|Jean Dujardin on the set of OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies|
We'll see what the third film will be about. But, previously, word has been around that it will take place in Africa and have Hubert adapting to the then-modern day culture of the 1970s. Can't wait to jump onto the first seat at the theatres once it comes out, if I'm truthful.
Of course, originally, OSS 117 as originally created by Jean Bruce was far from being a parody. It was an outright serious series of spy thrillers, featuring an American agent of French descent, Colonel Hubert Bonnisseur de la Bath working for the Office of Strategic Services, and later the Central Intelligence Agency (the former's succeeding organization). First debuting in film as a detective-like intelligence officer in 1956, OSS 117 Is Not Dead, Ivan Desny starred in the titular role. A film sadly is very rare and hard to find, nowadays.
EuroSpy genre, portraying the character in the manner of Sean Connery's James Bond template, spawning five films produced by Paul Cadéac, while all of them but one were directed by André Hunebelle, as well as the soundtracks for the most of them were composed by Michel Magne. OSS 117 was portrayed by Kerwin Matthews in OSS 117 is Unleashed (1963) and OSS 117: Panic in Bangkok (1964), Frederick Stafford (of Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz fame, whose role in that film was originally offered to but turned down by Sean Connery) in OSS 117: Mission for a Killer (1965) and OSS 117: Terror In Tokyo (1966), and lastly, John Gavin in OSS 117: Double Agent (1968). Several of the films feature Bond alumnus, including Luciana Paluzzi (also a Man from U.N.C.L.E. alumni), Curt Jurgens, and most importantly director Terence Young. Well, John Gavin himself was linked to the James Bond role and was set to appear in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) before he was replaced with Connery at the very last minute.
Should it be of anybody's interest, Terence Young - the director of three James Bond films - wrote the premise for OSS 117: Terror In Tokyo, which would later inspire both You Only Live Twice (1967) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). The film is a blend of the two in context, as well as being the first film not to be based on any novel penned by Jean Bruce.
Afterwards, a parody film and a proposed TV pilot were made in the 1970s that were not well received, thus ending the run and popularity of OSS 117 until Michel Hazanavicius revived it, re-imagining the character as a full French secret agent working for the SDECE rather than OSS or the CIA, successfully putting the talented actor Jean Dujardin in the role. We're always hopeful to see more of it from the same production team.
|Promotional still from OSS 117: Lost in Rio (2009)|
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