On the eve of the publication of his new James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, author Anthony Horowitz spoke about his lifelong passion for the world of James Bond, and explained how all this helped him write the new 007 adventure.
Speaking to the ‘Saturday review’ section of The Times newspaper (September 5), Horowitz said he saw his first James Bond movie, Dr. No, in a cinema in Piccadilly Circus, in central London, on a rainy day in October, 1963. ‘The film blew me away’, he said. ‘It’s astonishing to think that so many of the elements that were to make this the most successful franchise in film history had already been assembled: Sean Connery as Bond, of course, but also the iconic music, Maurice Binder’s title sequence, the wonderful designs by Ken Adam, that famous introduction – “Bond, James Bond” – Bernard Lee as M, Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny’.
Looking back on Dr. No and his very first viewing of the movie, Horowitz also said that he ‘loved it – quite simply – for its pace and the action, its larger-than-life villain missing both his hands and for a hero colder and harder than I had ever seen’.
Horowitz explained that the film led him to the Fleming books ‘and I devoured them’. He added: ‘I knew at a very early age that I wanted to be a writer and was first published when I was 22. The Bond films continued to be part of my life. I would see each one the week it opened’. Moreover, Horowitz dreamt of writing a Bond film, and his agent even managed to get him an interview with a ‘junior producer’ at EON Productions, ‘but the meeting did not go well’.
Turning to the creation of his own Bond novel, Horowitz said he was aware of the Bond continuation novels and their authors, especially when Sebastian Faulks penned Devil May Care in 2008, which sold more than 40,000 copies in just four days: ‘I will admit that I was envious. I felt the same when Jeffrey Deaver and William Boyd were invited to write Bond novels of their own. I began to think – why not me? James Bond had always been a passion. I was sure I could do a good job. Then, miraculously, Ian Fleming Publications approached me’.
Horowitz said: ‘I loved writing Trigger Mortis. Part of the pleasure was rereading the original novels and working out all the tricks and the techniques that make them so great. I also had fun thinking up action sequences that the books – and films – hadn’t already covered’.
The very next day (September 6), Horowitz received further publicity for his new novel when the Sunday Times (sister paper to The Times) carried an article which claimed that the new Bond author had pulled the trigger on some of his predecessors. According to the Sunday Times, Horowitz had dismissed the work of the other Bond novelists, arguing that: ‘They brought Bond into their worlds whereas I have immersed myself into Bonds’.
James Bond fans will be able to make their own minds up about this very soon. Trigger Mortis is published in the UK on Tuesday, September 8, and will be available in hardback, e-book and audio-book forms.
Meanwhile, Horowitz has also penned a new stage play, Dinner With Saddam, which opens next week in London. Set just hours before the American bombing of Baghdad in 2003, Saddam Hussein will be played by none other than Steven Berkoff, who is very familiar to 007 aficionados for his role as General Orlov in Octopussy (1983). Good choice!