Considering that the long legal dispute has been resolved, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the famous Bond villain may appear in future 007 films. Keven McClory and Ian Fleming who developed the story for Thunderball had been involved in a legal battle since 1959 over Bond rights.
McClory asserted that he was the one who created the Blofield character. Danjaq Bond Film Company and film studio MGM have purchased all rights from the estate of McClory.
The three parties indicated that the deal brought an amicable conclusion the business and legal disputes that had risen over 50 years. This means that the producers of Bond can use Blofield character if they wish.
The face of Blofield was frequently hidden in the film as the camera mainly focused on him stroking his white cat. The character that has been played by Telly Savalas, Donald Pleasance, Max von Sydow and Charles Gray appeared in around six official Bond films.
The dispute started when McClory worked on a script for Thunderball, in which he introduced Blofield. Fleming used the same character as the basis for his novel although McClory and Jack Whittingham, another scriptwriter were not aware that the novel was undergoing publication and they were not credited for their work. This led the two to sue Fleming successfully in 1963.
McClory who died in 2006 had, in 1965, produced the film Thunderball. However, in the 1970s, the dispute arose again. McClory want to make another Bond film, and he won the right to do this in court and the result was the Never Say Never Again film of 1983. The film was based on the Thunderball novel and he brought back Sean Connery as the 007 agent after a break of 12 years. The film is, however, not among the Official Bond Canon.
In 2001, McClory lost a legal case over the rights of James Bond film character with the court indicating that McClory waited for a long time in order to make a claim. The next Bond movie directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig starring will be released in 2015.