The scene in which the gondola converts into a hovercraft, and elevates out of the water, succeeded with the fifth attempt. During the first four takes, the vehicle was so unstable, that Sir Roger Moore fell into the water, and needed to have his silk suit replaced for each take. It was fortunate that the stunt worked during the fifth take, because was wearing the last available silk suit.
Except for a few brief close-ups, the entire sequence of Bond, Jaws, and the pilot falling from the plane, with Bond and the pilot fighting for a single parachute, was actually shot in free fall. The seven-pound camera for these sequences was mounted on the helmet of another skydiver, and a few shots are of the cameraman's own arms and legs. Stuntmen Jake Lombard and B.J. Worth wore parachutes concealed within their suits. The "parachute" they fought over, was actually a dummy chute, which had to be removed before the stuntman could use the real parachute underneath. Stuntman Jake Lombard would don and remove the dummy chute up to three times in a single jump. The actual parachutes used by the stuntmen had both a main and reserve chute concealed within the suitcoats. A breakaway seam ran down the backside, which allowed the parachute to be opened without the need to remove the coat. There were only sixty to seventy seconds of free fall time, between when the stunt performers exited the aircraft, and when they had to activate their chutes. After factoring in the time needed to get the performers and cameraman into position after leaving their plane, only a few seconds of film could be shot per jump. Therefore, the entire sequence required eighty-eight jumps, and five weeks to film, just to produce the two minutes of footage in the final film.
Despite the previous film telling us that James Bond will return in For Your Eyes Only, Producer Albert R. Broccoli chose this movie as the next installment, after the success of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
Sir Roger Moore arrived a few days late for the shoot in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, due to a kidney stones attack in France. Moore had also had a renal colic attack while filming Live and Let Die (1973). Once he arrived in Rio, he literally walked off the plane, went into make-up and hair, got fitted out, went back onto the plane, and was then filmed arriving in Rio as James Bond for the movie.
The title song was sung by Shirley Bassey, the the last time she did so in the Bond franchise. The other two were Goldfinger (1964) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971). She also sang a version of the "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" song for Thunderball (1965), which was not used. To date, Bassey is the only singer to have performed a Bond title song more than once.
The opening sequence concludes with Jaws free falling into a circus big top which then comes crashing down around him. Footage was shot of Richard Kiel staggering out of the wreckage, but this has now been lost. A few stills from that scene are shown in a DVD extra.
Producer Albert R. Broccoli called Steven Spielberg, requesting permission to use the indelible five-note leitmotif from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Broccoli wanted to use it as the entry code for an electronic laboratory door lock in a scene in this movie. Several years later, Spielberg called Broccoli requesting permission to use the 007 theme music for a scene in a movie he was producing, titled The Goonies (1985). Broccoli pointed out that there were more than five notes in the 007 theme music. Spielberg suspected the producer's tongue was firmly planted in his cheek, as he continued to banter. He was right. The Steven Spielberg and Cubby Broccoli connection has another twist, an interest in directing a Bond film while in negotiations with Broccoli, until Star Wars saga Producer and Creator George Lucas offered the script for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
It was the first movie to feature the modern space shuttle in a motion picture. The film's release was suppose to coincide with the first launch of the space shuttle, but this unfortunately didn't occur until April 12, 1981, just before the release of the next James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only (1981), and exactly twenty years after Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space (April 12, 1961).
A "moonraker" has two dictionary definitions. It is a synonym for a moonsail, which is the highest sail of a ship. It is also a term from a Wiltshire folk story, where smugglers, trying to hide contraband, pretend to rake the water in a pond, so as to catch the reflection of the moon. It is sometimes used to refer to a man of extreme ambition, which could apply to either Bond or Drax.
"Moonraker" became the focus of a real-life adventure story, when mercenary John Miller used it as cover, in his attempt to kidnap fugitive Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and return him to Britain for trial. Miller and his team posed as members of the "Moonraker" production team, offering a cameo in the film to Biggs, intending to lure him onto a yacht for the proposed scene to be filmed, and once in international waters, sail it to a Commonwealth country, from where he could be extradited. The scheme became unstuck when a member of the press, who'd heard rumors of the operation, telephoned Biggs' house, thinking he had already been snatched.
