Licence renewed: Anthony Horowitz to write official James Bond prequel

Forever and a Day, the author’s second 007 novel, will make use of material left behind by Ian Fleming to imagine Bond’s first mission

Drawing from original material left behind by Ian Fleming, Anthony Horowitz is writing a prequel to the first ever James Bond novel, Casino Royale.

Forever and a Day, which is authorised by the Fleming Estate, will find Horowitz “exploring what might have been Bond’s first mission and imagining some of the forces that might have turned him into the iconic figure that the whole world knows”, the novelist said.

According to publisher Jonathan Cape, the novel will begin when the body of the previous agent with the designation 007 is discovered floating in the waters off Marseille, “killed by an unknown hand”. James Bond will step up to fill his place.

Horowitz writes: “M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. ‘We have no choice. We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing. But you didn’t tell me his name.’ ‘It’s Bond, sir,’ the Chief of Staff replied. ‘James Bond.’”

Anthony Horowitz: ‘I hope Ian Fleming would have approved.’
Anthony Horowitz: ‘I hope Ian Fleming would have approved.’ Photograph: Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images

Horowitz previously wrote the Bond novel Trigger Mortis, making use of Fleming’s treatment for an unmade television series in which 007 gets involved with a Formula One race in Germany. His latest 007 title will be published on 31 May and similarly uses original material by Ian Fleming, say Jonathan Cape.

“I couldn’t have been happier when the Ian Fleming estate invited me back to write a second Bond,” said Horowitz. “I hope Ian Fleming would have approved.”

The author’s nephew, Fergus Fleming, said that Forever and a Day was “in the best tradition of Ian Fleming”, while Jonathan Cape’s Michal Shavit said it would “introduce Bond to a whole new generation of readers with the extraordinary story of how he got his licence to kill”.

Fleming wrote 14 Bond novels, starting with Casino Royale in 1953 and ending with Octopussy and The Living Daylights in 1966. As well as Horowitz, authors including Kingsley Amis, Sebastian Faulks and William Boyd have also written official 007 novels.


Alison Flood

The GuardianTramp

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