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 Dalton's Third Bond film

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Gravity's Silhouette
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PostSubject: Dalton's Third Bond film   Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:12 pm

Had MGM/UA not gone into financial trouble, and had EON not had to fight a legal battle of their own, Dalton would have gone on to film his third Bond movie in 1990 for a summer 1991 release.

Here`s what it might have looked like:

#1) one treatment was to have dealt with the Hong Kong exchange
#2 the title was alleged to be The Property Of A Lady (a Fleming title)
#3 locations included Hong Kong, Vancouver, British Columbia and Japan
#4 another draft was to have dealt with drug runners and been filmed in Mexico; this script was by Alphonse Ruggerio, Jr.
#5 a treatment involved anthropomorphic creatures (robots); this may or may not have been a part of the above two treatments.
#6 Apparenty preliminary sketch designs of these robots were made at Disney Studios.
#7 The first draft included a Bond Girl named Connie Webb and involved a game of cat and mouse between her and Bond down a ski slope in Japan
#8 If I recall correctly, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz were hired to write a first draft of Bond 17 or to have done rewrites on Alphonse's script.

I have a lot more information on this project from paper sources and from archived material at my old website, 007Forever, that I'll try to post in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Dalton's Third Bond film   Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:54 pm

Stephane Tron came up with a very good fan poster for it-




Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
I have a lot more information on this project from paper sources and from archived material at my old website, 007Forever, that I'll try to post in the future.

Please do. I miss that old site. Do you have the 15 year anniversary tribute to AVTAK?

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PostSubject: Re: Dalton's Third Bond film   Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:12 pm

This is repeating much of what Gravity's Silhouette has said, but here's a short paragraph on the project from Andy Lane and Paul Simpson's The Bond Files :

Quote :
The Property Of A Lady (1990)

Our attention has been drawn to what is alleged to be treatment for a potential third Timothy Dalton film with the Fleming title of The Property Of A Lady. The treatment was apparently written by Michael G. Wilson and Alfonse Ruggiero - a writer best known these days for TV scripts for series such as TekWar and Miami Vice. No script was apparently produced for The Property Of A Lady. The plot of the film would have involved a rich industrialist attempting to prevent the handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese by blackmailing the British Government. Somewhere along the line, robot device and a nuclear device would have been used, and Bond would have been partnered with an older agent.
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PostSubject: Re: Dalton's Third Bond film   Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:40 pm

MI6 did a few articles on it a while back.

Quote :
Mission
After terrorists target a Scottish nuclear facility, 007 is deployed to the Far East to investigate the prolific businessman Sir Henry Lee Ching. In Hong Kong, James Bond rendezvous with retiring spy Denholm Crisp, crosses paths with the Chinese Secret Service and teams up with jewel-smuggler Connie Webb to get to the bottom of Ching's shady past and prevent global pandemonium that could spark World War Three.

Cast & Characters
James Bond British Agent, 007
Sir Henry Lee Ching Microchip Entrepreneur
Connie Webb Ex-jewel thief/CIA Freelancer
Denholm Crisp MI6 Agent, Hong Kong
Rodin Assassin
Kohoni Brothers Shady Industrial Businessmen
Otto Winkhart Swiss Lawyer
Nigel Yupland Minister of Defence
Dr. Ronberdy Research Assistant
Q MI6 Quartermaster
M MI6 Section Chief
Mi Wai Chinese Intelligence Officer
Quen Low Chinese Intelligence Chief

Locations
Scotland, UK; London, UK; Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong, China.

Production
Producers: Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli
Screenwriters: Alfonse M. Ruggiero Jr., Michael Wilson, John Landis (rumoured), Willard Huyck & Gloria Katz (in talks), Richard Smith (story), Michael France (story)
Director: Ted Kotcheff (rumoured), John Byrum (rumoured), Michael Carton Jones (rumoured), Martin Campbell

Release Data
Originally scheduled for mid-1991, Bond 17 was delayed twice, first after a change in writing staff, the new date touted was to be December 1991. Later, after litigious actions halted the production, Bond 17 was set for a late 1994 release. The reworked and re-cast 007 outing, "GoldenEye" starring Pierce Brosnan finally made it to the cinemas in November 1995.

