This timeline is a comprehensive list of important dates in the history of the James Bond franchise. It lists all the important events which have taken place from the character's inception in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, to the present day.
Events are split into sections based on when they occurred, first by decade, then year and finally by month.
- May 28: Ian Fleming is born in Mayfair, London, to Valentine and Eve Fleming (Christopher Lee, who would play Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun, was his cousin).
- February 17: To distract himself from his forthcoming nuptials, Fleming starts writing Casino Royale at his Goldeneye estate in Jamaica.
- March 18: Fleming finishes work on the script and shows it to an ex-girlfriend, Clare Blanchard, who advises him not to publish it at all, but that if he does so, it should be under another name.
- March 24: Ian Fleming marries Ann Charteris in Jamaica.
- April 13: Fleming publishes his first novel, Casino Royale, establishing the character of James Bond. It was a success and three print runs were needed to cope with the demand.
- April 5: The second Bond novel, Live and Let Die, is released.
- October 21: An hour-long television adaptation of Casino Royale is aired as an episode of CBS's dramatic anthology series Climax Mystery Theater.
- April 7: Fleming's third novel, Moonraker, is published.
- Moonraker is retitled Too Hot to Handle for its release in the U.S.
- March 26: Fleming's fourth novel, Diamonds Are Forever is published.
- April 8: The fifth Bond novel, From Russia with Love, is published. Fleming toys with the idea of killing off the James Bond character, unsure of whether he should write another Bond novel or not.
- March 31: Fleming's sixth novel, Dr. No, is published. The novel was originally a screenplay written in 1956 for what would have been a television show entitled Commander Jamaica. It marks the first appearance of both Major Boothroyd and Bond's signature weapon, the Walther PPK.
- Summer: Fleming and his friend, Ivar Bryce, begin talking about the possibility of a James Bond film.
- Autumn: Bryce introduces Fleming to a young Irish writer and director, Kevin McClory, and the three of them, together with Fleming and Bryce's friend Ernest Cuneo, form the partnership Xanadu Productions.
- March 23: Goldfinger, the seventh novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series is published.
- May: Fleming, Bryce, Cuneo and McClory come up with a story outline based on an aeroplane full of celebrities and a female lead called Fatima Blush. Over the next few months there are ten outlines, treatments and scripts.
- American copies of Moonraker are reverted to the original title.
- January-March: Fleming writes the novel Thunderball at Goldeneye, based on the screenplay written by himself, Whittingham and McClory.
- April 11: A collection of short stories by Ian Fleming are published under the title For Your Eyes Only.
- March 17: In an article in Life Magazine, US President John F. Kennedy lists From Russia, with Love as one of his ten favourite books.
- March 26: Thunderball, the eighth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series is published. Notably, it introduces Bond's nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
- Ian Fleming sells the film rights to his novels to Harry Saltzman.
- Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli co-produce the film version of Dr. No. Sean Connery is cast as Bond, and the film is an instant success.
- April 16: The Spy Who Loved Me, the ninth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series is published. It is the shortest novel in the series, and is told from the first-person perspective of a woman named Vivienne Michel, rather than the third-person used in the other books.
- April 1: On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the tenth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series is published. It is the first Fleming novel published after the release of the film Dr. No.
- October 10: The film version of From Russia with Love is released. Notably, it is the first time the character of Ernst Stavro Blofeld appears on screen.
- November 19: McClory takes Fleming to court over the publication of Thunderball, suing him for plagiarism. They settle out of court. McClory gains the literary and film rights for the screenplay, while Fleming is given the rights to the novel, although it has to be recognised as being "based on a screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and the Author".
- March 16: You Only Live Twice, the eleventh novel (and twelfth book) in Ian Fleming's James Bond series of stories is published. It is the final Bond novel to be released in Fleming's lifetime.
- August 12: Fleming dies of a heart attack in Canterbury, Kent, England.
- April 1: The Man with the Golden Gun, the twelfth novel (and thirteenth book) of Ian Fleming's James Bond series is posthumously published. It is the first and only novel published after Ian Fleming's death.
- February 16: Filming commences the fourth Eon Productions film Thunderball after producers Broccoli and Saltzman agree with McClory to cinematically adapt the novel. The joint production stops McClory from making any further versions of the novel for a period of ten years following the release of the Eon-produced version.
- December 9: The fourth Eon Productions film Thunderball is released.
- Octopussy and The Living Daylights, a collection of Fleming's short stories, is published. It is Fleming's last publication, before writing is handled by authors such as John Gardner and Raymond Benson. However, it is important to note that all novels not written by Fleming are considered non-canon.
- April 13: The unofficial James Bond satire Casino Royale is released.
- June 12: The fifth film in the Eon film series, You Only Live Twice, is released.
- July 29: It is officially announced that Sean Connery is leaving the role of James Bond.
