Duncan Jones is set to helm an adventurous tale centered on the younger Fleming, as announced at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend. Jones has made two feature films, both of them impeccably-executed science fiction stories. First was 2009's excellent and underseen Moon starring Sam Rockwell and second was last year's more commercial replay-trip Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
The director, who actually removed himself from the shortlist to direct the Superman reboot Man of Steel, has been developing a Blade Runner-style sci-fi picture entitled Mute, but has also expressed a desire not to be pigeonholed in the science fiction genre.
He'll be stepping into a new arena with his third movie, the as-yet untitled biopic based on the biography Ian Fleming, The Man Behind The Legend by Andrew Lycett. This isn't a mashup that places the author in fictionalized action scenarios simply to add some popcorn appeal to a straightforward life-story; Fleming was actually a British Naval Intelligence Officer during the second World War, planning and executing covert operations against the Axis Powers. He also led two commando units tasked with dangerous, cutting-edge intelligence missions.
So yeah, Fleming makes for a fascinating subject, and Jones is a young director who has proven his chops, so while Fleming's literary creation will remain bigger than his creator, this movie is one to watch out for. According to the announcement below, Jones is currently casting the picture, and the most obvious question is just who will play Fleming.
Check out the full press release, which includes an emboldened comment from the director himself:
CANNES, FRANCE. Duncan Jones, the BAFTA Award-winning British director of Moon and international box office hit Source Code, will direct the action-packed story of one of Britain’s most celebrated yet mysterious legends – James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Before Ian Fleming became the globally renowned best-selling author, his own life was no less exciting than that of the hero he created. Fleming travelled the world and masterminded real life top-secret operations, inspiring him to create James Bond. Duncan Jones’ take will explore and tie together those events in the author’s life that gave birth to Britain’s greatest superspy.
Duncan Jones remarked – “Fleming lived through one of the most perilous periods in world history, in a position that allowed him a unique vantage point of all the players, all the stakes. He witnesses true heroism first-hand. And he saw the evil men could do. Then, when the war ended, he went off to write fiction. The essential question for me is; where did Ian Fleming end and Bond begin?”
K5 Film (Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur), PalmStar Media Capital’s Kevin Frakes and Liberty Films’ Stuart Fenegan will produce the film in association with Jim Young and Robert Laycock of the Ian Fleming Estate. K5 International will handle worldwide rights.
Jones is currently in the process of casting the film, which is based on the authoritative biography “Ian Fleming, The Man Behind James Bond” by Andrew Lycett, and is anticipated to go into production later this year. It is the only film to be given the full support of The Ian Fleming Estate.
Kevin Frakes says, “Fleming is a larger than life character and it’s fantastic to be bringing him to the big screen with Duncan.”
“Duncan is one of the hottest directors currently working in film and everyone has been waiting to see what he would do next,” say K5’s Co-Founding Partners Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur.
Stuart Fenegan commented, “The opportunity to make a period action film about the life of Fleming and origins of Bond – a hero we all grew up idolising – is too great for Duncan and me to resist.”
Stay tuned for more on this particular project. In the meantime, he's a photograph of Fleming himself to get you pondering.