James Bond is a fictional character created by British novelist Ian Fleming in 1953. A British secret agent working for MI6 under the codename 007, Bond has been portrayed on film by actors Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig in twenty-seven productions. All but two films were made by Eon Productions, which now holds the adaptation rights to all of Fleming's Bond novels.
In 1961, producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman purchased the filming rights to Fleming's novels. They founded Eon Productions and, with financial backing by United Artists, produced Dr. No, directed by Terence Young and featuring Connery as Bond. Following its release in 1962, Broccoli and Saltzman created the holding company Danjaq to ensure future productions in the James Bond film series. The Eon series currently has twenty-five films, with the most recent, No Time to Die, released in September 2021. With a combined gross of nearly $7 billion to date, it is the fifth-highest-grossing film series. Accounting for inflation, it has earned over $14 billion at current prices. The films have won six Academy Awards for: Sound Effects (now Sound Editing) in Goldfinger (at the 37th Awards), to John Stears for Visual Effects in Thunderball ( at the 38th Awards), to Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for Sound Editing, to Adele and Paul Epworth for Original Song in Skyfall (at the 85th Awards), to Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes for Original Song in Spectre (at the 88th Awards), and to Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell for Original Song in No Time to Die (at the 94th Awards). Several of the songs produced for the films have been nominated for Academy Awards for Original Song, including Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die", Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" and Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only". In 1982 Albert R. Broccoli received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
When Broccoli and Saltzman bought the rights to existing and future Fleming titles, the deal did not include Casino Royale, which had been sold to producer Gregory Ratoff for a television adaption in 1954. After Ratoff's death, the rights passed to Charles K. Feldman, who subsequently produced the Bond spoof Casino Royale in 1967. A legal case ensured that the film rights to the novel Thunderball were held by Kevin McClory as he, Fleming and scriptwriter Jack Whittingham had written a film script on which the novel was based. Although Eon Productions and McClory joined forces to produce Thunderball, McClory still retained the rights to the story and adapted Thunderball into 1983's Never Say Never Again. Distribution rights to both of those films are currently held by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, which distributes Eon's regular series.