Licence to Kill, released in 1989, is the sixteenth entry in the Eon Productions James Bond series and the first one not to use the title of an Ian Fleming novel. It marks Timothy Dalton's second and final performance in his brief tenure in the lead role of James Bond. The story has elements of two Ian Fleming short stories and a novel, interwoven with aspects from Japanese rōnin tales. The film sees Bond being suspended from MI6 as he goes after drugs lord Franz Sanchez, who has attacked Bond's CIA friend Felix Leiter during Leiter's honeymoon. Originally titled Licence Revoked in line with the plot, the name was changed during post-production.
Budgetary reasons made Licence to Kill the first Bond not to be shot in the United Kingdom, with locations in both Florida and Mexico. The film earned over $156 million worldwide, and enjoyed a generally positive critical reception, with much praise for the stunts, but some criticism on Dalton's interpretation of Bond and the fact that the production was significantly darker and more violent than its predecessors.
After the release of Licence to Kill, legal wrangling over control of the series and James Bond character resulted in a six-year long delay in production of the next Bond film which resulted in Dalton deciding to not return. It is also the final Bond film for actors Robert Brown (as M) and Caroline Bliss (as Moneypenny), screenwriter Richard Maibaum, title designer Maurice Binder, cinematographer Alec Mills, director John Glen and producer Albert R. Broccoli, although he would later act as a consulting producer for GoldenEye before his death.