Eight different faces have passed, but for many the real one was that of Sean Connery. Fans of the character take the October 5th As the “international james bond day”Because that day in 1962 its first film version was released. The tough Daniel Craig is the last actor to lend his figure to play Agent 007, but he vowed never to play him again. In April 2021, the latest Bond film opens with Craig at the wheel of the Ashton Martin. And from then on it is anyone’s guess what the new face of the agent licensed to kill will be.
A list of names and potential successors continues to grow since Craig proclaimed his distaste for the character. The latest is Henry Cavill, the former man of steel who said he was delighted to put himself in the shoes of the super agent. But nothing is decided yet.
The creator of James Bond was the British writer Ian Flemming, a restless journalist who served in British naval intelligence during World War II. In fact, his character was born as the “commander of the Royal Navy” James Bond. Only later in the series of novels in which he starred would he go on to serve in top-secret MI6, the UK’s foreign secret service whose existence was officially denied until 1994.
Bond’s adventures begin with the novel Casino Royale, precisely made into a movie with Craig as 007 under the direction of Martin Campbell. The same novel had been covered before by none other than John Huston in 1967 with David Niven as Bond. The truth is that this first story is perhaps one of the most realistic of the saga, where Fleming describes his agent as a cold and elegant man, but tough and implacable.
Fleming’s prototypical character acquires defined traits not only from a physical point of view, but also by several of his objects and habits that begin to form part of his personal and distinctive universe. From the legendary brand he leads – the Ashton Martin DB5 – to his favorite cocktail, the Vesper: three parts gin, one part vodka, half Kina Lillet vermouth, shaken, not mixed, and served cold with a lemon filigree. And, of course, the “Bond girls”, who deserve a chapter of their own.
When Fleming had to find a name for his character, his eyes fell on the cover of a book: Birds of the West Indies, by American ornithologist James Bond. “This is the name!” He exclaimed. It was short, simple, and forcefully masculine. It was everything he wanted for his creature.
About the name there is a funny anecdote that paints both Fleming and the powerful myth he had created. Some time after the publication, the ornithologist’s wife wrote to threaten him with humor with a lawsuit for using her husband’s name. Fleming responded by sending her an autographed copy of You Only Live Twice and told her that he allowed her to use his name for whatever purpose she wanted. The ornithologist did so and named an exotic Jamaican bird as Ian Fleming.
As for the famous agent code, the number 007, there are several theories. One of them points out that, during his time as a spy in Her Majesty’s service, Fleming himself saw many classified documents that were prefixed with double zero. Another, somewhat more romantic but also more adjusted to the myth, points out that this was the secret number of the first British spy in the time of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), the legendary John Dee, a tireless traveler, seductive and respected by his deep knowledge of mathematics and philosophy. Legend has it that the double zero represented the eyes (“for your eyes only”, the warning of top-secret documents) and the seven, meanwhile, was Dee’s lucky number.
However, the figure that apparently inspired Ian Fleming was that of a legendary Latin spy whom he met in his days in the naval force. Porfirio Rubirosa was a well-known Dominican playboy, diplomat, car driver, polo player and, of course, a tireless seducer. This man had participated in countless international intrigues and for many years the FBI had closely watched him.
When in 1952 Fleming was about to create his character, he found in the glamorous Rubirosa a perfect model. The truth is that Fleming’s biographers believe that the author had actually built a kind of idealized alter ego, inspiring in his own adventures.
After the first adventure, Fleming continued the saga at the rate of one title per year until his death. Live and Let Die; Moonraker; Diamonds are eternal; From Russia with love; Dr. No; Goldfinger; For your Eyes Only; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; We only live Twice; The man with the golden gun, Octopussy, make up the saga that would later be taken to the cinema.
Yet this extensive list of novels and film adaptations, bestsellers and box office hits respectively, can be overwhelming for an actor’s career. This seems to be what Daniel Craig experiences from his statements. “I’d rather cut my wrists than go back to being James Bond,” he said in 2015 after the pale Specter.
After the proclaimed exhaustion the list has been increasing. Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hughes, Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, Damian Lewis and the most recent: the muscular Henry Cavill, who said that if they chose him he would “run” to wear the tuxedo and pronounce the most unlikely phrase for an agent secret: “My name is Bond, James Bond.”
The 007 most remembered of his filmography
Sean Connery. For many, he is the quintessential incarnation of the agent in Her Majesty’s Service. Between 1962 and 1967 the Scottish actor put a face to agent 007 in the following titles: The Satanic Dr. No; From Russia with love; Goldfinger; Operation Thunder; We only live Twice. In 1971 he returned to do Diamonds are Eternal and thus complete the classic era of the quintessential British hero.
Roger Moore. The British actor had become famous in the series El Santo and transferred the typical rogue airs of this character – a sophisticated white-collar thief – to Bond. With a good dose of humor he played Bond in seven titles, some memorable: Live and let die; The Man with the Golden Gun; The spy who loved me; Moonraker; Only for your eyes; Octopussy; In the sights of the murderers.
Pierce Brosnan. Many agree that he was the best in the new generation of Bonds. And he proved his worth in four action-packed titles, bringing the best of character back to the table. Between 1995 and 2002 he acted in: GoldenEye, the return of agent 007; Tomorrow never dies (with an unforgettable soundtrack); The world is never enough; Another day to die.