James Bond has been a staple of the motion picture world since 1962’s Dr. No. The suave, suit and tie British MI6 agent has gone through seven actors, 23 films and he doesn’t look like he’s going to stop anytime soon. However, behind all the gadgets and one-liners there lies a world of courtroom drama.
The character was penned by author Ian Fleming in his 1953 novel Casino Royale. Kevin McClory, a Hollywood screenwriter, co-wrote a script with Flemming, which Flemming later used to write the novel Thunderball without giving McClory credit. McClory sued Flemming in 1961 and demanded rights to make Bond films. A settlement was eventually reached and he gained rights to the story which he used to make Never Say Never Again. But the battle continued as McClory, according to Variety, claimed he had “partial ownership over the Bond character”.
The case would continue for what would be fifty years. Recently, MGM announced the suit was finally resolved. Although details of the settlement have not been released, according to Variety, “MGM...has acquired all of the rights and interests in James Bond”. Hopefully, there won’t be any further disputes and fans can look forward to the next installment in the neverending story of the Man of Mystery.