Derek Flint is an agent for ZOWIE.
ZOWIE stands for the Zonal Organization World Intelligence Espionage.
In 1965, 20th Century Fox presented its own version of a master spy to take on MGM's popular James Bond franchise. The first three James Bond movies had already made considerable money for that studio so Fox decided to try for itself.
Their hero was wholly a celluloid creation, however, not a transfer from a book series. Derek Flint was the creation of Hal Fimberg, whose writing credentials, though sparse, did go back quite a few years.
Whether it was in keeping with a growing trend to try and 'out-Bond Bond' or, more likely, to spoof the very macho Double-0 agent, Flint was the best at whatever he did and he did a lot.
The movie, which came out in 1965, did quite well and turned star James Coburn into a leading man. From gruff, simmering ruffian-style characters he had played before, Coburn portrayed an extremely suave, sophisticated man-of-the-world and he did so with the same ease that he had played the coarser roles. This proved quite successfully that Coburn was a highly skilled actor.
The success of any movie naturally breeds the desire for a sequel and two years later Coburn returned in 'In Like Flint'. This movie did not, apparently, do as well and the franchise stopped at two.
The abilities and achievements of Derek Flint was far too numerous to list here. Just a few include a Black Belt in Judo, Olympic medals in at least 5 different events, degrees from 17 different universities, highly prized paintings, and the ability to speak fluently in 45 various languages and dialects.
Flint was also, according to his 'boss', the most undisciplined, insubordinate man he had ever had to deal with. During WWII, this boss, Bruce Cramden, was Flint's senior officer and as such had the unfortunate task of trying to lead the versatile man.
Now many years later, when a crisis arises that demands someone of Flint's abilities, he has to mend fences and get Derek help to save the world. Luckily, Flint is back in town, having just flown in from Moscow where he was asked to teach ballet.
What a man!