Spoilers ahead for No Time To Die.
The UK theatrical release of Dr. No on October 5, 1962 is a day that’s gone down in the history of James Bond movies. Sean Connery’s explosive debut as “Bond, James Bond” turned Ian Fleming’s literary sensation into a crossover hit in the world of movies; an event we’re all celebrating the 60th anniversary of in 2022. What’s better is that there’s another fun way James Bond fans will be able to commemorate this occasion, thanks to another new literary endeavor being released closer to that very day.
Announced last November, author Kim Sherwood is the latest pen to contribute to the 007 literary canon, with a new trilogy of books. Starting with the initial installment, Double or Nothing, this fresh tale is introducing a new generation of 00-agents, at what’s possibly the most important time. As it turns out, this new saga will see James Bond in some pretty perilous waters, as the freshly released synopsis from the official Amazon listing starts off with the following wallop:
Now before anyone starts to have flashbacks to the shocking ending No Time To Die, it should be said again that Double or Nothing is the start of a new trilogy. While Commander Bond is out of the game for the time being, there’s always room for twists and turns within the pages of Kim Sherwood’s subsequent books. If there’s anything the modern Bond legacy has been known to take particular enjoyment in, it’s intriguing twists on Mr. Bond himself.
On the more fun side of things, there’s even some references to the extended James Bond pop culture imprint in the names of the new agents charged with saving the world. At the very least Johanna Harwood, the newly minted 003, would appear to be named after the very woman who was the first female writer for the Bond films. Credited with working on Dr. No and From Russia with Love, Harwood was a crucial element in laying down the foundation for the longest running cinematic franchise in history. As for the new 004 and 009, those references might be a bit more obscure.
In the case of the former, an agent named Joseph Dryden is now a part of the MI6 family. This character may take their name from the traitorous section chief that Daniel Craig’s 007 eliminated to secure his 00-status in 2006’s Casino Royale; so it may be a good idea to keep a close eye on 004. Meanwhile, the 009 code number belongs to agent Sid Bashir; which could be a deep cut reference to another franchise altogether tipping its hat to the series.
While this may not mean anything to James Bond fans on the surface, those of you with backgrounds in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine will remember that Alexander Siddig’s Dr. Julian Bashir was a huge James Bond fan. So much so that an entire episode, “Our Man Bashir,” was crafted as a loving tribute; despite the stern letter it triggered from the higher ups at MGM. It's not confirmed, but if this assumption is true, it feels like a nice call and response pairing between the legendary properties.
Fans of the James Bond franchise that enjoy reading the literary exploits of the character are doubly rewarded this year, as Double or Nothing isn’t the only book that will be heading to shelves. This May will also see returning author Anthony Horowitz delivering his third installment in partnership with Ian Fleming’s estate, a thriller entitled With A Mind to Kill. As that book is a canonical entry in the Fleming run of books, and Double or Nothing hasn’t yet specified where it lies in the scheme of things, it’s not entirely sure if these titles will form one crossover event.
At the moment, all James Bond fans need to know is that they have two novels to add to their bookshelves in the year to come. With a Mind to Kill will hit the streets in late May, while Double or Nothing is scheduled for an early September release. Both titles are available for pre-order, which means that there’s plenty of time to scan the 2022 movie releases, in order to fit some quality time at the movies in-between trips to the bookstore.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.