On the literary side, Fleming never lost the rights, so he was able to use SPECTRE as much as he wanted, the film side of things were a difficult situation, and there were a lot of arguments between both EoN and McClory/his estate. Thunderball started off as a film treatment in 1958, with the basic ideas put together with Fleming, McClory, Ernest Cuneo and Ivar Bryce with what would potentially be the first James Bond film. There were many ideas thrown around - McClory was a big fan of underwater filming, hence the amount of underwater scenes - and several titles too (One of which was SPECTRE).During the script work, Fleming had to travel to research information for a Sunday Times article and a non-fiction book Thrilling Cities (an interesting read if you can get your hands on it)
The script work carried on without him and McClory brought in Screenwriter Jack Whittingham to work on the script whilst Fleming was working on the other project. The screenplay they came up with was called Longitude 78 West and was closer to what we know as Thunderball, which Fleming changed the name to when he returned. Fleming also used the outline of the screenplay as the basis for the Thunderball novel.Apparently McClory wasn't too happy that the screenplay that he had worked on with Fleming, Whittingham et al was going to be turned into a novel with credit going to Fleming - which is understandable - and he went to the high court to stop the novel being published through an injunction. The injunction wasn't awarded but it was stipulated that McClory could go back to the courts at a later date. As Fleming was very ill at the time, they agreed to settle out of court - Fleming owning the rights to the novel and McClory owning the rights to film - The novel had to acknowledge that it was based on McClory, Whittingham and Fleming's script. Fleming died that same year.One of the main arguments was who came up with SPECTRE - Fleming or McClory - both parties claimed that the organisation came from them. When EoN wanted to make Thunderball as the 4th Bond film, they had to go to McClory who owned the rights and would be credited as a producer. Part of the agreement was that McClory would, after 10 years, be allowed to make his own version of Thunderball and EoN would be able to use SPECTRE and Blofeld in the 10 years following. The 10 year time period ran out before EoN had a chance to use SPECTRE and Blofeld in The Spy who Loved Me and they had to use Stromberg.McClory used his rights to remake Thunderball as Never Say Never Again - from a quote from Sean Connery saying he would "never again" play James Bond. McClory wanted to remake Thunderball again in the late 1990s as "Warhead 2000 AD", but MGM went to court against McClory and Sony, who were going to co-produce the film, and successfully halted the production. EoN managed to get the rights back from McClory's estate last year after McClory;s death, hence SPECTRE as the 24th Bond film.
A cryptic message from an unlikely source sets James Bond navigating the layers of a sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. As M continues fighting political pressures that threaten the future of MI6, Bond draws closer to uncovering a hidden truth that threatens to destroy everything he has fought to protect. There is speculation that the film will be connected to the Quantum storyline from the previous films in Craig's James Bond tenure.