The James Bond series is one of the most successful film franchises in history, even if the latest instalment, No Time to Die, has been plagued with problems and is now delayed, again, until the autumn. There was a stir last year when it was revealed that Phoebe Waller-Bridge had been hired to work on the script, but the series has called on famous writers before — including Roald Dahl (You Only Live Twice), George MacDonald Fraser (Octopussy) and Anthony Burgess (The Spy Who Loved Me).

However, one writer is rarely mentioned in connection with the series: Joseph Heller. Fittingly, the story of how the author of Catch-22 tried to write a Bond film is one filled with chaos, paranoia and obsession.

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