Spies have always been a part of fiction. Whether it’s a spy engaging in secret missions to save the world or a low-key spy just trying to survive another day while bringing down the bad guys, there’s no shortage of heart-stopping adventures and swoon-worthy spies in the pages of fiction. Some of the most famous spies have even had their adventures brought to life on the big screen, touching the imaginations of millions of people around the world. Here are the top 5 spies in fiction:
1. James Bond
When you think of a spy, James Bond is probably the first face that comes to mind. The fictional character is said to work for the British Secret Service and has appeared in 12 novels and 2 short stories. The dashing spy has also inspired numerous movies, television shows, comic strips and video games. The James Bond film series is the longest running of all time and is also one of the highest grossing film series to date with 24 films in the Bond series.
2. Austin Powers
He’s the spy with swag, bad teeth and a taste for the ladies. Austin Power is a big-screen spy that has kept audiences laughing since the first film was released in 1997. Austin Power’s character is a parody of numerous other characters including James Bond, Derek Flint, Matt Helm and Jason King. The 3-part series follows the British spy’s quest to bring his arch nemesis, Dr. Evil, down. The movies are supposed to be set in 1960s London and frequently reference the swinging, free love culture of the time.
3. Jason Bourne
Another fictional spy, Jason Bourne was known for his kick-ass moves and ability to take down virtually anyone with nothing more than a book. Of course, Jason Bourne isn’t his real name — he’s actually David Webb, a former career Force Reconnaissance Marine Captain Foreign Service Officer and a specialist in Far Eastern affairs. The character first made waves in a series of novels by Robert Ludlum, but later made the leap to the big screen in a series of films starring Matt Damon.
4. Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath
Perhaps more well-known by his code name of OSS 117, the fictional French Spy enjoyed a long career in print and on the big screen. His adventures may have been typical for the most part, but injections of chickens and Nazis helped keep things interesting. The movies also included Jean Dujardin, who injected the franchise with humor, making the movies more accessible to a wider array of people.
5. Derek Flint
Just one of many spies based on the James Bond character, the Derek Flint series was a beautiful parody that spawned a cult-like following. The steely-eyed main character was always down for a paying gig, often landing him in trouble. The movies are considered so bad that they’re good, earning a place in the hearts of spy-film fanatics throughout the world. Derek Flint is probably most recognisable surrounded by his henchmen in color-coordinated jumpsuits and mini-skirted ladies.