The fact that he sold to United Artists, the Hollywood studio, and not his long-term partner was a major blow to Broccoli and the two men fall out. "I think the Harry and Cubby thing was probably the worst in a way because they both made this great success and then one of them got into financial trouble and ... it caused a rift," said Wilson, who is Broccoli's stepson.
BATTLE OF BONDS
In 1983, a face-off between "Octopussy" starring Moore and "Never Say Never Again" starring Connery and made by rival producers became known as the "battle of the Bonds," and again could have seriously dented Broccoli's franchise.
Kevin McClory, one of the original writers of the "Thunderball" storyline, had long been a thorn in the side of the "official" series and took Fleming to court in 1963 some nine months before the author died.
The six-year gap between "License to Kill" and Pierce Brosnan's 1995 debut "GoldenEye" coincided with the collapse of Communism and much soul searching among the Bond creators over how he could be relevant after the Cold War.
The Brosnan "reboot" proved to be a hit, and with Broccoli's health deteriorating, he handed over the reins to Wilson and daughter Barbara who still control the franchise today. Broccoli died in 1996.
"Well, you know, it's our baby and we feel very, very protective over the Bond franchise," Broccoli told Reuters. "It's something our father started over 50 years ago and he had great passion for it and we have just been carrying the flame."
Brosnan's last outing as Bond was "Die Another Day" in 2002, and despite its commercial success, there was a sense that its reliance on special effects, notoriously the invisible car and tidal wave kite surfing, may have spelled the end. And when the little-known Craig was introduced as the sixth official Bond in 2005, much of the British press was in uproar at a choice they felt was doomed to fail.
He quickly proved his detractors wrong, however, with the critical and commercial hit "Casino Royale" in 2006.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)