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Lost James Bond movie saw 007 killing M

Skyfall

Story by Jack Foley

A LOST James Bond movie that ultimately provided some of the inspiration for Skyfall would have seen Daniel Craig’s 007 forced to kill his boss, M (played by Dame Judi Dench) in a shock finale.

Details of the plot are revealed in a new Bond book, Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films by Matthew Field and Ajay Chowdhury, in which regular Bond screenwriter Robert Wade talks about an unused screenplay named Once Upon a Spy.

Penned by Peter Morgan, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Frost/Nixon and The Queen, the film would have flashed back to M’s days as an MI6 agent stationed in Berlin during the Cold War.

It would also reveal details of an affair she had with a KGB agent that had lasting ramifications three decades later when the man’s son, a Russian oligarch, re-surfaces to blackmail the spymaster.

Bond is subsequently called in to tackle the villain, but is forced to kill M at the movie’s denouement.

Although the idea was rejected, some of its key elements formed the basis for Skyfall, including the use of a mistake from M’s past coming back to haunt her and the MI6 chief dying at the end – although, crucially, not at Bond’s hands.

Explaining why Morgan’s screenplay was not used, Wade suggests that Morgan’s idea veered closer to the style of another spy writing legend, John le Carré, rather than 007 creator Ian Fleming.

In an interview with Digital Spy, he explains: “[Co-writer] Neal [Purvis] and I are pretty well steeped in Fleming. I think Peter was more interested in Le Carré. [And] it just didn’t work.

“We always found [the script] really, really difficult to make credible or satisfying. It was very dark…”

Wade and Purvis instead re-wrote Morgan’s screenplay into a script that was initially called Nothing Is Forever, which was eventually became Skyfall, the 007 movie that has since become the highest-grossing film in the series to date. It also received excellent reviews and garnered multiple award nominations.

Next trailer: Christopher Nolan’s Memento to get remake