Screenwriter Michael France, who contributed to the James Bond franchise during the Pierce Brosnan era as well as wrote three Marvel comic book adaptations, died in his St. Pete Beach home Friday morning, April 12, after an extended illness. He was 51.
France broke into screenwriting while he was still a reader at TriStar with his spec action script Cliffhanger. He followed that up by contributing the story to the 1995 Bond franchise installment GoldenEye, the first of films to feature Perce Brosnan in the role of secret agent 007. He would return to the Bond franchise in 1999 to do some uncredited script work on The World Is Not Enough including creating the initial version of the film’s buzzsaw helicopter attack and the battle in the Kazakhstani nuclear disarmament plant at sequences.
Universal hired France to help bring the Marvel Comics character The Hulk to the screen. Although his initial screenplay was set aside when the studio brought on Jonathan Hensleigh to write and direct the project, after Hensleigh left, France was brought back in to work on a new screenplay under the film’s eventual director Ang Lee. He would also write the screenplays for Lions Gate’s 2004 adaptation of The Punisher and Twentieth Century Fox’s 2005 Fantastic Four.
In 2007 he returned to his native Florida, where he bought and operated the Beach Theatre in St. Pete Beach until it closed last year.