The Spy Who Loved Me: What if?

Previously I posted about the novel TSWLM, and why it has never been filmed.

What if it could be filmed? What would a filming of the original TSWLM be like?

Some people love the novel and some people hate it. Structurally, it only really works as a James Bond novel, despite what Fleming thought. Bond’s arrival and departure only work in Vivienne’s life if we already know James Bond. Yet bringing him in at the end works. Looked at dispassionately, it shouldn’t; her first romance is tawdry and sweet but predictable, her second is not really a romance and is almost comedic. Why it adds up to a readable story is beyond me, but it does.

So, could it be filmed? Without arguing that it “isn’t James Bond,” I’ll start with it isn’t cinematic. Most of Viv’s backstory isn’t going to work as film narrative.

But there’s another component. When Bond and Viv are holed up in the motel, waiting for the gangsters to make their next move, Bond asks Viv if she’d like to hear about his most recent adventure, as a distraction. Bond tells her a fairly complex story involving a SMERSH assassin who is killing defectors in Canada, and how he was sent to kill the assassin. He then disguises himself as a defector and ambushes the bad guy. It’s an exciting story, tossed off as filler.

If Bond’s adventure is brought to the fore, then we can start to imagine a film. Most of Viv’s backstory is removed, shortened, or built into conversation. You run two parallel stories; Bond’s original assignment parallels Viv’s kidnapping by the gangsters, and then a final adventure where they come together. We don’t need or want to see Viv’s loss of virginity or her abortion, we simply need to imply that she came here to escape a sorrowful past.

I like the ending; leaving with Viv looking back on her relationship with Bond; a unique perspective. Maybe ending in parallel as we began; both of them looking back and moving on, she on her motorcycle, Bond on to the next assignment.

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4 Responses to “The Spy Who Loved Me: What if?”

  1. flapflop Says:

    If it is filmed in this way it certainly would be a good film. But it doesn’t fit with the Casino Royale possible trilogy, so they have to film it as Daniel Craigs 4th enstallment as James Bond, or make a shorter version as the teaser before the credits.

  2. Deborah Lipp Says:

    It will never be filmed, there is no legal way to do so. This is just my idea, so I don’t really care how it fits in with Daniel Craig’s “trilogy.”

  3. flapflop Says:

    I know, you must also see my ideas as what if

  4. Deborah Lipp Says:

    Oh, I see. That wasn’t clear to me before. Now I get it.

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