In six decades, the James Bond movies have revealed precious little about the character's past, with only 2012's Skyfall dwelling extensively on 007's youth.


Novels featuring Bond have, however, delved much deeper – in particular, a series of novels written by Charlie Higson and published between 2005 and 2008 chronicled a junior Bond's adventures.

Could the Bond films ever draw on these books for inspiration? Might we even see a spin-off series of Young Bond movies?

Speaking to, Higson – who has written a new book featuring Bond to mark the coronation of King Charles III – suggested that while it's possible Bond producers Eon could go down the route of crafting a wider cinematic universe, he doesn't expect adaptations of his books to form a part of it.

"When the Young Bond books came out... Eon automatically own all screen rights to Bond and back then they were relaunching Bond with Daniel Craig, [it was] set in the modern world, all of that, and the last thing they wanted was to muddy the waters with a series about a young Bond set in the 1930s.

More like this

"But, you know, the world of media has evolved so much since then. The big thing now is 'the universe' – might they be planning a James Bond universe? Who knows? But they probably have no interest in making Young Bond."

Fifteen years on from the publication of his final Young Bond novel, Higson described the experience of writing for a juvenile version of Ian Fleming's character as "hugely fun" – even if the initial fan reaction to the announcement wasn't quite what he'd hoped for.

Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in Skyfall.
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall Columbia Pictures / MGM

"When it was announced, the Bond fan sites went berserk: 'We don't want a Harry Potter-style young Bond, worrying about handing in his homework late, with his hot chocolate shaken not stirred!'.

"The other thing was, a lot of them said, 'I have no intention of ever reading this book... I will of course buy it, because I have to have every single book in my collection,' – I thought, well, that's fine by me! But luckily, they did read it and they did like it, because they saw that I was very faithful to Fleming, that I was trying to channel Fleming without copying him and his way of writing, but to sort of be in that world.

"They did really like the books and they did very well. It was one of the few things that was cool when I was a boy that is still cool now – fathers in particular could share it with their kids and read it to them and enjoy it too. So it was very gratifying that they were so well received and it was a lot of fun to spend those years writing those books."

Higson's new Bond novel, On His Majesty's Secret Service – the title a play on Fleming's own On Her Majesty's Secret Service, published in 1963 – sees Bond tasked with thwarting a usurper to the throne who is seeking to disrupt the King's coronation.

On His Majesty's Secret Service is available to buy now. Higson's new podcast Willy Willy Harry Stee, a history of the British monarchy, launches on Friday 5th May.

No Time to Die is available to stream on Prime Video, with other Bond films also available to purchase – try Amazon Prime Video for free for 30 days.

Visit our Film hub for the latest news and features. If you're looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.