Are There Any 007 Books Left To Adapt?

Are There Any 007 Books Left To Adapt?

The end of No Time To Die promised that James Bond will return for Bond 26, but are there any of Ian Fleming’s 007 books left for the movie to adapt?

The ending of No Time To Die included the required”James Bond will returntitle card that all James Bond movies end with, but there is little of Ian Fleming’s books left to adapt for Bond 26. Over the course of Bond’s 60-year cinematic history, the spy series has used a combination of both Fleming’s source material and original plots to keep James Bond relevant to a contemporary audience. With No Time To Die concluding Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond, Bond 26 will reboot the series once again, and the 007 producers will have to decide where the story for the next adventure will come from.

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Ian Fleming wrote fourteen James Bond books (including two volumes of short stories), which were published between 1953 and 1966. The 007 book series started with Casino Royale which was adapted for television in 1954. The James Bond movie series then began with Dr. No in 1962, and since then has been one of the most consistent and reliable movie franchises ever, with twenty-five official James Bond movies released. Bond 26 doesn’t have any writers attached yet, and producer Barbara Broccoli still needs to find the next actor to play James Bond.

Related: No Time To Die Makes A 1960s Era Bond Movie More Likely


Given the number of James Bond movies compared to the number of Fleming novels, it is no surprise that there are no Fleming book titles that haven’t been used. During Timothy Dalton’s tenure as 007 in the 1980s, the James Bond movies had used all the Fleming Bond book titles bar Casino Royale (which finally reached the screen in 2006). The James Bond movies though have always had a carefree approach to the adaptations of the novels. Some of the movies such as From Russia With Loveor On Her Majesty’s Secret Service stay reasonably faithful to the books. However, movies like Moonraker or You Only Live Twice may only use the title, location, and some of the characters, and then craft an original plot. Other James Bond movies cherry-pick various plot elements, characters, and events from several James Bond books or short stories and mash them together (eg For Your Eyes Only took key plot elements from the novel Live and Let Die and the short story Risico).



James Bond 26 Are There Any 007 Books Left To Adapt

Over the 60 years of James Bond movies, there is little Fleming material left that is worthy of adaptation that hasn’t been already adapted or referenced. Elements of Fleming’s Bond stories that do remain dated, uncinematic, unfinished, or (as Fleming sometimes admitted) not very good. Fleming isn’t the only author to write 007 books though. Kingsley Amis wrote Colonel Sun in 1968. Between 1981-1996, John Gardner wrote fourteen original James Bond books before Raymond Benson took over the series with six novels and two short stories between 1996-2002. Since then, six more authors have written James Bond books, with the latest, With a Mind to Kill released in May 2022. Most of these post-Fleming novels don’t cry out to be adapted wholesale, but certain characters and events could be used for Bond 26. 2018 novel Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz is a prequel to Casino Royale and contains previously unpublished Fleming material. It has Bond investigating the death of the previous 007, which could be a good way to introduce the new cinematic James Bond.


There are also nine young James Bond books (and one short story) by Charlie Higson, and later, Stephen Cole, published between 2005 and 2017. These are set in the 1930s to fit in with the chronology of Fleming’s James Bond. Though the young James Bond books are unlikely candidates for Bond 26, there is scope for them to be adapted into a television series (especially with Amazon owning MGM now, and the streaming service always being on the lookout for new content). Wherever the 007 producers get their inspiration from, however, one thing is certain: James Bond will return.

Next: Why No Time To Die Says “James Bond Will Return” (Despite Craig Leaving)



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