Mark Casserly takes a look at three worthwhile additions to the library of any Bond fan.
Ahead of the upcoming Christmas season, here are three excellent James Bond related books to buy for the 007 fan in your life. Many Bond books have been released over the years, with these following titles worthy additions to any bookshelf.
Being Bond – A Daniel Craig Retrospective by Mark Salisbury
This work, published by Titan Books is a sumptuous hardback taking us on a journey through all 5 of Craig’s Bond films – Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), SPECTRE (2015) and No Time to Die (2021). The book has over 250 pages and contains fantastic, high-quality images (many never previously seen) throughout as well as detailing the stories behind the making of all 5 films. The book contains interviews with cast and crew members from each film and also includes exclusive on-set photography, concept art, costume designs and stunt breakdowns.
Craig took over from Irishman Pierce Brosnan, who starred in 4 Bond movies. In these extracts from the book Craig talks about what the process of him getting the role was like – “I got a telephone call, ‘Barbara would like to meet,’” recalls Craig, “and I thought, She’s probably seeing fifty people. I’m on a list. I’ll go in, do the interview, say, ‘Hello,’ and that’ll be it. I’d be that old bloke in the pub: ‘Yeah, I was considered for Bond once.’ So, I wasn’t excited or anything, didn’t feel particularly nervous. I’d met Barbara, sadly, at someone’s funeral long before and we had a couple of friends in common, and we just chatted. I don’t know what happened in the first meeting, but they said, ‘We want you to do this.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ It was not on my radar. Genuinely. Of all the people in the world I would have expected to play James Bond, it was not me. So, I went, ‘Well, I better read the script.’ Then I went away and thought, This is ridiculous. I can’t do this. It felt so far removed from anything I was about, who I was, or what I was doing at the time. It’s not like I was snobbish about Bond. I’m a Bond fan. I love Bond.” In fact, Craig had been a fan ever since his father took him to see Live and Let Die (1973) when he was five.
Broccoli sent the script on to Craig for his thoughts. “At a certain point it was, ‘We’ve got a script,’” he remembers. “I was like, ‘Okay, great,’ because I thought, I’m going to read it and go, ‘Thanks very much. It was lovely, but I can’t do this,’ and that’ll be the end of it. We all move on. Very nice. Then I read the script and was blown away. It was everything I would have wanted it to be. It was a resetting. It was witty. It was thrilling. It was dangerous. It ticked all the boxes I thought needed to be ticked if you were going to do James Bond.”
More than anything, Craig loved the attitude of the character. “The line that made me want to do the bloody film was, ‘Can I get a vodka martini?’ ‘Shaken or stirred?’ ‘Do I look like I give a damn?’ which in the script was, ‘Do I look like I give a fuck?’” he continues. “I was like, That’s the reason I want to do the part. That was it, because that meant they were trying to break from a tradition. They were trying to disconnect and reset, and as far as I was concerned that meant resetting everything: resetting the toughness, resetting the gags, resetting the gadgets, starting again, reinventing it. I was like, ‘If we can do that, I’m fucking in.’”
Craig is the 1st Bond I ever saw in cinemas and this retrospective does justice to his brilliance on screen. ‘Being Bond – A Daniel Craig Retrospective’ brings us right up to date as we await to find out the next direction Bond films will turn and the eagerly anticipated announcement of the next 007.
The James Bond Archives – No Time To Die Edition by Paul Duncan
Eon Productions opened their archives of photos, designs, storyboards, and production materials to editor Paul Duncan, who spent two years researching over one million images and 100 filing cabinets of documentation. The result is the most complete account of the making of the series, covering every James Bond film ever made, beginning with Dr No (1962) and ending with No Time to Die (2021), including the spoof Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983) starring Sean Connery.
The wealth of previously unpublished photography, set designs, storyboards, and production memos is supplemented by an oral history recounted by over 150 cast and crew. From producers to stuntmen, directors to production designers, these personal narratives relate the true inside story from the Bond sets, offering outstanding insight into the personalities and processes behind the most successful and longest-running film franchise in cinema history. This book is a comprehensive tribute to the legend of James Bond.
The updated edition includes exclusive photography and new interviews with Daniel Craig, director Cary Fukunaga, producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, and many others, revealing the full story behind the making of the emotionally charged No Time to Die.
Made with unrestricted access to the Bond archives, this book recounts the history of James Bond in words and pictures. Among the 1,100 images are many previously unseen stills, on-set photos, memos, documents, storyboards, posters, and designs, plus unused concepts, and alternative designs. There are also many behind-the-scenes stories from the people who were there: producers, directors, actors, screenwriters, production designers, special effects technicians, stuntmen, and other crew members.
This new, revised version by TASCHEN is a luxurious large format book which has a fabulous quality print stock, with the most glorious behind the scenes photos and great accompanying explanations and copy.
James Bond Destinations by Daniel Pembrey
In 1962, James Bond made his debut on the big screen in Dr No, setting a cinematic standard as the globetrotting secret agent 007. From London to Jamaica and beyond, Bond’s adventures have spanned the world, taking audiences to over a hundred real-life locations in the past six decades.
In James Bond Destinations, explore the iconic places that have played a pivotal role in Bond’s jet-setting journeys. Each chapter offers insider insights and unforgettable scenes, like Ursula Andress emerging from Jamaican waters, Daniel Craig’s high-speed car chase in Rome, and Roger Moore’s epic showdown on a Sugarloaf cable car in Rio.
In the early to mid-1960s, when international travel was a rarity, Bond films captivated audiences, igniting dreams of glamorous vacations and solidifying the franchise as a trusted guide to adventure. Barbara Broccoli, daughter of the original Bond producer, recalls how her father aimed to transport people on magical adventures.
As travel became more accessible, the Bond experience evolved to stay ahead. Producers like Michael G Wilson found new, unseen locations or transformed well-known places into spectacular settings, ensuring each Bond film continued to deliver the thrill of exploration. For example, the streets of Rome in SPECTRE required meticulous blocking, and Venice’s Grand Canal closed for the first time in centuries for Casino Royale, allowing Daniel Craig’s Bond to sail unobstructed.
This unique and lavish book, brilliantly designed by ASSOULINE, is one that definitely deserves a place on all Bond fan’s bookshelves.
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