JAMES BOND
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James Bond UK general release posters
WRITTEN & COMPILED BY KEVIN HARPER

Many of James Bond films have been promoted with an advance poster (often called a teaser poster) which appeared long before the actual release to remind the cinema-going audience that a new film was in production. The release of the teaser poster became an event in itself and a much-anticipated part of the advertising campaign surrounding each new film. The design often features one photographic image and an alternate tag-line which was not used in later advertising for the film. Advance/teaser posters do not usually include the final credits and in most cases are issued before the feature has been certified by the British Board of Film Classification.

Read the definitive history of the release of the James Bond films in London's West End - London Calling!

Quad-crown posters (30" X 40") Advance/Teaser style

Thunderball (1965) Advance teaser quad-crown poster

The first James Bond film to be promoted well in advance of its release was Thunderball (1965). The World Premiere was originally scheduled for October 21, 1965 at the ODEON Leicester Square, but post-production delays resulted in the cancellation of the London opening and the film subsequently premiered at the Hibiya Theatre in Tokyo, Japan on December 9. Thunderball then had its UK double premiere at the London Pavilion and Rialto cinemas on Wednesday December 29, 1965.

The advertising campaign was the first to feature posters by American artists Robert McGinnis (1926-) and Frank McCarthy (1924-2002), who were invited over the England during production of Thunderball to draw inspiration for their final artwork. Elements from a special photoshoot featuring the James Bond girls became the basis for the Robert McGinnis contribution which featured extensively in the UK campaign, whilst Frank McCarthy's action was the focus of International posters. However, the work of both artists was featured (along with a piece of rarely used McGinnis art showing Bond killing a SPECTRE frogman) on a UK advance quad-crown teaser poster intended to be cut up to create double-crown sized displays in various combinations. Curiously the title of the film does not appear on the poster.

Thunderball (1965) Teaser

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) [Advance Calendar Style] quad-crown poster

Moonraker (1979) [Advance Calendar Style] quad-crown poster

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) [Advance Calendar Style]

Moonraker (1979) [Advance Calendar Style]

The Spy Who Loved Me had its Royal World Charity Premiere in London at the ODEON Leicester Square on July 7, 1977. The film played in Scotland and Ireland in July but did not have a wide release in England until August/September 1977, although it did play in some coastal resorts to coincide with the school summer holidays. The advance calendar style quad-crown therefore had three months shown when the film was on general release and the opening date could be highlighted for use in the specific towns and cities ahead of the opening. In 1977 films outside London's West End usually opened in cinemas on a Sunday. A similar quad-crown poster was created for Moonraker which had its general release across the UK in the summer of 1979.

Octopussy (1983) Advance quad-crown poster

A View to A Kill (1985) Advance quad-crown poster

Octopussy (1983)

A View To A Kill (1985)

The Living Daylights (1987) Advance quad-crown poster

Licence To Kill (1989) Advance quad-crown poster

The Living Daylights (1987)

Licence To Kill (1989)

GoldenEye (1995) Advance quad-crown poster

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) [Now Shooting Style] Advance quad-crown poster

GoldenEye (1995)

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) [Now Shooting Style]

The World Is Not Enough (1999) Advance quad-crown poster

Die Another Day (2002) Advance quad-crown poster

The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Die Another Day (2002)

Casino Royale (2006) [Coming Soon Style] Advance quad-crown poster

Casino Royale (2006) [November 17 Style] Advance quad-crown poster

Casino Royale (2006) [Coming Soon Style]

Casino Royale (2006) [November 17 Style]

Quantum of Solace (2008) Advance quad-crown poster

Quantum of Solace (2008) Advance quad-crown poster

Quantum of Solace (2008)

Quantum of Solace (2008)

Skyfall (2012) Advance quad-crown poster

Skyfall (2012) [IMAX Style] Advance quad-crown poster

Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall (2012) [IMAX Style]

Spectre (2015) Advance quad-crown poster

Spectre (2015) [IMAX Style] Advance quad-crown poster

Spectre (2015)

Spectre (2015) [IMAX Style]

No Time To Die (2021) [April 2020 version] Advance quad-crown poster

No Time To Die (2021) [November 2020 version] Advance quad-crown poster

No Time To Die (2021) [April 2020 version]

No Time To Die (2021) [November 2020 version]

No Time To Die (2021) [September 2021 version] Advance quad-crown poster

No Time To Die, the 25th official James Bond film, had a troubled production and suffered numerous delays to its release; due to a change in director and the effects of the global Coronavirus pandemic which closed cinemas. Originally slated for an October 2019 release, this was changed to February 2020, and then moved to April 2020 when new director Cary Joji Fukunaga began revising the script following the departure of Danny Boyle from the project. The World Premiere at the Royal Albert Hall was announced for 31 March 2020. On 3 March 2020 with the world now in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic, the release of No Time To Die was postponed until 12 November 2020 with worldwide release dates to follow, including the US launch on November 25, 2020. MGM reputedly rejected a $600-million offer to release the film via streaming platforms. On October 2nd the release was delayed once again and rescheduled for 2 April 2021. No Time To Die was eventually released on September 30, 2021 following the World Premiere at London's Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday September 28th. With ever-changing release dates, a series of advance teaser posters were issued to cinemas and then subsequently revised several times to reflect the anticipated debut of Daniel Craig's swansong as James Bond.

