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.