007 Interesting Facts About James Bond


Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming – The creator of James Bond

#001 The creator of Bond was an intelligence officer

The character James Bond was created in 1953 by British author Ian Fleming. Ian was also an officer in the British naval intelligence and a journalist. As an intelligence officer he was involved in the planning stages of Operation Mincemeat and Operation Golden Eye during World War II. His work during the war and as a journalist later on, provided much of the background, depth and detail of James Bond novels. Fleming admitted that Bond “was a compound of all the secret agents and commando types” he met during the war.


#002 James Bond is named after a zoologist

James Bond - The American Zoologist
James Bond – The American Zoologist

Ian Fleming wanted ‘the simplest, dullest, plainest sounding name’ for the central character of his novels. He was a keen birdwatcher and had a copy of the guide ‘Birds of the West Indies’. The author of that guide was an American zoologist named James Bond. It struck Fleming that ‘this brief, unromantic yet very masculine name’ was just what he needed.


#003   In 1983 there were two Bond movies in theatres at the same time

Never Say Never Again
Poster of Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery

Including Skyfall there have been 25 Bond movies. Apart from 2 films, all Bond films have been made by EON productions. The exceptions being the 1967 spoof Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again, a remake of Thunderball. Before the first Bond film, Fleming had worked with producer Kevin McClory and screenwriter Jack Whitingham on a screenplay for a Bond movie. The movie was shelved but Fleming liked the screenplay and turned it into his novel Thunderball. Ian didn’t give credit to Whitingham and the matter went to court. It was decided that McClory could produce a movie on that script to make up for his lack of credit. Due to this many years old legal loophole McClory was able to produce Never Say Never Again. This led to the bizarre incident of two Bond movies (Octopussy and Never Say Never Again) being in theatres at the same time.


#004   Sean Connery is the first actor to play James Bond in movies

George Lazenby
George Lazenby

In the 23 films produced by EON productions the role of James Bond has been played by six actors: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. In 1962 in the movie Dr. No, Sean Connery became the first actor to depict James Bond on the big screen. Between 1973 and 1985, Roger Moore has played James Bond in 7 successive movies. Sean Connery played the role in 6 movies under EON productions and also in Never Say Never Again. No other actor has played the role more than 4 times. Also George Lazenby is the only actor to play the role of James Bond only once.


#005   Bond has a drink every 24.3 minutes in his movies

Roger Moore
Roger Moore smoking a cigar

In the novels written by Fleming, James Bond is a pathological chain smoker who enjoys more than 70 cigarettes in a day. Sean Connery smoked a cigarette a few times in the first few Bond films. When the role came to Roger Moore he wanted to differentiate his Bond from the one played by Connery so he decided that he would smoke cigars instead of cigarettes. Moore had a clause in his contract which stated that he would be provided with unlimited supply of cigars on the set. Moore loved smoking cigars and it is said that his cigar budget was in thousands of dollars. Bond has steered clear of smoking since 2002’s Die Another Day in which he smoked a cigar. As far as drinking is concerned Bond drinks a total of 317 alcoholic drinks in novels – a drink every 7 pages. In movies Bond has been seen to have 114 drinks – a drink every 24.3 minutes. His favorite drink as you all know is the classic vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.


#006   Walther PPK remained his weapon of choice for eighteen films

Peirce Brosnan with a Walther PPK
Peirce Brosnan with a Walther PPK

In the first few novels, Bond was armed with a Beretta 418. Geoffrey Boothroyd, a Bond enthusiast and gun expert, wrote to Ian Fleming criticizing Bond’s choice of firearm. He called Beretta 148 “a lady’s gun – and not a very nice lady at that!” He advised Fleming to change Bond’s firearm to Walther PPK which he accepted. Boothroyd also gave Fleming advice regarding other weapons to use in his novels. In thanks, Fleming gave the MI6 Armourer in his novels the name Major Boothroyd and, in Dr. No, M introduces him to Bond as “the greatest small-arms expert in the world”. In the very first Bond film itself M orders James Bond to leave his Beretta behind and take up Walther PPK which the film Bond used in eighteen films. Since Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond’s main weapon has been Walther P99 semi-automatic pistol.


#007   “Bond…James Bond” was voted the best one-liner in movies

Daniel Craig as Bond
Daniel Craig as Bond

Excluding Skyfall, the 22 films produced by EON productions have grossed 4.91 billion dollars in box office returns alone making it the second highest grossing film series ever, behind the Harry Potter series. It is estimated that since the first Bond movie a quarter of the world’s population has seen at least one Bond film. The character James Bond was recognized as the third greatest film hero by American Film Institute in 2005. He was also placed eleventh by Empire and fifth by Premiere on similar lists. In 2001, the quote “Bond…James Bond” was voted the “best loved one-liner in cinema” by British cinema goers and in 2005 it was honoured 22nd greatest quotation in cinema history by the American Film Institute.

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