During the scenes set in Venice, Pope John Paul I died. Filming was then suspended for the day, partly because the bells ringing in Venice mourning his death were so loud, it made it impossible to work.
Barbara Bach was originally scheduled to make a brief appearance as Anya, the character she played in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), but the idea was dropped only a few weeks before filming began. According to the book, "The Bond Files", her character was going to be the woman shown in bed with General Gogol, in the scene where he moans to his British counterpart that he's having trouble sleeping.
In the novel, Ian Fleming stated that when Bond reaches age forty-five, he will be "automatically taken off the OO list and given a staff job at Headquarters." Sir Roger Moore was forty-five when he first portrayed James Bond in Live and Let Die (1973).
Bond stunt double, veteran skydiver Jake Lombard, bore a strong resemblance to Sir Roger Moore. (That is, after he was persuaded to cut his long hair, and shave off his equally long beard). This allowed many relative close up facial shots of Bond in free fall. As for the role of the pilot, skydiver B.J. Worth was chosen first, with Jean-Pierre Castaldi being chosen later for studio scenes, due to his resemblance to Mr. Worth.
During the cable car stunt, high above Rio, a real cliffhanger moment occurred when Stuntman Richard Graydon slipped, and was hanging on for dear life. The recce crew, including Ken Adam, were petrified while the camera was rolling, and they were watching from a vantage point.
Jaws was supposed to be Bond's archnemesis in this film, until Director Lewis Gilbert started paying attention to some of the fan mail he was getting from small children, asking why he couldn't be a goodie instead of a baddie.
To build the gigantic three level Space Station set interiors at France's Epinay Studios, the production utilized two tons of nails, one hundred tons of metal, two hundred twenty technicians, and ten thousand feet of set construction woodwork.
Lois Chiles had originally been offered the role of Anya in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), but turned down the part when she decided to take temporary retirement. She got the role of Holly Goodhead by chance when she was given the seat next to Lewis Gilbert on a flight.
Classical music heard in the film includes Frédéric Chopin's Prelude no. 15 in D-flat major (op. 28), "Raindrop") heard when Drax is playing the piano ; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture is heard when Jaws meets Dolly, while "Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka" by Johann Strauss is heard during the Saint Mark's Square hovercraft sequence in Venice. At the conclusion of the pheasant shoot, the bugler blows the first three notes to Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (op. 30) which was famously used in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Moreover, the scene where Bond is riding to M's temporary headquarters in a South American hacienda is accompanied by Elmer Bernstein's theme from The Magnificent Seven (1960).
Bond does not drive a car in this movie. He is seen however briefly driving a utility vehicle through some caves (the Paris Mining Shafts location). The only Bond movie where James Bond is not seen driving a motor vehicle is You Only Live Twice (1967).
When work on the film began, N.A.S.A. had not yet officially finalized the design of the Space Shuttle. At the time of filming, the Approach and Landing Test with the Enterprise (OV-101) was completed in October 1977, while Columbia (OV-102) was under construction. Fortunately for the production designers, there were subsequently no visible changes made to the shuttle's design, making their rendering of it accurate. This also included the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (N.A.S.A. 905, which is a former Boeing 747-123 aircraft originally sold to American Airlines), the opening sequence featured the S.C.A. with the Drax Enterprises Logo on the vertical stabilizer, but retaining the American Airlines livery. The real Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (N.A.S.A. 905) has been retired after ferrying Endeavour in late 2012, where it has become a museum display at Space Center Houston, with the Space Shuttle Explorer mounted on top, in 2015.
The Concorde jetliner shown when James Bond arrives in Rio de Janeiro is not, as some people erroneously believe, the one that was destroyed in the July 2000 crash in Paris, which resulted in all Concordes being permanently removed from service. This aircraft is production number 205, registration F-BVFA, and upon its retirement it was sent to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum in Washington, D.C., where it still can be seen today.
