Q&A for James L. Neibaur and Gary Schneeberger, authors of the BearManor book “From Connery to Craig: The James Bond Film Series.”
How did you two end up collaborating on a book?
Gary and I had been friends since college, both writers, but in different areas. Gary owns a public relations firm so his first book was in that field. I am a film historian and have over 30 published books, several of which are for Bear Manor. He and I found a subject we both liked and felt we could create a definitive study.
Why the James Bond films?
James Bond reflected and helped shape culture. He was not just played by different leading men, he was set into and against a society the experienced, during his run, the height of the cold war, the civil rights movement, man’s race to the moon, the baby boom generation coming of age, the sexual revolution, women’s liberation, wall street unease and abuse, the fall of Communism, a growing political and ideological divide in the US, increasing globalization and breakthroughs in technology, that were unimaginable when Ian Fleming and the filmmakers who brought his creation to theaters were trying to imagine them. And 007 remained relevant through it all.
How did you write this book as collaborators? What was your approach?
We each took chapters that most appealed to us, and made sure we both covered at least one or two of the Bond films featuring each actor. However, this didn’t work out regarding George Lazenby, who was Bond in only one film. I took that chapter, and then Gary wrote both chapters on Timothy Dalton’s two films as Bond. Gary had his wife, Kelly, also with a writing background, look over his chapters before sending them to me. I have been working with writer and film historian Katie Carter for years as an assistant and she helped work on the entire book in that capacity. And, of course, we read and responded to each other’s chapters.
Why now? There are many books already out on James Bond movies.
There are a lot of trivia books and coffee table books, but ours is the first definitive film by film study of Bond’s impact on the culture and vice versa. We make a strong case that the films from Dr No to No Time To Die represent a self-contained cinematic universe. James Bond will certainly resurface at the movies, but all signs point to a significant reboot of the franchise.
Any other plans to collaborate on other book projects.
We are currently doing a book on Bruce Willis’s films, and have contracts to do similar books on Burt Reynolds and Robert Redford, all for BearManor. We are considering also covering the Rocky series, and writing books on directors Norman Jewison and Don Siegel.