The Siblings Behind The James Bond Franchise

In the safe care of two siblings, the much-loved James Bond franchise retains its unique flavor in every new production.

The James Bond movie franchise began in 1961 when the producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman purchased the filming rights to Ian Fleming’s spy novels. These novels by the British author were based on a character named James Bond – a secret agent who worked for the Secret Intelligence Service and went by the codename ‘007’.

Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were collectively the owners of Eon Productions, which has produced all the James Bond movies to date, except for a handful. Eon Productions was inherited in 1995 by Albert R. Broccoli’s daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and his stepson, Michael G. Wilson. The latter acts as the franchise’s guardian angels while controlling every creative aspect of Bond films.

Here’s a glimpse as to how the step-siblings exercise control over the James Bond Franchise to give the best outcome on the screen every time.

The Exact Roles Of Barbara Broccoli And Michael G. Wilson

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When Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman ran eon Productions, several actors starred in the character of James Bond. The star cast who played Bond on the screen includes Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan. Even when Broccoli and Saltzman headed the production team, Barbara and Michael were part of the crew.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, the duo grew up intimately connected with the character of James Bond since childhood. Barbara Broccoli was reportedly an uncredited publicity department worker for the movie ‘The Spy Who Loved Me‘ in 1977. Likewise, Wilson played the part of a soldier in the 1964 James Bond classic ‘Goldfinger.’

Today, in their 60s and 70s, they have come a long way in safeguarding the James Bond legacy. The siblings exercise complete creative control over the movie franchise. The duo gets to decide who directs the movie and also determines the casting for Bond movies. For instance, one of the most crucial decisions of choosing Daniel Craig as the one to play James Bond in the films was made by Ms. Broccoli.

The Road Not Taken By The Siblings

According to Variety, Barbara Broccoli has made a public statement about how she and Wilson are the custodians of the James Bond character and its essence. She has claimed to have taken some tough decisions in her career as a production executive to make sure she and her stepbrother Wilson managed the crucial responsibility religiously.

This may seem rather odd as the industry gets increasingly capitalized and globalized with the dominating emergence of giant corporate entities. According to a deal by Albert Broccoli, the studio MGM won all distribution rights to the James Bond movies. The same agreement allows Eon Productions to share half of the MGM profits and allows Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson to have absolute creative control over the film produced.

The siblings also decide how the money distribution shall be channeled to Daniel Craig’s successors in James Bond movies. The tough decisions that the duo have made include turning down deals from corporate entities who eyed to create newer stories out of their classic legacy. The step-siblings have so far turned down offers for several spin-offs of the James Bond stories. They have also rejected the proposal of the casino magnate Kirk Kerkorian who wanted to build a James Bond-themed casino and hotel.

What The Future Holds

The forthcoming James Bond film titled ‘No Time to Die,’ will be the 25th addition to the movie franchise and has been a hot topic amongst all James Bond enthusiasts. Common speculation revolved around how the new movie franchise might get affected by Amazon’s acquisition of MGM. However, there haven’t been any clarifications on the matter as of yet.

As stated by InsideHook, fans were pretty insecure about the future movies being shifted chiefly to the small screen online streaming instead of being released in the theatres as has been the custom to date. Such fears are legitimate in the face of the pandemic and the consequent regulations regarding the protocols, which puts limitations on theatre releases.

However, MGM’s acquisition by Amazon does not alter the absolute creative rights of the step-siblings who are executive producers of the franchise. Under their care, the release of the new James Bond movie has been consistently postponed, and the film is expected to hit the cinemas in October.

One reason behind Amazon winning the game against Apple and Netflix is rumored to be the amicable relationship between Barbara Broccoli and Amazon executive Jennifer Salke. One of the possibilities that seem likely is that the span for which the James Bond movies flourish at the box office may reduce, and the title might get released on the online streaming platform sooner.

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Source: InsideHook, Variety, The Wall Street Journal

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