- James Bond has a son who gets killed in a revenge plot, a surprising twist in the series that was featured in a short story.
- The original James Bond novels included bizarre plot points like a fight with a giant squid, but the movies opted for a more toned-down approach.
- The Bond franchise deviated from accurate adaptations of the novels, resulting in the exclusion of exciting adventures, such as Bond foiling a murder and arson plot.
While James Bond has been on plenty of impressive screen adventures over the decades, some of 007’s best stories were never adapted into a movie. With the changes made in 1967’s You Only Live Twice, the James Bond franchise famously started taking bigger creative liberties with author Ian Fleming’s stories of the super-spy. Although the James Bond books were incredibly successful, the novels didn’t always translate to screen and the producers wanted to take the series in a campier, more cartoony direction with You Only Live Twice.
While later Bond movies would reinstate the spy’s serious side, the James Bond franchise itself never went back to accurate adaptations of Fleming’s novels. Instead, it opted toward loose versions of the stories, as well as a great deal of original material. Some 007 plot points were too dark while others were simply too strange to bring to life in movies. While this resulted in some great movies, it also means that a lot of James Bond’s most exciting adventures were never seen onscreen.
10 James Bond Has a Son (Who Gets Killed)
In Raymond Benson’s short story “Blast from the Past”
On the subject of You Only Live Twice, the decision to lighten up this source novel’s story resulted in the James Bond franchise dropping one of the most surprising twists in the series. James Bond has a son in the original novel, although he doesn’t learn this until some years later. Bond’s son James Suzuki is the offspring of the super-spy and Kissy Suzuki, and he appeared in Raymond Benson’s short story, “Blast from the Past.” Tragically, James Suzuki is killed as part of a revenge plot against Bond.
9 007 Originally Fought A Giant Squid
In Ian Fleming’s Original Dr. No
While Dr. No isn’t as goofy as later Bond movies, this is only because the movie’s creators opted not to keep the novel’s strangest excesses. In the book, the eponymous villain puts 007 through his paces with a series of bizarre endurance tests after capturing him. This includes torture by spiders and a fight with a giant squid. Though the filmmakers were likely right to think that this would have looked silly onscreen, it’s a shame the franchise never revisited the premise.
8 James Bond Actually Killed Blofeld
In Ian Fleming’s Original You Only Live Twice
In You Only Live Twice’s source novel, Bond finally kills his longtime nemesis Blofeld by strangling him to death. In contrast with the character’s unsatisfying No Time To Die death, wherein Bond unknowingly delivered his lethal dose of nanobots via Safin’s convoluted revenge plan, this death made it clear that 007 knew exactly what he was doing. The Bond movies never got Blofeld’s death right, but this novel proves that the twist could potentially work.
7 007 Foiled A Murder and Arson Plot
In Ian Fleming’s Original The Spy Who Loved Me
In The Spy Who Loved Me’s source novel which, bizarrely, doesn’t feature 007 until its final third, Bond shows up just in time to save the heroine from a pair of criminals who are burning down an inn for insurance money. The unusual storytelling format of The Spy Who Loved Me annoyed critics when the book was first released, with reviewers angered by Fleming hiding Bond for much of the novel’s plot. Now, it seems like a strikingly original, clever premise the movies could have benefited from.
6 Bond Successfully Worked With Communists
In Martin Amis’s Colonel Sun
In author Martin Amis’s Colonel Sun, Bond successfully collaborated with Soviet Communists to take down the titular villain. Although Colonel Sun’s plot was plundered by later Bond adaptations, no movie in the series even featured 007 politely turning down the Order of the Red Banner from the Soviet government. Unfortunately, this cheeky twist remains relegated to Bond’s literary history.
5 Born Thwarted A Secret Nuclear Program In England
In Ian Fleming’s Original Moonraker
In the original novel plot of the novel Moonraker, Bond wasn’t sent to space to defeat Hugo Drax. Instead, the former Nazi arms manufacturer was based in England and 007 was forced to stop him from aiming a nuclear warhead at London. While plenty of Bond movies have featured London and England as a secondary setting, precious few of them focus on villains operating out of the English countryside. This refreshing twist makes Moonraker’s unused plotline a perfect candidate for adaptation.
4 007 Tried To Murder His Boss M
In Ian Fleming’s Original The Man With the Golden Gun
In the novel version of The Man with the Golden Gun’s story, 007 was brainwashed by Communists and ended up trying to murder James Bond’s boss M. While it is hard to imagine a Bond movie utilizing this storyline now, the plot could have been a hit in the 1980s when Cold War paranoia made a comeback. Owing its inspiration to the cult classic The Manchurian Candidate, this plot has a cheesy charm that the series sorely needs after the self-serious Daniel Craig era.
3 James Bond Was An Afghan War Veteran
In Jeffrey Deaver’s Carte Blanche
In Jeffrey Deaver’s Bond novel Carte Blanche, James Bond was born in 1979 and is a veteran of the Afghan war. Although it might be tough for some viewers to reconcile this backstory with Bond’s earlier, ageless depictions, this could be an interesting reinvention of the character. It is easy to imagine director Christopher Nolan’s rumored Bond movie turning the character into a grounded, troubled figure with a twist like this, especially after Craig gave the character new humanity.
2 Bond Worked With Drug Dealers
In Ian Fleming’s short story “Risico”
In the short story “Risico,” Bond teamed up with Colombo, an Italian drug dealer who was smuggling heroin. It turned out that Colombo was set up by a rival who was working with the Soviets, resulting in this short story ending with a shoot-out between these gangs. However, for a while, Bond was unashamedly working alongside what seemed to be a major heroin dealer, a bizarre reveal that the franchise could potentially use in a later film.
1 Bond Escaped A Bounty On His Head
In John Gardner’s Nobody Lives Forever
In author John Gardner’s Bond novel Nobody Lives Forever, James Bond has a bounty placed on his head by the head of SPECTRE. What follows is a fast-paced thriller of a story wherein Bond must defeat countless criminals, assassins, and villains from his past as he tries to outrun the price on his head. To make matters worse, SPECTRE soon tries to reach Miss Moneypenny, M, and anyone else close to 007, making it Bond’s job to save them as well. This James Bond story has a killer premise, but somehow the movies of the series have never carried the plot over to the big screen.