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What if Universal Orlando had Built a James Bond Stunt Show?

October 4, 2014, 10:02 AM · What's the top-grossing movie franchise not to have a major presence in top theme parks? It's not Lord of the Rings. It's James Bond. Back when Paramount was in the theme park business, the chain applied a Bond theme to a few of its attractions, but never developed an enduring, iconic presence for the franchise the way that Disney did with Star Tours and that Universal did with The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (Those by the way, are the only three franchises that top Bond in all-time box office: Marvel, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.)

But what if one of the Big Two (Disney or Universal) had gotten the chance to develop a James Bond attraction? It almost happened.

Goddard Group has posted concept art of a James Bond stunt show that it developed for Universal Studios Florida in the 1980s, before that park opened. Even better, the concept illustration is by the legendary Ralph McQuarrie, the illustrator who developed creative design for Star Wars, ET, and the original Battlestar Galactica.

James Bond theme park stunt show concept
Concept art from The Goddard Group. Click for larger version.

The concept is clearly inspired by Blofeld's island headquarters in You Only Live Twice, with the addition of the laser from Goldfinger. The post quotes Gary Goddard:

In the illustration several things have happened by this time – all setting up the grand finale: The Giant Circular Roof has opened, the massive hangar doors have parted – revealing the nuclear warhead missiles – one of which is moving onto the gantry for launching, and the massive submarine has surfaced. In addition, Bond’s most memorable villains are gathered (via the multiple screens) to watch both his demise and the launch of the nuclear warhead that will put the two super-powers at their mercy.

Goddard did end up helping to create a few memorable attractions for Universal, though, including Terminator 2: 3D, the Jurassic Park River Adventure, and the aforementioned Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. But fans are left with the "what if?" of that Bond show.

If you're a fan of such "what-if"s, Goddard Group has offered looks at some other unbuilt concepts from its archives, most notably a stunning Wizard of Oz theme park, as well as the Superman ride that Spider-Man started to be, before Universal switched to get the Marvel rights for Islands of Adventure instead of the rights from DC Comics.

It's fun to imagine what the theme park business might be like if there were a huge Wizard of Oz theme park outside Kansas City, if DC Comics were at Universal instead of Six Flags, and if Disney then had the rights to develop Marvel attractions at Walt Disney World. And, of course, if we had that James Bond show at Universal.

Replies (7)

October 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM · Too many what-ifs!!!!! I want this stuff to happen! I would love for this stuff to happen!
October 4, 2014 at 1:57 PM · This is a good post. Thanks especially for sharing the link to the four part blog series about the Wizard of Oz theme park. I read all four parts of the series, then did a quick internet search to pull up local newspaper accounts of the park. Oz was an old project, dating to the late 1990s. Although the concept art looks amazing, there's more to a well-run theme park than great rides and shows. (Myrtle Beach's defunct Hard Rock Park is one excellent example of this.) From my brief search, it looks like the proposed Oz park didn't have buy-in from all parties to make financing possible. This is a shame. No doubt Gary Goddard's company does fine work. Here's hoping his Oz park dream turns into a reality one day.

- Brian

October 5, 2014 at 12:54 PM · James Bond no longer makes sense with how we view spying today. They tried to update the series with more current stories, but with a PC world, we are unable to discuss the current threats with any objectivity.

Disney can utilize OZ as a fantastic land since it owns the rights for its own version of Oz. I just don't know if customers care that much. Nonetheless, a new park featuring Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and among other unused properties would be a terrific addition.

October 5, 2014 at 2:42 PM · @Anon

Did you ever see Skyfall? What you mentioned was actually a small little theme towards the end of the movie. I wouldn't say James Bond is no longer needed, but something like this kind of stunt show would seem silly by today's standards.

October 5, 2014 at 5:10 PM · What if Universal Orlando had built an Austin Powers Stunt Show? YEAH BABY YEAH!

BTW Roger Moore is my favorite 007.

October 6, 2014 at 7:53 AM · "James Bond no longer makes sense with how we view spying today. They tried to update the series with more current stories, but with a PC world, we are unable to discuss the current threats with any objectivity."

Yeah, James Bond no longer has any relevancy to todays culture. You can tell this by the box office of the latest films in the series. :)
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=bond23.htm

October 6, 2014 at 9:26 AM · Nice try, but that wasn't my argument. James Bond has as much credibility as Mission Impossible.

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