Special agent, notorious womaniser and masculine icon, James Bond is to many of us, the pinnacle of what a British gentleman is. Since initial publication of Ian Fleming’s first novel in 1953 and the release of the debut official film in 1962, Bond has served as a worldwide inspiration for all things from lifestyle, gear to sophistication. And it isn’t something that’s going to change anytime soon.
While you might know how the British super-spy likes his Martini, there are a few things we bet you didn’t know. So, with the release of No Time To Die just around the corner in April, take a moment to learn a little more about the man himself. Bond, James Bond.
The name ‘James Bond’ was actually taken from a birdwatching book Ian Fleming had handy when in search a name “as mundane as possible” – the quintessential British hero is named after ornithologist Dr James Bond.
Goldfinger was both the first film to feature a laser beam and the first film in which Bond drives an Aston Martin.
The corkscrew car jump featured in The Man with the Golden Gun was performed in just one take, and was the first stunt ever calculated by computer modelling.
The opening boat chase sequence in The World Is Not Enough used 35 boats and took seven whole weeks to shoot.
One of the various spies Fleming based his protagonist on was 16th-century English polymath John Dee. Dee would sign his letters to Queen Elizabeth I with a ‘007’ glyph to signify that they were for her eyes only.
Pierce Brosnan was the deadliest Bond. In Goldeneye alone he ended 47 lives. In contrast, Roger Moore only does away with one person in The Man with the Golden Gun, the film with the lowest Bond kill-count.
Not only was From Russia, With Love the last movie that President JFK ever saw, he was arguably responsible for Bond’s success across the pond. After naming From Russia, With Love as his favourite novel in an interview in 1961, sales rocketed and it was the next Bond film to be made.
The name of the 17th Bond film, Goldeneye, came from the Jamaican estate where Ian Fleming wrote 14 of his novels.
In 2012, Heineken paid £28 million (around $36 million) to feature in Skyfall, a figure which reportedly covered a third of the movie’s budget.
In the novels, James Bond became 007 at 38. Out of the various actors that have played the role, Daniel Craig is the only one to have earned his ‘00’ status at the same age.