Never Say Never Again

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Never Say Never Again
Directed by Irvin Kershner
Produced by Kevin McClory
Jack Schwartzman
Written by Ian Fleming
Kevin McClory
Jack Whittingham (original)
Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Starring Sean Connery
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Kim Basinger
Edward Fox
Alec McCowen
Pamela Salem
Bernie Casey
Music by Michael Legrand
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release date(s) October 7, 1983
Running time 134 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Official website
IMDb profile

Never Say Never Again (1983) is an un-official James Bond film produced by Kevin McClory and released by Orion Pictures in 1983. It stars Sean Connery for the seventh and final time as fictional British secret agent James Bond. The film is a result of Kevin McClory being granted the copyrights to produce a rival Bond film based on Ian Fleming's Bond novel Thunderball, which McClory received the rights to as a result of a legal case in 1962. The film is an updated remake of the EON Productions Bond film Thunderball, with many of the characters and environments reimagined and renamed. Never Say Never Again was the third of three un-official (non-EON produced) James Bond films, the previous two being the 1954 Climax! TV film Casino Royale, and the 1967 parody film Casino Royale, none of which are connected to each other.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, owners of the official James Bond film series, would eventually buy the rights to Never Say Never Again in the late 1990s with their accusation of Orion Pictures.

Cast

"The Battle of the Bonds"

At the time of the official Bond film Octopussys production and release, Kevin McClory was granted the rights in court to produce his own rival James Bond series as long as the films were based on the Bond novel Thunderball, which McClory owned the copyrights to as a result of a legal case in 1962. This resulted in McClory producing the rival James Bond movie Never Say Never Again with Orion Pictures in 1983, with Sean Connery playing James Bond in the film for his seventh and final time. Roger Moore was originally going to leave the official Bond series after For Your Eyes Only which caused the studios to begin testing out multiple actors to take over the role, including Pierce Brosnan (who would play Bond later on) and James Brolin. However, when EON Productions became aware of the rival film, they persisted to have Moore return to the role as a result of the expected rivalry, with Moore then signed on for two more films. EON and McClory were planning to release their Bond films around the same time in the summer of 1983, which resulted in the media dubbing the rivalry "the Battle of the Bonds". However, when George Lucas announced the release of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on Memorial Day 1983, the producers of both films decided to move the releases to separate dates to avoid competition with Star Wars. Octopussy was released in June 1983, and Never Say Never Again was released in October 1983. In the end result, Octopussy grossed slightly more money total at the box office then Never Say Never Again, possibly due to Octopussy coming out in the Summer, and Never Say Never Again coming out in the Fall. Kevin McClory would later attempt to partner with Sony Pictures in the 1990's to produce an adaptation of both Casino Royale and Thunderball (entitled Warhead A.D.), with future Bond actor Timothy Dalton reprising his role; however, a large courtroom battle against MGM and EON Productions throughout the 1990s forced McClory to discontinue producing any further installments in his would-be rival James Bond series.

The rights to Never Say Never Again were eventually purchased by official Bond producer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the late 1990s with their accusation of Orion Pictures, along with the previous two adaptations of Casino Royale from 1954 and 1967.