Pre-Credit Sequence
Lead by the Minister of Defence Nigel Yupland, a bomb squad searches a chemical weapons factory. All appears to be normal. However, in a lab where computer-driven devices perform tasks too risky for humans, one of the machines goes haywire and soon bursts into flames. Outside the bomb squad duck for cover as the factory explodes.

Dalton's second Bond outing, "Licence to Kill" (1989) is met poorly at the box office, especially in the USA with a lack-lustre marketing campaign up against stiff competition.
Production on the 17 Bond picture begins in 1990, Alfonse M. Ruggiero produces a 17-page draft.
MGM/Pathe global television rights are challenged in the courts, delaying 007's 17th adventure.
In May 1993, Variety reports that Michael France has been hired to pen the new Bond adventure, Richard Smith is also brought on to plot "future" Bond stories.
MGM/UA legal debates draw to a close and in 1993 a more "Bond-friendly" view is taken by the execs.
August 1993, France turns in a second draft.
April 1994, with still no sign of Bond 17 going to production, Dalton bows out from the role. Many of France's ideas prove to similar to Schwarzenegger's spy-picture, "True Lies", new screenwriters are sourced to polish the James Bond outing.
June 1994, Pierce Brosnan is announced as the fifth man to don 007's tuxedo.
Production began on Bond 17 at Leavesdon Studios (then EON Studios), in January 1995.

http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/movies/bond17.php3

The following installments:

http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/bond_17_intro.php3
http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/bond_17_elements.php3
http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/bond_17_act1.php3
http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/bond_17_act2.php3
http://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/articles/bond_17_act3.php3


Pretty comprehensive synopsis there. Can't say it would've gelled with Dalton's take on the character. Obviously it's meant to counter LTK, but why not hit a middle ground?
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Gravity's Silhouette
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PostSubject: Re: Dalton's Third Bond film   Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:01 am

Prince Kamal Khan wrote:
Stephane Tron came up with a very good fan poster for it-




Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
I have a lot more information on this project from paper sources and from archived material at my old website, 007Forever, that I'll try to post in the future.

Please do. I miss that old site. Do you have the 15 year anniversary tribute to AVTAK?


Yes, Kamal. I do have that tribute, along with a special review MrCranky.com did for 007Forever. I'm in the middle of posting a lot of that to the forums today and through the weekend. I can't put it all up because I don't want to spam the forums, but I'm trying to get as much relevant information from my old files into existing threads and forums.

Check back later in the day for the AVTAK tribute.

By the way, I like Stephanie's work, and I like the title By Respect of the Crown. It's a good starting point.
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PostSubject: Re: Dalton's Third Bond film   Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:16 am

I took a quick glance at MI6's article. It looks like it may be more detailed than what we wrote back in 1999 (but then again, they may have used some of our information at the time to flesh out their story, so who knows).

Here's what we wrote at the time:


What Was In The Third Dalton Bond's Script?
"Bond removes his parachute harness and turns to find the decidedly unpleasant barrel of a pistol thrust against his temple. Mi Wai tells him to keep his hands in sight as she speaks into a small hand held radio. In a few moments Bond hears the distinctive beat of a helicopter...Mi Wai prods Bond forward...he sees the insignia of the Chinese Red Army on the side of the helicopter."

What`s this? An old Bond story? In the present tense? At first glance, these excerpts sound like sentences from Colonel Sun but they actually form part of a treatment that nearly became the script for a third Timothy Dalton Bond film. Yes, it nearly did happen, and it`s a fascinating but underexplored aspect of the world`s most famous secret agent.