No Time To Die (2021) [September 2021 version]

 
 

Selected original release advance double-crown posters (20" X 30")

In addition to those double-crown posters intended for use on the front and back of London's iconic Routemaster double-decker buses, alternate versions were often produced for display on the London Underground. These usually appeared ahead of the release and were replaced with the standard quad-crown poster when the film was actually in cinemas. In the case of the Goldfinger (1964) double-crown this was actually just the credits half of the Style B quad-crown poster produced predominantly for the Irish Republic. The alternate Diamonds Are Forever (1971) double-crown combined the credits from both Routemaster Bus style posters and appeared on the London Underground ahead of the December 30th release date.

Goldfinger double-crown

Thunderball double-crown

Casino Royale double-crown

Goldfinger (1964)

Thunderball (1965)

Casino Royale (1967)

You Only Live Twice (1967)

Diamonds Are Forever double-crown

The Living Daylights Piracy Style double-crown

You Only Live Twice (1967)

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

The Living Daylights (1987) Piracy Style

A few weeks before The Living Daylights received its first public screening and whilst still in the editing stage, low-grade videotapes purporting to be the new James Bond film were circulating in the UK. These tapes were compiled from unedited footage stolen during production and missing key action sequences, major special effects and all the music. Worried that the tapes would damage the films box-office takings, EON Productions and distributor United Artists published newspaper announcements, and produced warning posters that began to appear on the London Underground and across the country in the weeks leading up to the world premiere. Although these double-crown posters were alerting the public to the existence of the tapes, they also served as a teaser poster for the release of Timothy Dalton's debut as James Bond.

 

Original release UK character posters

More recent James Bond films have also adopted the character poster as a means of promoting the release of a new entry in the long-running series. UK One-sheet posters are similar in size (27" X 40") to their US and International counterparts, and other larger sizes were designed for display in bus shelters (48" X 70"). Similar posters were produced for other territories, often adding additional characters to the series. The latest James Bond film No Time To Die, went through a series of delays due to the Coronavirus pandemic, before being finally released in the UK on September 30, 2021. Different versions of the character posters were issued and then withdrawn as release dates changed. For the eventual release a series of six quad-crown (30" X 40") character posters were issued for display in cinemas and on the London Underground.

Casino Royale Judi Dench as ‘M’

Casino Royale Eva Green as Vesper Lynd

Casino Royale (2006)
Judi Dench as ‘M’ (27" X 40")

Casino Royale (2006)
Eva Green as Vesper Lynd (27" X 40")

Casino Royale Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre

Casino Royale Caterina Murino as Solange

Casino Royale (2006)
Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre (27" X 40")

Casino Royale (2006)
Caterina Murino as Solange (27" X 40")

Skyfall Daniel Craig as James Bond

Skyfall Javier Bardem as Silva

Skyfall (2012)
Daniel Craig as James Bond (48" X 70")

Skyfall (2012)
Javier Bardem as Silva (48" X 70")
Skyfall Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny

Skyfall Bérénice Lim Marlohe as Sévérine

Skyfall (2012)
Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny (48" X 70")
Skyfall (2012)
Bérénice Lim Marlohe as Sévérine (48" X 70")
Skyfall Judi Bench as ‘M’

Skyfall Ralph Fiennes as Mallory

Skyfall (2012)
Judi Bench as ‘M’ (48" X 70")
Skyfall (2012)
Ralph Fiennes as Mallory (48" X 70")
No Time To Die Daniel Craig as James Bond

No Time To Die Rami Malek as Safin

No Time To Die (2021) [proposed & final release dates]
Daniel Craig as James Bond (30" X 40")
No Time To Die (2021)
Rami Malek as Safin (30" X 40")
No Time To Die Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann

No Time To Die Ana de Armas as Paloma

No Time To Die (2021)
Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann (30" X 40")
No Time To Die (2021)
Ana de Armas as Paloma (30" X 40")
No Time To Die Lashana Lynch as Nomi

No Time To Die Ben Whishaw as ‘Q’

No Time To Die (2021)
Lashana Lynch as Nomi (30" X 40")
No Time To Die (2021)
Ben Whishaw as ‘Q’ (30" X 40")
 

See also: 007 MAGAZINE Collectors' Guide to US James Bond posters

 

ALSO AVAILABLE:
007 MAGAZINE ARCHIVE FILES James Bond Promotional Posters & Artwork File #1

007 MAGAZINE ARCHIVE FILES James Bond Promotional Posters & Artwork File #1


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