Mar 3, 2008

Random Intelligence Dispatches For March 4, 2008

More Devil May Care Cover Art

CBN pointed the way yesterday to Entertainment Weekly, which offers our first glimpse of the cover art for the American edition of Sebastian Faulks' upcoming James Bond pastiche, Devil May Care. As I predicted before, it's different from the British cover art. I knew America wouldn't be able to handle a nipple! (Even on a weird flower faery.) It's still not ideal (I would have preferred a Richard Chopping-style approach for a novel celebrating the centenary of Bond creator Ian Fleming), but it's pretty damn good nonetheless, and a definite improvement over the UK version, which is rare. Historically, England has usually made out with the better Bond covers.

Unfortunately, the US version retains that offensive, disrespectful and completely inexcusable author credit that reduces the great writer who created James Bond to nothing more than a Franklin W. Dixon (or Robert Markham)-esque pseudonym to be passed down from writer to writer. If it's intended as some sort of tribute, it's a woeful misfire. I hate this, and frankly, it's coloring my opinion of the whole book (which I should be looking forward to more than any other this year) quite negatively in advance. Faulks had better have written a damn good book to climb his way out of the hole that the marketers at Ian Fleming Publications have already stuck him in!

Burn Notice DVD Update

TVShowsOnDVD has another, more substantial report on Burn Notice: Season One DVDs today. The site claims that retailers have been informed of a June 3 release date and a retail price of $49.99, but Fox has yet to officially confirm this.

Tradecraft: Coens' Spy Movie To Open Wide

Variety reports that the Coen brothers' upcoming spy movie, Burn After Reading, will have a wide release. Most of their movies open with platform releases, starting out in New York and LA, then gaining word-of-mouth momentum before going wider. "Everyone feels [Burn After Reading] has the capability to play wide at that September [12] playtime," the trade quotes Focus Features head of distribution, Jack Foley, as saying. One presumes the brothers' recent Oscar success can't hurt, either! This year's Best Actress, Tilda Swinton, co-stars with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. The articles describes the movie's plot as "[revolving] around an ousted CIA official whose memoir inadvertently falls into the hands of two bumbling Washington DC gym employees."

Astrologer To The Spies

Yahoo has a fascinating AP story about newly-declassified MI5 files pertaining to Louis de Wohl, an astrologer hired by British military intelligence during WWII to write horoscopes for Hitler and other Axis and Allied leaders under the guise of a "Psychological Research Bureau." He served as a British agent until he wore out his welcome and MI5 pursued various options to "dispose" of this embarassing "State Seer," as he billed himself, "including interning him in a camp or moving him to a remote corner of the country" as well as "two other options [that] are blanked out."

New Get Smart Trailer, Poster

A new poster (not as good as the first one) and a new trailer have recently hit the web for the upcoming big screen remake of Get Smart starring Steve Carell. I like Carell a lot, and I was really excited about this movie—until I actually saw it, that is.

Belated Happy Birthday To Daniel Craig

The current 007 celebrated his 40th birthday this weekend, while filming the twenty-second James Bond film (and direct sequel to Casino Royale), Quantum of Solace in Panama. Here's wishing him a great year!


Anonymous said...

I'm the camp of people who prefer this cover then the UK one. It will look great on the bookshelf thats for sure. It looks and feels like an old school cover.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! I geneuinely dislike the UK version as I think it is a cliched concept very poorly rendered. Simply put, the artwork itself is subpar in my opinion. Additionally, the design doesn't evoke anything remotely Fleming to me.

This US version has a great retro feel that seems much more in line with the look and feel of a Fleming novel.

Tanner said...

Yes, the UK cover is pretty bad. I love the design elements on the American one--the colors, the fonts, the general layout. And the illustration is good too, but also my secondary quibble; I don't think that any of the original Fleming hardcovers ever depicted James Bond himself. (Except for maybe an eye.) But that point aside, this cover definitely has a Fleming feel sorely lacking in the UK equivilant. I just wish that it didn't share my PRIMARY quibble with the English version: that awful "writing AS" bit.

FCG said...

I don't think I can add anything to your condemnation of "Writing as" other than, I'm apalled.