“James Bond” was created to make money

Ian Fleming “wrote Casino Royale in order to take his mind off the horrific prospect of matrimony,” writes biographer Andrew Lycett.

It’s been a while since I last reviewed the original James Bond manuscripts archived in the Lilly Library (located on the campus of Indiana University at Bloomington). But I seem to recall a page or two of notes in the front of the author’s copy of Casino Royale, scribbled out — and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they conveyed sentiments to this effect.

John Pearson described that early creation as a welcome “distraction.” He goes on in The Life of Ian Fleming to conclude that “He was not thinking of money or success.”

Yet Fleming’s approach to writing was all business. Pearson describes a regiment that ran seven days a week, averaging an output of 2,000 words each day between 9:00am and noon. After a midday break, Fleming “returned to his desk to read through what he had written before putting the pages into the blue manila folder in the bottom left-hand drawer of the desk. By six thirty he was ready for his first real drink of the day.”

“Fleming wrote to make money,” concludes Henry Chancellor. Branding Bond, James Bond will continue to expand on the substance of this next time.

And I’ll continue to argue not only the necessity and value of marketing vis-à-vis Agent 007, but also the reality that without it, there’d be no James Bond at all as we know the franchise today.

In other words: This is a good thing.

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  1. i’m agree!

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