Duncan Jones to Direct Ian Fleming Biopic

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 23rd, 2013 at 9:46 am,

ian fleming biopic Duncan Jones to Direct Ian Fleming Biopic

It’s a good year to be a James Bond fan. Not only will the iconic secret agent be back on the big screen after a four-year absence (with Skyfall), but a biographical picture about Bond creator/author Ian Fleming is finally on the way.

Duncan Jones, the director of such sci-fi titles as Moon and Source Code, is onboard to helm the Fleming biopic. Currently, the filmmaker is casting the project – which is slated to begin production before the year’s end.

The last substantial report about an Ian Fleming biopic was over two years ago – when James McAvoy shot down the rumor that he was locked down to portray the man behind 007, in a $40 million adaptation of Andrew Lycett’s 1996 non-fiction book “Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond.” Nonetheless, it’s always been a foregone conclusion that Fleming’s story would eventually be brought to cinematic life – for reasons the following excerpt (from the official description of Lycett’s work) makes abundantly clear:

Sportsman, womanizer, naval commander, world-traveler, and spy, the creator of the Cold War’s archetypal secret agent was infinitely more complex and interesting than his iconic fictional character, Agent 007. Fleming’s wide-ranging and exciting life inevitably provided the plausible backdrop for his Bond novels. Highly regarded in British naval intelligence for his international contacts, he master-minded numerous top secret operations, including “Golden Eye”, which is uncovered here for the first time.

Variety says that Lycett’s book remains the source material for Jones’ Fleming biopic, which will be based on a screenplay penned by Matt Brown. The latter is a relative unknown, whose sole professional credit to date (on IMDb, at least) is a writing/directing effort on the 2000 rom-com Ropewalk.

Biopics in general have somewhat of a mixed track record historically, but those that concern the colorful lives of creative minds tend to be among the most interesting – be they conventional (Chaplin), more experimental (Frida) or really experimental (I’m Not There) in the manner by which they approach their subject’s life. The trick is to present facts about the subject in a smooth and enthralling fashion.

Fleming’s real-life exploits are quite fascinating and readily lend themselves to a screenplay; the real challenge lies with how you go about staging the events. Fortunately, Jones has not only shown an interest in taking on more ambitious projects, as a filmmaker – he’s already proven himself to be pretty good at it.

Look for additional updates on the Ian Fleming biopic in the foreseeable future.

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Source: Variety

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TAGS: ian fleming, james bond

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  1. Judging from that photo of Flemming, Geoffrey Rush would be absolutely perfect for the main role!!!

    • If it needed an older Fleming yes but as a younger Fleming Benedict Cumberbatch would be ideal.

  2. Gotta star Geoffrey Rush

    • Yeah, he looks like he could be this guys son.

  3. Agreed, Geoffrey Rush would make an excellent Ian Fleming, if you were to start the story with Fleming in his 40s-50s. I havent read the book or know much about Flemings life in general, but i would think they’d want someone a little younger. I can’t think of anybody right off the top of my head but i wouldnt mind seeing a younger actor play him early on and Rush playing him later in life.

    Anyway they do it, i like the choice of Duncan Jones as director and will be patiently waiting for this one.

  4. Id rather see him do science fiction agian

    • Agreed. I’d rather see the studio allow him to place this project on hold while he pursued a sci-f oriented property for Marvel (or maybe their competition), with the hope of him getting at least one major commercial success under his belt (and in his pocket book). From there, it would be good to see him pursue some less-conventional properties… such as a this biopic.

      Not that I’m a career consultant, but it just seems as if he’s one more (big) hit away from putting himself in a rather comfortable position in his career.

  5. If the screenplay concentrates on the war years, then they’ll want an actor in his early to mid-30s. James McAvoy did say in 2009 that he’d read the script “a long time ago” but had never spoken to the producers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBoZDW098wI&feature=related). I can see McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, or maybe even Eddie Redmayne…

    • Actually, now you mention it Tom Hiddleston would be a perfect young Flemming! Hiddleston AND Rush I say.

      • I agree with this.

  6. @ Maria
    Now that you’ve brought up Hiddleston I’m going to have a hard time picturing anyone else. Good Call :)
    Duncan Jones has gotten his directing career off to a great start IMO so even though this a departure from his 1st 2 films he’s earned some credit in my book and I’ll be watching.

  7. Now, how do we go about campaigning Hiddleston for the role?

  8. I agree with both possibilities of Rush and Hiddleston and love that Jones will direct. Fleming’s real life was at least as fascinating as that of his creation, James Bond. Plus, the author of CHITTY-CHITTY BANG-BANG needs more recognition ;)

    • Word.

  9. Cumberbatch.
    Fassbender.
    Mcavoy.

    All would be excellent choices. Rush is too old, even if he is the spitting image of Fleming as an older man.

    This should be an excellent film. The guy had one hell of an interesting life, essentially, he was James Bond. This will work as a thriller and a biopic, which is a rare combination.

    Jones is a fantastic director, while his sci fi is excellent and I think he would have been a much better choice to direct Superman (he was asked but turned it down), this is a project to really keep an eye on.

    • All three of those would also be wonderful choices, but I think Rush could also easily fit into such a film, depending on the structure. Flashbacks (or the rarer flashforwards) or “self-narration” would lend themselves quite well to having both an older and younger Fleming in the same film.

      • That is certainly possible but I’m not sure it will be needed. I see this very much being done as a thriller, when Fleming was working for Naval Intelligence, bookends are possible, but given the age of the actors I suggested with the sadly young age at which Fleming died, I think a little bit of old gentleman make up will be in order.

  10. Benedict Cumberbatch bde perfect in this.

  11. Sean Connery’s kid played Fleming years ago on a made for cable flick.