Why was James Bond's primary threat changed from smersh to spectre?
At the height of the 'cold war' Bond the fictional spy had to contend with international conspirators rathe rthan our traditional enemy.
I believe that it had to do with a long running law suit between Ian Fleming and an Irish writer named Kevin McClory. In the late 50s the two men worked together on a potential James Bond movie project which never came to fruition (obviously this was prior to "Dr. No" and the launch of the 007 film series). Fleming later used some of the concepts from the aborted script for the James Bond novel "Thunderball," and McClory sued Fleming for using some of his story ideas without his permission... including the name of the enemy spy organization, SMERSH. When "Thunderball" was filmed they were forced to give McClory producer/story credit on the movie.
Kevin McClory was later allowed to use his "ownership" of certain "Thunderball" story elements to produce his own Bond film, "Never Say Never Again," which starred Sean Connery as Bond and went head-to-head with the "official" 007 movie "Octopussy" in 1983.
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