“You Only Live Twice” would mark the fifth time EON Productions produced an Ian Fleming James Bond novel and was thought, upon its release, to be the last time that Sean Connery would play the iconic character.
The movie would go on to be yet another commercial success in the series of EON produced Bond movies making over $110 million dollars ten times its production budget, yet it would be the first to see a decline in box office when compared to its predecessor (‘Thunderball’ $141 million).
There are several reasons cited for this decline, most notably the fact that by 1967, and due directly to the success of the previous four Bond films, the spy thriller sub-genre had been saturating movie and TV screens almost constantly.
Most notable was the Charles K. Feldman produced ‘Casino Royale’ a parody production staring none other than David Niven, an earlier choice to play Bond back in 1961 before Connery’s casting.
‘Casino Royale’ was released less than two months before ‘You Only Live Twice’ and while proving to be a financial success, critically the film is looked at as somewhat of a joke.
Interestingly ‘You Only Live Twice’ would employee famed author Roald Dahl for adapting the screenplay, which would be the first screenplay (of many to follow) to veer wildly from Ian Fleming’s novels. Dahl famously critiqued Connery describing him as “Not an attractive personality”.
Did you know that Ian Fleming felt Sean Connery was a bit of a cheapskate?
Did you also know this was the first Bond movie directed by Lewis Gilbert?
This would be Gilbert’s only time working with Connery, he would go on to helm both 1977’s ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ and 1979’s ‘Moonraker’ both staring Roger Moore.
Want to hear more?
Check out our Season One episode of The Latch Key Kids Present “Breaking Bond Part VII: You Only Live Twice” where we talk about all these details and more.
You can find all seasons of The Latch Key Kids on Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and of course on Apple Podcasts.