Photo Credit: James Hart Dyke, oil on canvas
Yea, me neither. But that is what MI6 would want us to think.
Ian Fleming Publications, Ltd. has announced the commissioning of a brand new James Bond novel to be written and released on September 8th, 2015. This will be the 56th officially published James Bond story, following the 15 original works by Ian Fleming, and the 40 more continuation stories, short stories, or novelizations by other authors.
The story will be brought to the page by award-winning author Anthony Horowitz, who is one of Europe's most successful authors with over 40 books published in his name including his recent "The House of Silk" Sherlock Holmes story, as well as his popular Alex Rider series.
From the official press release:
It's no secret that Ian Fleming's extraordinary character has had a profound influence on my life, so when the Estate approached me to write a new James Bond novel how could I possibly refuse? It's a huge challenge but having original, unpublished material by Fleming has been an inspiration. This is a book I had to write.
The inspiration for this new novel comes from one of several television treatments written by Ian Fleming himself. Many of these plots were incorporated into published collections of short stories, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy and The Living Daylights. The television treatment Hell On Wheels will be the basis for Horowitz's novel set at the famous Nurburgring in Germany, where 007 must stop a Russian attempt to cause a crash involving famous British racing driver Stirling Moss sometime in the 1950's.
Stirling Moss is famously known as the "greatest driver never to win the World Championship," racing from 1951 to 1961. He is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and still holds course records for his famed sub-11 hour 1955 Mille Miglia victory. He is widely heralded as an icon of post-war British patriotism.
Moss raced at the Nurburgring numerous times in his decade as a driver, but won in 1959 and 1961. Ian Fleming published his first Bond novel in 1953, and continued writing and publishing stories into the sixties. The wins in 1959 and 1961 may have inspired Fleming's television treatment. Below is a video from the official Stirling Moss website of him racing at the Nurburgring in 1956.
Moss starred in a cameo role in an actual James Bond film titled Casino Royale (1967), which did not share any story elements with the first James Bond novel of the same name, and is not officially part of the Bond film cannon spanning from 1962's Dr. No up to the most recent film, Skyfall (2012). The film rights to the first James Bond novel were not owned by Eon Productions, parent of the official 23 Bond films, until 1999. It was later worked into a very close, albeit modern interpretation of the novel in Daniel Craig's first Bond film, Casino Royale (2006).
Moss won the 1959 Nurburgring 1000km race in an Aston Martin DBR1. He drove the famous car again 54 years later for the company's centenary celebrations in 2014, along side Daniel Craig in the famous Aston Martin DB-5, which has starred in 6 (7 if you include it featuring in the background of a scene in The World Is Not Enough) Bond films. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the 1969 and 2006 models of the DBS, and the Vanquish have also featured in numerous Bond films.
Photo Credit: Car Advice
The DBR1 is now owned by the Simeone Museum in Philadelphia, PA.
It is unknown, but perhaps not unlikely, whether Stirling Moss and Ian Fleming ever met, but the author did often incorporate real celebrities into his work. The press release states that Horowitz will be expanding on the original treatment, which should feature in full in the novel.
The new book will hopefully be an improvement over the recent attempts at continuing the story of James Bond, which all have struggled with Bond's character, age, and placement in the ever-growing fictional World of James Bond.
Bond 24 is currently in pre-production, with principal photography to begin in December of 2014. A new Young Bond novel has also been announced, as well as a new comic featuring everybody's favorite suave British spy. Stay tuned to BEYONDJAMESBOND for more Bond related news and analysis.
Justin Westbrook is a 20-year-old General Manager of a Jimmy John's sub shop in North Carolina, and spends his spare time watching James Bond movies, thinking about going to college, and participating in "the internet." You have just read his first ever blog post.