At London's luxurious Dorchester Hotel, vintage Jensen cars and glamorous female flight attendants formed the backdrop on Wednesday (September 25) for the launch of the new James Bond novel, "Solo" by British novelist William Boyd.
At the event Boyd revealed that triple-Oscar-winning actor Daniel Day Lewis would be his perfect choice as 007 if his novel was ever turned into a movie.
The opening of "Solo" sees a 45-year-old Bond waking up in the Dorchester having just celebrated his birthday. It is1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge. Set during the Cold War, the novel sees 007 on assignment in Africa, where he's on an unusual mission to stop a civil war.
Boyd has written two other spy novels and so said he wasn't daunted by the challenge of taking on the hugely successful global James Bond brand.
"Actually when you go back and read the Fleming novels there is a phenomenal amount of information about him, fascinating and banal, significant and minor. But I just mined Fleming's novels for the information that I needed, so I felt quite confident, but if I hadn't written a spy novel, it would be a tall order," he said.
The spy in Boyd's novel has all the usual Bond ingredients: the cars, the drink, the women and of course the licence to kill, but because it is set in 1969 - a few years after Fleming's last Bond was written - Boyd was able to update the character.
"I haven't set out to make Bond ultra-modern, but there is no doubt he's aware of how the world has changed around him and similarly his attitudes have changed as well. So I think it was just a natural process of setting it in that era," said Boyd.
Ian Fleming's niece, Lucy Fleming, said Boyd's creative talent combined with his meticulous research into her uncle's works meant he was a natural choice.
"I would like to say how flattered we are, not only that an author as fine as Will should take up the baton on Bond as it were, but that he should do so with such panache. 'Solo' is an excellent novel and one of which Ian would approve heartily," she said.
Should Hollywood come knocking at his door, he confessed that British-Irish actor Daniel Day Lewis would make his perfect 007.
"I think Daniel Day Lewis actually resembles the Bond that Fleming describes," said Boyd, who also revealed that current Bond actor Daniel Craig is among his favourite Bond movie franchise.
Presented by Adam Justice