The majority of the women, seen as part of Drax's master race, were Paris models, with the exception of Anne Lonnberg (who was a musician and actress prior to taking the role of the museum tour guide). The receptionist seen at he Venini Glass gallery (Irka Bochenko) later became a musician (using the pseudonym Iren Bo). She recorded a hit single (Happy Birthday Mr. Bond) for the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise (with Sir Roger Moore providing background vocals).
In 1955, John Payne negotiated and purchased the rights for an option to "Moonraker", paying a one thousand dollar a month option, for nine months. Payne was the first person in Hollywood interested in making the James Bond novels into a film franchise. Apparently, he eventually gave up the option, when he learned he couldn't obtain the rights to the entire 007 series. Moreover, there were allegedly trans-Atlantic problems between the U.S. and English agents of James Bond Creator Ian Fleming. In 1955-56, the Rank Organisation via Ian Hunter bought an advance option from Fleming to the novel "Moonraker". Fleming stipulated one thousand pounds for an advance option, and ten thousand pounds for the film rights. Rank did not develop the material further. In Spring 1959, Rank sold them back to Fleming. Harry Saltzman obtained the rights to the James Bond novels in 1960-61, and "Moonraker" was included in the package. Saltzman later went into partnership with Albert R. Broccoli to produce the James Bond films.
The password's notes for entering the lab in Venice are the same "contact sounds" from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Albert R. Broccoli obtained permission from Steven Spielberg to use these notes.
When the Minister of Defence and M arrive in Venice, the Minister mentions that he plays bridge with Drax. This is a reference to the original novel, in which the character of Drax is introduced as a card cheat, who constantly wins while playing bridge at M's favorite club.
"Moonraker" was the third James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. It was published on April 7, 1955. Many suggested and working titles existed for this novel. These included: The Moonraker, Mondays are Hell, The Moonraker Sense, The Infernal Machine, The Moonraker Secret, The Inhuman Element, Wide of the Mark, The Moonraker Plan, Hell is Here, Bond and The Moonraker, The Moonraker Plot, and Too Hot to Handle, the latter being the re-title of the novel for its first U.S. paperback release. Moreover, the Christopher Wood novelization of the film was called James Bond and Moonraker.
Adapting to the different work ethics in France, Production Designer Ken Adam was informed by the union leader that the crew will not work overtime. Ken Adam could not recall even one Bond Movie he designed, which did not include overtime on part of the construction crew to complete the interiors. Ultimately, the crew saw his designs, and they decided that it was indeed worthwhile to work overtime. In fact, he recalled that on Sundays, they brought their whole families.
This is the only filmed version of the Ian Fleming novel "Moonraker". There was a plan in 1956 to film it, but this came to nothing. A 1956 film was reported to have been discovered in 2004, but this was an April Fool Day's hoax. In the joke, Dirk Bogarde was James Bond, Orson Welles was Hugo Drax, and Peter Lorre was a henchman. A South African radio dramatization in 1956-57 featured Bob Holness as the voice of James Bond. Holness was technically the second actor to play James Bond in audio-visual media, and the first to play him on radio.
Sir Roger Moore was the one who nicknamed the gondola "Bondola". When it tipped him in the water four times, tourists got it all on film. It was hard on the make-up people, because they had to dry him off and change his wardrobe every time. Thereafter, Moore kept a horn on him to warn off any more tourists.
Sir Roger Moore's face was quite bruised after having intense bursts of air pumped onto it in the scene where the gravity simulator spins out of control. The airburst effect seen in the film was colloquially called a "Moonraker" by patrons who use the hand dryer at the Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill restaurant chain in Austin, Texas, where a Houston resident, who was a tourist in Austin, who first used the XL hand dryer, noticed the effect similar to Bond's facial expression when seen in the G-force simulator.
According to Tom Mankiewicz there was a scene featuring Drax meeting his co-financiers in the Amazon lair. They use the room located just below the space shuttle launch pad, from which Bond and Holly later escape. This scene was shot, but later edited out.