Not many fans realize how advanced the plans were for Bond 17 in 1989-90. We can pick up some really good clues on how the film would have taken shape from a little known outline treatment written by Michael G. Wilson and Alfonse Ruggiero. This was completed in May 1990 and, although it is not a full script, it contained a detailed outline story with descriptions of locations, key characters and plot concepts.

In August 1990, Broccoli decided to make some changes. Variety called it a "bloodless coup", but this "bloodless coup" resulted in John Glen and Richard Maibaum being fired. Maibaum was the Roger Moore of the writing team; too old for the job and had over extended his stay. However, the loyalty of Cubby Broccoli is the stuff of legend, so the pressure from MGM/UA must have been extreme for him to take such drastic measures. Insult to injury was added when an "unnamed" spin-doctor inside EON implied to Variety that Maibaum was a "has-been".

The London Daily Express reported that Broccoli was looking at Ted Kotcheff and John Landis as possible directors for the film. Kotcheff directed Rambo: First Blood and John Landis had filmed, among many projects, Animal House and the ill-fated 1982 Twilight Zone: The Movie, which resulted in the death of actor Vic Morrow and two children.

At times, word leaked out about the status of the script and depending upon when you heard it, the details were slightly different, though the essence remained the same. Early indications were that "the plot involved terrorists who want to stage a nuclear meltdown and industrialists who want to keep Hong Kong a capitalist stronghold" according to Tom Soter`s 1993 book Bond and Beyond. The treatment also brings in an ally for Bond: Denholm Crisp, an agent only 5 years from retirement (shades of Lethal Weapon?).

At one point in late 1990 Broccoli claimed that the next Bond film would be shooting in Hong Kong in early 1991 for a fall `91 release. Broccoli wanted to revise the treatment and considered writer-director John Byrum and screenwriters William and Gloria Huyck for the position. The thought that Broccoli even considered the Huyck`s sends shivers down the spine. They wrote Howard the Duck. Need we say more?

As envisaged in 1990, Dalton`s third outing, as 007 would have entailed a film moving in the realistic LTK direction but brimming over with ambitious high-tech concepts. Wilson and Ruggiero set out an outline using robotic designs and advanced electronic apparatus to give the film a scientific backdrop similar to some of the Connery and Moore films. At the beginning of the treatment there was an intriguing preface saying that the "robotic devices" referred to in the outline were "complex and exotic machines designed for specific tasks" and they would be designed "especially for the film for maximum and dramatic and visual impact."

The opening sequence was set in a chemical weapons laboratory in Scotland and involved technicians performing tests with robotic devices. Suddenly one of the robotic machines would run amok and the building would explode. After a "bitter debate" in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister would be seen being questioned about the explosion and he would assure the House that the "full resources" of the Government were being used to investigate the incident. Enter 007 who, in the treatment, is summoned to HQ and M`s office. He meets his boss and Michael Yupland (also referred to as Nigel Yupland in a different draft), "a rising star in the Ministry of Defence". Yupland has "no love for the double o section" and wanted to close the section down because of the end of the Cold War. A briefing for 007 follows:

A week earlier, a letter was received, threatening destruction of a chemical weapons testing plant in Scotland. It seemed like a prank, but only the previous day the laboratory had been destroyed (i.e. the opening sequence in Wilson and Ruggiero`s treatment). A second letter received that very morning threatened a serious incident in seventy-two hours at a Government base in Hong Kong (remember, this is 1990!). The only clue is that over the last six months there has been a rash of break-ins to high-tech government facilities. Bond is shown a blurred picture from a videotape at the Scottish plant, and he recruits Q to start work on reconstructing the image. The figure is revealed as Connie Webb, "a beautiful American adventuress in her early 30s." The treatment gives some background about Webb. She was the only daughter of a master cat burglar and was recruited by the CIA to penetrate high security buildings to plant bugs and gather intelligence. Surprise, surprise, Bond is given the task of putting her under surveillance to find out whom she is working for. Interestingly, the treatment describes Q as allowing Bond to have his old Aston Martin DB5 back after Yupland ordered him (Q) to destory it. Yupland proclaimed: "The cowboy days are over". The Aston would later feature in an action scene where Bond goes over a cliff but parachutes to safety by using the Martin`s ejector seat.

