Trivia / Never Say Never Again

  • Channel Hop: It was originally released by Warner Bros., but official Bond distributor MGM purchased the rights to the film from its producers in 1997 (as a prelude to winning the rights to Casino Royale (1967) along with the book adaptation ones as a settlement of a lawsuit). Eventually, they obtained all remaining rights to Blofeld and SPECTRE, but only after Kevin McClory died and his sons took over. Even so, it appears as though MGM doesn't want to acknowledge the fact that they own the rights to this film. All video copies post-1997 do not feature the studio's logo on the packaging, and this film now opens with the logo for Orion Pictures, which MGM owns, unlike the other Bond films which open with either a United Artists logo or Leo the Lion (or both).
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Never Say Never (Italy, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Turkey).
    • Never Never Again (or Never Ever) (France).
    • Agent 007, Never Say Never (Italy).
    • 007 Never More Say Never (Portugal).
    • Never Again Once More (Brazil).
  • Creator Killer: While he never went broke (he was filthy rich), Kevin McClory's obsession with this film, his highly bitter and well publicized legal and possible personal feud with Albert Broccoli and then his daughter and stepson after Cubby died, along with this film not impressing critics as much as hoped, led to him never being visible on high level Hollywood again.
  • Deleted Role: 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.
  • Dueling Works: With Octopussy starring Roger Moore. Neither movie particularly wowed critics, and they made roughly the same amount of box office business. However in retrospect, Octopussy is usually considered the winner, with Never Say Never Again proving even more polarizing among fans as the "unofficial" Bond film. Octopussy also won the box office by a few million dollars margin, and the series continued, while Kevin McClory's Bond film projects fell into oblivion. The latter died in 2006 and his family sold the rights to Thunderball, Blofeld and SPECTRE to Eon Productions in 2013, bringing them back in the official Bond series.
  • Hostility on the Set: Kim Basinger did not get along with Irvin Kershner at all, and told Movieline magazine this was the worst experience she had on a film until The Marrying Man.
  • Reality Subtext: The title of the film refers to Sean Connery declaring he would never play Bond again after Diamonds Are Forever. Lampshaded in the final lines.
    Small-Fawcett: M says that without you in the service, he fears for the security of the civilized world.
    Bond: Never again.
    Domino: Never?
    [the soundtrack begins, "Never, never say never again, never, never say never again!" as Connery winks at the audience.]
  • Recycled Script: It's an updated remake of Thunderball. Check Wikipedia for more details.
  • Stillborn Franchise: Kevin McClory had long hoped to create a rival Bond series to go up against the official Eon series lead by the minds of Saltzman and Broccoli. This film was the first attempt to achieve this and only received modest critical and financial success, ultimately putting a halt to that effort. After McClory passed on in 2006, his family abandoned his longstanding lawsuit against Eon, and with it any further effort towards a new film series.
  • Uncredited Role: Amy Irving was the voice of the computer when Captain Jack Petachi gets his eye scan.
  • Wag the Director: Sean Connery had a lot of input over casting and crew choices, including vetoing the hiring of James Horner as the film's composer.
  • What Could Have Been...:
    • Peter Hunt, who edited the first five Bond films and directed On Her Majesty's Secret Service, was approached to direct this movie, but declined lest Cubby Broccoli think him a "traitor." Richard Donner was also asked to direct.
    • McClory wanted George Lazenby to return as Bond, but he was dropped from consideration when Connery confirmed he wanted the role.
    • Roger Moore was to appear in a cameo alongside Connery at the end, which could have been epic. The decision was scrapped most likely for the above reason.
    • 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.
    • Orson Welles was considered for Blofeld.
    • After Sony acquired the Never Say Never Again rights through studio acquisitions, Sony hoped to parlay them into its own Bond franchise to compete with MGM's, with Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin at the helm. However, legal action by MGM blocked this attempt. As part of the legal action, MGM bought out Never Say Never Again, and they would then buy the 1967 Casino Royale as a result of the settlement with Sony, uniting the entire Bond canon under one single roof. Sony later led a group that would own MGM for a time, resulting them releasing every Craig-era Bond film to date. The Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin effort actually got as far as a script draft, titled Warhead 2000 and still lurking around the internet. No potential Bond ever reached official consideration though.note 
    • Kevin McClory sought to make yet another independent film remake of Thunderball with Timothy Dalton as the lead, but these plans were eventually scrapped. As such, the rival Bond series McClory sought to produce never materialized, and his demands for the rights to Thunderball were again torpedoed in 2001 when his suit was rejected. Any further ideas of a rival Bond movie died with McClory in 2006, and his family did not share the same desire to go forward with a rival Bond series as he did, selling the rights back to EON in 2013 and removing the remaining legal snags between the official Bond series and Spectre, which led to the organization as a whole returning in 2015.
  • Working Title: James Bond of the Secret Service.

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