Since new tax laws were announced in Great Britain, Albert R. Broccoli decided not to use the 007 stage, which had just been erected for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Instead, the interiors by Ken Adam, were mostly filmed on three soundstages in France. The condition from the filmmakers to the French Film Industry was, that they could overtake all soundstages in Paris. (This didn't make them all too popular with other filmmakers.)
The film boasts an exciting cable car sequence above Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "BONDinho" is one of the names used to describe these glass cable cars that do the same run from Sugar Loaf Mountain to Urca Hill, as seen in the movie. "BONDinho" is a name taken from Portugese. The glass cable cars were manufactured in Italy, and were in service from 1972 to 2008. They were replaced in 2008 with a similar design, which has tinted windows (with the Caminho Aéreo Pão de Açúcar logo on the front and back glass and underneath the cars). One of the cable cars from this particular era, is now part of the Praça dos Bondes no Morro da Urca (Two Bonds Plaza of Urca Hill) exhibition since November 2009.
Early script and storyboards for the movie reveal another character who was ultimately dropped from the picture, a sidekick villain henchman called Ratz, who was involved in the cable car sequence with Jaws.
Second consecutive James Bond movie with an unusual amount of repeated story elements: The opening sequence involves James Bond parachuting; the appearance of Jaws; a Pyramid location, and Bond driving an amphibious vehicle. It was an underwater car in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and a hovercraft gondola in this movie.
Vehicles featured included: N.A.S.A. and Rockwell International Shuttle Spacecraft designed as six Moonraker Space Shuttles; a Venezian Gondola, that can turn into a hovercraft, known as the Hovercraft Gondola, or "Bondola"; Q's Hydrofoil Boat, a silver Glastron Carlson CV-23HT speedboat, with accessory hang glider, which is chased by three Glastron SSV-189 speedboats; a white MP Roadster; a Brazilian Chevrolet C-14 Rio Ambulance; a blue Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II, which takes Bond to his Rio hotel; a Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter; a BONDinho Rio cable car; a Hispano-Suiza; various American Motors and Jeep vehicles (seen at the Drax estate which includes an AMC Concord, Jeep CJ, and Jeep Cherokee, the AMC and Jeep vehicles at the time of filming were distributed by Renault, who would become the majority of American Motors until 1987, when the French company sold its shares to Chrysler, where the Jeep brand is now part of the Chrysler Corporation (F.C.A. Automobiles since 2014), and a Handley Page Jetstream Turboprop plane in the opening sequence.
The only James Bond movie, to date, to have two boat chases: There is the "Bondola" Gondola chase, filmed and set in the canals of Venice, and Q's Hydrofoil boat chase, with a Glastron speedboat with attached hang glider, set in South America (but filmed outside of Jupiter, Florida).
The fight scene between James Bond and Chang in the Venetian glass showroom was originally intended to appear in the previous James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) where it was to take place in the Mummy Room of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities.
During shooting, Lois Chiles' brother Clay was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. After filming wrapped, she returned to her native Houston to donate platelets to him every ten days. Sadly, her brother did not survive.
An asteroid was named after James Bond on October 5, 1983. It was discovered by Antonín Mrkos, at the Czechoslovakia Klet Observatory. The name of the asteroid , "9007 James Bond", references James Bond's 007 code number in MI6, and is an homage to Ian Fleming.
Final time, to date, that James Bond has been seen hang gliding. Very popular as a new activity in the 1970s, Sir Roger Moore is the only actor to play James Bond, and be seen hang gliding. The other time was in Live and Let Die (1973).
During the scene where Bond pilots his hover-gondola through the piazza, the camera cuts to a man drinking wine to which he looks shocked and checks the strength of! This same man can be seen drinking a similar beverage when Bond emerges from the sea in his Lotus Submarine in the previous film before Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me.
First Bond Girl, where the actress shares the first name with her character. Corinne Cléry, played Drax employee Corinne Dufour. In earlier drafts of the script, Corinne Dufour was known as Trudi Parker, and she has that name in the film's novelization. Corinne Dufour was originally written to be a Californian valley girl, but when the production moved to France, it necessitated the casting of a French actress. Her voice was dubbed.
