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Trivia / Moonraker

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The film

  • B-Team Sequel:
    • Richard Maibaum didn't write the script, as the producers preferred to go solely with Christopher Wood. Instead, Maibaum worked on the Bond spoof, S.H.E: Security Hazards Expert.
    • Also, for tax reasons, the film was co-produced by the French branch of United Artists instead of the American one.
  • California Doubling:
    • A lot of the film was shot in France, due to tax issues, while no scene takes place in France.
      • Weird inversion: Bond is flown to Drax's base in California (aerial plates shot in the US) and lands on a castle which Drax ordered to be brought from France, stone by stone. It was all shot in and around an actual French 17th century castle, Vaux-le-Vicomte.
      • The scene where Bond visits Drax Industries (in California, still) was shot at the Georges Pompidou/Beaubourg Center in Paris.
      • Other Drax Industries scenes where shot at the biggest French studios available back then, in Billancourt, Epinay and Boulogne around Paris, including the centrifuge in which 007 is trapped. Ditto with the large Ken Adam sets of Drax's base in The Amazon Rainforest.
    • Some indoor scenes that are supposed to take place in Venice were also shot inside Vaux-le-Vicomte. Others were shot in French studios.
    • The scene of the Brazil monastery where MI-6 has set up its field HQ was shot at the Monastery of San Nicolò al Lido in Venice.
    • The plane and Free-Fall Fight sequence in the Action Prologue is said to happen over Africa, but was shot in the skies of California.
  • Cast the Expert: Toshiro Suga (Chang) was an aikido instructor and co-producer Michael G. Wilson was one of his pupils. He put his martial arts knowledge to good use in the role.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Moonrocket (Finland)
    • 007 Against The Death Rocket (Brazil & Portugal)
    • Moonraker: Operation Space (Italy, Croatia)
    • Moonraker: Top Secret (Germany)
    • Moonraker: Space Mission (Latin America)
    • Moonraker: Moonrise (Hungary)
    • 007 Seizes The Space Station (China)
  • Creator Backlash:
    • While certainly not the Bond film he criticized the most out of his whole run (that would be A View to a Kill), Roger Moore often made fun of himself and this movie for the absurdity of the plot. When he criticized Die Another Day, he said "and that's coming from me, the first Bond in space".
    • Shirley Bassey has mixed feelings towards the title song. In spite of its popularity, she's admitted that it never truly felt like it was one of her own due to being called to sing it at the last minute (and possibly due to all the other artists that executives offered the song to first) and as a result she seldom sings it publicly (much less than either Goldfinger or Diamonds Are Forever).
    • In the extras of the DVD, producer Michael G. Wilson admits that the next movie, For Your Eyes Only, was purposely made by Cubby Broccoli to be the exact opposite of this, for fear of the franchise becoming silly. The situation would repeat over twenty years later from Die Another Day to Casino Royale.
  • Creator Killer: Screenwriter Christopher Wood only had a small handful of screen and television credits after working on this film. Somewhat unusually, however, it wasn't so much because the film was a critical dud as the fact that Wood found film screenwriting and all the Executive Meddling that goes with it to be too stressful, and simply preferred working on his "Timothy Lea" novels.
  • Creator's Pest: Christopher Wood revealed that Jaws' love interest Dolly wasn't his idea and that he hated her. He also wasn't keen on Corinne, implying that having to rewrite the character was the reason for Corinne's confusing "I never learned to read" line.
    I first wrote the role of actress Corinne Clery in Moonraker as an insolent Californian chick and then, for financial reasons, the film was shot in Paris with French crews and actors and Clery has got the role. If I had had the opportunity, I would have rewritten the role for a French actress. It's another scene that distresses me, especially the terrible line "I never learned to read". She's not mine.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • The crew had shot a scene with Drax meeting his co-financiers in his jungle lair and they used the same chamber room below the space shuttle launch pad that Bond and Goodhead eventually escape from. This scene was shot but later cut out.
    • Another scene involving Bond and Goodhead in a meditation room aboard Drax's space station, was shot but never used in the final film.
  • The Danza: Corinne Cléry as Corinne Dufour.
