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'Never Say Never Again' screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. dies aged 91

30-Mar-2014 • Bond News

Outside of the Bond realm, American screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr, and sometime playwright, was best known for his work on the campy 60's television series Batman and the political/paranoia movie thrillers "The Parallax View" (1974) and "Three Days of the Condor" (1975) and the campy "Flash Gordon" (1980).

In the early 1980s when Kevin McClory had the legal green-light to remake "Thunderball", his production company commissioned Julien Plowden to work on the script, sticking closely to the Thunderball material that was available to them. It proved to be unsuitable and a second script was produced by Lorenzo Semple Jr. His script was to play up the fact that Connery was now visibly older than when we last saw him as Bond.

After "Never Say Never Again" (1983), a non-Eon Productions film in the James Bond series which brought Sean Connery briefly back in the role, Semple dipped his pen for a final time into the comic book fountain for "Sheena" (1984), based on the comic book 'Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.' It was that movie that brought Tanya Roberts to the attention of Albert R. Broccoli who swiftly signed her to play the leading Bond girl role a year later in "A View To A Kill."

After "Sheena", Semple and retired agent and producer Marcia Nasatir reviewed movies on YouTube as the Reel Geezers.

In September 2008, he was hailed by the Writers Guild of America as a Living Legend. In 2010, the American Cinemateque presented a two-night retrospective of his movies in Santa Monica.

He died on March 28, 2014, of natural causes at his home just one day after his 91st birthday in Los Angeles, California.

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