Here’s how copyright law works in the United States, vaguely speaking: Copyrighted works remain protected for at least 70 years following the death of their creator. Here’s how copyright law works in Canada: Pretty much the same, except the period is truncated to 50 years.
James Bond creator Ian Fleming died in 1964, meaning that as of January 1, 2015, his timeless character is in the public domain as far as Canada is concerned, so anybody can produce works featuring the character as they please. Check here for more details on the legalese, but essentially, a Canadian could recreate a James Bond movie without any legal ramifications.
Canadian filmmakers Lee Demarbe and Ian Driscoll are already on the case. As they confirmed in an interview earlier this year, they have plans to remake the 1981 Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. They don’t know who will be their Bond just yet, although their goal is to go with an unknown actor. However, they are considering Jessica Paré, the Canadian actress who played Megan Draper on Mad Men, to portray Judy Havelock.
Demarbe and Driscoll are also considering the possibility that their For Your Eyes Only remake could be the start of a new franchise, for which they already have three more films planned out. The only major hurdle for these movies seeing wide distribution (and we mean a major hurdle). The movie would be illegal to release in the U.S., as well as the European Union, which makes securing funding a significant and very real challenge. But then again, this is James Bond we’re talking about.
Featured image courtesy of Columbia Pictures