Why not use Fleming ? Don't read if you're still avoiding spoilers

chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent

Ok, so we know how it ends, but why kill Bond off ? I'm not disputing the neat arc it gives Craig's five film era and the obvious talking points it raises, and NTTD will forever be remembered by most punters as "the one where OO7 dies" in the same way OHMSS is "the one where OO7 gets married." So, given the little nods [and they are little] to YOLT which the writers insert at the climax, I find it surprising they didn't utilise Fleming's ending to that novel, allowing Bond an escape route. Okay, so we have the Madeleine-Mathilde storyline and that DNA stuff gets in the way, but, hypothetically, we could have had Bond escaping by the skin of his teeth and being washed onto a Russian coast, mutilated, PTSD, memory loss, all ready to be captured, interrogated, brainwashed, etc. They could even plastic surgery his face. I agree the DNA thing's a bit tricky - I'm not a scientific expert and I didn't fully understand how it was transmitted - through sweat? blood? breath? all three and more? how microscopically tiny are these nanobots? I always though nanobots were a programable digital phenomena; perhaps someone can enlighten me further.

Back on track: let's be honest, Bond rarely ever meets his past loves anyway and Madeleine seems quite happy with her daughter in Italy [bit odd that, you'd think she'd be in Norway] although the possibility they may be infected by the thousandth-hand is possible. I suppose I'm really just searching for an elusive way out to prevent the obvious reboot. I'm not averse to a reboot either, I just think there might have been and potentially be a better way ahead which utilises Fleming's writing more; e.g. the intro chapters to TMWTGG.

Perhaps, taking the film as a whole, and taking YOLT as a whole:

Some years after SP, Blofeld escapes from prison, Madeleine is killed in Matera. Bond returns to the fold, rejuvenated by a desire for revenge. But he's out of shape. We know he likes a drink and wallowing in his own sorrow. Heracles becomes Magic 88, a plant based virus. M sends Bond to Cuba to attempt to infiltrate the new deadly Spectre, perhaps with Safin as a top enemy agent. We meet Paloma - an expanded role - the action moves to Japan and the island, cue infiltration of Blofeld's lair and the Garden of Death. Cue the cruise missiles. Paloma escapes by sea plane, Bond is battling Blofeld as the missiles hit. As we run the credits, a body is seen twitching on a beach-head and is picked up by the Russian navy...

Am I only being disappointed... ???



  • FerinstalFerinstal North of Londinium...Posts: 287MI6 Agent

    I can understand where you are coming from…but that sounds a little too convenient to bring in the new Bond…until you rationalise the plastic surgery would have to put a mid-30’s face on a mid-50’s year old body as we go forward…

    Yes. Considerably.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent

    Well, yeah, I do get that, then how much has Bond aged in the time line from CR to SP? How old was he in the first place [I think Vesper mentions it in CR, I can't recall...] Let's remember he's surely not sixty four years old in DAD ? One of the curious things about the novels is Fleming never specifically ages his hero, a few passing paragraphs tell us he's aging, but we don't ever exactly his age until the obit in YOLT. The movies do exactly the same thing. Even when Moore was struggling to keep up with the pace, the scripts never specifically tell us he's over fifty. The Craig era is the first time we recognise he's aging, but CR and QOS take place back-to-back in the same year, SF and SP seem equally close together, it's only the five year gap to NTTD which is deliberately stated. He could easily be 41 years old, even if Craig looks older

  • FerinstalFerinstal North of Londinium...Posts: 287MI6 Agent

    That’s a great point re: ageing / timelines Chris

    But I think that would have played a little too…Dr Who regen given how long Craig has been in the role.

    Feels like with Craig they have clearly defined the start (getting his 00 in Casino Royale) and his final act. Everything now is all about the ‘in between’. But that’s just my view.

    If only the physical ageing process for all of us could be rectified so easily! ;-)

    Yes. Considerably.
  • Glidrose007Glidrose007 Posts: 31MI6 Agent

    Great post. I've been banging on constantly about this very thing. They could have used the novel ending of YOLT which still would have been a tragic, depressing ending. BUT - it keeps Bond alive to fight another day, and would serve the next actor brilliantly by using the opening to TMWTGG.

