The James Bond movies are based on a series of novels by British author Ian Fleming (1908-1964). A Commander of Naval Intelligence during World War II, Fleming used his real-life experience to pen twelve British spy novels and two collections of short stories featuring secret agent 007, a.k.a. James Bond. Fleming's James Bond writings include Casino Royale (1953), Live and Let Die (1954), Moonraker (1955), Diamonds Are Forever (1956), From Russia With Love (1957), Dr. No (1958), Goldfinger (1959), For Your Eyes Only (1960), Thunderball (1961), The Spy Who Loved Me (1962), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963), You Only Live Twice (1964), The Man with the Golden Gun (1965), and Octopussy and the Living Daylights (1966). Ian Fleming died of a heart attack in 1964.
Dr. No (1962) was the first James Bond movie. Adapted from Ian Fleming's novel, the film featured Sean Connery as secret agent 007 and would be the first in a long line of successful Bond flicks. Connery would reprise his role in five more films, for a total of six appearances as James Bond. According to some reports, he turned down a then unheard of sum of $5.5 Million to appear in a seventh film.
In On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), George Lazenby became the second actor to portray James Bond. His first outing, however, grossed less than any of the previous three Bond films, and in 1971, the producers decided to bring Sean Connery back for Diamonds Are Forever.
Pierce Brosnan made his first appearance as James Bond in GoldenEye (1995). Brosnan had previously been up for the role of 007 in 1986, but was forced to drop out of the running when his television show, Remington Steel, was unexpectedly renewed.
A View to a Kill (1985) features Christopher Walken as billionaire industrialist Max Zorin, a madman who hopes to gain a monopoly on the microchip market by destroying California's Silicon Valley. A View to a Kill also starred Stacey Sutton and Grace Jones and was the last Bond film to feature Roger Moore as 007.
The original title of Licence to Kill (1989) was Licence Revoked. Promotional materials were even printed with the original title, but it sat strangely with test audiences and was changed before the release of the film. Licence to Kill marked Timothy Dalton's final appearance as James Bond.
Because he wasn't satisfied with the novel, Ian Fleming made it clear that he only wanted the title of The Spy Who Loved Me to be used in the film version. Thus, the movie features an entirely new plot and is considered to be the first completely original Bond film. After the success of the movie, a novelization of the film was released. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) was also the first James Bond movie to be filmed in Dolby Stereo.