The literal translations of some of this film's foreign language titles include: Moonrocket (Finland); 007 Against The Death Rocket (Brazil and Portugal); Moonraker: Operation Space (Italy, Croatia); Moonraker: Top Secret (Germany); Moonraker: Space Mission (Latin America), and 007 Seizes The Space Station (China).
Though James Bond conquers space in this movie, it is not the first James Bond movie to deal with story elements dealing with outer space. Dr. No (1962), You Only Live Twice (1967), and Diamonds Are Forever (1971) included story elements dealing with outer space.
Ian Fleming based the villain "Drax" on the Jules Verne's character "Robur" from the "Clipper Of The Clouds", "Master of the World", and "Robur, The Conqueror" stories. In addition, the filmmakers based Drax on Adolf Hitler, and there is a similarity between the look of Hitler, and that of Michael Lonsdale. Drax's plan for a master race, evokes Hitler's plans for the same. The "Drax" name was allegedly derived from two possible sources by Ian Fleming. Drax was the surname of a boy at Eton, who became Admiral Sir Reginald Plunkett Ernle Erle Drax. Drax Hall Estate was a Great House in Northern Jamaica, in which Fleming visited during one of his early trips to Oracabessa. Fleming apparently saw the name on the blue notice board there. The name of Drax's butler in the movie was Cavendish.
Product placements, brand integrations, and promotional tie-ins for this movie include: Bollinger Champagne; Bell helicopters; Canon cameras; British Airways; Marlboro cigarettes; Seven-Up soft drink; Glaston Boat Company; Christian Dior; Seiko watches, particularly the Seiko M354 Memory-Bank Calendar, and Seiko H357 Duo Display watches; and Air France.
The film's title song has been covered by Shara Nelson, and can be heard on David Arnold's Bond song compilation album, "Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project". Another track, called "Space March", has been covered by Leftfield for this compilation album. However, "Space March" does not feature on the original Moonraker (1979) soundtrack, but is a song from the You Only Live Twice (1967) soundtrack.
The score also marked a turning point in John Barry's output, abandoning the Kentonesque brass of his earlier Bond scores, and instead scoring the film with slow, rich string passages, a trend which Barry would continue in the 1980s, with scores such as Out of Africa (1985) and Somewhere in Time (1980).
According to the film's soundtrack sleeve notes, the soundtrack album debuted on the U.S. Charts on August 18, 1979, where it peaked at the number one hundred fifty-nine spot. The soundtrack has never had an extended release, with the release of extra tracks, like other Bond soundtracks, apparently due to the masters being lost in France.
The first line of the Ian Fleming novel read: "The two thirty-eights roared simultaneously." The last line read: "He touched her for the last time, and they turned away from each other and walked off into their different lives."
The same year, Walter Gotell appeared in Cuba (1979), with former James Bond Sir Sean Connery. Connery and Gotell appeared in From Russia with Love (1963), in which Gotell played the role of henchman Morzenny. Gotell played the role of General Anton Gogol (an ally of Bond) in six Bond movies, starting with The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Connery never appeared in a Bond movie having the character of Anton Gogol. In five movies, including this one, Sir Roger Moore played the role of James Bond, whereas in the final movie having the character of Gogol, Timothy Dalton played James Bond. Also, Connery and Gotell appeared in The Longest Day (1962), the same year that Dr. No (1962) was released, in which Sir Sean Connery played the role of James Bond.
Adele Fátima was cast as Manuela, and she shot some minor scenes with Sir Roger Moore around Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was later re-cast with Emily Bolton, with her own scenes deleted from the final cut.
The airline depicted, during the pre-credit sequence, is the former Apollo Airways, originally based in Santa Barbara, California. The Handley Page Jetstream, seen in the film, which had the N5VH was later redesignated "N2209", when Apollo Airways went bankrupt in 1981, and reorganized into Pacific Coast Airlines. Operations ceased in 1985. The Jetstream, piloted by Dan Gray and Ron Whitfield, when the pre-title sequence was filmed, was shot on-location in the Pope Valley area in Napa, California (Lake Berryessa is seen in the background, when the aircraft is first revealed).
