In a press release issued by Ian Fleming Publications on 1st October, it was announced that the best-selling author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz has been commissioned to pen the next official James Bond novel, and is already hard at work on the book.
The press release, which came from the joint forces of Ian Fleming Publications, the Fleming Estate, the Orion Publishing Group, and HarperCollins US and Canada, revealed that the new Bond book, which has a temporary working title of Project One, will be released worldwide on 8th September, 2015.
Anthony Horowitz, born in Stanmore, London, in 1955, is the author of the very popular Alex Rider children’s spy novels, and was also responsible for the hit British TV series Foyle’s War, which starred Michael Kitchen (Bill Tanner from Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough). The wartime detective series received a BAFTA award. Horowitz originally started out on his TV writing career when he joined the writing team on ITV’s Robin of Sherwood, which starred Jason Connery (Horowitz penned five episodes).
More recently, Horowitz, who is married and currently lives in central London, was commissioned by the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle to write the first official full-length Sherlock Holmes book since the original Conan Doyle novels. This was published in 2011 as The House of Silk, to much acclaim from critics, and the next in the series, Moriarty, also penned by Horowitz, is about to be published.
The new James Bond adventure from Horowitz will be set in the 1950s and will include a section based on some previously unseen Ian Fleming material, which was originally written by the 007 creator for a possible James Bond TV series in that decade, and to which Horowitz has been given exclusive access by the Fleming estate. The proposed James Bond TV series was never made, of course, and the several treatments that Fleming outlined were eventually turned into short stories for later publication.
However, not all the outline treatments were used by Fleming and one in particular, entitled Murder on Wheels, which is based on the world of motor racing, has been chosen by Horowitz to serve as a starting point for his new 007 novel.
Horowitz stated: ‘It is no secret that Ian Fleming’s extraordinary character has had a profound influence on my life, so when the estate approached me to write a new James Bond novel how could I possibly refuse? It’s a huge challenge – more difficult even than Sherlock Holmes in some ways – but having original, unpublished material by Fleming has been an inspiration. This is a book I had to write’.
Interestingly, in 2009, Horowitz was one of the contributors to a newspaper article on ‘The book that changed my life’, and he chose Ian Fleming’s Dr. No. He explained: ‘It was 1967. I was about 12, trapped in the weird and miserable bubble of prep-school life where my experience of sexual desire and violence edging on sadism was largely restricted to my French teacher. The book introduced me to a whole new world. Even the Jamaican setting seemed impossibly exotic’.