Responding to a report on 007’s official Facebook page that no such project could legally go forward because the rights holders had not licensed the rights to executive producer Merry Saltzman (daughter of the legendary Bond film producer and impresario Harry Saltzman), Saltzman told Playbill.com that she is considering a “musical” parody that “does not require the permission of the owners of the parodied intellectual property.”
In their Facebook post, bond rights holders Danjaq and MGM Studios released the following statement on the morning of July 8:
Danjaq LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc confirm that they have not granted any license to Merry Saltzman or his production company to create a James Bond musical. Danjaq and MGM jointly control all stage rights in direct from the Bond franchise, and therefore no James Bond stage show can be produced without their permission. “
Saltzman posted the following statement to Playbill.com on the afternoon of July 8: “The statements by Eon, Danjaq and MGM et al are correct as far as they go. Placeholder Productions and my statements are also correct. Placeholder did not claim to have purchased the rights to a theatrical production from Eon et al (we were not intending to imply that we did).
“Placeholder bought (and claimed to have) bought the rights to a musical parody of James Bond written by Dave Clarke with music and lyrics by Jay Henry Weisz.” The key word here is ‘parody’. Parody, the courts have repeatedly confirmed, is fully protected by the fair use principle of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 and, as such, does not require the permission of the owners of the parody. parodied intellectual property. “We are producing a parody, no permissive rights are required from Eon, Danjaq, MGM et al to produce our show; it will not infringe their intellectual property. James Bond: The Musical will go as planned. “
On June 29, Salesman told Playbill.com that his company, Placeholder Productions, had secured the rights to put on a show on stage. 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” ).
In a series of 14 novels published from 1953 to 1966, Fleming created the Mystique of the British Secret Service Agent 007, who used seemingly limitless intellectual, financial and physical resources to root out and defeat the enemies of the Great Britain while simultaneously telling an endless series of beautiful women.
The novels have continued since Fleming’s death and have 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, “Specter”, is due out this fall, starring Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz.
James Bond: The Musical will have an original screenplay, the producers told Playbill.com, and will use “several Bond villains, plus a few new ones.”
No casting has been announced.
“Production schedules and testing are still being worked out in anticipation of an opening in late 2017-early 2018,” either on Broadway or in Las Vegas, at a location to be announced, Saltzman said. The show will also feature “our very own Bond girl,” she said.