It’s been thirteen years since Pierce Brosnan last appeared as Bond, but he’s still doling out the action. Watch him in your #SundayNightMovie, The November Man, on 6 September at 20:05 on M-Net and 20:30 on M-Net Movies Premiere.
Brosnan re-assumes the spy mantle for this thriller, based on the seventh instalment of The November Man novel series by Bill Granger. Just as this is not Brosnan’s first outing as a spy, it’s hardly the first spy novel to be adapted into a movie.
There are many other spies who have made their way to the big screen. We take a look at five of the best:
Created by Ian Fleming, the character first appeared in the 1953 novel Casino Royale. Barry Nelson was the first actor to play the role, in an hour-long TV special. In 1956, Bob Holness was cast as the secret agent for a South African radio adaptation of Moonraker. Sean Connery became the first Bond on the big screen, although the Bond in the gun–barrel opening sequence of Dr. No is stuntman Bob Simmons. Casino Royale only became part of the silver screen canon in 2006, when Daniel Craig took over the acclaimed role.
Created by Robert Ludlum, the character first appeared in The Bourne Identity. The novel was adapted into a TV movie in 1988, with Richard Chamberlain cast as Bourne. In 2002, Matt Damon took on the role for the big screen adaptation, appearing in two sequels as well. In the fourth film, The Bourne Legacy, the character is only mentioned. Jeremy Renner replaced Damon as the star, but was cast as an original character, called Aaron Cross.
Created by Tom Clancy, the character has appeared in numerous books by the author. His first film appearance was in The Hunt for Red October with Alec Baldwin cast as Ryan. Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine have played the role in subsequent adaptations.
Created by Len Deighton, the character in the novels is unnamed. When adapting The Ipcress File – the first novel in which the character appears – the producers gave him the name Harry Palmer. Played by Michael Caine, the actor portrayed the spy in five movies - three of which were based on Deighton’s books.
Created by John le Carré, the character first appeared in the novel Call for the Dead. His first film appearance was as a significant supporting character in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and was played by Rupert Davies. James Mason, Alec Guinness, Denholm Elliot and Gary Oldman also played the spy. The latter was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for his portrayal of George Smiley.
Watch Pierce Brosnan take on the spy role once more in The November Man, this Sunday, 6 September at 20:05 on M-Net and 20:30 on M-Net Movies Premiere.