    EON missed a trick here. I find what they did to Bond at the end of NTTD unforgivable. The whole thing needs a shake-up now. Bring in new blood, fresh writers who are not ashamed of Bond being a sexist dinosaur, and not scared to adapt Fleming properly.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent

    The final chapter of YOLT, Sparrow's Tears, features one of Fleming's most emotionally driven climaxes. IMO it's even better than the startlingly observed end to OHMSS. A very fine piece of writing and I would love to see this on film, played into virtual silence:

    “...compared with the blazing significance to him of that single Russian word on a scrap of paper, his life on Kuro, his love for Kissy Suzuki were of as little account as sparrow’s tears.”

    I spend a lot of time not enjoying the emotional aspects of Craig's Bond, but that's because it's too in your face. Fleming measures love and unknown duty in equal stature and still provides an emotional hit.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,734Chief of Staff

    Oh wow, I completely agree with that.

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 2,095MI6 Agent

    Agree guys. That would have been a much more satisfying ending. Sad. Emotional, but Fleming, and a glint of hope that we know Bond is probably not dead. The way they actually did it, is unforgivable.

    It reminds me of the end of I Am Legend. (which differs from the book of course)

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,592MI6 Agent

    I only saw the film today and avoided all spoilers, so I’m coming in late to all of these discussions.

    I agree that they should have borrowed more from the end of YOLT, and I was hoping that was the route they would take to end the Craig arc. I’m not at all against a reboot. In fact, I’m hoping for it because I think Craig’s tenure—whatever one thinks of it—should stand alone. But blowing Bond up was quite lazy, in my opinion. And as you point out, is so unnecessary since Fleming provides a much more nuanced way to do it in a story that obviously influenced this film.

    The only positive is that perhaps they will use that material in the future.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent

    That’s a different story though, and I wouldn’t say a superior one necessarily. I would say the strongest part of this film was its ending, that one sounds a bit tamer to me.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent

    But it's a better reflection of Fleming, which I thought was the whole reason for the reboot. You can say all you like about the narrative of NTTD, and the narratives of all Craig's post-debut movies, but one thing they are not is remotely like Fleming. Only Craig's grim performances reflect the author. A few tokenisms aside don't make a film Fleming-esque, they just make the writers look uninspired and rather fawning.

  • Glidrose007Glidrose007 Posts: 31MI6 Agent

    Totally agree. My confidence in the writers and producers at EON is at an all time low at the moment, and as long as they remain in charge I don't think we'll see Fleming's material properly adapted on screen. They had the chance to do it big time with NTTD and the YOLT novel, but they bottled it at the last hurdle, giving us something cheap and nasty in its place.

    Ever since GE, we haven't had any Fleming material adapted properly, other than the CR reboot, which now looks glaringly out of place compared to the rest of the films under Babs reign. 8 movies now with nothing, other than the odd nod or reference, or some retcon crap where they give us stuff like Bond's childhood home, or Blofeld as his long lost brother. Utter garbage!

    In all these years they haven't seen fit to go back to the books, and I don't see why they would start now. It wouldn't be so tragic if we had brilliant scripts and films instead, but in all 8 movies under Babs, 4 of them reside at the bottom of my list (with DAD right at the bottom of the barrel), and at least 3 of the others sit not far above that. CR is the only bona fide Bond classic we have had.

    I'm living in hope that the producers step down now and bring some new blood in, and are not scared to go back to the novels. Either that, or we get an actor like Dalton who persuades the producers and writers that this is what he wants. They seem to listen to actors more than anyone else. Just look at Craig's reign.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent
    edited October 10

    I don't think that was the purpose, no; the purpose was to make the best films they could and adapt Fleming, not just reproduce it. The goal isn't just to put as much Fleming on the screen as possible, otherwise you'd have had Blofeld killed by a load of bird poo while Bond fights a giant squid in the Thames. It's not all gold.

    And with respect, the storyline you lay out above just doesn't sound as good to me.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent

    It was only 130 odd words, not a full synopsis. As for your other point about wanting to make the best films and adapt Fleming, I'd say bith points are highly contentious.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent
    edited October 10

    But you still presented those 130 words as being the superior alternative and I didn't think they were. I thought that version sounds quite hollow and bit naff in comparison to what we got, I don't like to be blunt but I can't lie. I don't think NTTD was perfect but it has much more interesting and surprising ideas in it that than those.

    I don't know what's contentious about the suggestion that Eon's intention is to make the best films they can, I'd be curious to know what you're basing that on. And they clearly look to adapt ideas from Fleming, because they pretty much always do. Your version above actually removes the idea that Bond has a child, which came from Fleming's YOLT.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent

    Bond never knew he had a child.

