16 September 2015 3903 Views


by James Murphy







I said I’d return, as I always do. It’s been a busy few weeks. Viral videos are popping up left, right and centre in the build up to the release of SPECTRE.

See below:

First, MoneyPenny retrieves my Phone. Thank you so much! I will make it up to you. Cocktails. My place. The video footage is c/o agent DANIEL KLEINMAN. Stylish, sleek, fun. He’s always done a great job on my credit sequences so maybe one day he might just helm a Bond movie ‘proper’. This is as good an audition as any.


Second, IDRIS ELBA is given a fan made debut as 007. Footage is actually from BBC television show, LUTHER. But that’s the very performance that shows us quite how good the man would be in the role, especially when the clips are fused to glimpses from SPECTRE. 




Ah yes, Mr. Elba. Look, I have TOLD you Sir: I think you would be an EXCELLENT version of me.


You can convince as an old Etonian. With personal style. Equally at home in an Embassy function or glam cocktail party as within the darkest enclave of the terrorist underworld. THAT is spy magic. THAT versatility and elitism, fused to accessible charm and pervasively competent grit is what makes a ‘Good James Bond’. 

CAN you do that, Idris? I believe so (caveat being that you might now be too expensive for the role; and it’s NOT YET AVAILABLE until Daniel Craig steps down). But one can see why perhaps you would not be everyone’s most obvious choice. Your track record is in gritty thriller stuff, save the occasional comedy turn in something like the US version of THE OFFICE. And it was probably for THAT reason that ANTHONY HOROWITZ made the now much used, much misunderstood ‘too street’ comment.




My Dear Mr. Horowitz: you had NOTHING to apologise for! Indeed, you did Idris a massive favour, as yet AGAIN the Internet swelled with ‘Elba must be Bond’ propaganda. To be frank, that’s all getting rather tiresome. EVERYONE wants to be me. And the first thing that happens when any actor adopts the mantle of either 007 or Dr Who (yes him again: new series; BBC 1; September 19th)..speculation begins IMMEDIATELY as to when you will STEP DOWN! Bizarre.

The ‘street’ comment was both understandable and acceptable. Idris is indeed VERY cool and yes ‘street’! As in he has STREET-CRED. As in Elba could handle combat in a street context and is known for hard hitting and gritty thrillers with an edge of social realism. Anthony: you paid the man a massive compliment. And Mr. Elba as ever (known for / defined by his decency) took it with good grace.

‘Chill’ , as the youngsters and hipsters say.




Let’s not forget that IAN FLEMING (my ‘creator’: even acknowledged, meta-textually in the novel, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) once thought SIR SEAN CONNERY to also be too hard edged for the role (Fleming favoured David Niven). It was not anti-Connery so much as pro Niven. But Fleming saw Connery in the role and ultimately gave his blessing, even amending my own biography to hint at a Scots dimension (something that pays off in SKYFALL).


So, you should not have apologised. You had NOTHING to  explain away or modify. And you DID qualify things well. ADRIAN LESTER would indeed be great at the suiting up. Consider also: CHIWETEL EJIOFOR and DAVID OYELOWO. Chiwetel has worked with you before and is good in action scenes (a threatening presence in hand to hand combat set pieces) and David reads TRIGGER MORTIS, beautifully.





Ah yes, TRIGGER MORTIS. It is a BRILLIANT continuation novel. Well done. Good show. I admit that I may perchance have dismissed ANY non Fleming work about me as ‘fan fiction’. But all have merits. JOHN GARDNER had the detail; RAYMOND BENSON gave us the cinematic thrills; KINGSLEY AMIS nailed the Fleming tone. And yours manages all those achievements in one book and is therefore among the very best continuation novels. It is visceral in its action scenes. The dialogue is compelling. Period details all researched meticulously and the resulting atmospherics are truly intoxicating. EVERY fan of my exploits MUST read / download this book. And even NON Bond fans will savour this first rate piece of writing.




