As the world eagerly awaits the release of the 23rd James Bond thriller "Skyfall," one man with local ties has already been there, done that.
John Cork was honored to be invited to the world premiere in London of the movie, and walked the red carpet, along with his 13-year-old son, and the movie's stars, director and producer.
Cork is the son of WaterSound Beach resident Betty Cork and spends a considerable amount of time here visiting her at her beach home. The remainder of the year, when not traveling, he resides in Carmel, Calif.
Cork grew up a huge fan of the legendary and debonair fictional spy, and remembers the first Bond book he read: "Casino Royale," on the beach in Destin in 1974.
After beginning his career as a screenwriter, in 1993 Cork was hired to help the Bond powers that be come up with new ideas for their spy.
"We wrote a character Bible for them of who we thought James Bond should be in the 1990s," he said.
Since founding his Cloverland documentary production company 1999, Cork has done a great deal of work for Bond producers.
"I have lost count of the number of documentaries I have worked on," he said, although he estimates the number to be at least a couple hundred.
He has seen all the Bond movies, worked all the releases except for two, read all the Bond novels, and knows all those who wrote them.
Cork has also co-authored three books for the Bond producers: "James Bond the Legacy;" "James Bond Encyclopedia;" and "Bond Girls are Forever."
In speaking out on Bond, if one characteristic sets the fictional spy apart from mere mortal men, Cork feels it is Bond's confidence.
"He knows exactly who he is," surmises Cork. "Most of us in life would love to have that sense of certainty. Bond embraces adversity and all things in life that for most of us would be difficult. That's a fun fantasy to have that we could live like that."
As for his favorite Bond, Cork doesn't hesitate when he answers: Sean Connery.
"Sean Connery set the mold. Connery had a wonderful sense of calm about him as Bond. He was like a coiled snake, but ready to strike. And he was incredibly attractive to women, which could be intimidating," he said. "However, I enjoy certain traits about all of them."
Even though Connery is Cork's standout choice, he said Daniel Craig comes in a close second.
At the premiere Oct. 23, Cork and his son walked the red carpet along with the Prince of Wales.
"No one throws a more lavish premiere," he said. "Everyone is in a good mood and it's done with a flourish. It was a very nice entrance and there was an amazing party afterwards — the food, the light show was all great. And there is no better way to experience it than through the eyes of a 13-year-old boy."
Cork, who spoke on Bond at Rosemary Beach in July. said "Skyfall" is tremendously different from the other Bond thrillers.
"It changes in a number of areas, expectations, and is more emotionally intimate, which is remarkably different. All the other elements are there with action and beautiful women. I highly recommend it. It may be the best ever.”