Patience is a virtue, especially if you hold the keys to the biggest movie franchise … ever.
The Broccoli family oversees 007, AKA the James Bond film series. The saga began in 1962 with “Dr. No” and continued through Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as the super spy, “No Time to Die.”
That’s a staggering run for any film franchise, let alone one dealing with global conflicts and changing cultural mores. One hero. Twenty-seven movies.
Team Broccoli is in no rush to bring a new Bond to the screen.
The last Bond entry, “No Time to Die,” wrapped filming in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the film’s release by more than a year – it finally hit theaters Oct. 8, 2021.
That means the Broccoli clan has known for more than four years they needed to find a new actor to play 007. Craig had been vocal that his fifth time in the Bond tux would be his last. And, given the physical pounding the franchise took on him, can you blame him?
Yet we’re no closer to that decision.
Producer Barbara Broccoli told The Guardian the series will be “reinvented” for the modern world and that they “haven’t even begun” that creative process.
“I go back to GoldenEye when everyone was saying ‘the cold war is over, the wall is over, Bond is dead, no need for Bond, the whole world’s at peace and now there’s no villains’ – and boy was that wrong!” she said, adding that modernisation is necessary whenever a new actor plays the part.
“Daniel gave us the ability to mine the emotional life of the character … and also the world was ready for it. I think these movies reflect the time they are in, and there’s a big, big road ahead reinventing it for the next chapter and we haven’t even begun with that.”
No rush, folks!
Does that mean the woke flourishes seen in the Craig era will be magnified moving forward? Will the saga take a cue from the recent Bond book, which is so comically woke it reads more like parody than anything Bond author Ian Fleming might conjure?
“Bond was struck by something. It was a long while since he’d been at any kind of function that was almost exclusively full of men. It felt strange. There was not even a pretense at diversity here,” the book wrote, later noting Aethelstan “hadn’t been the least bit concerned about ensuring that half of the people he’d hired to carry out his coup should be women, non-White, or disabled.”
Or will rumors that director Christopher Nolan will oversee the next film, and bring a throwback element to the saga, prove accurate?
We're no closer to the latest reinvention of #JamesBond suggests producer Barbara Broccoli, but the few hints she gives suggests the Christopher Nolan rumours may be wide of the mark.https://t.co/i3Dm06noXA
— Film Stories: magazines, podcast, live shows, web (@filmstories) October 23, 2023
On the plus side, we do have a new James Bond-themed reality show coming our way soon.
It’s called, “007’s Road to a Million,” a project near and dear to Broccoli’s heart. She’s actively engaged with the project and hopes to serialize the Amazon show, featuring “Succession” star Brian Cox, to other parts of the country.
Sorry. No reality show can match what the Bond franchise has built over 60+ years.
Bond films shouldn’t be rushed into production, of course. It’s a cherished property to be treated as such.
Why is the Broccoli team dragging its feet on starting the creative ball rolling, though? The 007 films require enormous considerations, both in regard to time and financial resources. Any new Bond actor will have to be tested, and considered, long before filming will commence.
It could be three to five years before we see James Bond again, optimistically speaking.
That’s assuming a script can be finished in a reasonable time period. To date, the Bond team doesn’t even know what kind of script it wants or what Bond will be fighting in the next installment.
Meanwhile, pop culture moves on without Bond. Video game adaptations are now the coin of the realm. Spy dramas like “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1” underwhelm at the box office.
Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two’ Delayed, Will Also Reportedly Get New Title After First Film’s Box Office Failure https://t.co/gSmjXmgN9t
— Bounding Into Comics (@BoundingComics) October 25, 2023
Nolan is the wild card in this conversation.
He’s the biggest directorial “name” in Hollywood, far bigger than even Steven Spielberg at this point in their respective careers. No one thinks he’d take the franchise down a woke road. His 2012 “The Dark Knight Rises” film featured Occupy Wall Street types as the villains.
If Nolan isn’t on board, it feels like the Broccoli family will wait, and wait, to find inspiration for a new Bond story.
By then, the culture may have moved on without 007.