It’s been nearly forty years since the tenth installment in the James Bond franchise, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” graced movie theatres everywhere, with its nefarious World War III apocalypse schemes and car-to-submarine Lotus Esprits. “The Making of the Spy Who Loved Me,” originally made for BBC Open University, packs over three hours’ worth of interviews, behind the scenes footage and sequences from the original film into a remarkable look into the production of the 1977 spy flick.
In comparison with most of the James Bond films, “The Spy Who Loved Me” is not a direct adaptation of Ian Fleming’s original novel, and contains no similarities to the book other than the title, which the filmmakers were given permission to use by the Fleming estate. Since there was no material from which to adapt a film, the creation of a story became a much more collaborative process, as noted in the doc.
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“Disagreements do develop in the script,” said co-producer Albert Broccoli, “because that’s, I think, is what does makes a good screenplay.” Broccoli, along with co-writer Christopher Wood and director Lewis Gilbert, discussed the rigor of constructing the film as a group, though they recognized the value each individual brought to the filmmaking process. Because a James Bond film is such a massive project, numerous writers or directors can be filtered through quickly, and changes can be made to the original idea.
“If you are so terribly finicky and caring about your work and you can’t bear to have anything touched, if you’re a very temperamental and hypersensitive person,” said Wood, “then the film industry is not the place for you.”
Check out the full documentary below.