James Bond’s Next Mission: Saving Stirling Moss

The Ian Fleming estate has hired a writer to soup an unpublished ode to F1.
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The Ian Fleming estate has hired a writer to soup an unpublished ode to F1.
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In the early fifties, James Bond hadn’t accelerated from the page to the big screen andIan Fleming was pitching the American networks the idea of a TV show based on his super spy. CBS bit and commissioned several stories that were filed away like MI6dossiers when the Bond films took off. Now, the Fleming estate has hired British novelist and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz to flesh out and finish an unpublished tale about Bond saving real-life F1 phenom Stirling Moss from a Russian plot to sabotage his car before a race at the Nurburgring.

The plot sounds off the wall, but makes perfect sense in the context of Fleming’s life. The author and former spy loved nothing more than fast cars and was good friends with Moss, the man who won 212 races in 14 years and made London a racing town. Horowitz, who previously worked with Conan Doyle estate on a Sherlock Holmes update, has been quiet about the details of the plot, which he’ll have significant leeway to change, but hinted to the English broadsheets that Bond would get behind the wheel of a racecar and that Stirling Moss would be lightly fictionalized.

That’s great news on the racing front and a bit of a disappointment about Moss, who doesn’t need to be fictionalized to fit into the world of Bond. Moss spent his post-F1 life trying to break speed records, getting knighted, amassing a fortune, and burnishing his reputation as a ladies man. He and Fleming got along for a reason.

Horowitz and the Fleming estate are currently referring to the book as “Project One,” a slightly less on-the-nose title than Fleming’s original “Murder on Wheels,” but the hardcover is still a ways off. Die-hard fans will have to tide themselves over by re-watching Daniel Craig cruise the Nurburgring in the Aston Martin 007.

Photos by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images