My one criticism? Ms Galore. Your version of events differs from mine. Her fate is actually classified but she ended up married to an Architect and he owns half of London. They had two wonderful children. I still correspond with her in my fondest of daydreams; her image flashes into my mind whenever I face my darkest hours and require a blast of powerful, romantic adrenaline.

I also don’t really tend to stay in touch with lost affairs. Tried a two year on/off correspondence with TATIANA (from that Russian adventure; I loved it). Things got messy when she spoke of wanting to settle down and get married and have ‘mini Jameses’ (children /family). But I wished her well and trust her life has proven fulfilled in my absence. I hear she’s an accomplished artist and businesswoman. She may well divide her time between London and Eastern Europe.

I could of course be lying about both women. I am a spy when all’s said and done. And fan fiction is never canon, however good it might be. But I digress.




A sequel to TRIGGER MORTIS should be yours for the writing. And the lovely BROCCOLI family really ought to consider hiring you to write the next Bond film screenplay. Meantime, I will now view television’s FOYLE’S WAR in a new light (tended to send it up as it features BILL TANNER pretending to be a field Policeman code-named MICHAEL KITCHEN; the political dialogue felt a tad over-earnest too for my liking). But my Housekeeper at my Chelsea Flat AND M both LOVE it. I will re-watch and revise my opinion.


Fact is, like TRIGGER MORTIS and indeed ALL your work, sir, you wrote FOYLE’S WAR with loving attention to detail and a joy in entertaining your audience. It is endearing and inspirational and you should be justly proud. I also love your ALEX RIDER stories. Far, far better than that HARRY POTTER lark. Rider actually inspires kids to try the great outdoors and that is something to be lauded.




Above all, Mr. Horowitz, the measure of a man is this: when you meet them, albeit randomly, on a London street, are they nice and approachable, even when accosted? Well, you were both nice and approachable. Yes, that was me the other day. I don’t usually ‘do’ disguises. But I’d been visiting a conference on Digital Forensics, helping HMG’s bid to defeat crime and terror.  Also needed to check out this new man (code name: JEREMY CORBYN) at Her Majesty’s Opposition to ensure he is not a SMERSH revenge plant (good news: he isn’t, so far; just an actual ‘socialist’ as I will say in my report to M: will watch situation with objective vigilance and great interest).

So, when I had some downtime, I strolled down towards Farringdon near a lovely spot called ZETTA TOWNHOUSE. And there you were. Accompanied by your lovely wife. Thank you. It was a pleasure to meet you both.



Before I go though: one piece of homework. You loved CASINO ROYALE the movie (2006 version) but have some reservations about SKYFALL (2012). Might I suggest re-watching with new take on the Skyfall events. It is true that nominally, I had a mission to protect M.


But my films today MUST be more drawn out, psychological and small scale affairs if they are to avoid pure fantasy or regression to the ‘period piece’ advocated by many (if we do go that route, I look anachronistic: go forward, never back, as the late, great Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli noted). M was already dying in effect. The poor woman was nearing retirement age and hounded by bureaucrats. Had she survived, then her dignity and legacy would have been copiously compromised.




In addition, ANY attempt to protect her with extended forces (Police /military) would have cost yet more lives. She didn’t wish that to happen. So it HAD to be a case of ALLOWING M to die but with dignity and pride and in a manner with minimal collateral damage from that psychotic thug, Silva.



In turn, I too was liberated from the ‘bonds’ of long held childhood angst to which I had clung despite nominal maturity. And now, I can return to both work and old school 007 FUN, albeit in a very new world. As you will see in SPECTRE next month. And I really hope you enjoy it and approve!



Speaking of which, I really must go now. Duty Calls. You know the sort of thing. 


Thank you: Messrs Horowitz and Elba and all readers. End Transmission.





Mi6 HQ/ Kings Road, Chelsea



TRIGGER MORTIS by Anthony Horowitz is now available to buy and download in text and audio formats





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