The new James Bond to be middle-aged
James Bond will be a middle-aged spy with a "realistic" love life in the new 007 novel by William Boyd.
The author has been chosen by the Ian Fleming estate to write a new Bond adventure, which will be published in autumn 2013.
But Boyd’s creation will be a far cry from the screen Bond, who bedded beautiful women at every opportunity and faced down villains bent on world domination.
“He is a middle-aged man, a middle-aged spy, and that’s one of the things that interests me” Boyd told an audience at the Telegraph Hay Festival. The as-yet-untitled novel is set in 1969, with Bond aged 45.
“I’m a realistic novelist and what interests me about Bond is the human being. There will be no mountains filled with atom bombs or global plagues, no gadgets, no superpowers or preposterous enemies - there will be an entirely believable psychopath, not a preposterous psychopath.
“And similarly with love affairs - in my novel they will be entirely believable.”
He added: “The literary Bond is a far more interesting character than the Bond of the films, who is a sort of cartoon. The literary Bond is a much more troubled, complex, nuanced figure.”
Boyd, whose novels include Any Human Heart, A Good Man In Africa and his latest, Waiting For Sunrise, is the third novelist to accept the invitation from the Fleming estate after Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver.
He explained: “The wonderful thing about the offer is that they give you almost total freedom - there’s no sense in which you have to channel Ian Fleming. That’s not something I would really want to do, I must say.
“What you will get is a William Boyd novel that has James Bond as a central character.”
Although Boyd’s book is unlikely to feature Q, the gadget inventor, the author disclosed that some familiar characters will definitely be included.
He said: “M is going to appear, and Miss Moneypenny. You would be a fool not to have Miss Moneypenny, as a writer of a Bond novel.
“I’m taking it extremely seriously but I’m going to have a lot of fun as well.”