RALPH MCQUARRIE AND JAMES BOND?

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Never-before-seen McQuarrie Rendering as created for a planned Universal Studios Attraction.  Why has no one ever heard of this before?  Why has no one seen this artwork before?  Read on for answers.

Ralph McQuarrie’s Concept Rendering for the 007 JAMES BOND ACTION SPECTACULAR planned for Universal Studios Florida.

 

From the GGE Files:

While going through some older files at GGE we came across something very unique – an original rendering by Ralph McQuarrie for a James Bond project.  We researched it and found that in late 1986 Gary Goddard was engaged by Universal Studios to create four major new attraction concepts for the planned UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA project which was being developed at MCA. Among the four projects one was to be a Live Action Stunt Show based upon the JAMES BOND motion picture franchise.  Goddard envisioned a show that would be a spectacular stunt show, while also being a tribute and homage to the Bond films. Once he had the basic idea roughed out he called Ralph (whom he had brought on previously to work with him on the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE motion picture) to create a conceptual rendering for the project.  Here’s Gary Goddard speaking on the collaboration:

 “I had worked with Ralph in 1986 I believe —  for three weeks when he had a break from COCOON —  on the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE motion picture.  When Universal called us to take on several projects, one of them being this James Bond Action show, I immediately thought it would be great if Ralph could come on board with us.  I called Ralph and explained what we were doing, and when he heard it was James Bond he said “sounds like fun” –  though he noted he hadn’t really done a live stage show before.  I told him not to worry –  that I would talk him through it – and that at this point we wanted a grand conceptual rendering for the show we were creating and that details would come later.  I met with him and took him through the major beats of the show and set up the finale scene which is where I wanted him to focus.  In the illustration several things have happened by this time – all setting up the grand finale:  The Giant Circular Roof has opened, the massive hangar doors have parted – revealing the nuclear warhead missiles – one of which is moving onto the gantry for launching, and the massive submarine has surfaced. In addition, Bond’s most memorable villains are gathered (via the multiple screens) to watch both his demise and the launch of the nuclear warhead that will put the two super-powers at their mercy.  I wanted Ralph to capture the live audience, seated before a massive set that would bring to mind the greatest Bond films.  He managed to do it – in one rendering –  he managed to convey the size, scale, feeling and overall spectacular nature of the show that we were proposing. He also got in the huge circular opening above, the massive indoor lagoon and submarine, the missiles and gantry, and the screens with the classic villains.  And he got the live audience in too.   The great thing is that when anyone sees the rendering they immediately know that it’s something to do with James Bond.  The rendering communicates JAMES BOND. He was able to capture that “Bond” feeling and the sense of the Bond movie mis-en-scene in one rendering.  Ralph was amazing in his ability to stage, design, and light a scene in a way that would bring it to life for the viewer. I think this particular piece is among his best works – it’s really inspired.”

 From the Concept Presentation Treatment (February 2, 1987)

The production is envisioned as a spectacular tribute to the classic series of James Bond motion pictures as produced by Albert R. Broccoli starting in 1962. The production will be a fast-paced action show featuring a wide array of large scale stunts, pyrotechnics and unique special effects.  Live performers will present the best elements associated with the James Bond films in a fifteen-minute show filled with technological wonders, grand-scale explosions, high-tech transformations, and of course, humor; all the trademarks of the James Bond films. The attraction will include such essential Bond elements as: an exciting chase, Bond seducing the “bad girl” to such a degree that she turns around and helps him later, a collection of super-strong villains and their even stronger henchmen, a countdown which must be stopped (in order to save the world), and a finale sequence with surprise “sting” at the end – just when you think Bond is safe from danger, the final trap is unleashed.  The 007 JAMES BOND ACTION SPECTACULAR will give audiences a large scale, fast-paced adventure alongside James Bond in an epic production that promises to be a “main event” at the new Universal Studio Tour in Florida.

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