Eon Productions and MGM (which had long since acquired United Artists and Harry Saltzman’s original share of the Bond films) prevailed in 1999 in their legal battle with Sony Pictures and Kevin McClory over Sony’s attempt to produce a Bond series based on McClory’s “Thunderball” rights. The settlement allowed Eon finally to take control of “Casino Royale” and “Thunderball,” leading to Daniel Craig’s debut as Bond in the 2006 version of “Casino Royale” — the only Bond title to be produced on television and to be filmed twice under its original name (McClory’s 1983 “Thunderball” remake was released as “Never Say Never Again”).

Ian Fleming is believed to have started writing the first James Bond novel on Jan. 15, 1952, at his Jamaican vacation home, Goldeneye.

The book was first published in 1953 as “Casino Royale,” although the first U.S. paperback edition in 1955 was retitled “You Asked For It,” the better to appeal to those boobish Americans who had never seen a casino and probably couldn’t pronounce “royale” anyway.

CBS stuck with the original title for its 1954 television adaptation starring Barry Nelson as Bond.

Meanwhile, Fleming sold the film rights to producer Gregory Ratoff, who made noises about filming the title in 1956 and again in 1960. After Ratoff’s death in December 1960, Charles Feldman picked up the rights from Ratoff’s estate and produced the lamentable 1967 movie starring David Niven, Peter Sellers, Terence Cooper and Woody Allen as characters named James Bond.