The James Bond Franchise: Casino Royale

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The James Bond franchise is often considered to be one of the most successful franchises in the entire world. Ian Fleming’s spy continues to dominate the world, even after the death of its creator in 1964, through books, strips, and films. Especially the latter seems to be the driving force behind the world wide fascination with the British spy, to the point where over half of the world’s population has seen at least one Bond film in their lives (Chapman, 1999; 14). With fourteen books written by Ian Fleming in the 007 series, 23 ‘official’ James Bond films (produced by Eon Productions) and many more unofficial productions such as Casino Royale (1967) starring David Niven and parodies including the Austin Powers series, the James Bond franchise…show more content…
The first novel, Casino Royale (1953), was created for his own amusement and the cover art was also by his hand. The books proved to be a great success in England, where they sold out in less than a month. Critics praised the fast-paced spy thriller for its engaging writing style and Fleming’s ability to create a scene with vivid details, but were less enthusiastic about the plot. Simon Raven considered it to be a ‘brilliant but improbable notion’ that consisted of ‘a deal of champagne-drinking, bomb-throwing, relentless pitting of wits’ and ‘a cretinous love-affair’ (695), while Anthony Boucher of The New York Times dismissed the ending as ‘surpris[ing] nobody save Operative 007’ (BR27). Readers of the Fleming novels were, especially in the beginning, working-class people who loved to read about the extravagant life-style of the spy and his many conquests so they could escape for a moment into a life of luxury. The novels were considered to be of low quality, just a bit of fun, but they were lifted to a higher art form when famous and powerful men started to associate themselves with Fleming’s books. John F Kennedy, Prince Phillip and the CIA Chief Allen Dulles all claimed From Russia with Love (1957) to be their favourite novel which sparked the popularity and perception shift (Cork & Scivally, 2002; 14; Naylor &

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