Trivia - Never Say Never Again
This Warner Brothers film was intended to go head-to-head with the official EON Productions film "Octopussy" (1983) at the box office. "Never Say Never Again" (1983) was instead released just 4 months after "Octopussy". Because the films starred Roger Moore and Sean Connery, each equally recognized to the movie going public as James Bond at the time, much of the talk in the press was of a "Bond vs. Bond" or "Battle of the Bonds" showdown at the box office. Most industry analysts predicted that "Never Say Never Again" would win out at the box office due to the return of Connery, more press, and a significantly larger production budget than "Octopussy". According to a press release from Variety in 1985 this was not the case. Variety quoted figures from MGM and Warner Brothers that listed Octopussy's US gross at $67.9 million and Never Say Never Again's US gross at $55.4 million. It also listed Octopussy's worldwide gross at $187.5 million, and Never Say Never Again's worldwide gross at $160 million. The article also stated that according to the studios, Octopussy had $34.031 million in US rentals, while Never Say Never Again had $28.2 million in US rentals. When the final results were in "Never Say Never Again" and Sean Connery ended up losing the much discussed "Bond vs. Bond" showdown.
This movie is based on the original "Thunderball" screenplay and not the script for the released version of Thunderball (1965). The Maximilian Largo character in Never Say Never Again (1983) was called Emilio Largo in Thunderball. In early outlines / treatments for that movie, he was known as Henrico Largo. Fatima Blush, a double agent from the original treatment, was renamed Fiona Volpe for the movie and excised completely from the book, then revived for NSNA. Domino Smith from the treatment became Domino (Dominique) Derval in Thunderball and Domino Petachi in NSNA. The Italian ship Disco Volante was Anglicised for NSNA as Flying Saucer. The Palmyra estate was relocated from the Bahamas to Morocco.
A number of the villains in the movie who work for SPECTRE had an Agent Number assigned to them. Maximilian Largo was SPECTRE Agent #1 whilst Fatima Blush was SPECTRE Agent #12. Blofeld for the first time in a Bond movie did not have a SPECTRE Agent number as he was Supreme Commander instead. French agent Nicole's agent number was Agent No. 326.
Rowan Atkinson's first movie. His character was a humorous supporting character called Nigel Small-Fawcett. He would later parody James Bond himself as Johnny English (2003).
This "Bond film" was not part of the franchise produced by MGM and Danjaq. Kevin McClory, who was producer and co-writer of Thunderball (1965), won a legal battle against Ian Fleming to make his own Bond movie. The Thunderball court case began on 19 November 1963. Ian Fleming made a settlement with Kevin McClory after ten days, on 29 November 1963, giving McClory the film rights to this movie and £50,000 damages. The settlement stipulated that any future movie had to effectively be a remake of "Thunderball".
Product placements and promotional tie-ins seen in the movie included Bentley Cars, Absolut Vodka, Smirnoff, and video parlor games "Centipede" (1982) and "Robotron: 2084" (1982).
James Bond's Bahamian romantic interlude in this movie and credited as the Lady in Bahamas was played by Valerie Leon. She also appeared in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) as the Hotel Receptionist at the Cala Di Volpe Hotel in Sardinia.
Vehicles featured included the Flying Saucer yacht (which translates as Disco Volante) and was known as the Nabila during filming and became the Kingdom 5KR and now Trump Princess; a black 1937 Bentley 4 1/4 litre B129JY Gurney Nutting 3-Position-Drophead Coupé ; Fatima's gold metallic Mercedes-Benz SL convertible and red 1983 Renault Turbo 2; Q-shop's black Yamaha XJ 650 Turbo motorbike ridden by Bond; a black Chevrolet Camaro SS; US Navy submarine and XT-7B helicopter; Rockwell B-1A Lancer ; Ford Taunus; Peugeot; Renault 5 GT Maxi Turbo and a rubber dinghy.
Richard Donner was offered the job of directing the movie but turned it down.
Besides Sean Connery, only one other performer was involved in both this film and the original Thunderball (1965): Robert Rietty (Italian Minister) voiced the character of Largo in the original.
The literal translations of some of this film's foreign language titles include Never Say Never (Italy, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Spain); Never Never Again (or Never Ever) (France); Agent 007, Never Say Never (Italy) ; and 007 Never More Say Never (Portugal)
A stunt involving a horse jumping off a cliff caused controversy among animal rights activists including the RSPCA. it became standard practice for movies to include a disclaimer (when applicable) indicating that animals were not mistreated during production.
The title is (allegedly) based on a conversation between Sean Connery and his wife. After "Diamonds Are Forever" (1971) he told her he'd *never* play James Bond again, and there he was, playing James Bond again. Her response was for him to "never say never again".
John Barry was invited to do the music for this film but he politely declined out of respect for Albert R. Broccoli and his association with EON Productions.
When the project was first announced, the title was "James Bond of the Secret Service" and Orson Welles was going to play a villain.