    The fact we're even discussing it means it is a contentious point: not Eon trying to make good movies, but as you wrote "and adapt Fleming" - they don't adapt him, they steal titbits and reimagine those titbits for their own purposes.

    Like Bond having a daughter.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent

    He didn't know, you're right. But they often take ideas and adapt them, they always have. Your version at the top of the page isn't precisely what Fleming wrote either: you've changed it.

    The fact we're discussing it doesn't make it contentious: someone could say the sky isn't blue and have someone point out at that it is, but that doesn't in itself make the colour of the sky a contentious issue. Eon try to make good movies, and they take and adapt ideas from Fleming where they can. That doesn't mean they have to, they just like to. But sometimes his ideas aren't automatically better.

  • Glidrose007Glidrose007 Posts: 31MI6 Agent

    Sorry, but what he wrote there was FAR better than the crappy, abysmal ending we got instead. Why would any self respecting Bond fan want to see Bond die on screen?

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent

    I find it a bit more old hat and less interesting myself, obviously you’re welcome to disagree.

    I don’t see what the problem about his death is; you may as well have asked that when Fleming released FRWL.

  • Glidrose007Glidrose007 Posts: 31MI6 Agent

    I wasn't alive at the time FRWL was released, so for me it just ends and follows in Dr. No.

    Had NTTD also ended in a similar ambiguous way, I wouldn't have any problems either.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent

    Well, if something is contentious it is likely to cause an argument. As we eare discussing the subject of adaptations of YOLT / NTTD in depth, it must be a contentious subject.

    Incidently the sky has no colour at all, we only perceive it as blue because of the reaction between electromagnetic particles under the sun's rays, its part of the prism spectrum.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent
    edited October 13

    Then for the folks who come to this film in a few years' time it will likely be similarly as uneventful as FRWL's ending is to you. He dies in this one, there's a new Bond story in the next.

    Imagine being a Bond film fan when OHMSS came out- where's the happy ending?! He should be kissing the girl! Why would any self-respecting Bond fan want to see Bond fail to save the girl? etc.

    You're actually trying to make out that the colour of the sky is a contentious issue? You want to argue that black is white next? I've actually seen someone do that before on here! 😂

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent
    edited October 13

    So, I ask, why would any self respecting Bond fan want to see him.die?

    The ending of OHMSS succeeds because it follows the outline narrative of the novel: Bond falls in love, defeats Blofeld, who subsequently kills his new wife. Sure, it is a downer, but so is NTTD. I was merely pointing out that if the writers and producers had wanted to remain close to Fleming as they originally heralded CraigBond, they might have paid a little more thanlip service to the novel YOLT, including an unresolved ending. You seem to be suggesting ambiguity is not allowed.

    Incidentally, the sky can be red or orange, even grey, at sun rise and sunset because the rays are hitting particles from a different angle. The sky is not blue. It has no colour. And you are right, it isn't a contentious issue because that is fact. This thread is not dealing with fact, it is a supposition, I was aware of that when I wrote the opening thread as I wanted to hear other people's opinions. There have been responses, the manner of Bond's fictional death is, I feel highly contentious.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent
    edited October 13

    Do you want to hear opinions?

    I'm certainly not suggesting that ambiguity isn't allowed, it just isn't as interesting in this circumstance to me as what we actually got. Sometimes we don't need the safety blanket 'oh maybe he's actually alive' - he isn't: the story here is that he couldn't risk the lives of those he loved and bravely ended his journey. Removing Madeline and Mathilde and making it very run-of-the-mill defeat-the-villain story doesn't make it sound more interesting to me, it sounds less. If you truly want others' opinions, that is one right there.

    I honestly can't believe you're arguing about the colour of the sky 😂

  • otacon 01otacon 01 Posts: 58MI6 Agent

    Why would any self-respecting Bond fan want to see him die?

    Well, only if he was making the conscious choice to sacrifice himself for a greater good. Which is what happens in the movie. Which is the same decision he made every time he went out on a job.

    He gets pretty close to doing the same thing in the Moonraker book until an alternative presents itself. "One last blessed cigarette," if I remember correctly, as he's considering blowing himself and the rocket up.

    Yes, this is a work of fiction. They could have chosen to do what Fleming did there and have some deus ex machina present itself. But they decided otherwise. So, not to be rude, but the question you should be asking is: Why did they choose to tell the story this way?

