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Dueling Works / Film - Spy Fiction

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  • Initiators / Followers
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Description
    • Implementation: Implementation

  • OSS 117: Mission to Tokyo (1966) / You Only Live Twice (1967)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two Cold War spy films about ace Western secret agents with a "7" in their three-number Code Name who go to Japan.
    • Implementation: OSS 117: Mission to Tokyo is an adaptation of French spy fiction books and seeks to emulate the James Bond series with a small-to-medium budget while You Only Live Twice is a big budget film of the James Bond series. Terence Young directed three films in the Bond series (though not this one) and wrote the story of some OSS 117 films, including Mission to Tokyo.

  • Octopussy (1983) / Never Say Never Again (1983)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: The second duel between two James Bond films released the same year.
    • Implementation: Octopussy is part of the long-running Eon Productions James Bond series and starred Roger Moore, while Never Say Never Again is a remake of Thunderball and the result of a long legal battle between Eon and producer Kevin McClory over the rights of the novel Thunderball and starred Sean Connery, who returned in the role after a 12-year gap.

  • XXX (2002) / Die Another Day (2002)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 2002 released spy action thrillers. One is a James Bond film while the other is an attempt to channel the Bond action formula for a new series.
    • Implementation: Ironically enough the director of Die Another Day Lee Tamahori would go on to direct the sequel xXx: State of the Union.

  • The Bourne Identity (2002) / Die Another Day (2002)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two ace secret agents with "J. B." as initials who originated in a spy novel series.
    • Implementation: The Bourne Identity is a gritty and realistic take on the spy genre, while Die Another Day was the culmination of the Tuxedo and Martini spy fantasy tropes (puns, improbable gadgets and CGI spectacle) in the James Bond franchise.

  • Mission: Impossible III (2006) / Casino Royale (2006)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: The first movie duel between the two iconic spy movie franchises in the same year, with similar budgets. Both films were made much grittier than their previous, more fancy and more special effects-heavy installment.
    • Implementation: Mission Impossible III is the third movie in its franchise to star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, while Casino Royale is the twenty-first film in the James Bond franchise and a Continuity Reboot introducing Daniel Craig in the main role.

  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) / Spectre (2015)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Big budget action movies from two iconic spy movie franchises. The main villain of both ends up captured alive at the end and comes back in the sequel.
    • Implementation: Rogue Nation is the fifth Mission Impossible film, Spectre is the twenty-fourth James Bond one.

  • Spectre (2015) / Jason Bourne (2016)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two films released less than a year apart about ace secret agents who have "J. B." as initials and originated in a spy novel series. Both also happen to be the fourth movie of each series' lead actor in the main role, Daniel Craig and Matt Damon respectively.
    • Implementation: Jason Bourne is the fifth film of The Bourne Series and saw the return of director Paul Greengrass and lead Matt Damon. Spectre is the twenty-fourth James Bond film and saw the return of the team behind the hugely successful Skyfall, chiefly director Sam Mendes and lead Daniel Craig.

  • Atomic Blonde (2017) / Red Sparrow (2018)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two gritty spy movies released within months of each other. Both are centered around a blonde female spy protagonist and involve double agents and the CIA going up against Soviet/Russian secret services.
    • Implementation: Red Sparrow adapts a novel, is set in Present Day and its protagonist is not much of an an Action Girl, while Atomic Blonde adapts a graphic novel, is set in 1989 at the tail end of the Cold War and has its protagonist's action sequences as one of its main selling points.

  • Black Widow (2021) / No Time to Die (2021)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two high octane spy action thriller films from a long-running film franchise, with a least two action girls, a Russian Big Bad as well as a masked villain and a woman with a Dark and Troubled Past who was martially trained as a child.
    • Implementation: Black Widow is the twenty-fourth film in the relatively recent Marvel Cinematic Universe, while No Time to Die is the twenty-fifth entry in the James Bond franchise, which has been around since the 1960s. And it's basically a duel between Real Life husband-and-wife Daniel Craig (as main character James Bond) and Rachel Weisz (as supporting character Melina Vostokoff). Additionally, both films were originally slated for 2020, but delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic moved them to the next year. Black Widow received a simultaneous release on Disney+ Premier Access along with a theatrical release, while No Time to Die had both a theatrical release and a PVOD release one month later.

  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning (2023) / Heart of Stone (2023)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: High octane globetrotting spy/action thrillers centering around an elite secret agent (and betting on the star power of said agent's actor, Tom Cruise on one hand and Gal Gadot on the other) and releasing in the summer of 2023. Both films have one or two sequences in Italy, a sequence in a desert, the protagonist paragliding at one point and a plot concerning a race for a MacGuffin giving access to an Artificial Intelligence that can hack into anything on Earth and calculate outcomes with Ludicrous Precision.
    • Implementation: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning is a theatrical release, whereas Heart of Stone is a streaming release on Netflix.