James Bond almost got the Amy Winehouse treatment.
The iconic 007 franchise, known for its sultry Oscar-winning theme songs, was meant to have a ballad written and sung by the late Grammy winner for 2008’s “Quantum of Solace” starring Daniel Craig as the famed MI6 agent. Bond producer Barbara Broccoli revealed that meeting with the “Back to Black” singer was “distressing” due to Winehouse being “not at her best” in 2008, three years before her fatal 2011 overdose.
“Well, that was a very very distressing meeting, she was not at her best and my heart really went out to her,” Broccoli told Entertainment Weekly while promoting Amazon’s Prime Video documentary “Sound of 007,” streaming October 5. “She was very fragile emotionally and, you know, you understood how she could create such moving material, because she has a great depth of feeling and it was very, very tragic.”
Broccoli added, “What an incredible talent, what an incredible voice, what an incredible person she was and it was very, very sad.”
The “Quantum of Solace” theme song, “Another Way to Die,” was recorded by Jack White and Alicia Keys instead.
White revealed earlier this year that Winehouse “wasn’t showing up to the sessions or wasn’t delivering the song that they were asking her to do,” which is why he stepped in last minute to take over.
“So it was, ‘We were running out of time, we need somebody else…’ And I thought, ‘Oh, this was great, because now I’m going to get away with murder; I’m going to put things in this song, they would never approve of this,’” White said. “And that happened. The music director was not down with anything. He was trying to convince me to turn it into a ballad or something like that.”
To note, Radiohead had a scrapped “Spectre” theme song years later. Adele’s “Skyfall,” Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall,” and Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die” each won respective Academy Awards.
For the next branch of the franchise, Broccoli is keeping lead actor, theme song artist, and director positions vacant for now. The next Bond film is an estimated two years away.
Late would-be Bond crooner Winehouse is also receiving a big screen biopic titled “Back to Black,” helmed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey,” “A Million Little Pieces”).
Matt Greenhalgh is penning the script, teaming up again with director Taylor-Johnson after collaborating on 2009’s John Lennon story “Nowhere Boy.”
The film will follow Winehouse’s life and rise to fame before dying of an alcohol and drug overdose in July 2011. Multiple projects have since been in the works attempting to capture Winehouse’s legacy, with Noomi Rapace previously attached to star in a Lotus Entertainment vehicle. Tania Raymonde also was linked to a separate film about Winehouse. The upcoming “Back to Black” is being made with “full support” from the Winehouse estate. Director Taylor-Johnson and the film’s producers are currently casting the project.
While no narrative feature has yet to be released in the 11 years since Winehouse’s death, the A24’s documentary “Amy” from 2015 won Best Documentary at the Oscars and grossed more than $23 million at the box office.
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