Entertainment & Arts

James Bond musical plans cause spat

Daniel Craig Image copyright Eon Productions
Image caption Daniel Craig is the current James Bond

Plans for a James Bond musical have caused a spat between the producer of the show and the owners of the superspy franchise.

Merry Saltzman - the daughter of late Bond producer Harry Saltzman - told Playbill last week she had secured rights to stage a Broadway show.

But on Wednesday, Bond rights holders MGM and Danjaq denied they licensed any rights, legally preventing a show.

However, Saltzman has said her musical is a parody and did not need approval.

She added the show would go ahead as planned, opening in late 2017 or early 2018.

In a statement on the 007 website, Danjaq and MGM said they had not "licensed any rights to Merry Saltzman or her production company to create a James Bond musical".

"Danjaq and MGM jointly control all live stage rights in the Bond franchise, and therefore no James Bond stage show may be produced without their permission."

'Key word parody'

Responding to the statement, Saltzman told Playbill: "We are producing a parody, no permissive rights are required from Eon, Danjaq, MGM et al to produce our show; it will not infringe on their intellectual property.

"Eon, Danjaq, and MGM's statements are accurate as far as they go. [My company] Placeholder Productions' and my statements are also accurate. Placeholder did not claim to have purchased rights to a stage production from Eon et al (nor did we intend to imply we had).

"Placeholder did (and did claim to) purchase rights to a James Bond musical parody written by Dave Clarke with music and lyrics by Jay Henry Weisz.

"The key word here is 'parody'. Parody, the courts have repeatedly upheld, is fully protected under the fair use principle of the US Copyright Act of 1976 and, as such, does not require permission from the owners of the intellectual property being parodied."

Producers said James Bond: The Musical will have an original storyline and feature "several Bond villains, plus some new ones" as well as "our own Bond girl".

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