Kevin McClory's unfilmed 1976 script for the rogue James Bond project "Warhead" was sold at auction this week...

Warhead Script Sold At Auction
5th December 2008

Kevin McClory's unfilmed 1976 script for the rogue James Bond project "Warhead", based on a screenplay he penned with Sean Connery and author Len Deighton, was sold at Christies auction house on Thursday 4th December 2008 for £46,850. The lot, which also included McClory's shooting script for "Never Say Never Again" (1983), was only expected to reach £2,000-£3,000. It was the highest-selling lot in the Christie's Pop Culture: Entertainment Memorabilia auction.

McClory, who produced the 1965 blockbuster "Thunderball" after striking a deal with EON producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, went on to remake the film as 1983's "Never Say Never Again" outside of the Bond stable. The "Warhead" saga was an on-again off-again thorn in the side of the official series. After his case to remake the film again was thrown out of court in 2001 and Sony dropped their support, the Irish producer failed to sell the script and 'film rights' to "Warhead" a year later. McClory passed away on 20th November 2006 at the age of 80.

Katherine Williams, popular culture specialist at Christie's, said: "The Pop Culture: Entertainment Memorabilia sale witnessed a busy saleroom, with numerous international bidders on the telephone and on Christie's LIVE. We are delighted with the robust prices achieved for pieces associated with screen icons, including the the script of an unmade James Bond film which sold for £46,850." The Warhead script featured various characters in the cast list including James Bond and Bond girls called Justine Lovesit and Fatima Blush. A photo of the three authors of the screenplay, taken at McClory's home in Ireland during their collaboration on the project was part of the lot. Also sold at the auction was a set of storyboards to the game sequence of "Never Say Never Again" (£5,000), and a shooting script with drawings from "Thunderball" (£10,000).

Lot: Kevin McClory Warhead, 1976 Never Say Never Again, 1983
Kevin McClory's script for Warhead, an unmade James Bond project, the script entitled "Warhead" Based on "JAMES BOND OF THE SECRET SERVICE" by Ian Fleming, Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, giving further details on the title page of the screenplay's authors Len Deighton, Sean Connery and Kevin McClory, production details including c Branwell Film Productions, March 21, 1976... and FIRST DRAFT 6 September 1978..., 137pp. mimeographed typescript, various characters in the cast list include the hero James Bond and Bond girls: Justine Lovesit and Fatima Blush, other Bond regulars include: Ernst Stavros Blofeld, Felix Leiter, Moneypenny, M and Q, original blue paper covers; accompanied by a black and white photograph of the three authors of the screenplay, Connery, Deighton and McClory at the latter's home in Ireland, taken during their collaboration on this project [printed later] -- 8x10in. (20.4x25.5cm.); and Kevin McClory's shooting script for Never Say Never Again, 119pp. of mimeographed typescript, variously dated from 7.9.82 to 23.9.82; 123pp. of mimeographed storyboards including many dramatic underwater sequences including shipwreck shark attacks on Bond, the duel between Bond and Largo and the assassination of Largo by Domino, the pages contained in a maroon vinyl ring binder -- accompanied by a letter from the vendor explaining the provenanc.

Robert Sellers devotes a chapter in his book The Battle For Bond to the film project, Warhead - The Bond Film That Never Was. In it, he gives a detailed description of the background to this script which was a collaboration between producer Kevin McClory, thriller writer and creator of the Harry Palmer character immortalised on screen by Michael Caine - Len Deighton, and the first screen Bond - Sean Connery. Sellers depicts this script as: one of the great-unfilmed scripts in cinema history, described in Hollywood circles as 'Star Wars' underwater. As a result of a combination of legal objections from Eon Productions and Connery's and Paramount's ensuing reservations, Warhead was never made. With Never Say Never Again, Kevin McClory used his hard fought for rights to the Thunderball script updating it with '80s technology. Sean Connery was enticed back to the role of Bond by a number of inducements including total creative control, a $3million fee, and a percentage of the profits.

Lot: Kevin McClory Thunderball, 1965
Kevin McClory's shooting script for Thunderball and corresponding storyboard notebook, the script cover with typescript label, numbered 4, titled THUNDERBALL (Shooting Script) 30th November 1964, 138pp. of mimeographed typescript, original blue paper covers, this script with several differences to the final version; accompanied by a spiral bound notebook, signed on the cover in red felt pen Kevin McClory, containing 52 printed storyboards titled Vulcan "Ditching" & Underwater Sequences, each labelled in black felt pen in an unidentified hand, pasted in pairs onto 26 separate pages, each -- 3x6½in. (7.7x16.5cm.), the last page and inside back cover inscribed in blue ballpoint pen in an unidentified hand with various production details including $100,000 for charter...Speak to McClory about in Nassau...Lock up 2 man sub...,4to. original buff paper covers; [accompanied by a letter from the vendor concerning the provenance].

The Lots were given to the vendor by producer, Kevin McClory. It was McClory who, in 1958, had worked with Ian Fleming and screenwriter Jack Whittingham on a script which was finally entitled Thunderball and which, if it had gone to production, would have been the first James Bond film, pre-dating Dr. No by four years. This 1958 venture however was not to be and led to what has been described by a judge in 2001 as ...a story far too improbable even for the silver screen.... Fleming used the early screenplay as the basis for his novel of the same name, without the permission of his collaborators and was sued by McClory and Whittingham in 1963 for plagiarism. A 40-year legal dispute between McClory and the producers of the 007 film series over the genesis and ownership of the screen version of James Bond ensued.

Lot: Never Say Never Again, 1983
A collection of material relating to the 'Game Sequence' scene in the 1983 Warner Bros. film Never Say Never Again, comprising: 12 pen and ink storyboard drawings, all attached to individual special effects printed flow charts for the sequence; five pages of handwritten notes for the scene; five photocopied pages of proposed illustrations for the video game; a six page photocopied excerpt from the script containing dialogue and directions for this scene; five photocopied pages of storyboard drawings for the sequence; two photocopied pages of diagrams and notes for the game screen; and an annotated typescript document entitled Bond Game Sequence, listing various notes for the construction of both the Globe and the Holgram in Frame.

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Never Say Never Again