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Studio exec David Picker pens memoirs, includes 007 beginnings

28-Sep-2013 • Bond News

Studio executive David V. Picker, who was instrumental in James Bond getting on the silver screen by doing a deal as UA President with producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman after Columbia Pictures had turned them away, has penned his memoirs.

Picker gave the following snippet about 007 to Deadline:

Why did it take years (seven books worth) before James Bond came to the screen? Couldn’t any intelligent studio production executive see that Bond was a franchise waiting to happen? The answer is complex. Sometimes everything has to fall in place, then an opportunity arises and someone has to take advantage of the moment. Well, that’s what happened to 007. Lew Wasserman, the biggest agent in the business, was in New York and coming to meet with the UA brass. I had only been head of production for a couple of months when we all sat down in my boss’s office and I started the conversation. “Mr. Wasserman, you represent Ian Fleming. Why can’t we get the rights to James Bond? It would be great for Mr. Hitchcock – we’ve never made a film with him. It’s perfect.”

“It’s a great idea, kid, but Fleming just won’t sell.”

Oh well, not every idea comes to fruition, right? Some months later Bud Ornstein, the head of UA London production called and said that Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were coming to New York and they wanted to meet with Arthur Krim, Robert Benjamin, Arnold Picker and me. I set up the date. Harry, Cubby and Harry’s lawyer, Irving Moskowitz, sat in Arthur Krim’s office with Bob Benjamin, Arnold Picker and me. I usually sat to the left of Arthur’s desk, often with one of my long legs propped on the corner of the desk so I could tilt my chair back. Cubby was the first to speak. “We own the rights to James Bond. Are you interested?”

My leg came down and my chair hit the ground with a thud. And 007 began his screen life.


The book 'Musts, Maybes, and Nevers: A Book About The Movies' can be ordered now from Amazon for Kindle or paperback.

Thanks to `HMSS` for the alert.

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