WILSON, MICHAEL G.
(January 21, 1942– ): American writer/producer, the stepson of Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, who has been involved almost exclusively in the production of the James Bond films since The Spy Who Loved Me in 1976. After the departure of Broccoli’s producing partner Harry Saltzman in 1975, it became clear that he was in need of an associate to begin sharing the producer chores on the enormously complicated 007 productions. Wilson fit the bill. He was an experienced lawyer and a former partner in a prestigious Washington, DC, and New York City law firm. He was also a college-trained electrical engineer with an interest in photography and scuba diving.
The son of actor Lew Wilson, who was cinema’s first Batman in 1943, Michael G. Wilson became part of the Broccoli clan when his mother, Dana, married Cubby in 1959. His first experience with the Bond series actually came in February 1964, when he became a production assistant on Goldfinger during location shooting in the United States. Wilson was vacationing in London and about to start law school when Broccoli invited him to join him in the United States for sequences shot at Fort Knox. Wilson bought cases of beer for the American GIs participating in the sequence in which the entire base is put to sleep by Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus.
A decade later, Wilson left his law practice to become assistant to the producer on The Spy Who Loved Me. He rose to executive producer on Moonraker, and he continued in that position on For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy. He has been a producer on every James Bond film since, working closely with Broccoli’s daughter, Barbara, with whom he shares producing chores and credit. Meanwhile, starting with For Your Eyes Only, Wilson began to work alongside veteran writer Richard Maibaum on the Bond scripts. He continued in that capacity on Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, and Licence to Kill.
Wilson has also made it a tradition to cameo in the films he works on. In GoldenEye, he’s a Russian official sitting at the table when General Ourumov (Gottfried John) presents his report on the destruction of the Russian space weapons center at Severnaya. In Tomorrow Never Dies, he’s a media associate of Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce), helping to blackmail the US president into raising cable television rates; in The World Is Not Enough, he’s a casino patron; and in Die Another Day he’s General Chandler in the US command center in South Korea. He’s the local chief of police in Casino Royale who’s arrested for corruption, a man sitting in a chair in the Haitian hotel lobby in Quantum of Solace, a pallbearer in Skyfall, and he’s a man in the corridor when M (Ralph Fiennes) and C (Andrew Scott) meet in Spectre.