Ian Fleming Publications have announced plans to commission a one-off adult James Bond novel to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth in 2008.
Following the success of Charlie Higson's Young Bond series (Book 2, Blood Fever is to be released in January 2006), IFP are keen to commission a big-name author to pen the new novel.
"We are still in the planning stages, but at the moment the idea would be to have it done by an established author - potentially a big name," said Zoe Watkins of IFP. "The literary Bond is something we want to focus on and any work would have to be in keeping with the literary aspects of the books. If it was successful there could be scope for further novels."
According to Ms Watkins, the new novel will be far removed from the gloss of 007's cinematic incarnation, marking a return to the dark and complex nature of Fleming's early works.
Scotsman.com reports the early favorites to be approached to pen the new novel include Lee Child (Killing Floor), Frederick Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal) and John le Carré (The Tailor of Panama).
John Gardner, who penned 16 James Bond novels throughout the 1980s and 1990s (including two novelisations) has ruled himself out for taking on the new project. "Sorry, but for me Bond is very much in the past. No more comments, no more interviews."
The adult literary James Bond went on hiatus in 2002, following the publication of Raymond Benson's The Man With The Red Tattoo and the novelisation of Die Another Day. Earlier this year, Penguin released the first in a series of five novels by Charlie Higson, focussing on Bond's time at Eton in the 1930s.
Asked about the possibility of him writing the new adult Bond novel, Higson commented, "I'm very honored. But I'm busy writing the young Bond books and I can't take the time out. It's a shame because I'd love to do it."