In Steven Jay Rubin’s magisterial The James Bond Films (1981) he states that, “The writing of The Spy Who Loved Me was something of a nightmare. No less than twelve script writers had a crack at it and there were at least fifteen different drafts of the script on Broccoli’s desk at any one moment. It became a question of who could be the most innovative and yet stay within the bounds of credibility.
No doubt Burgess would have been pleased (as any Fleming purist at the time no doubt was) that the Bond films returned to a back to basic more grounded in reality approach at the beginning of the 1980s with the release of For Your Eyes Only (1981) with Roger Moore arguably giving his best (and not coincidentally the most Flemingesque) performance as Bond much more in line with the Fleming originals as the film was closely based on two Fleming short stories and part of a Bond novel to boot. Whatever the real reason for his spoof Bond film screenplay for the then projected The Spy Who Loved Me film it is clear that an in-depth study of Burgess and the James Bond phenomenon would be a very worthy academic and intellectual exercise for a future more in-depth paper on the subject and the full content of Burgess’s screenplay. Until then the case on Anthony Burgess and The Spy Who Loved Me is hereby closed pending further inquiry. Therefore the case for the prosecution of Anthony Burgess for crimes against fidelity to Ian Fleming is not proved beyond reasonable doubt (the margin being 99.9%).