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Trivia / Never Say Never Again

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Trivia Tropes:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: The tiger print one-piece Domino wears in the final scene was a swimsuit Kim Basinger actually owned. It had been given to her by Playboy in 1981.
  • California Doubling: Despite being set in North Africa, Largo's Palmyra fortress is in France. The fountain that Domino is tied to was an addition by the art department.
  • 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 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, Czech Republic, Turkey).
    • Never Never Again (or Never Ever) (France).
    • Agent 007, Never Say Never (Italy).
    • 007 Never More Say Never (Portugal).
    • 007 - Never [Doing This] Once More (Brazil).
  • Creator Killer: While he never went broke (he was filthy rich), Kevin McClory's obsession with James Bond, his highly bitter and well publicized legal and possible personal feud with Albert R. 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 in high level Hollywood again. To this day, McClory is sometimes seen as a man who could have produced any number of great films but wasted his time in a petty rivalry with Eon Productions over the Bond franchise.
  • 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.
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  • Dueling Works: With Eon Productions' Octopussy starring Roger Moore. Neither movie particularly wowed critics (though Never's Rotten Tomatoes score is 67%, compared to Octopussy's 42%). 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 to this day, while Kevin McClory's Bond film projects fell into oblivion. McClory died in 2006 and his family sold the rights to Thunderball, Blofeld and SPECTRE to Eon Productions in 2013, and they were brought back in the official Bond series with Spectre.
  • 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.
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    • Sean Connery and producer Jack Schwartzman barely spoke to each other with Connery unimpressed at the lack of professionalism behind the scenes. Irvin Kershner concurred with Connery stating Schwartzman "didn't have the experience of a film producer".
  • 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.]
  • Real Life Writes the Hairstyle: Kim Basinger had to wear a wig during re-shoots because she had already cut her hair for The Man Who Loved Women.
  • Recycled Script: It's an updated remake of Thunderball. Check Wikipedia for more details.
  • Role Reprise: Sean Connery as James Bond, twelve years after Diamonds Are Forever, although not as part of the Eon Productions continuity. 22 years later, he would do it again, for the last time, in the video game 007: From Russia with Love.
  • Stillborn Franchise: Producer Kevin McClory had long hoped to create a rival Bond series to go up against the official Eon series of Albert R. Broccoli. This film was the first attempt to achieve this, but a follow-up he announced never took off. In the 90s, McClory tried again, even going one step further by partnering with Columbia, so both Thunderball and Casino Royale could be done, which only resulted in a lawsuit that gave Eon the rights to Bond's debut (which came in handy to relaunch the franchise a couple years later). McClory continued to spite Eon a bit, first a Frivolous Lawsuit with the allegations that he was a co-creator of the cinematic Bond character and then this ad claiming to own all the James Bond rights, until he passed on in 2006. His family abandoned his longstanding feud, and eventually sold the remaining rights to Eon in 2013, with Spectre being the end result.
  • Troubled Production: The film went off the rails to the extent of Sean Connery taking on many of the production duties with assistant director David Tomblin. Director Irvin Kershner was critical of producer Jack Schwartzman, saying that, while he was a good businessman, "he didn't have the experience of a film producer." After the production ran out of money, Schwartzman had to fund further production out of his own pocket and later admitted he had underestimated the amount the film would cost to make. There was tension on set between Schwartzman and Connery, who at times barely spoke to each other. Connery was unimpressed with the perceived lack of professionalism behind the scenes and was on record as saying that the whole production was a "bloody Mickey Mouse operation!" The delays mean that despite being generally warmly received by critics (its Rotten Tomatoes score is 67% compared to the contemporary Octopussy's 42%) it did not premiere until the autumn, a much weaker release time compared to Octopussy in the summer, which led to the Eon production outgrossing it.
  • Uncredited Role:
    • Amy Irving was the voice of the computer when Captain Jack Petachi gets his eye scan.
    • Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais did work on the script, although they went uncredited for their efforts despite much of the final shooting script being theirs. This was because of a restriction by the Writers Guild of America.
    • According to the Bond reference book The Bond Files, Francis Ford Coppola (brother-in-law of producer Jack Schwartzman) also contributed uncredited to the script.
  • 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: Enough for its own page.
  • Working Title: James Bond of the Secret Service.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais found themselves in the French city of Nice urgently redrafting the script at a day's notice three weeks into production. According to Clement, when the duo felt that it wasn't explained why Bond was even in the Bahamas, Irvin Kershner stroked his beard and said, "That's true. On the other hand, we have a film crew there shooting, so you better come up with something".

Miscellaneous Trivia:

  • This movie was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Barbara Carrera [Fatima] for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, but she lost out to Cher for Silkwood (1983). Carrera is the only actress to be nominated for portraying a Bond Girl at the Golden Globes, with no actress ever nominated for playing a Bond Girl at the Oscars.
  • Talia Shire was the wife of producer Jack Schwartzman at the time (and the mother of Jason) and received a 'consultant to producer' credit.