James Bond Is Being Edited To Remove Problematic Content

Several James Bond books are being edited to remove language potentially offensive to various racial groups.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

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The Telegraph has reported that several James Bond novels will have rewrites to remove racial terms and several other instances of offensive language or content. Along with the edits, the 007 books will also open with a disclaimer that states “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.”

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, the rights holders for the Ian Fleming James Bond novels, commissioned a sensitivity review before an upcoming reissue of the Bond collection. The reissue will be in April and is celebrating 70 years of Casino Royale, which is the first book in the Bond series. Fleming himself authorized edits to the US edition of Live and Let Die before his death in 1964, and Ian Fleming Publications said “we decided our best course of action was to follow Ian’s lead.”

Some examples of the edits include a common pejorative term for Black people used at the time of the James Bond series’ publication (between 1951 and 1966) being removed and replace with terms like “Black person” or “Black man.” In books like Thunderball, Quantum of Solace (1960), and Goldfinger references to ethnicities have been removed. Another example is a section of Live and Let Die that described a striptease in Harlem with “Bond could hear the audience panting and grunting like pigs at the trough,” and changed the wording to, “Bond could sense the electric tension in the room.”

If you’re interested in purchasing the reissues of the James Bond novels, you can pick them up when they’re released in April later this year. For the most recent Bond film, you can check out the 2021 release No Time to Die. No Time to Die was the final Bond movie with Daniel Craig in the title role.

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With Daniel Craig’s retirement from James Bond, there are other big changes going on in the Bondverse on the film side of things. Obviously, everyone is wondering who is going to fill the shoes of M16’s greatest super spy next. There are plenty of names being thrown around, but nothing definitive has been announced yet.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like a definitive decision is anywhere close to happening, as producer Barbara Broccoli recently revealed that they haven’t started casting and that there isn’t even a script yet for the next James Bond film. This is despite the fact that Aaron Taylor-Johnson had supposedly become a frontrunner for the film according to numerous reports. If Broccoli isn’t burying the lede and trying to get people off the scent, it seems like there might not even be a top list of prospects at this point.

Still, that hasn’t stopped people from fan-casting all of their favorite British actors for the lead role in the next James Bond film. Some of the top suggestions, other than Aaron Taylor-Johnson, have been Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, and Rene-Jean Page. While these are all great suggestions, there’s always a chance that none of them could end up in the role.

For now, we’ll likely just have to wait and see who they decide to bring in to play James Bond. Until then, you can check out the newly reissued novels when they hit shelves in April. If you want to revisit some of the best Bond films, many of them are currently streaming on HBO Max.