Cover LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Daniel Craig attends the World Premiere of "NO TIME TO DIE" at the Royal Albert Hall on September 28, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Universal Pictures)

"No Time to Die" is the 25th official Bond film, and the franchise retains its status as one of the most popular in the world

James Bond, the famous movie icon that every generation has come to know at some point in their lives, returns on the new film No Time To Die. Regardless of the talent portraying the peerless spy for every franchise, the film series always ends up becoming one of the most watchable. In fact, the most successful 007 movie, Skyfall, earned 1.1 billion when it came out in theatres. But while Bond is much-loved globally, how much do you really know about this icon?

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Here are five things to know about the man with a licence to kill:

1. Born on paper

James Bond started life on the page, his name taken from the cover of a Jamaican bird-watching book because author Ian Fleming wanted something as mundane as possible.

Fleming was able to draw from some rich real-life experiences, having served in naval intelligence during World War II.

One of Commander Fleming's key missions was Operation Goldeneye, aimed at sabotaging ties between Spain and Germany—which later gave him the name for his Jamaican home, and inspired the 1995 movie.

See also: Sean Connery's Five Memorable Films

His first novel, Casino Royale, was released in 1953 and was a huge escapist hit at a time of postwar rations and hardship in Britain.

He went on to write 13 more Bond novels and also penned the hit children's musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for his son.

He died in 1964 at the age of 56, just two years after the first film appeared.

2. Big money

The figures vary, but Bond is clearly one of the most successful film franchises of all time, having spawned 25 official films and enough product placements to make a glossy magazine editor blush.

Industry data site The Numbers places Bond in third place for worldwide box office takings, behind only the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars.

Although it has been running for fewer years than other franchises such as King Kong and Godzilla, it is perhaps the most consistent—rarely going more than two or three years between instalments.

See also: Shang-Chi: Marvel Drops Trailer For Long-Awaited Asian Superhero Movie

The longest gap was between Timothy Dalton's last outing "Licence to Kill" in 1989 and the renaissance with Pierce Brosnan's Goldeneye in 1995.

Underlining the immense value of the franchise, Amazon this year bought the Bond rights from MGM for a cool US$8.45 billion.

3. International agent

The various Bonds of the past 60 years have included Englishmen Daniel Craig and Roger Moore, Scotsman Sean Connery, George Lazenby from Australia, Timothy Dalton from Wales and Irishman Pierce Brosnan.

In the novels, Bond is actually the son of a Scottish father and Swiss mother—both of whom die in a climbing accident when Bond is a boy.

4. Codenames

The codename "007" has a specific meaning.

The "00" designation signifies the agent's licence to kill, while the "7" is his identification within the elite unit of MI6, Britain's external intelligence service.

The M designating Bond's boss comes from the "Missions Department".

See also: Travel Destinations Inspired by Every James Bond Film

Q, who furnishes Bond with all his nifty gadgets, gets his moniker from "quartermaster"—a military term referring to the person in charge of supplies.

The bad guys also have some nicknames.

"SPECTRE", the organisation that causes Bond so much trouble, is short for "Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion".

5. A famous fan

One big name who gave Bond an early boost was President John F Kennedy, who cited "From Russia With Love" in his top 10 books.

Reportedly, it was also the last film he ever watched before leaving for Dallas in November 1963.

See also: From Q With Love: The Best Watches Worn By James Bond

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