James Bond Musical Producer Says Broadway "Parody" Will Go on as Planned

News   James Bond Musical Producer Says Broadway "Parody" Will Go on as Planned A musical based on Ian Fleming's suave super spy James Bond is definitely still on track for Broadway, according to its producer.

Responding to a report on the official 007 Facebook page, that no such project could legally be going forward because the rights holders had not licensed the rights to executive producer Merry Saltzman (daughter of legendary Bond film producer and impresario Harry Saltzman), Saltzman told Playbill.com that she is planning a musical "parody" that "does not require permission from the owners of the intellectual property being parodied."

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In their Facebook post Bond rights holders Danjaq and MGM Studios posted the following statement the morning of July 8:

"Danjaq LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc confirm they have not licensed any rights to Merry Saltzman or her production company to create a James Bond musical. Danjaq and MGM jointly control all live stage rights in the Bond franchise, and therefore no James Bond stage show may be produced without their permission."

Saltzman issued the following statement to Playbill.com the afternoon of July 8: "Eon, Danjaq, and MGM et al's statements are accurate as far as they go. Placeholder Productions' and my statements are also accurate. Placeholder did not claim to have purchased rights to a stage production from Eon et al (nor did we intend to imply we had).

"Placeholder did (and did claim to) purchase rights to a James Bond musical parody written by Dave Clarke with music and lyrics by Jay Henry Weisz. "The key word here is 'parody.' Parody, the courts have repeatedly upheld, is fully protected under the fair use principle of the US Copyright Act of 1976 and, as such, does not require permission from the owners of the intellectual property being parodied. "We are producing a parody, no permissive rights are required from Eon, Danjaq, MGM et al to produce our show; it will not infringe on their intellectual property. James Bond: The Musical will go on as planned."

On June 29 Salesman told Playbill.com that her company, Placeholder Productions, had secured the rights to mount a stage show. She said the show, concisely titled James Bond: The Musical, will have a book by novelist Dave Clarke ("Keeping Hannah Waiting") and music and lyrics by country composer Jay Henry Weisz ("Driving Home," "Only One," "Man in the Bar," "The Fight").

Over a series of 14 novels published from 1953 to 1966, Fleming created the mystique of British Secret Service Agent 007, who used seemingly limitless intellectual, financial and physical resources to root out and defeat Britain's enemies while simultaneously romancing an endless series of beautiful women.

The novels continued since Fleming's death, and inspired a series of internationally successful adventure films, including "Goldfinger," "Dr. No," "Casino Royale" and "You Only Live Twice." The 24th film in the series, "Spectre," is due this fall, starring Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz.

James Bond: The Musical will have an original storyline, producers told Playbill.com, and will use "several Bond villains, plus some new ones."

No casting has been announced.

"Production schedules and trial runs are still being worked out in anticipation of a late 2017-early 2018 opening," on Broadway or in Las Vegas, at a venue to be announced, Saltzman said. The show will also introduce "our own Bond girl," she said.

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