- September: George Lazenby is cast as Connery's replacement.
- March 28: Colonel Sun - the first continuation James Bond novel published after the death of Ian Fleming - is published by Glidrose Productions.
- November: George Lazenby steps down from the role as James Bond following advice that the Bond series was outdated, and unresolved disputes with Broccoli and Saltzman.
- December 18: The sixth film in the James Bond film series, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, is released.
- Dec 14: The seventh film in the Eon Productions film franchise, Diamonds Are Forever, is released.
- June 27: The release of Live and Let Die. It is the eighth film in the James Bond film series, and the first to star Roger Moore as Bond.
- December 19: The release of The Man with the Golden Gun. It is the ninth official James Bond movie.
- After suffering troubling financial disputes, his wife's diagnosis of terminal cancer, and depression, Harry Saltzman sells his 50% stake in Danjaq, LLC, the parent company of Eon Productions, for £20 million.
- Kevin McClory first announces that he is remaking Thunderball under the title Warhead. The concept would remain in limbo before eventually being replaced by the Never Say Never Again project.
- December 5: The 007 Stage - one of the largest silent stages in the world - is officially opened at Pinewood Studios in a ceremony attended by former British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.
- July 7: The release of The Spy Who Loved Me. It is the tenth official James Bond movie.
- June 26: The release of Moonraker. It is the eleventh official James Bond movie.
- After his previous failure to begin production of Warhead, Kevin McClory finds a production company set up by a top Hollywood lawyer and announces a new project. Again, it would be a remake of Thunderball starring Sean Connery. It would become Never Say Never Again.
- June 24: The release of For Your Eyes Only. It is the twelfth official James Bond movie.
- June 6: The release of Octopussy. It is the thirteenth official James Bond movie.
- October 5: A newly discovered asteroid is named 9007 James Bond in honour of Ian Fleming.
- October 7: The unofficial James Bond film and remake of the 1965 film Thunderball - Never Say Never Again - is released by Warner Bros.
- June 27: The 007 Stage is burnt to the ground towards the end of filming of Ridley Scott's Legend.
- January: After being rebuilt, the 007 Stage is reopened with the new name, "Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage".
- May 24: A View to a Kill, is released in the USA. It is the fourteenth entry in the James Bond series of films made by EON Productions, and the last to star Roger Moore.
- December 11: Prince Charles and Princess Diana visit the set of The Living Daylights to meet the new James Bond, Timothy Dalton.
- July 14: Licence to Kill is released in the USA. This would be Timothy Dalton's second and final portrayal of James Bond.
- MGM/UA is sold to Pathé Communications. Danjaq, the Swiss based parent company of Eon, sues MGM/UA and its new chairman to protect the TV distribution rights of the series from being devalued. These legal disputes engendered a several year hiatus in the series.
- May: MGM creative affairs VP Elizabeth Robinson announces in Variety that work on the 17th 007 movie has resumed with writer Michael France penning a fresh script.
- April 12: Timothy Dalton announces that he would not be returning as James Bond.
- June 8: Pierce Brosnan is introduced to the world as the new 007.
- November 17: GoldenEye, the 17th Bond film and the first to star Pierce Brosnan, is release in the USA.
- October 13: Kevin McClory and Sony Pictures Entertainment Company (SPE) announce their intention to remake Thunderball for a second time. The rumored title would be Warhead 2000 AD.
- December 19: Tomorrow Never Dies is released in the USA. It is the first Bond film to be release after the death of Albert R. Broccoli in 1996.
- March 30: Kevin McClory's Warhead 2000 AD project is officially terminated after Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer obtains the film rights to Casino Royale from Sony Pictures Entertainment for $10 million in the out-of-court settlement of a law suit.
- November 19: The World Is Not Enough, the 19th film in the official James Bond series, is released in the USA.
- November 20: The twentieth Eon film, Die Another Day, is released. It was the last film starring Pierce Brosnan.
- July: Pierce Brosnan announces that he is leaving the role, stating "Bond is another lifetime, behind me".
- June 21: The quote "Bond. James Bond," is declared as the 22nd greatest film quote of all time by the American Film Institute.
- October 14: Eon Productions officially name Daniel Craig as the sixth actor to portray 007, taking over from Pierce Brosnan.
- November 14:? The twenty first official film, Casino Royale, is released starring Daniel Craig as 007. This version, unlike the comedic version starring Woody Allen and David Niven, is a faithful retelling of the Ian Fleming novel.
- October 29: The twenty-second official film, Quantum of Solace, is released. The film picks up right where the 2006 film Casino Royale leaves off, with Bond avenging the death of Vesper Lynd.
- Skyfall, then known by the working title Bond 23, was suspended throughout 2010 because of MGM's financial troubles.
- December 21: Bond 23 resumes pre-production.
- October 23: Skyfall is premiered in London, becoming the twenty third Eon James Bond film.