London: A secret telegram has surfaced which shows that James Bond creator Ian Fleming wanted Alfred Hitchcock to direct the first 007 flick.
Fleming sent the communique in 1959, where he asked Hitchcock to take the helm of the first Bond film through a mutual friend, the Daily Mail reported.
Outlining the plot, the telegram was sent to novelist Eric Ambler, asking: “Would Hitchcock be interested?”
“Have written Bond movie treatment featuring Mafia stolen atomic bomber blackmail of England culminating Nassau with extensive underwater dramatics,” Fleming wrote.
The plot in question was for ‘Thunderball’, which had originally been intended as the first Bond film and ended up being made in 1965, before it was decided ‘Dr No’ should be the first movie in the franchise.
“This is for my friend Ivar Bryce’s Xanadu Films Ltd which recently completed Boy and Bridge, England’s choice for Venice festival but blasted by critics and flop at Curzon though now doing excellently on pre-release Rank circuit.
“Would Hitchcock be interested in directing this first Bond film in association with Xanadu?”
“Plentiful finance available. This purely old boy enquiry without involvement but think we might all have a winner particularly if you were conceivably interested in scripting,” he wrote in the telegram.
His sign off was mistakenly transcribed “regardest Ian Fleming.”
The telegram, sent in September 1959, has been posted this week on the website Letters Of Note.
The rejection meant there was no ‘Hitchcockian’ Bond, and Fleming offered the director role to Terence Young, who went on to direct three films in the series – ‘Dr No’, ‘From Russia With Love’ and ‘Thunderball’.