DK, out now
A photographic odyssey through the latest 007 movie…
The history of official books on the making of the Bond films is a fascinating one. Traditional “making of” books came to an end with Garth Pearce’s tome on Tomorrow Never Dies which – very unusually for a licensed product – lifted the lid on the many problems that the movie faced. Not surprisingly, the next book was much more of a puff piece, and Pierce Brosnan’s final movie set the new template, with a photograph-led coffee table book by Greg Williams, who also captured images from the first three Daniel Craig films for DK’s releases.
Since we’re clearly never going to get a traditional making of book for a Bond movie again, that formula has been followed by this first book “curated by Rankin”. There’s a combination of shots from the action, photographed during shooting; behind the scenes pics – the photograph of the rig needed for the epic tracking shot at the start of the film reveals the sheer scale of the production in a way words simply can’t; specially posed shots of the key players (including, I was delighted to see, Rory Kinnear as Tanner); and text that explains some of the secrets of the movie. There’s the odd mention of the number of iterations the script required – it’s clear that the character of Denbigh (Andrew Scott) went through a lot of changes – and you can read quite a bit between the lines as to who was powering the creative energy on the movie. However, I’d still have liked to have known more about the way in which the story was developed (particularly given that we know a certain amount after the Sony leaks!)
If you’ve not seen SPECTRE yet, I’d advise holding fire reading this until after you’ve seen the film: although there aren’t the major spoilers I half-expected, given the book was embargoed until after the movie’s release, it still gives away the basic beats of the story. If you are one of the many who enjoyed the film, then you’ll find a great deal to enjoy here too.
Verdict: A fascinating peek behind the curtain. 9/10