Anthony Horowitz is to pen the new James Bond novel, which will be published by Orion and will contain a section of previously unseen material written by Bond creator Ian Fleming.
The new book, currently dubbed Project One, will be set in the 1950s Horowitz has had "exclusive access" to the Fleming material.
Malcolm Edwards, deputy c.e.o. and group publisher at Orion, and Claire Wachtel at HarperCollins US and Canada bought English language rights to the book from Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown, on behalf of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd and The Ian Fleming Estate.
Jessie Grimond, great-niece of Fleming, said: “In the 1950s Ian Fleming wrote several episode treatments for a James Bond television series. But it never came to be made and he ended up turning most of the plots into the short stories that are now in the collections For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy and The Living Daylights. However, there are a few plot outlines which he never used and which, till now, have never been published, or aired. Given that Anthony is as brilliant a screenwriter as he is a novelist, we thought it would be exciting to see what he would do with one of them.”
The treatment chosen by Horowitz is called "Murder on Wheels" and follows Bond on a mission into the world of motor racing. It will serve as a starting point to the novel, and includes familiar characters such as M and Miss Moneypenny.
Horowitz's many writing credits also the modern Sherlock Holmes novels, published by Orion, the next of which is Moriarty, released on 23rd October.
He said: "It's no secret that Ian Fleming's extraordinary character has had a profound influence on my life, so when the estate approached me to write a new James Bond novel how could I possibly refuse? It's a huge challenge – more difficult even than Sherlock Holmes in some ways – but having original, unpublished material by Fleming has been an inspiration. This is a book I had to write."
Fleming’s niece Lucy Fleming said: “We are thrilled that Anthony has taken on the Bond mantle, and can’t wait to read his novel. Anthony is a brilliant writer, as his millions of fans around the world demonstrate. He has an exceptional skill for writing spy thrillers in particular, and it is this coupled with the original Fleming material and his knowledge of and enthusiasm for Bond, which makes for a really exciting proposition.”
Edwards said: “James Bond and Anthony Horowitz is a match made in publishing heaven. Anthony is a writer of exceptional skill and I have no doubt he will deliver a book that will resonate and delight Bond fans around the globe. For our part, we will publish the book in a way that celebrates the legacy of literary Bond and mount a campaign that will make publication day one of the biggest publishing events of 2015.”
The novel is the fourth in the modern Bond books, and follows Solo by William Boyd, which was published by Jonathan Cape. The other modern Bond novels are Carte Blanche by American thriller author Jeffrey Deaver, published by Hodder, and Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, published by Penguin.
The new Bond novel is due for worldwide release on 8th September 2015.
Image by Mark Rusher