In March 2004, an Internet hoax stated rumors about a lost 1956 version of Moonraker by Orson Welles, and a James Bond website repeated it on April Fool's Day in 2004 as a hoax. Supposedly, this recently discovered "lost film" was forty minutes of raw footage with Dirk Bogarde as Bond, Welles as Drax, and Peter Lorre as Drax's henchman.
The ambulance, in which 007 and Dr. Goodhead were transported, was a converted Chevrolet C-14 light truck. First introduced during the 1964 model year in Brazil, the exterior sheetmetal bears a striking resemblance to the 1964-66 Chevrolet C-10 light truck sold in the U.S., with the exception of the cab styling. These were the final Chevrolet vehicles in the world (outside the U.S.) powered with the 1937-era Stovebolt inline six cylinder engine, which was phased out during the 1979 model year (U.S. and Canada ended production of the Stovebolt sixes in 1962, where it was replaced with a third generation inline six cylinder engine, introduced in late 1961, which was introduced in the U.S. Chevy II compact car).
In The Day of the Jackal (1973), Michael Lonsdale played a Secret Agent trying to thwart a British assassin, armed with a high powered rifle. Here, he used an assassin with a high powered rifle, to try to kill a British Secret Agent. Incidentally, Sir Roger Moore wanted to play The Jackal.
Drax's Moonraker logo strongly resembles that of the Rockwell International corporation, the prime contractor for NASA's Space Shuttle orbiter (until 1996 when Boeing Integrated Defense Systems purchased the assets of Rockwell including North American Aircraft Operations (the initial contractor for the Space Shuttle prior to its acquisition by Rockwell in 1973). This can be seen on the Moonraker ships and on the crews' mission patches and workers' belt buckles.
Production Designer Ken Adam likened the Control Room set at the Studios de Boulogne to a Mondrian painting, because of its black lines and multitude of screen monitors. As such, Adam nicknamed it the "Mondrian Set".
Since N.A.S.A.'s Space Shuttle program had not been launched, Derek Meddings and his miniatures team had to create the rocket launch footage without any reference. Shuttle models attached to bottle rockets and signal flares were used for take-off, and the smoke trail was created with salt that fell from the models.
Second consecutive Bond film where Bond escapes death in the pre-credits sequence with the help of a parachute. The same blue image of Sir Roger Moore that was used in the opening credits of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) also appears in the opening credits of this movie.
Some portions of the "Moonraker" assembly plant, were filmed on-location at the Rockwell International manufacturing facilities in Palmdale, California, and at the Vehicle Assembly Building in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Before he orders her and Bond to be executed, Drax tells Holly "your desire to become America's first woman in space will shortly be fulfilled". In 1983, Sally Ride became the first female American astronaut in space (the first ever female astronaut was Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union in 1963).
The name "Drax" was allegedly derived from two possible sources by Ian Fleming. Drax was the surname of a boy at Eton, who became Admiral Sir Reginald Plunkett Ernle Erle Drax. Drax Hall Estate was a Great House in Northern Jamaica, in which Fleming visited during one of his early trips to Oracabessa. Fleming apparently saw the name on the blue notice board there. The name of Drax's butler in the movie was Cavendish.
Though James Bond conquers space in this movie, it is not the first James Bond movie to deal with story elements dealing with outer space. Dr. No (1962), You Only Live Twice (1967), and Diamonds Are Forever (1971) included story elements dealing with outer space.
The space scenes were done by rewinding the camera after an element was shot, enabling other elements to be superimposed in the film stock, with the space battle needing up to forty rewinds to incorporate everything.
In the novelization for Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), a diary alludes to shooting a man instead of a bird, like the scene in the movie where Bond kills a sniper trying to kill him while out hunting with Drax.
The opening sequence depicts the space shuttle piggybacked on a 747, and was shot before the first shuttle was launched into space. Ironically, the last "flights" of Endeavor and Discovery were also piggybacks. They were flown over major cities, such as Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., as a final tribute to the program in 2012 (thirty-three years after the film's release).
