Memories of the Spectre film linger into afternoon matinees and Amazon pre-orders as we consider what is happening with the James Bond franchise.
First to Daniel Craig. The ‘will he, won’t he’ of returning for another film will largely depend on Craig. He has been in the role for 10 years and he has said he would rather “slash my wrists” than return. The man has to decide whether he wants to bow out on a high note or head into the Never Say Never Again/A View to a Kill/Die Another Day region that saw veteran Bond actors looking less than capable in the role of the assassin secret agent. Craig has claimed that he is not motivated by money, but when he earned 16 million for Spectre, it might be hard to say no to next pay rise.
Aside Craig returning debates, which ultimately will rest upon Craig, is who could take his place. Alongside the usual actor debate (I already hear Tom Hardy’s name, but I don’t think so) is the addition of whether we should have a black James Bond or a gay James Bond.
We’ve had the young James Bond (Alex Ryder, Kingsmen, Cody Banks), the spoof James Bond (Johnny English, Austin Powers, Get Smart, Spy, I-Spy, The Spy Next Door), the American James Bond (Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, The Man from UNCLE, Xander Cage (xXx)), married couple James Bond (Mr and Mrs Smith, True Lies, Knight and Day, Duplicity), the family James Bond (Spy Kids), the female James Bond (La Femme Nikita/Nikita, Salt, Charlie’s Angels, Black Widow), the black James Bond (Darrius Stone (xXx), Agent J, Enemy of the State, Undercover Brother, Traitor (Don Cheadle)), old James Bond (RED and RED 2). We have even had female porn star James Bond. Probably more than one. You can look that up for yourself.
Given this broad collage of James Bond characters, I don’t see any reason why it is necessary or even financially viable to mess with the basic format of the character. But that has always been a problem with James Bond, the character is little more than a stereotype and the films a shade above a formula, but then isn’t that why we like them?
The final issue for James Bond’s future is studio negotiations. MGM have finished their contract and now it is time to start again or find a new studio. The details of the situation don’t exactly make for a great narrative although the dealings are probably more complex than any spy story we might encounter. What is interesting is the state of Spectre as a final Craig film.
Spectre certainly offers a rounding off of Bond’s character. He has settled elements of his, secured a long term girlfriend and proved he isn’t just a killing machine. It’s time did happy ever after. Except it can’t be if we want another film. So, either Bobs’s gifriend vets it and he goes off revenge style or they start a double team. The first looks more likely. That is of course if the producers do t go with another a tie which could mean reboot time.