James Bond: Casino Royale prequel Forever and a Day CONFIRMED for 2018 release

Originally published in 1953, Casino Royale was author Ian Fleming’s first novel.

Despite it covering one of 007’s early missions, the story didn’t become a film in the official franchise – David Niven’s 1967 spoof and Barry Nelson’s 1954 TV version do not count – until Daniel Craig’s 2006 debut, when it was used as a reboot.

Now Anthony Horowitz, who penned 2015 Bond nover Trigger Mortis, has the Fleming estate’s permission to write an official prequel to the original novel.

Speaking with The Guardian, the 62-year-old teased: “[We’re] exploring what might have been Bond’s first missions and imagining some of the forces that might have turned him into the iconic figure that the whole world knows.”

Horowitz added: “I couldn’t have been happier when the Ian Fleming Estate invited me back to write a second Bond.”

While Fergus Fleming, Ian’s nephew, confirmed the book was “in the best tradition of Ian Fleming.”

Forever and a Day will begin with the last 007’s body being discovered off the coast of Marseille, having been “killed by an unknown hand.”

The book will be published on May 31 and will included original material written by Fleming, who died in 1964.