The film opens with a scene showing a N.A.S.A. Space Shuttle. After a brief interlude at MI5 in London, the next scene involves Bond on a small private jet. This aircraft is painted with the brand name "Apollo", which was the name of N.A.S.A.'s principal manned spacecraft prior to the Shuttle.
This aristocratic, refined Hugo Drax was a far cry from his literary counterpart. In Fleming's novel, Hugo Drax was portrayed as being boorish and ill-tempered. He also had a nervous habit of biting his fingernails.
The music was composed by John Barry, and he also co-wrote the theme song, who had previously worked on the following James Bond films: Dr. No (1962) (Theme Arrangement), From Russia with Love (1963) (Theme Arrangement and Score), Goldfinger (1964) (Co-Writer of the Theme Song and Composer of the score), Thunderball (1965) (Co-Writer of the Theme Song and Composer of the score), You Only Live Twice (1967) (Co-Writer of the Theme Song and Composer of the score), On her Majesty's Secret Service(1969) (Co-writer of the main theme, the Louis Armstrong sung love theme and Composer of the music score), Diamonds are Forever (1971) (Co-writer of the theme song and composer of the music score), and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) (Co-Writer of the Theme Song and Composer of the score); subsequently, he worked on Octopussy (1983) (Co-Writer of the Theme Song and Composer of the score), A View To A Kill (1985) (Co-Writer of the Theme Song and Composer of the score), The Living Daylights (1987) (Co-Writer of the Theme Song and Composer of the score). An additional one, Licence To Kill (1989), is due to the theme song containing music chords from the theme song from Goldfinger (1964).
The music for the film was recorded in April 1979, at Studio Davout, Paris, France. The Supervising Sound Engineer, for the production, was Dan Wallin. All the music publishing copyright is owned by Danjaq, Inc. (The Bond franchise holders) and United Artists Corporation, published 1979. No extended albums can be released, as the master tapes are missing, and presumed destroyed.
Michael G. Wilson: Makes three cameo appearances; one as a man outside Venini Glass, St. Mark's Square; one as a man on a canal bridge, while M and James Bond talk; and one as a N.A.S.A. technician in the central control room.
The novel and the film are two entirely different stories that have nothing in common, except when James Bond and Dr. Goodhead are left under the rocket engine to get killed by Drax. To make sure people didn't confuse the novelization of the film with the original Ian Fleming novel, the film novelization's title was "James Bond and Moonraker". The Bond Girl character name Gala Brand, from the original Ian Fleming novel, was not used for the movie. Neither was the name of the assistant villain Willy Krebs. For a while, one of the Bond Girls in Die Another Day (2002) was going to be called Gala Brand (several story elements of Die Another Day (2002) and GoldenEye (1995) are derived from the "Moonraker" novel), but her character name was eventually changed to Miranda Frost.
The final film appearance of Jaws. However, Jaws would return in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (2003). Despite helping Bond at the conclusion of this movie, Jaws is once again a villain in the Everything or Nothing game. Jaws also appeared in 007 Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64.
On the space station, Drax's crew is revealed to have a large number of women (something of a first for a Bond film). However, all these female characters seem to disappear once the final battle begins, and only men are shown fighting, being killed, or already dead, though it can be assumed that none of the women (save for Dolly, Jaws' girlfriend) survive, giving this film the highest female fatality rate of any Bond film to date.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld is one of three recurring villains in the official James Bond film franchise. The other two, are henchmen Jaws (Richard Kiel), from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and this movie, and Mr. White (Jesper Christiansen), from Spectre (2015), Casino Royale (2006), and Quantum of Solace (2008). Of these three recurring villains, two, Mr. White and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, appeared in one of the same films, which was Spectre (2015). Of the three villains, only two, Jaws and Mr. White, are the ones who have always been portrayed by the same actor.
Considered by many to be a remake of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), as they both share very similar stories. Similarities include a vehicle being stolen, a pre-title sequence involving aerial stunts, the main villain killing a female employee for selling or telling secrets, Jaws, and the villain's plan to wipe out humanity to start a new race. However, it's a direct sequel to The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and not a remake.