Additional casting has been announced on the Sky Atlantic/BBC America miniseries “Fleming,” which will star Dominic Cooper in the role of Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond. Cooper, who played the dashing Howard Stark in "Captain America: The First Avenger," doesn't actually look like Fleming, but certainly has the panache.
Per Deadline Hollywood, Lara Pulver of “Da Vinci’s Demons” will play Ann O’Neill, longtime girlfriend and eventual wife of the English novelist. It’s been long-rumored that Mrs. Fleming could have had “Casino Royale,” the 1st Bond novel, dedicated to her, but upon reading it said: “A book like this you don’t dedicate to anybody.”
The miniseries is taking the tack that central characters in the Bond novels were inspired or influenced by actual people in Fleming’s life. Some of the parts recently cast are indicative.
Annabelle Wallis, who played Jane Seymour on “The Tudors,” is reported to have been cast as Muriel Wright, a former lover of Fleming’s, who was killed during an air raid in 1944. Fleming had broken off their affair, but nonetheless was called in to identify her remains, which was by all accounts traumatic for him. Wright is regarded in some circles as the ongoing model for “the Bond girl,” a character that often comes to an untimely, violent end in the Bond novels.
Samuel West (“Mr. Selfridge,” “Hyde Park on Hudson”) reportedly will play Admiral John Godfrey, for whom Fleming worked during World War II. Admiral Godfrey is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Bond’s boss, M.
Anna Chancellor from the English TV series “The Hour” is attached to play a Lieutenant Monday, portrayed as an inspiration for the redoubtable Miss Moneypenny.
Bond himself was fictitious, although he too was influenced by people Fleming met during the Second World War, including commandos and some actual spies. Rupert Evans (“Hellboy”) will play Fleming’s brother Peter, who was one of those types and may have unknowingly contributed. Lesley Manville will play Fleming’s mother, Eve.
Production starts in Budapest next month. Matt Whitecross (“Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll”) is directing from a script by John Brownlow and Don MacPherson.