"I hope this doesn't have the effect of re-defining him for all time, reducing him to a figure who in any given future film might really die again... The risk is that other thespians, considered for the part in the future, might also petition to be killed off at the end of *their* tenure, so that the franchise, assuming it has legs, degenerates into a case of Die Every Other Day."
It won't be in any given future film, but it's likely that future Bond actors will die in their final films. This was the consequence of taking the Bond series out of floating continuity and insisting that Craig's films represented a new timeline, as in comic book continuity. Future Bond actors will have their own timelines and therefore can be killed off without any consequence, just as Craig was. We already live in a world of endless reboots, and Bond is just another franchise. 50 years from now fans might be comparing Bond deaths the way we compare everything else about Bond films.
That thought fills me with despair, since I've been following this series (I do dislike the term "franchise") almost since it started. However, for that very reason I obviously won't be here 50 years from now so it's academic for me.
Yes, but I think all that runs counter to Bond's essential character. The gunbarrel sequence itself asserts, "I don't get to die; you do."
Shady, I couldn't agree more. "Cynical" is the word. I also agree with your thoughts on MGW- as you will find reading the Imaginary Conversations, especially post 1644.
That one, I'm sure, gets pretty close to what would have been his actual reactions to the idea!
I agree entirely with you, but the series, which hasn't been inner-directed for a long time, is now following the example of the reigning comic book franchises. I'd be happy if the Bond films returned to a floating continuity and had no further death scenes, but I doubt that will happen. I found Bond's death in NTTD generic and sentimental, so if he has to die again perhaps the filmmakers will do a better job.
I wouldn't be surprised to hear MGW isn't heavily involved with the series. At his age he's entitled to de facto retirement. I've always been interested in the fact that he co-wrote all the 80s Bond films but after '89 laid down his pen. What made him do so? Perhaps his involvement lessened from that point onward. I wonder if Sony stipulated that he and Maibaum were barred from writing scripts, and then by the time MGM/UA changed hands MGW had decided to let other writers go on with the series, though he still pitched ideas. I've heard making Blofeld Bond's pseudo step-brother was MGW's idea, which goes to show that even talented folks will come up with at least one very bad idea in their lifetime.
I watched NTTD twice in the cinema and once fully on Blu-ray. I can’t bring myself to watch the whole film which must be telling me something and I don’t think it’s a good thing. I just watch the Jamaica scenes and a bit of the Cuba scenes and then switch off. The more I think about the film the less I like it. The death of Bond was in no way ground breaking or daring. It shouldn’t have been done and I think with the delays caused by the pandemic they should have filmed an alternative ending. One where Bond comes out on top, gets the girl and we all leave the Cinema with a smile on our face.
There's a flip side to that. When James Bond is in great danger people knew he couldn't die. Maybe some belived he could die in FRWL because the franchise wasn't settled and many knew the book, but ever since people felt certain that wahtever happened he couldn't die. Some peobably se this as a positive, but it takes some of the edge off.
Now people can't be 100% sure, and I think that's a plus. I'm not saying Bond should die again. If he does it should be decades away. I don't want a new timeline for every actor and I don't want an origin story for a really long time.
There was a point where Bond was too indestructible. MooreBond didnt even get his suit dirty in seven adventures, and BrosnanBond could fly. Fleming's character was a bloody shambles at the end of each adventure and required a hospital stay, no sexy liferaft action for him, and CraigBond actually comes closest to depicting this aspect of the books.
they should have filmed an alternative ending. One where Bond comes out on top, gets the girl and we all leave the Cinema with a smile on our face.
in fact they filmed two alternate endings, this is probably discussed upthread. What happened in these alternate versions is unknown, covered by nondisclosure agreements, though I think we discussed Bond being offered a knighthood in one version (which is exactly how Fleming ended the saga).
They certainly should have included these on the dvd, why let them languish in a vault? include them as bonus features, or even better, maybe even when the missiles approach the island, the frame could pause and an interactive Choose Your Fate menu could appear on screen, allowing the viewer to pick one of three.
I've watched it twice and I have a similar reaction; not because of the ending, which I think is powerful and handled well, but because the film itself just doesn't feel like Bond. There's nothing very enjoyable in there, he doesn't do anything cool which you can enjoy vicariously. Mendes understood that even if you're doing something dramatic with it you can still make it fun and breezy in other parts. Lots of folk applaud the Cuba section but even that I find rather dry- he just beats people up and shoots them; there's no real point you could play the Bond theme along to.
This! Agreed @emtiem
It just didn't felt like a Bond movie more of an action movie starring Daniel Craig, even Craig himself at times wasn't playing Bond more like himself in my opinion. When you compare it to other Bond films, it's the most least Bondian, even SPECTRE at least felt like a Bond film compared to this.
No problem with the idea of killing him off, it's interesting, but it didn't handled well, it's contrived like everything that happened before that scene was just setting up the audience for that ending.
