In 1962, Sean Connery introduced Ian Fleming’s character to movie audiences around the world with the iconic line, “Bond, James Bond”. Now more than 25 films later, Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions Ltd celebrates its sixtieth anniversary as the creator of the longest, continuous film franchise in history.
EON Productions Ltd was originally founded by Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to produce the film “Dr No”. Little did they know it would turn into such a global franchise.
Salzman left the partnership in 1975 after nine films and Cubby continued to produce the films as a family operation. To this day, the franchise is produced by Cubby’s daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and stepson, Michael G. Wilson, as well as involving several other family members in executive positions.
James Bond became the fabric of everyday life for the Broccoli-Wilson family. Barbara was seven when she realized that James Bond, who was discussed regularly at the dinner table, was not a real person. Barbara and her brother Michael have since produced the most successful Bond films ever made, including Casino Royale, Quantum Of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre and No Time To Die.
Michael began his film career as a production assistant on Goldfinger during his school’s summer holiday and later, as a lawyer, became instrumental in helping the family to sort out legal issues that led to United Artists purchasing Salzman’s stake in the business. At the time, he took a leave of absence from his law firm for what was meant to be six months but turned into a fifty year engagement! He has co-written many of the Bond film screenplays as well as co-producing and his engineering background has come in handy for many of the complex action sequences, beginning with the opening of Moonraker in which Bond is thrown from a aeroplane without a parachute.
David G. Wilson, Michael’s son, spent his summers working on Bond films as a teen, starting with “License to Kill” in Mexico City. Returning from Japan in 1994, he joined EON Productions Ltd as an Assistant Director on GoldenEye. Since then, he has worked in production, licensing, merchandising and script development. Join us for a conversation with David and a discussion about the franchise.
David Wilson, Partner at Tyr Ventures; Assistant Producer, James Bond Movie Series
Moderator: Alfred E. Osborne, Jr., Professor and Faculty Director, Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, UCLA Anderson