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 in 1997 (as they won the rights to Casino Royale (1967) along with the book adaptation ones in 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 doesn't 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.
  • 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.
  • Dueling Movies: With Octopussy starring Roger Moore. Neither movie particularly wowed critics, and 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.
  • 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.]
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Shout-Out: Clement and Lefrenais reuse the dialogue from the urine test scene from the first episode of the first series of Porridge. This was Connery's suggestion, apparently. So Sean Connery is playing Bond playing Norman Stanley Fletcher.
  • 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.
  • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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. Sony later outright acquired MGM, finally reuniting Never Say Never Again with the rest of the Bond canon under a single studio roof. 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.