New Year, new spin on Bond. James Bond. Yasssss!
How does it feel to have beaten up James Bond? We’re among friends here and I won’t tell (anyone else who isn’t reading this, that is).
To be quite honest, it’s awesome. I never imagined that I would even be remotely close to the James Bond 007 Universe. Also BIG thank you to my friends Christian Howard who played the iconic James Bond and to Josh Mabie who directed and brought this vision to life. These two are so creative and amazing to work with. I am really excited and this is just the beginning.
“Lee. John Lee”. Not gonna lie, when I heard that line, I thought, “Whoa. What a spin on one of the most iconic lines in cinema.” I mean, other than the line about how Bond likes his martini, there isn’t another line the people immediately associate with 007. Why tell this story from the perspective of a South Korean operative?
First off, we can’t take credit for this at all. The credit goes to Greg Pak who revamped this character in the 2018 Ian Fleming James 007 Vol 1. Without his vision we literally would not be here talking about this.
My friend Edward Hong brought this comic to my attention and told me to check them out. So I went to my local comic book store, Hi De Ho Comics and Books, and I bought all the issues they had in stock at the time. I was immediately hooked and loved the essence of this character.
So I told Edward what I thought and he said, I should play Oddjob! At first I was extremely flattered but I took on the challenge, reached out to my friend Josh Mabie and what better way to introduce this new Oddjob, aka, John Lee, a Korean Spy who is basically the equivalent to James Bond, with a dope fight scene in an elevator!
We wanted to tell this story, because 1) Oddjob is SUCH an iconic and badass henchman in the 1964 Bond Film, Goldfinger. In the film, he’s this massive scary figure, who is a mute, so he literally has no lines, who is pretty much bigger and stronger than Bond 2) Greg Pak made this new Oddjob into someone with a lot of character and charisma. He’s fun, gregarious, has sex appeal, and he could be Bond’s greatest ally or his greatest foe.
There’s just so many layers with the new Oddjob, that it would be a missed opportunity not to. As for that line “Lee, John Lee,” we copied the iconic line for Oddjob, letting Bond know that he’s not the only player in this universe.
Heeeeyyyy, now! That’s some gauntlet throwing words right there! Can’t wait to see more. Why did you guys decide to bring Bond into the martial arts genre?
I want to shout out our Fight Choreographer Jarmin Runes. He’s an amazing stunt performer and choreographer/coordinator and he is also a ridiculous martial artist and tricker.
We basically wanted to use the tools that we had. We’re very fortunate in that our entire team from the talent in front of the camera to the people behind are all seasoned martial artists and stuntmen, it really helps to have an entire team that speaks fight language and makes it much easier to translate badass fight scenes to the screen.
We really strove to showcase the characterization of these two legendary fighters with the way they move. In a good story, you can tell who the characters are even without words. That’s what we tried to do here. Showcase the two characters strengths and weaknesses through the choreography while being in a confined space. Lee is Bond’s polar opposite, but we also get to see Lee’s strength and dexterity in the elevator and witness that he’s a better martial artist because of the kicks and the way he moves, trying to create space while Bond tries to close it.
Bond tries to brute force everything, but Lee has a layer of finesse that Bond is lacking.
I sense some history between John Lee and Bond. There was talk elsewhere that says John Lee is Bond’s biggest nemesis and potential ally. Sounds juicy. Spill some tea!
In the comics there’s definitely some tension between the two secret agents. I don’t want to spoil too much, but sometimes they do get into each other’s way.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Joshua. Looking forward to seeing how Lee, John Lee, takes on Bond, James Bond.
Rogue Origin, a new YouTube channel co-founded by one of the original members of Re:Anime, Josh Mabie, and one of the co-founders of Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, Christian Howard is launching its first in a series of new content catered to the high-octane martial arts genre.
The short film is an adaptation based on Greg Pak’s infamous 2019 James Bond comic book run in honor of the passing of the original James Bond – Sean Connery.
The series focuses on new counter-operative in John Lee, a South Korean agent that is Bond’s biggest nemesis and potential ally. Fans of the series will recognize the name Oddjob, the mountain of muscle from the 1964 James Bond film ‘Goldfinger.’
The short film stars Josh Han (Marco Polo, CWs Death Squad) and Christian Howard (Street Fighter : Assassins Fist, The World’s End) and is directed by Josh Mabie (The Hunger Games: A Message from District 13, Avatar the Last Airbender: Agni Kai)
“I’ve always wanted to play in the James Bond sandbox, as it’s such a fantastic world full of vivid characters and this opportunity allowed us to explore it in a new light – through the eyes of another operative.” Says Mabie.
When asked why it was important to tell this story now: “Pak has paved the way for diverse voices“ says Han. Howard is enthusiastic, exclaiming “We’re extremely excited with the projects we have in development and can’t wait to share them with the world.”
This soft launch is the first of the many more comic book, anime, and video game adaptations in the queue, including Street Fighter, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, and many more.