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Eon Productions is a British film production company known for producing the James Bond film series. The company is based in London's Piccadilly and also operates from Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom. It is a subsidiary of Danjaq LLC, the holding company responsible for the copyright and trademarks to the Bond characters and elements on screen.
Eon, a closely held (public and family) corporation, was started by film producers Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in 1961, at the same time they partnered and sought financing for Dr. No the year before they formed Danjaq, which for legal reasons became Eon's holding company, from which it licenses the copyright protections allowing Eon to produce the Bond films.
Cubby Broccoli had been interested in the Bond novels rights for several years but was dissuaded from making them project by his former partner. When they dissolved their relationship he was free to pursue the property, for which Saltzman, a novice to film production, had taken a gamble to acquire. The two were introduced by a New York writer who was acquainted with both, and formed a partnership within a week of meeting. The enterprise was and is still a family business, including both wives of the principal partners, as well as several of their progeny, the latter group now carrying on their parents' work. Cubby almost immediately included Dana Broccoli's college-aged son Michael G. Wilson in the early films, doing various production jobs. His engineering education was put to use in some of the series' special effects.
In 1975, after nine Bond films, Harry Saltzman sold his shares of Danjaq to United Artists (the then-current Bond series distributor). Although Albert R. Broccoli died in 1996, Eon Productions is still owned by the Broccoli family, specifically Albert R. Broccoli's daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and his stepson and her half-brother by actress Dana Wilson Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, who are the current producers of the James Bond films.
Albert R. Broccoli's name has appeared in the opening "presents" credit of every Eon-produced James Bond film, and as the first name in the credits from The Spy Who Loved Me onwards. From Dr. No through The Man with the Golden Gun, the credit was "Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman present"; for some films Saltzman came first (and still does in the film itself and/or its original posters), but all present-day printed credits have been changed to list Broccoli first. After Saltzman left, the opening credit was "Albert R. Broccoli presents" through to GoldenEye (the last film made before Broccoli's death), even after Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson replaced him as producers. On all films since Broccoli's death, the opening credit is "Albert R. Broccoli's Eon Productions presents", with "Limited" usually added after "Productions" in the film proper.
The copyrights and trademarks for the film properties (beginning with Dr. No) are held by Danjaq and United Artists Corporation; the latter was bought by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1981, but as an MGM subsidiary its name still appears in Bond copyright and trademark disclaimers. Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012) were co-distributed with Columbia Pictures (which appeared along with Danjaq and United Artists in their copyright disclaimers); this arrangement will continue for Spectre, the 24th Bond film.
The video rights for all of Eon's Bond films are owned by MGM Home Entertainment, and are controlled by MGM's distributor 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment initially assumed the video rights to Casino Royale, but the 2012 home video editions of this film were issued by MGM and 20th Century Fox.
The Bond films produced by Eon Productions are:
- Dr. No (1962)
- From Russia with Love (1963)
- Goldfinger (1964)
- Thunderball (1965)
- You Only Live Twice (1967)
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
- Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
- Live and Let Die (1973)
- The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
- The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
- Moonraker (1979)
- For Your Eyes Only (1981)
- Octopussy (1983)
- A View to a Kill (1985)
- The Living Daylights (1987)
- Licence to Kill (1989)
- GoldenEye (1995)
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
- The World Is Not Enough (1999)
- Die Another Day (2002)
- Casino Royale (2006)
- Quantum of Solace (2008)
- Skyfall (2012)
- Spectre (2015)
Other production companies were responsible for the Bond films Casino Royale (1954), Casino Royale (1967) and Never Say Never Again (1983); the first is a one-hour TV film produced for an anthology series and the others are feature films produced for the cinema.
Since its first film, Dr. No in 1962, Eon has only made one non-Bond film: Call Me Bwana (1963), starring Bob Hope. (Saltzman and Broccoli produced other films separately: Broccoli produced the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, based on a book by Ian Fleming; Saltzman produced several non-Bond films during this time including The Ipcress File and Battle of Britain.)
Other non-Bond projects from either 1963 or 1964 – The Marriage Game written by Terry Southern and to have been directed by Peter Yates and The Pass Beyond Kashmir based on the novel by Berkely Mather – did not go into production.
In 2008, Eon signed a deal with Columbia Pictures to develop fifteen thrillers and family films outside the Bond franchise, with budgets of up to $80 million (£40 million). The company hopes the move will allow more British writers to establish themselves in the United States.
In 2000, Eon productions served a cease and desist letter to Cheapass Games to stop it from using the name "Mr. Bond" in the title of its game Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond. In 2004, the game was reissued under the title James Ernest's Totally Renamed Spy Game.
- James Bond games – list of games authorised by Eon Productions and MGM Interactive.
- Ian Fleming Publications – administers all of Ian Fleming's literary oeuvre as well as continuation novels by other authors.
- Outline of James Bond
- DVD and Blu-ray copies of Eon's Bond films.
- Fritz, Ben (13 April 2011). "Sony and MGM finalize James Bond, co-financing partnership". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- MGM Re-Ups DVD Deal With Fox Through 2016, deadline.com
- Southern, Nile (2004). The Candy Men: The Rollicking Life and Times of the Notorious Novel Candy. Arcade Publishing. p. 194. ISBN 155970604X.
- Hill, Lee (2010). A Grand Guy: The Art And Life of Terry Southern. HarperCollins. p. no page number. ISBN 0380977869.
- "FILMS THAT NEVER HAPPENED: "THE PASS BEYOND KASHMIR" - Celebrating Films of the 1960s & 1970s". Cinemaretro.com.
- Alberge, Dalya (10 April 2008). "Bond moves over for Hollywood deal". London: entertainment.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 12 April 2008.