Friday, July 3, 2015

Two Writers: Higson and Whittingham…Day 184 of Bond 365

Charles Higson
Born this day in 1958
Author, Young Bond series

Charles ‘Charlie’ Higson was born in Frome, England. He has written, starred, produced, directed and sang at some point for television. In 2004, Higson was tapped to write about a young James Bond while attending Eton. He penned five: SilverFin (2005), Blood Fever (2006), Double or Die (2007), Hurricane Gold (2007), and By Royal Command (2008). Also in 2008, along with Kev Walker, the graphic novel of SilverFin was released (pretty good too!). And in 2009, Higson wrote a short story that was included in Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier.

Learn more about Higson at his website

Jack Whittingham
Passed away this day in 1972
Original story/screenplay for Thunderball

Jack Whittingham was born in Scarborough, a village in North Yorkshire, England on August 2, 1910. He was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford and worked as an editor/writer for the Morning Post. Whittingham wrote plays prior to serving for England.

After the war, he wrote or co-wrote stories and screenplays for war and period films. By 1950, he was working with Ealing Studios. Most of his screenplays were for films, however he did work on a few television series that included: Danger Man, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and Gideon C.I.D.

Whittingham’s life takes a turn when he became acquainted with and collaborated with Kevin McClory and Ian Fleming to write a screenplay for a James Bond film. The project did not come to fruition, and Fleming used the screenplay for the basis of his novel Thunderball. McClory and Whittingham sued, but during the case, Whittingham shifted from co-plaintiff to a lead witness for the suit. Whittingham probably executed this maneuver because he had signed away his rights after he believed the screenplay was completed. The suit was settled in 1963 with the stipulation that credit for the story/screenplay would included credit to all three men. Thunderball was made the first time in 1965 by Eon Productions and then again in Never Say Never Again in 1983. The story credits did not follow the settlement order. In both versions, Sean Connery played James Bond.

Whittingham died of a heart attack at the age of 61 while in Valletta, Malta.

Here is an in depth timeline and insight into Whittingham’s life.

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