  • Executive Meddling: A relatively minor example but Sir Frederick Gray was added to the Venice scenes so that actor Geoffrey Keen could keep an eye on M's actor Bernard Lee by making sure he would not sneak away to any local bars. By this time Lee was a heavy drinker due to personal and financial issues in his life.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • The Chinese Chang is played by Japanese actor and aikido master Toshirō Suga.
    • The Brazilian Manuela is played by Aruban-Dutch actress Emily Bolton.
  • Follow the Leader: The film was was made during the Space Opera craze that was kicked off by Star Wars.
  • Fountain of Expies: Jaws tends to be one of the most referenced James Bond henchmen in media, alongside maybe Oddjob from Goldfinger.
  • International Coproduction: The film was co-produced by Les Artistes Associés, the French branch of United Artists, in addition to being filmed partly in France (for tax and budget reasons according to screenwriter Christopher Wood). As such, the actor playing the Big Bad (Michael Lonsdale) and many of the extras and stuntmen (including Claude Carliez, Guy Delorme, Patrick Floersheim and most of the models who played Drax's "perfect race" women) were French.
  • Looping Lines: French actress Corinne Clery, who plays Corinne, was dubbed by Nikki Van der Zyl, in what was her last dubbing job for any film, as well as for any Bond film. She also dubbed the air hostess in the pre-titles sequence.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Lois Chiles agreed to be in the film because, "I needed the work, I needed the money and I needed the experience".
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: Michael Lonsdale recalled Drax's Dobemans:
    The Japanese man came with some meat for the dogs. Throwing some on the carpet, but they wouldn't move. The man [who was] responsible for the dogs was quite upset. He was, "Go on, go on, allons y, allons y". They didn't like it: there was too much light and people.
  • The Other Marty: Brazilian actress Adele Fátima was cast as Manuela, and she shot some minor scenes with Roger Moore around Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, even going as far as appearing together with Moore on a magazine cover. She was later recast by Emily Bolton, with her own scenes deleted from the final cut.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends: Several Bond fans remember Dolly having braces, to coordinate with Jaws' metal teeth. Some even claim that Digital Destruction erased the braces from more recent Moonraker prints, although Dolly's actress denies the character ever wearing any. One possible explanation for this misconception involves the oldest VHS having a bit of static appear over Dolly's lips, which might have resembled braces.
  • Production Nickname: Roger Moore nicknamed his gondola the "Bondola".
  • Real-Life Relative: Lois Maxwell's daughter Melinda Maxwell played one of Drax's girls (she's the readhead of the two girls seen together at the tropical hideout, just before the scene with the snake, and kisses a fellow astronaut when the Moonraker shuttles go into space).
  • Reality Subtext: Roger Moore's distaste at the quail hunting scene is quite genuine. In his autobiography, Moore expresses an extreme dislike for bloodsports and a reticence about guns.
  • Recursive Adaptation: The film is so unrelated to the novel that it received a Novelization.
  • Recycled Script: The film is very much a rehash of its immediate predecessor, The Spy Who Loved Me, only with a climax that takes place IN SPACE! instead of underwater. Several scenes and plot beats, including the villain's Evil Plan, are pretty much the same.
  • Referenced by...: In Black Widow, Natasha watches the movie on television. Both feature a physically-weak Big Bad with an Implacable Man henchman and a fortress above the earth.
  • Refitted for Sequel: The fight in the glass factory was originally meant for The Spy Who Loved Me, where it was a fight in a museum.
  • Uncredited Role: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais did minor uncredited work on the script.
  • What Could Have Been: Enough for its own page.
  • You Look Familiar: Kim Fortune appeared as a lieutenant on HMS Ranger in The Spy Who Loved Me. Here he appears as the co-pilot of the RAF carrier plane.

The novel

  • Working Title: The book was originally called The Moonraker, until NoŽl Coward reminded him of a novel of the same name by F. Tennyson Jesse. He then considered The Moonraker Secret, The Moonraker Plot, The Inhuman Element, Wide of the Mark, The Infernal Machine, Mondays are Hell and Out of the Clear Sky. George Wren Howard of Jonathan Cape suggested Bond & the Moonraker, The Moonraker Scare and The Moonraker Plan, while his friend, the writer William Plomer, suggested Hell is Here.
  • Write What You Know: Fleming drew on his knowledge of wartime operations carried out by T-Force, a secret British Army unit formed to continue the work of 30 Assault Unit, itself created by Fleming.