October 5th, 2012 has been declared Global James Bond Day in honor of the 50th anniversary of the release of "Dr. No," the first film adaptation of Ian Fleming's series of novels about the legendary superspy. Directed by Terence Young and starring Sean Connery as the premiere Bond, the film was produced by the team of Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, who would shepherd Bond through global adventures and changes in lead actor.
Epix is marking the occasion of a half-century of Bond with the exclusive documentary "Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007," airing tonight, October 5th, at 8pm and several more times over the coming weeks. Directed by Stevan Riley ("Fire in Babylon"), the film looks at how Broccoli, Saltzman and Fleming made Bond into the generation-spanning icon he is today. Indiewire had the chance to speak with Barbara Broccoli (who, with half-brother Michael G. Wilson, now co-produces the series) and Hilary Saltzman about the series their fathers started and just how it's managed to stay not only relevant but vital for decades.
The Bond franchise is now 50 years old, with several distinct chapters, and a certain amount of reinvention has been necessary as a part of that process. How much of that has been thrust upon you, as producers, and how much was the result of deliberate choice at each step?
Barbara Broccoli: I think it's a combination of both. The thing about this franchise is that it's lasted 50 years because it's changed with the times. The films reflect the times. And each actor that's played the role has taken certain elements of the character and expanded on things based on their interests and their abilities. I think it's a combination of both: the time and place, and the actor that's playing the role.
One very large change was, with "GoldenEye," bringing in Judi Dench to play M. Of course, that's going to change a bit of the dynamic between Bond and M.
BB: I'd love to take credit for that, but it wasn't my idea, it was the writer, Bruce Feirstein, and Martin Campbell, the director. But I thought it was a great idea -- my concern was, as long as it's not a gimmick. The character has to be even more interesting because she's a woman, and you've got to mine new territory. I was very concerned about who we were going to cast, because I wanted someone who was going to be able to bring a lot of different layers. So when we settled on Judi Dench I knew we were secure. I think that relationship is vitally important to [Bond]; M is the only authoritative figure in his life, the only person Bond answers to. The fact that it was a woman brought in a great dynamic, and I think she's such an extraordinary actor.
Hilary Saltzman: And it modernized everything, because that's what happens today: women have higher places in our industries. I think it really brought it into present time.
I also couldn't help but notice, even though it turns out it was a coincidence, but Barbara, when you took over from your father: woman producer, woman M.
HS: [laughing] Sign of the times!
I was just hoping it was some, “It was my auteurist vision as a modern feminist!”
BB: [laughing] Not at all, not at all. I think... men are having to get used to women being bosses whether they like it or not. I think it's only benefited the world. Look at all the women who've been world leaders and things like that. Women have made a big change in the world. If only they'd get paid the same.
HS: One day.
Shifting gears, then--
HS: And no, there won't ever be a female Bond. [laughing]