And I didn't liked that they've also focused the movie too much on Madeleine Swann, the age gap here was really obvious compared to SPECTRE because Craig's age was really showing, his sagging skin, wrinkles and grey hair.
And I'm also against of Bond doing some domesticity (cooking pancakes and cutting apples), even Fleming never wrote Bond that way.
Oh I don't know, Bond was always going on about his food and how he has his eggs in the morning.
It's a limited flip side though, because we all know the possibility of James Bond dying will only occur when a Bond actor has reached the end of his stint. No one is going to walk into the next Bond film, starring whoever the new Bond will be, thinking that Bond might die in this one, since having a one-off actor as Bond would be ludicrous.
So NTTD hasn't really changed much. People will still be 100% sure Bond can't die...until the actor playing him is on his fourth or fifth film and has expressed fatigue with the series. And then it will merely be the death of "X's version of Bond" and we'll wait for the new timeline to reassert itself. And then a few decades down the road we'll be in line for James Bond: No Way Home, where Bond actor #14 gets lost in the multiverse and meets Bond actor #10 and a CGI recreation of Sean Connery, with a 115 year old George Lazenby as comic relief.
There were reports before NTTD came out that Eon was striving to find a new audience because they are aware that the Bond fans who are from the original days of Connery, Lazenby and even Moore are beginning to die off. I'm not sure whether they ever said it themselves, but that certainly seemed to be reinforced when they got Billie Eilish to do the theme song. Many perceived that to be the doorway to a new generation of Bond fans. If that was their aim, I think they shot themselves in the foot with the film that accompanied an Eilish theme song. Yes, the song was a bit broody, but Billie Eilish herself and the extended soap opera that followed don't really match and I can't imagine that many Eilish fans saw NTTD and said "Oh my god, I have to watch the other 24 Bond films now!"
I was with my nephews last weekend, both in their late teens, and they told me that they and pretty much all of their friends couldn't even finish watching NTTD. They all felt it was long and boring and they have no urge to watch any future Bond movies because of that. They love Kingsman and are looking forward to the new MI films, but Bond is a non-starter for them.
At my urging, my nephews have seen CR and enjoyed it thoroughly, but haven't got around to the other Craig films and now with NTTD I doubt I will ever convince them to watch QoS, SF, or SP, unfortunately (although I'm going to try with QoS because the opening is very exciting). So, what does the future hold for Bond? Eon are really going to have to be fresh to attract a new, younger generation and I believe that NTTD has made that even more difficult. Certainly not impossible, but it's going to take a Bond actor that the younger generation already know and can be excited about and a trailer filled with great stunts, scenery and music etc, otherwise, Bond can only focus on 30+ (40+?) and they've definitely lost some of the diehards that they could previously always count on.
a few decades down the road we'll be in line for James Bond: No Way Home, where Bond actor #14 gets lost in the multiverse and meets Bond actor #10 and a CGI recreation of Sean Connery, with a 115 year old George Lazenby as comic relief.
and I bet Lazenby would do it, too! they should make this film just so we see LazenbyBond one more time.
That's interesting about your nephews, @The Domino Effect , and I've wondered for quite a while where a new Bond fan base was going to materialise from. The original films are seen as being nostalgic. They have the word 'classic' said about them and that usually has perceptions of longevity and reinterpretation and we've seen plenty of evidence of that since 1962.
In fact, in the UK we are fast approaching Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, for 70 years on the throne. That is a monumental achievement. And I suddenly realised Fleming wrote Casino Royale in 1952, saw it published the next year and we've been with James Bond ever since. The only other British cultural success story which has lasted so well since 1952 has probably been the modern Manchester United - I dread to say this - who won the old League title in 1952, their first under Matt Busby, and have endured ever since. Like Bond and the Queen, a lot of younger people these days simply wouldn't know this or understand the significance of it.
[Football's a knotty one, I know... Interesting all the same]
I have found young folks like the Connery films, they like Connery, they like the period trappings. They like seeing where all that Austin Powers stuff came from. some of them know Connery from Darryl Hammond's impersonation on SNL and are curious to see where that came from. I lent the whole set to a young lady at my old job and she was thrilled with the first five, refused to watch OHMSS after two minute of Lazenby, lept ahead to watch Diamonds... and Never... but didn't give Moore a chance. She wasn't wrong, its those originals with Connery that any film fan oughta be literate in, everything that follows is just product.
and there's a lot of recent films that capture that feel of the Connery classics better than Craig's five films.
People know Bond even if they've never seen a Bond film, and almost everyone recognises Connery as Bond even if they've never seen a Connery Bond film. I've never seen a Star Wars film beyond the first one (which I believe was actually the fourth one 😎) but I know "Luke, I am your father..", can quote Yoda, and know what a Bobba Fett is. I think that's true for Bond and many Bond elements - the DB5, Goldfinger, the theme song, the gun barrel shot, maybe Oddjob, Q-gadgets etc - are familiar even to those who've never seen a Bond film. The Connery films will live on, but I know plenty of people who jut won't watch anything pre- about 2000. However, like Hitchcock, if you can get them to give it a try, they usually like it.
