LONDON – Acclaimed British novelist William Boyd said Thursday he hopes to bring James Bond back to his roots when he pens the next installment of the suave superspy saga.
HarperCollins Publishers said Boyd will be the next hired gun to step into Ian Fleming’s English-made shoes. Fleming died in 1964 after creating the enduring 007 character, who has been celebrated in the longest running film franchise of all time.
Boyd, known for “Restless,” ”Any Human Heart” and other books, will follow successful novelists Sebastian Faulks and Jeffrey Deaver, who have also written recent authorized Bond novels.
The Boyd book, which does not have a title yet, is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2013, 60 years after the publication of “Casino Royale,” the first in the series.
Boyd said he plans to pattern the new novel on “classic Bond” and to set it in the late 1960s.
“When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel I accepted at once,” Boyd said in a statement. “For me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating â€” a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. In fact my father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then â€” ‘From Russia with Love’ being my favourite.’
While Boyd said he wants to restore Fleming’s approach, which relied on short, tightly plotted novels, producers of the Bond film series, now starring Daniel Craig as 007, have gradually moved away from some of the traditional Bond elements established in early classics like “Goldfinger.”
The handsome, hard-living spy has been played on screen by Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and others. The so-called “Bond girl” sorority has included a string of actresses that began with Ursula Andress in “Dr. No.”
Fleming died in 1964 shortly after the early Bond films brought his character to worldwide fame.
He wrote 14 Bond novels and short story collections and penned the children’s classic “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”