Danjaq S.A. was founded by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman after the release of the first James Bond film Dr. No, in 1962, to ensure all future films in the series. The new company was to be called Danjaq, a combination of Broccoli and Saltzman’s respective wives’ names (Dana Broccoli and Jacqueline Saltzman). In 1962, Danjaq began its association with United Artists.
Due to a series of failed business interests, Harry Saltzman’s personal financial difficulties forced him to sell his 50% share of Danjaq to United Artists in 1975.
In 1986, Albert and Dana Broccoli acquired United Artists’ 50% stake in the company and so assumed complete control of Danjaq. John Cork claims that in exchange for the sale, MGM/UA received an exclusive distribution deal with Danjaq that is far more lucrative than when the shares were originally owned by Broccoli and Saltzman.
Following the death of Albert Broccoli in 1996 and Dana Broccoli in 2004 control of Danjaq was passed to Michael G. Wilson.
Copyright status
Although the trademarks for material related to the Bond films are held by Danjaq, the copyrights to the first 20 film properties are co-owned by Danjaq LLC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (the technical successor to subsidiary United Artists). The copyrights to Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, are shared between Danjaq LLC, MGM, and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Films made outside the control of Danjaq
Two Bond films have been made outside the control of Danjaq, the first was the 1967 film Casino Royale, with David Niven as Bond; the second was the 1983 film Never Say Never Again, a remake of Thunderball. Never Say Never Again was the result of a legal dispute involving Kevin McClory, one of the credited co-writers of the story used for the novel Thunderball, who was awarded the film rights to the novel in a 1963 settlement with Ian Fleming.
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