James Bond: The history of a legend

James Bond: The man with a license to kill. (SOURCE: http://topnews.in).
James Bond: The man with a license to kill. (SOURCE: http://topnews.in).

James Bond has always been a favorite when it comes to action films.

So at least half of everyone reading this article will be happy to know the Bond franchise is running on it’s 23rd movie, keeping its record of the longest running feature film ‘series’ in history.

The 23rd Bond film has been announced and named. “Skyfall,” directed by Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”, “Jarhead”, “Road to Perdition”) and starring our more recent face for Bond, Daniel Craig (“The Golden Compass”, “Cowboys and Aliens”, “Dream House”), have everything figured out.

But what makes James Bond, MI6, code name 007 – the man with a license to kill – so popular? Not just in film, but by book, where his persona was first created by Ian Fleming?

Because he’s awesome. That’s why.

During Fleming’s time in the Naval Intelligence Division he declared he wanted to become an author, and write novels about the spy to end all spies.

Much of his own life was key to the making of such a protagonist character.

Men he met in Naval Intelligence, his own brother Peter included (a sort of secret spy in an of himself), and countless people from his past were pulled into what would come to be known as the figure head for the perfect spy in fictional history.

In fact, the name of his prized character came from an acquaintance of his as well. An American ornithologist, or Caribbean bird expert, who wrote a field bird-watching guide Fleming himself was particularly fond of.

His name was James Bond. A simple Anglo-Saxon name that gave Fleming some inspiration.

On why he chose the name, he described, “I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, “James Bond” was much better than something more interesting, like ‘Peregrine Carruthers.’

Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure — an anonymous, blunt instrument wielded by a government department.”

His first novel, “Casino Royale”,  was published in 1953, and he wrote 12 other novels and short stories since then that have made history.

Writers have added their own style to the ongoing Bond franchise, and judging from the Hollywood success, Bond will be with us for quite a while.