It was a Bond film that was going to be produced by Kevin McClory and was going to the second remake of the 1964 Bond film Thunderball after 1983's Never Say Never Again. Warner Bros. was going to theatrally release the movie under Ken McClory's rights to the screenplay.
Kevin McClory continued to try to make another adaptations of Thunderball after his 1983 film Never Say Never Again. He approached that was to be made by Sony who, at the time, held the film rights to Casino Royale with the idea of starting a rival Bond franchise to EON Productions after their success in modernizing Bond with 1995's GoldenEye. Liam Neeson was eyed for Bond but declined, while former Bond actor Timothy Dalton was also approached to reprise the role.
On October 13, 1997 (two months prior to the release of Tomorrow Never Dies) McClory and Sony officially announced the film and that it was to be a remake of Thunderball.
McClory's ownership of the Thunderball screenplay rights came into question and the project was eventually scrapped in 1999 after Sony settled out of court with MGM/United Artists ceding any rights to making a James Bond film. Ironically, in 2004 Sony acquired MGM; however, the production and final say over everything involving the film version of James Bond is controlled by EON Productions, Albert R. Broccoli's production company and its parent company Danjaq, LLC.
Prior to Sony's settlement with MGM in 1999, they filed a lawsuit against MGM claiming McClory was the co-author of the cinematic 007 and was owed fees from Danjaq and MGM for all past films. MGM launched a $25 million lawsuit against Sony, and McClory claimed a portion of the $3 billion profits from the Bond series. After a prolonged lawsuit, Sony backed down, and McClory eventually exhausted all legal avenues to pursue. This lawsuit was thrown out in 2000 on the ground that McClory had waited too long to bring his claims. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed this decision