In 1959, an Irish entrepreneur called Kevin McClory, envisioned the making of a movie with Ian Fleming featuring James Bond.

At a time when the first seven Fleming novels had been turned down by the top film studios of the day, for being too violent, sadistic, and unbelievable, successful novelist,Ian Fleming had wearied of writing; was ‘bereft of new ideas’, and wanted to kill Bond off and go travelling.

British screenwriter, Jack Whittingham who had just gone freelance from the Ealing Studios team, was commissioned to write a film that would be acceptable to the British public and, with Ian Fleming’s permission, took the character of James Bond and created the very first original 007 screenplay entitled “Thunderball”.

‘Thunderball,’ therefore, was the very first screenplay of the movie series, and should have been the first produced film, however, the making of it was halted and held up by long drawn out legal complications, and, eventually, it came out as the fourth Bond film, and the biggest in box office terms.

The Thunderball Artworks have been created and presented on canvas, and as framed prints and postcards by photographer Sylvan Whittingham Mason,, Jack Whittingham’s daughter, and are a representation of the ‘First Imaginings’ of what a Bond film could look like long before production commenced on any of them.

The Stephen Grimes original sketches, from which they were inspired, were shown at the 1959 Venice Film Festival in a bid to raise interest for the proposed new project.