In the early 1950's, author Ian Fleming created the British secret agent character James Bond and for generations, 007 has thrilled on both page and screen. Here are 50 facts about the iconic franchise that has spanned seven decades.
The Inspiration for the Series
Ian Fleming was inspired to create the 007 character while living in his Jamaica home known as “Goldeneye.”
Fleming created the character based off his own experience as a Naval Intelligence officer during World War II.
Bond, James Bond
The character James Bond is named after the ornithologist author of "Birds of the West Indies" of the same name.
Marley's Golden Eye
Bob Marley nearly bought Fleming’s Goldeneye estate in the 1960’s before it was eventually bought by Chris Blackwell, according to the Daily Mirror.
No Time to Die
"No Time to Die,” the latest James Bond installment, is the 25th film in the franchise. It is also the first movie not based off a previously written story by Fleming.
"Casino Royale” was the first James Bond adventure that Fleming wrote in 1953.
“Dr. No” was the first James Bond film made and created the global phenomenon as Sean Connery brought the character to life in 1962.
There have been six actors who have portrayed James Bond on the silver screen: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.
These 2 From U2
Bono and the Edge wrote the theme song to “Golden Eye” in 1997, which was sung by Tina Turner. Bono stayed at the “Golden Eye” resort for inspiration.
La Dolce Vita
Though he is a British spy, James Bond does love Italy. The country has been featured in eight Bond films, including every single one of Daniel Craig's. Other films the country appears in are “From Russia with Love,” “Moonraker,” “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “For Your Eyes Only.”
Cary Joji Fukunaga
Cary Joji Fukunaga was the first American director to helm a James Bond film with the 2021 release of “No Time to Die.”
Since Jamaica was where Fleming created Bond, the country also is heavy featured in the movies. It has been featured in three films including “Dr. No,” “Live and Let Die,” and “No Time to Die.”
A Different Direction for Danny
Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle was supposed to direct “No Time to Die,” but ultimately left the project.
The Game of Games
The Nintendo 64 video game “Golden Eye” is one of the most celebrated video games of all time.
Pierce Brosnan was originally set to play 007 in 1987, but contractual obligations to his hit series, "Remington Steele," prevented him from being the British secret agent. Instead, producers went with Timothy Dalton. However, a decade later, Brosnan was hired to be the debonair spy.
Bond's signature car is an Aston Martin DB5.
Daniel is Done
Following 2015’s “SPECTRE,” Daniel Craig said he didn’t want to portray Bond anymore due to his age, however, he was convinced to do one more outing that became “No Time to Die.”
No 'Licence to Kill' for These Actors
Carey Grant, Richard Burton, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson, Ewan McGregor and Sam Neill, have all been up for the role of James Bond.
The Next 007?
Idris Elba has long been rumored to be a contender for the role of Bond, but the actor says he has not been asked.
New Zealand native Martin Campbell was the first non-British filmmaker to helm a Bond film with “Golden Eye.” He returned to direct 2006’s “Casino Royale.”
Radiohead had recorded a song for the film “SPECTRE” but the Sam Smith's song was ultimately chosen. The band plays the title song occasionally in concert.
They Saw the Sign?
Ace of Base were originally asked to record the theme song to “Golden Eye,” however, after recording a demo, they opted to pull out of the deal in fear the movie would flop, according to MovieFone.
Jack White and Alicia Keys said they tried every combination of words and lyrics to rhyme with “Quantum of Solace,” for their duet for that film. They said they couldn’t come up with anything and opted to go with “Another Way to Die,” for the song.
Dame Shirley Bassey
Dame Shirley Bassey has recorded the most Bond title songs: “Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Moonraker.”
Antarctica is the only continent a James Bond film has not been filmed.
Getting the Most From Moore
Roger Moore has filmed the most James Bond adventures with seven movies.
George's Sole Mission
George Lazenby has the record for least amount of Bond films with just one, 1969’s “On Her Majesties Secret Service.”
Actress Gloria Hendry was the first Black woman to appear as a love interest for 007 in the 1973 film “Live and Let Die.” The scene where she and Roger Moore share an intimate moment was edited out when it was shown in South Africa because interracial couples were outlawed under the Apartheid regime, according to Essence.
1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever” filmed scenes in Apartheid-era South Africa and was the only Bond film to do so.
Madge's Secret Service
Madonna has a cameo in 2002’s “Die Another Day.” She also recorded the theme song to the film.
Tip Your Bartender
James Bond’s favorite drink is a Vodka Martini – shaken, not stirred, of course.
Adele won an Oscar for her theme song to 2012’s “Skyfall.” Sam Smith did as well three years later for their tune “The Writing on the Wall,” from “SPECTRE.”
JFK Loved 007
President John F. Kennedy hailed the James Bond series as some of his favorite books, with “From Russia with Love,” as his absolute favorite pick. His endorsement of the novels helped the producers get financing for the series, according to MentalFloss.
Ian Fleming was not a fan of Sean Connery and didn’t want the then-unknown Scottish actor to portray his character. He eventually came around to the idea after his friends, especially his female ones, commented on how attractive Connery was, MentalFloss said.
Daniel Craig is the first blonde-haired and blue-eyed actor to portray James Bond.
Lois Maxwell portrayed secretary Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films for more than 20 years and was on screen with three 007 actors – Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton.
Dr. Oh No
Sean Connery is not the actor in the famous 007 walking sequence in “Dr. No,” where he walks in front of a white backdrop and a gun scope is on him. For reasons unknown, his stuntman filmed that sequence.
Halle Berry was the first Oscar winner to ever portray a Bond girl. In “Die Another Day,” she paid homage to Ursula Andress getting out of the water in “Dr. No,” in an belted bikini.
Never Say Never Again
Sean Connery returned to the unofficial James Bond film, 1983’s “Never Say Never Again,” after the producers of the film had a dispute with EON productions, who create the official 007 films.
The character James Bond was a cold-blooded killer, but actor Roger Moore considered himself a pacifist and didn’t like violence.
James Bond’s arch nemesis is Ernst Blofeld who has appeared in three novels and eight films. He has been portrayed by iconic actors such as Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas, Charles Gray, Max von Sydow, and most recently Christoph Waltz.
Dame Judy Dench
Dame Judi Dench was the first woman to portray Bond’s boss, M.
Sir Richard Branson
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has a uncredited cameo appearance in “Casino Royale.” He is a background extra in an airport.
The Bahamas also plays a key backdrop in many Bond films like “Thunderball,” “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “License to Kill,” and “Casino Royale.”
“SPECTRE” is the first Bond film to have filmed inside Vatican City.
Actress Maud Adams was the first person to appear in two different Bond films but as two different characters. In 1974 she was Andrea Anders in “The Man With the Golden Gun,” and in 1983's "Octopussy," she played a character by the same name as the film's title.
“Die Another Day” is the first Bond film to have filmed at the DMZ at the North Korea and South Korea boarder.
Grace Jones scared Roger Moore on the set of “A View to a Kill” so much that he would ask her “Please stop looking at me like that, with such venom,” she wrote in her autobiography, “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs.”
Two Bond films have had scenes said to take place in Cuba: “Die Another Day,” and “No Time to Die.” But neither films shot in the island nation.
David Bowie and Sting were nearly Bond villains. The musicians, who occasionally moonlit as actors, were up for the role of villain Max Zorin in “A View to a Kill.” However, the role went to Christopher Walken.