A young Steven Seagal was the martial arts instructor for this film. He broke Sean Connery's wrist during training.
Most of Max von Sydow's scenes were deleted from the theatrical cut of the film. Marsha A. Hunt and Brenda Cowling had their roles deleted entirely.
MGM bought complete ownership of the movie in December of 1997 from Taliafilm Inc. for $15 million.
During the closing credits, there's a "Thanks A.K." listed. This refers to Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi arms dealer who allowed them to film aboard his 282 yacht, the "Nabila". He later sold this yacht to Donald Trump, who renamed it the "Trump Princess". It is currently owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.
Barbara Carrera (Fatima Blush) did her love scenes with Sean Connery herself, declining the offer to use a body double.
In the early 1990s, producer Jack Schwartzman was supposedly planning a special edition laserdisc, with an all-new expanded cut of the film. There was also talk of having the film re-scored.
Producer Jack Schwartzman wanted then up-and-coming composer James Horner to score the film. Sean Connery objected and 'Michel Legrand' was brought in after accidentally meeting Sean Connery in a studio corridor.
Reportedly, Francis Ford Coppola made script contributions to the film. The movie's producer Jack Schwartzman was the husband of "The Godfather" (1972) star Talia Shire. The film's credits state that Shire acted as a Consultant to the Producer. She is also Francis Ford Coppola's sister.
The original/working title for the film was "James Bond of the Secret Service" but in a London court case between EON Productions and Kevin McClory, the court ruled that this title could not be used as it was too similar to the title for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969).
The type of drink that Domino orders at the Casino Royale was a double bloody Mary with plenty of Worcester sauce.
Kim Basinger had never seen a Bond film when she signed on as Domino.
The final cinema role of Anthony Sharp.
Amy Irving provides the uncredited voice of the computer when Gavan O'Herlihy (Captain Jack Petachi) gets his eye scan.
The title song of "Never Say Never Again" (1983) is sung by Lani Hall is also the name of a song recorded previously by The Bee Gees and heard on their 1969 double LP album, "Odessa". In 2008, an original song recorded but never used for the film was revealed to the public for the first time. Stephen Forsyth and Jim Ryan wrote the song which was also called "Never Say Never Again". It was sung by Phyllis Hyman and Warner Brothers intended it to be the film's title song during the making of the movie. The film's composer Michel Legrand allegedly maintained that he had contractual rights over the title song and considered suing. Consequently, the Ryan-Forsyth track reportedly had to be jettisoned by the studio just before the release of the movie due to legal reasons. The song was never released until 2008, when for the first time, the song was made available to the public - released on an album and made accessible via the internet.
Pamela Salem became the very first actress other than Lois Maxwell to play Miss Moneypenny in a straight Bond movie (Barbara Bouchet played Moneypenny in the Bond parody spoof "Casino Royale" (1966)).
Pat Roach makes a cameo appearance as Count Lippe, the large villain in the health clinic (equivalent of Guy Doleman's role in Thunderball (1965)). Roach is the only actor to deliver severe beatings to both James Bond and Indiana Jones, having terrorized the latter in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984).
Kevin McClory originally planned for the film to open with some version of the famous "gun barrel" opening as seen in the EON Productions Bond series, but ultimately the film opens with a screen full of "007" symbols instead. When the soundtrack for the film was released on CD, it included a piece of music composed for the proposed opening.
Actor Manning Redwood, who appears as General Miller in this film, Also appeared in the official franchise's next Bond Film, "A View To A Kill" (1985), as Bob Connelly, one of Max Zorin's associates. Redwood shares the distinction of appearing in back-to-back Bond films with different Bond actors playing both a good guy and a bad guy. (Walter Gotell and Joe Don Baker played good guys after playing bad guys.)
When Bond arrives at the spa, he is driving a convertible Bentley. This is easily seen when the valet pulls his suitcase from the backseat and the flying B is on the hood. This is a tribute to the original Ian Fleming novels where James Bond drove a convertible Bentley, not an Aston Martin like in the other films.
To date, this is the only 007 movie to be directed by an American - Irvin Kershner. However, this was not Kershner's only outing with Sean Connery, having first directed him in "A Fine Madness" (1966) 17 years earlier.
At the end, Bond winks at the camera. The only other Bond films in which 007 breaks the "fourth wall" are "Casino Royale" (1966), which was a deliberate spoof, and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969), where the character was perhaps talking to himself.
This is the first Bond film in which Felix Leiter is played by an African-American actor (Bernie Casey). The character is also African-American in the EON Productions official series movies "Casino Royale" (2006) and "Quantum of Solace" (2008).
It is rumored that Sean Connery had an alternate ending to the "wink" in mind. As the characters walk down the street, a man brushes by them, causing them to double-take and look back at him. The camera angle shifts, and we see that it is Roger Moore, who turns to look at them and says "NEVER say never again!". Roger Moore and Sean Connery were good friends, and both were willing to do it, but they were never able to convince the director and producers.