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent

    And why would any self-respecting Robin Hood fan want to see him die? Don't watch Robin & Marian (starring Sir Sean!)- and it contains a quite famous death myth built around Robin. Why would any self-respecting Iron Man fan want to watch him die? I don't recall any huge complaints, although I'm sure the Marvel forums contained similar complaints. Being a fan of a character doesn't mean that character must never be allowed to fail, sometimes the stories are just different.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,734Chief of Staff

    I was a Bond fan when OHMSS came out, I don't have to imagine it but just remember it. My main thought was how are they going to deal with this since YOLT had already been filmed? Were they going to put the depressed Bond seeking revenge plot into DAF? As it happens they basically ignored it, bar an ambiguous PTS.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,269MI6 Agent

    I guess it depends what that shows if you're a 'self-respecting' Bond fan who could accept Bond dying in NTTD or not :)

  • Charmed & DangerousCharmed & Dangerous Posts: 7,286MI6 Agent

    I think it comes back to chrisno1's original post. Why kill Bond off? I enjoyed NTTD, and Bond's death within the context of the film makes sense, but it leaves the producers nowhere sensible to turn to. "James Bond will return"? I think a deus ex machina or an ambiguous ending would give a little room to allow James Bond to return credibly. 

    By unequivocally killing him off, Bond can't credibly return unless the producers make period pieces, i.e. movies set at some point in his past, rather than "five minutes into the future" which was Cubby's idea, if I recall correctly. And that would quickly wear thin after a film or two. So I just can't see how killing Bond off benefits EON's long-term business strategy. 🤔

    Why would any self-respecting Bond fan want to see Bond die? I'm sure die-hard fans of Iron Man didn't enjoy seeing their hero die either. Just because the storyline demands a human sacrifice, like some atavistic god, doesn't mean we have to want to see it. 😁

    "How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,366MI6 Agent

    Guys, and all you keep blathering on about is NTTD, when I was attempting to suggest a more nuanced view of Fleming's YOLT and assess why it is that a return to Fleming has been so eschewed by the writers / producers / directors. The mantra I see on screen is a cinematic presence and ideolog that was not promoted when Craig took over the role. I'm not disputing the death as presented - if you read my post you will see I am quite understanding of that - but I am not enamoured with huge story arcs and I am not watching James Bond movies to be immersed in a psychological study of loss, duty and love and one man's societal and romantic inadequacies.

    My version - good, s**t or indifferent - and still not a synopsis - was only by way of example of how a film could have evolved by utilising more of the aspects of YOLT. I raised this because there does seem to be an attempt to do this very thing in NTTD. However, NTTD isn't executed to anything like the success of the CR adaptation and only takes those notorious "titbits" and plays with them for the fanboy.

    Using Fleming's emotionally driven plot to YOLT could have created something memorable, but we don't see it. We don't see Bond grieving in the depths of despair, [we didn't even see this in QOS for Vesper], we don't see the slow build to recovery and his revenge on Blofeld, the realisation who Shatterhand is, the horrific garden of death, question room and climatic fight. All we get is "Die, Blofeld, die!" and that's about it. We don't see his rekindled life, we don't share in Kissy's (or Madeleine's or Paloma's or whoever's) desire and heartbreak. We get "All the time in the world" and "She's got your eyes" and cruise missiles obliterating the world's greatest fictional secret agent. Whatever happened to Sparrow's Tears? I am exceedingly saddened the producers didn't consider Fleming's route - or if they did, they discarded it - and instead offered us a generic "hero shoots hundreds of people to death before sacrificing himself saving the world" type ending which doesn't woo me because I've seen it so many times before - in popcorn fuzz like Iron Man or Avengers No. 67 or whatever it was.

    I'm going to stop now, because I'm starting to rant and I'm genuinely p***ed off the sky isn't blue...

  • otacon 01otacon 01 Posts: 58MI6 Agent

    My dude, if you really think "Die, Blofeld, die!" is an accurate summation of NTTD by relation to past Bond media, I'm not sure what to tell you. I think that's pretty unfair.

    What were you hoping Bond would be "grieving in the depths of despair" about here? Don't take this as argumentative; I'm actually curious, since the fanbase seems so divided, (and some of it seems to be literally going through the stages of grief). I guess I'm not really sure what you're trying to say you wanted other than "more of the same". Calling the ending "generic" is honestly a head scratcher because there's nothing generic about James Bond actually dying. Even in the superhero movies you're trying to compare it to, there's generally some "out" that gets revealed later, much like the times Bond "died" before.

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