I'm not sure of this "lets appeal to a younger audience" idea, if that it is the case. If your gonna do that you might as well be a creating a new character and series. I get Bond might have to evolve with the times but there are certain things that made the series so successful in the first place. If you want to change those fundamentals then you might as well do away with the whole thing
Please remember Lazenby quit after one movie and Dalton after two, in spite of not really being tired of Bond. They didn't know ut was their last one while they were filming even though they May have suspected ut. Dalton even suspected LTK would be the last Bond movie ever. You can't be 100% sure a movie isn't the actor's last, even though the probability of Bond dying is obviously higher after many movies. But before NTTD people felt sure Bond couldn't die, now they know he can. That's a huge change.
I hope the next timeline will last for decades or forever. Bond isn't Spiderman. I'm not worried there will be a "JB: No way home". The closest Bond has been to the supernatural was baron Samedi appearing at the enda of LALD. Parallell universes can work for Marvel (isn't it even canon from the comics?), but not for Bond.
The Bond-series went in the wrong direction in the late 2000s. They should have gone after modern spy films and not modern superhero-franchises.
Bond istn‘t Batman. Never was.
I don't think that pleasing the two ages of the audience is necessarily mutually exclusive: looking at something like Top Gun Maverick's success I feel like that probably does a decent job of appealing to everyone. I think, honestly, it just needs to be done really well again. You could probably bring out Casino Royale now and it would still be a massive hit, because it's dramatic, it's exciting, it has cool bits in, it has very sensitive bits in; it's just a great film. NTTD isn't as good, and it misses some of those Bond beats which CR never forgot, even though it was a retooling of the series.
I think the problem is it just needs to be incredibly good rather than a total rethinking of everything, just like Maverick is, but that's really hard to do. They should probably get some really experienced folk in to write and direct it rather than trying to find new blood who haven't made a blockbuster before: it needs total polish.
But no one is expecting a Bond actor to "die" in his first or second film, unless he's made it clear before filming that he's not returning to the role. Lazenby decided to walk away toward the end of the production, despite having a contract. Dalton speculated that LTK could be the last gasp of the series, but nevertheless he was prepared to carry on in the role and would have made a third film if circumstances had allowed it.
No one is going to go to Bond 26 thinking "Bond might die in this one." I certainly won't! Audiences know Bond won't die unless the actor has served in the role long enough, and with enough popularity, to merit a goodbye film. That sort of film won't be wasted on a Bond who hasn't yet cemented his connection with the audience.
Speaking of Top Gun Maverick, just went to see it couple of days ago, and I know people have different preferences, but for me the feeling I had after the movie was something I really wished I would have had after NTTD. I walked out in a good mood, perfectly satisfying ending and whole film and had the feeling I could watch it again anytime soon. I can't say the same about NTTD. I really wish they would get it right in Bond 26 and we could get a film that works fine on its own and there wouldn't be a loose end to make it feel like a first episode of a tv series.
You're almost certainly right Bond won't die in an actor's first movie. But pre-NTTD most people thought Bond couldn't possibly die, regardless of the movie being an actor's first or last movie. Now people know there's a chance Bond can die, and that is a huge change. I think it'd a positive effect of NTTD.
I think that’s a fair comment. I like to think that if they’d have known it would be the first big film after a pandemic it wouldn’t have ended quite that way.
Really speaking, Maverick was the film we needed when NTTD was released, but I don’t blame them for holding it back until now.
Yes. It was a great feeling walking out of Top Gun: Maverick. That is exactly how I wanted to feel leaving NTTD and why I was so p***d, that I didn't.
I don't think knowing Bond could actually die, adds anything to the experience. For me it now just adds dread and trepidation. I don't want to go to watch the third or fourth next Bond films thinking, is this the one where they kill him off again as it's the actor's last.
The series lasted 24 films without killing him off. People love James Bond and his hero status. Part of the appeal is knowing he won't die, the jeopardy is still there. Like the torture scene in CR or the end of LTK. I personally would have enjoyed and reflected on NTTD a lot more and positively had he survived and come out of the cinema thinking, wow! that was a close one this time. Extremely tense ending and for a moment there I genuinely thought he wasn't going to make it! Kudos to the producers and directors for bringing a new level of drama and jeopardy! But, no, we all know how it ended..
I think both views have merit. Just to be clear: I don't go around hoping Bond will die in future movies, I just think a new factor has been added to the series. I hope the movies in the future will will be standalone storie stories focusing more on fun and adventure and much less on everyone's past.
I've been hoping that for several years now. 🙁