Bond & Superman

Kiwichris September 29, 2014 User blog:Kiwichris
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Both James Bond and Superman are iconic characters of the UK and USA respectively, both being seen as representatives of their nations identities. With that in mind I've found it interesting the connections between The Bond film franchise and the Superman films.

In 1978, Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die & The Man with the Golden Gun director Guy Hamilton was originally slated to direct Superman: The Movie by producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind. However, when production moved to Pinewood Studios (where the Bond movies are filmed) Hamilton was forced to withdraw due to his status as a tax exile, being only allowed to be in England for thirty days, leading to Richard Donner taking over as director.

Screen writer Tom Mankiewicz, who worked on Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun and an uncredited rewrite of The Spy Who Loved Me, was hired by Richard Donner to rewrite Mario Puzo's original script of Superman and Superman II deeming it too "campy". Mankiewicz completely overhauled it in terms of length, dialogue and tone. According to Mankiewicz, "not a word from the Puzo script was used". He was also the one who conceived that each Kryptonian family wore a crest resembling their family house, justifying the 'S' on Superman's costume. The Writers Guild of America refused to give credit Mankiewicz for his rewrites, arguing that he hadn't used its arbitration process, so Donner gave him a creative consultant credit, much to their annoyance.

Sheriff J.W. Pepper, a character created by Mankiewicz, who featured in both Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun was paid homage to in Superman II. Pepper actor Clifton James played an un-named county sheriff in the same manner as the Bond films, who encounters the villains General Zod, Non and Ursa.

Blofeld and Lex Luthor

Blofeld alongside Gene Hackman's Luthor.

Telly Savalas' iteration of Ernst Stavro Blofeld from On Her Majesty's Secret Service has been credited partially inspiring the appearance and demeanor of Lex Luthor in subsequent media. When Bruce Timm and Paul Dini were producing the cartoon shows Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League they used Savalas' Blofeld as the basis of their version of Luthor, an evil genius who was still willing and able to take matters into his own hands rather than relying on lackeys.

Caroline Munro, who played the femme fatale Bond girl Naomi in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me was offered the role of Ursa in Superman. However Munro turned the offer down in favour of the chance to be a Bond girl, the role eventually going to actress Sarah Douglas.

In more recent years the Superman film franchise was rebooted with the 2013 film Man of Steel. English actor Henry Cavill was chosen to play the lead role of Superman. In 2005, Cavill auditioned for the part of James Bond in Casino Royale. He was singled out of all those who auditioned by director Martin Campbell, who advised the producers that he was his personal choice for Bond. However, Barbara Broccoli eventually cast Daniel Craig in the part of Bond despite this. Cavill has since stated he still has an ambition to play 007 in the future.

Kiwichris (talk) 06:33, September 29, 2014 (UTC)

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