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A certain color has loomed large in James Bond’s life: think “Goldfinger,” “The Man With the Golden Gun,” “GoldenEye.” And now, there’s a Golden Anniversary for 007, but the kickoff celebration is really in shades of Blu – as in Blu Ray.
Ian’s Fleming’s legendary secret agent made his film debut on Oct. 5, 1962 in “Dr. No,” and for 50 years has continued to set the standard for on-screen espionage, action and sex appeal through 22 films. Those movies are newly assembled in their most pristine visual presentation yet in the first-ever comprehensive Blu Ray box set “Bond 50.”
From iconic turns by Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan, through briefer stints by George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton to current standard-bearer Daniel Craig, the Bond films have been unparalleled in their longevity and popularity, creating and continuing to define an entire movie genre over the course of five decades. Michael Brown, Executive Vice President of Marketing for MGM, opens the secret dossier behind the scenes of the unprecedented collection – including nine films never before released on Blu Ray.
How did you put the whole package together to make the fans really happy?
We work heavily with the [Bond] producers, Eon, as well as us and Fox [home video] and we really understand what the fans want. So we sat down and we said we were going to do this and we were going to do it the right way: we want them to see these films in pristine condition, great quality, and we want to build it up. Everything we've done is very elegant and basically hitting what the franchise has been doing for 50 years. We came in with that strategy and said, 'Let's release it and let's do it the right way.' Not that we weren't doing it the right way before, but let's make this for them to celebrate this 50th.
What are some of the fun bells and whistles, as far as like extras and those sorts of things?
We're doing a lot of stuff with locations, the iconic stuff that you would want to see when you look at Bond – it's filmed in many locations across the world. The women. The vehicles. The villains. Those four or five things you want to hit on in every 'Bond' movie….We know what the fans said, what they've liked, what they haven't liked in the past. But I think we know, and the producers know, in the 50 years what has sort of stuck, and we focused on that. The key point is the quality and High Def and Blu-ray for the first time. That's important for these fans.
What sort of synergy did the timing of “Skyfall’s” release offer you as far as making sure that the Bond movies were front and center in everybody's mind?
I think it’s the whole year of 'Bond', and I mean that sincerely – there's so much going on in the marketplace from when we announced at the Consumer Electronics Show with this Blu-ray set to, well, I'm sure you saw [Daniel Craig at] the Olympics opening ceremony. It's completely eventi-zed this franchised. This franchise is event-ized and it NEEDS to be event-ized. And the Blu-ray set is for the loyal, dedicated fans and also the younger fans that are going to see Daniel Craig who maybe have not seen it in the past – I think they'll find an interest in seeing this set in the future, or now.
Where do you fall, personally, as a 'Bond' fan?
Working here at MGM you get pretty deep into that franchise, I will tell you that! My favorite is 'GoldenEye'. I just remember seeing it for the first time in a theater and I fell in love with it. It hit me. It hit on everything I was going through at the time. And that's actually one of the things about Bond: I think there's a Bond in everyone, right? Everyone can relate to one of those guys or want to be one of them