By Jeff Hall
The name is Rubin. Steve Rubin.
Brentwood resident Steven Jay Rubin is a TV and movie writer and producer. He is also perhaps THE world expert on all things James Bond.
His new book, The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia, just came out – coinciding with the release of No Time to Die.
No Time to Die, the latest installment in the 007 series, opened Friday, Oct. 8.
A few weeks ago, I learned of Steven Jay Rubin, who lives in Brentwood. Rubin has written several definitive books about James Bond.
As a guy who has watched every James Bond movie – almost always on opening night – I was impressed. Of course I wanted to interview him.
As a huge fan of James Bond movies, I think Steve Rubin is as close to royalty as it gets.
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia is indeed encyclopedic, running over 400 pages.
Everything you might want to know about the different actors who played James Bond can be found in The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia – Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig (and some other Bonds you might not know about).
So are photos of all the Bond babes, descriptions of every gadget, insights on every villain, pictures of every hideaway that served as headquarters for those seeking world domination.
Every movie – all 25 of them — is recalled in great detail: the characters, the actors, the plotlines, the car chases, the action stunts, the music, the behind-the-scenes camerawork, the writers, the directors.
In The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia, you can learn how each Bond movie did in terms of box office. This book could make for a great holiday gift for the James Bond fan in your family.
Rubin was my guest on THE LATEST PODCAST, which you can find here.
Want to know Steve’s take on the best 007 ever?
The hottest Bond babe? The scariest villain?
Why is Daniel Craig is retiring from the role of James Bond? Who might be next?
I’m not supplying the answers to these questions on purpose. I want you to listen to THE LATEST PODCAST. You can hear it all there.
But I will reveal two things Steve said during our podcast recording session.
First, No Time to Die is amazing — and simply must be seen in the theater. I’ve seen it; I concur.
Second, The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia can be found in bookstores or on Amazon.
Here is a list of “10 Facts You Didn’t Know About the James Bond Movies,” as compiled by Steven Jay Rubin:
- James Bond was originally developed as a female agent. According to Lorenzo Semple, Jr., who worked with producer Gregory Ratoff, the first producer in Hollywood to option an Ian Fleming book, 20th Century Fox was developing 007 as a vehicle for actress Susan Hayward (I Want to Live).
- James Bond film producer Albert R. Broccoli’s previous partner, producer Irving Allen, turned down the Bond series. According to Broccoli, Allen didn’t even consider them good for TV. Columbia Pictures also turned down the series, which was picked up by United Artists.
- Dr. No, the first James Bond movie cost a little north of $1 million – pretty much the snack, coffee and lunch budget for the latest James Bond movie No Time To Die.
- Thunderball was supposed to be the first James Bond movie, but author Ian Fleming got into a heavy legal squabble with producer Kevin McClory over the film rights to his book, causing the Bond producers to pivot to Dr. No.
- Actor John Payne, who played Kris Kringle’s lawyer in Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and had his own western series, The Restless Gun, briefly held the rights to Ian Fleming’s novel, Moonraker, and intended to play James Bond.
- Sean Connery was not the first actor to play James Bond. That honor goes to American actor Barry Nelson, who portrayed 007 as a Yank in the CBS live adaptation of Casino Royale on Climax Theater in 1954.
- Dr. No was the name of the villain’s monkey in an early draft of the first James Bond movie. Producer Albert R. Broccoli was so insulted by that plot point that he fired the writer.
- Actor John Gavin, who played Julius Caesar in Spartacus and was later appointed. U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, was cast as James Bond in 1971. However, United Artists was able to convince Sean Connery to come back and star as Bond in Diamonds are Forever.
- Ian Fleming took the name James Bond from a coffee table book entitled “Birds of the West Indies,” written by American ornithologist James Bond.
- President John F. Kennedy’s interest in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, as revealed by Look magazine columnist Hugh Sidey in 1961, is considered the biggest publicity windfall in James Bond history, and contributed enormously to the success of the books and movies.