Oct 15, 2009

New James Bond Radioplay In The Works

CBn points the way to a story on British actors' trade The Stage reporting that a new James Bond radioplay is in the offing: an adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel Goldfinger. The site reports that production company Jarvis and Ayres, which is run by actors Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres, are developing a follow-up to their radio adaptation of Ian Fleming's Doctor No, which aired on the BBC last year as part of the Ian Fleming Centenary celebrations. At the time, the "Dr. No" adaptation, starring Die Another Day villain Toby Stephens as James Bond and David Suchet as Dr. No, was said to be a one-off event, officially sanctioned by EON Productions (who control radio rights to the character as well as film rights) specifically for the Centenary. Apparently EON was so impressed with "Dr. No" that they approached Jarvis and Ayres to do another one. According to the trade, Jarvis asserts that "'Goldfinger' would be similar in style to 'Dr No,' which featured narrations from a Fleming character, played by Jarvis. Casting was yet to be confirmed but he said he was keen to secure Stephens to reprise the role of Bond." Like "Dr. No," "Goldfinger" will air on BBC Radio 4 "early next year." The BBC streamed "Dr. No" for a week on the web; hopefully they will do the same with "Goldfinger" for the benefit of international listeners.

I have to wonder how much it will be based on the book and how much of the movie will creep into the adaptation. The book, frankly, is one of Fleming's worst, and therefore seems to me an odd choice for the next radioplay. I suppose it's one of the best known titles, though, thanks to the fantastic film. Personally, I would have much rather seen Jarvis and Ayres next tackle On Her Majesty's Secret Service or From Russia With Love. Hopefully, if "Goldfinger" is a success, EON will be persuaded to commission more radio shows, and eventually get around to those titles.

Previous Bond radio adaptations include "Doctor No" (2008), "You Only Live Twice" (1990, starring Michael Jayston) and "Moonraker" (1958, a legendary lost South African adaptation starring Bob Holness).

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