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Bond 25 speculations

I recently came across Calvin Dyson's speculations about the next Bond film in 2019. obviously it was made before the recent confirmation that Daniel Craig will be returning to play 007 for a fifth time, so it's slightly outdated. However, Dyson makes a couple of points which pique my interest. First, he mentions that there has been speculation that the next bond film could be a remake of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. While Dyson seems quite dismissive of the idea, I rather like it: OHMSS, as I wrote here, is the most touching bond film. Bond is more human. Rather than having his usual meaningless relationship, he falls in love and marries, but in the end his wife is killed, leaving Bond alone. If in the next film they worked around that core motif, it could really fit with what we have seen of Craig's bond until now. His bond is as broken as Lazenby's, but also just as cold and heartless. Thus I think that the idea of a OHMSS remake, albeit a fairly loose one, could have legs to it; it has the potential to be a truly beautiful swansong to Craig's innings. I must add, though, that part of me is hoping that they will do it just so they can include this delicious theme.

The other rumoured possibility dyson mentions is the creation of a Bond 'cinematic universe'. That is, making all the Bond films made from now on link in to each other so the stories join up, like the Bourne films, and all the other franchises out there. Dyson objects to that idea, and I know where he's coming from. As a cinematic and cultural phenomenon, 007 is utterly unique. Rather than a set of interlinking stories, a la Harry Potter, the bond films are about a character more than a plot. This character is used to act in narratives which exist independent of one another, yet he still retains his core traits. Thus, as I noted here, concepts like canonicity do not apply to the Bond series as they ordinarily would - they are suspended. To suddenly invoke them now, as dyson points out, would change the whole dynamic of the series and take something unique and special away from it. I agree with him totally on that.

But what if that is not what they mean by ''creating a Bond cinematic universe''? What if that isn't the plan? There is potential to build upon this phenomenon; after all, after 65 years it might be time to take it in a new direction. Given we know bond is 007, there must presumably be other double-O agents - six, at least. What about them? Could stories be told about them. Create other such agents, and a whole range of possibilities opens up: for one, this could be a way of putting to rest the question of a female bond. Create a new female double-O, and you satisfy both purists who say James Bond should be played by a man (and I'm still one of them) as well as those who feel it's time that the franchise diversified. Take this idea a step further, and they could even invent an agent who had a disability. After all, nobody would suspect us cripples of being spies, licensed to kill, would they?

I realise that this may not, in fact, be what the producers have in mind; I also know that there have been attempts before to create Bond spin-offs, without much success. Yet if this is indeed what they mean, I think it has potential. The 007 films are a firmly established part of popular culture; hell, how much more established can a character get than being used to escort a monarch to an olympic opening ceremony? If I held the reins of the Bond franchise, I would use that foundation as a concrete central beam from which to branch off: the main bond films would continue as they have done for over half a century, with their periodic changes of actor. Beside them, however, could be developed new, interesting characters, each with their own traits and backstories. They could occasionally reference Bond, but develop independently.

Whether this idea of mine has any legs, of course, remains to be seen. And of course, whether Bond fans would take to it is anybody's guess. Yet I think this could be a nice way of helping the franchise diversify without causing it to changing it's core character too much. Bond would stay the same, yet around him would open up an entire range of stories and characters. I think this could be a way of giving it the new life it needs to survive without changing the core idea which we all know and love too much. It could be taken forward, built upon and adapted to fit this new era, yet the character at it's core would remain 007.


[Edited 21/08/2017 at 09:53:34 - added link]
[Edited 21/08/2017 at 12:56:11 - added link]

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