The rest of the treatment fleshes out the remaining story. Connie Webb has been breaking into various facilities to alter the controls on robotic apparatus and one scene involves her breaking into Kohoni Industries in Tokyo. She alters a robot in a crate that is destined for Nanking, China. She is discovered by the Kohoni Brothers, "two enormous Japanese brothers", who are the heads of Kohoni Industrial Empire. She manages to escape; showing the skills handed down by her father.

While in Tokyo, Bond makes contact with Webb by booking into the same Japanese ski resort she is staying at. One scene envisaged by Wilson and Ruggiero describes Webb skiing down a mountain and Bond dropping from a helicopter to ski after her (sound familiar?). They challenge each other on the slopes with heart stopping stunts. After overstretching herself, Webb has an accident and is buried under a wall of snow. Naturally, our hero rescues her (shades of Bond and Elektra in The World Is Not Enough?)

There then follows a series of adventures involving Webb, Bond and the Kohoni Brothers. We are also introduced to the main villain, Sir Henry Lee Ching, "a brilliant and handsome thirty year old British Chinese entrepreneur" who, in traditional Bond sense, is a dab hand at science and electronic circuits and is also nicely demented. Sir Henry has a habit of arranging accidents at nuclear plants and demonstrates this by having a robotic device run amok at a Chinese atomic plant in Nanking. Using a combination of locations in Japan, Hong Kong and China, the treatment goes on to describe a tale of cross and double cross, involving microchips and robotic technology.

The main point to Wilson and Ruggiero`s treatment for Bond 17 is that Sir Henry wants Britain to withdraw from Hong Kong; his high tech empire has manufactured critical components for all navigation, communication, weapon and missile guidance systems in the world. With his expertise in electronics, Sir Henry plots to unleash a computer virus that can paralyze every military and commercial unit in the world. This power will be directed against Britain if his demands are not met. The climax of the treatment involves Bond putting a stop to this evil plan. Bond is led to Sir Henry`s base of operations through the sewer system under Hong Kong and gains access to the building via a waste pipe. There follows a classic confrontation between Bond and Sir Henry. Sir Henry is eventually killed when Bond turns a welding torch in his face.

Had MGM/UA not gone into financial trouble, and had EON not had to fight a legal battle of their own, Dalton would have gone on to film this as his third Bond movie in 1990 for a summer 1991 release.

Here are some more factors known about the proposed film:

The title was alleged to be The Property Of A Lady (a Fleming title but this is highly doubtful)
Locations included Hong Kong and perhaps Vancouver, British Columbia (depending upon which outline you read)
It was Disney`s IMAGINEERING division that was developing the robots.
Variety had reported that Anthony Hopkins was in talks to play the villain (yes, his name did come up again for GE and TND, but remember that Hopkins and Dalton have a relationship, they both debuted in THE LION IN WINTER)
Whoopi Goldberg was interested in playing a villainness (She was dating Dalton at the time).

It`s tough to make a critical assessment of a movie that`s never been made, but in retrospect, perhaps the fact that this film never got made is not such a bad thing. It doesn`t read particularly well and seems like a strong departure from the style of Bond film making that Dalton seemed comfortable with. Had this movie come out and bombed, it could have branded Dalton`s tenure a failure, rather than allowing a big question mark to hang over his reign as it still does today.

007Forever would like to thank Kenny Smith and Steve Woodbridge of Universal Exports Magazine for contributing to this article. Parts of Missing In Action were first printed in Universal Exports Magazine Issue Eight. Additional research provided by Nicholas Kincaid, Richard Ashton and Tom Soter of the 1993 book Bond and Beyond (not affiliated with the wonderful message boards hosted by Forumotion.com laugh )
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