he's trying to say. I have to go to the source page or read it three times. Jesus Christ man, your writing style is terrible.

What does this mean for SPECTRE, now the world's fascinated by Al-Qaeda?

Instead of being the half Polish, half Greek 'Ernst Stavros Blofeld' he will instead be the half Saudi, half Russian 'Ackmed bin Blovelski'.

I sort of hope he doesn't make a direct appearance in the new movies, but is just there in the background working on SPECTRE whilst Bond gets tangled up with their plots. Although cat stroking in a tall chair would not be unwelcomed.

The Maltese Falcon:
If Blofeld is in the next Bond film, he has to be played by Patrick Stewart. It would be a sin to pick anyone else.

Omg, that would be epic.

Pls, MGM, please get this done.

Flemming tooks the names of colleagues of his, when working ins SOE during the war, and used them as baddies in his books. The son of the man Blofeld was named after is a cricket commentator and the grandson of the man Scaramanga was named after runs a taxi firm.

So for over 5 years he never thought "I should sell this character I can't use"? Would that be a case of excessive pride or complete stupidity?

Adam Jensen:
Do we really need a Bond movie with an organization that stands for "Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion"? It sounds like something from a Spy Kids movie.

They could always change what the accronym stand for, or simply never use it. Without knowing it's meaning, SPECTRE sounds pretty good.

Adam Jensen:
Yeah, that's kind of irrelevant now. At least I hope. Do we really need a Bond movie with an organization that stands for "Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion"? It sounds like something from a Spy Kids movie. That's why I don't like old Bond flicks. They're too naive and immature. I especially despise the ones with Roger Moore.

And as usual, when Karloff writes an article I don't know what the fuck he's trying to say. I have to go to the source page or read it three times. Jesus Christ man, your writing style is terrible.

If you're trying to avoid immature movies, then what the bloody hell are you doing watching Bond? Y'know, those movies about an irresistible chick magnet spy with a millionaire's budget, and the tech toys to show for it. It's an immature adolescent fantasy, it knows it is, and it damn well wants to be.

Caffeine_Bombed:
Donald Pleasence will always be THE Blofeld to me but I'd love to see him return to the big screen.
Skyfall did a really good job of combining old school Bond elements with a modern setting and I hope they continue down this path rather than turning into a Bourne clone!

I never liked Donald Pleasence. He made Blofeld whiny, screamy, and childish, totally destroying the sense of menace that the Dawson/Pohlman duo gave him in From Russia With Love and Thunderball. Honestly, I even preferred Telly Sevalas over Pleasence. At least Sevalas had some sense of charm.

But to me, the Dawson/Pohlman duo is The Blofeld. That was when he was at his best: an enigmatic figure pulling the puppet strings.

RJ Dalton:

Caffeine_Bombed:
Donald Pleasence will always be THE Blofeld to me but I'd love to see him return to the big screen.
Skyfall did a really good job of combining old school Bond elements with a modern setting and I hope they continue down this path rather than turning into a Bourne clone!

I never liked Donald Pleasence. He made Blofeld whiny, screamy, and childish, totally destroying the sense of menace that the Dawson/Pohlman duo gave him in From Russia With Love and Thunderball. Honestly, I even preferred Telly Sevalas over Pleasence. At least Sevalas had some sense of charm.

But to me, the Dawson/Pohlman duo is The Blofeld. That was when he was at his best: an enigmatic figure pulling the puppet strings.

I am actually a fan of the Sevalas Blofeld. Then again I am a Sevalas fan in general, who loves ya baby?

My favorite Bond film is still Dr No. Best Leiter, best Bond girl, shame about the yellow face, racist re-write of Quarrel, and general misogyny. Then again it is Bond after all.

Kargathia:
If you're trying to avoid immature movies, then what the bloody hell are you doing watching Bond? Y'know, those movies about an irresistible chick magnet spy with a millionaire's budget, and the tech toys to show for it. It's an immature adolescent fantasy, it knows it is, and it damn well wants to be.

I said too naive and immature. I compared old Bond movies with a movie for kids for fuck sake.

Ah, the epitome of copyright failures, robbing us of good chracters for the sake of some peoples extra gold coins. Jesus, BLofield is long enough that the thing should have been public domain by now. You know there is a reason medicine patents are only allowed to last 15 years - because short time is beneficial to society.

The Maltese Falcon:
If Blofeld is in the next Bond film, he has to be played by Patrick Stewart. It would be a sin to pick anyone else.

Oooh, that WOULD be awesome. Cultured, clever, well-spoken, and bald. Plus, he's done villainy before.

 

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