Spoilers: This May Seem Only Tangential, but Kim Sherwood Chosen to Write Bond Trilogy . . .

Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent
edited November 2021 in Bond 26

I know this is being discussed in the literature thread, and if it seems inappropriate to post anything here, I understand. But it seems related to the future of Bond films, including 26, for several reasons:

1) The novels reportedly have Bond missing, with the 00s and M and staff doing their best to locate him while soldiering on without him.

2) The novels will be told from a feminist perspective.

3) Sherwood is the first woman tapped to write Bond novels (but certainly not the first woman writer associated with Bond), as well as is the granddaughter of Bond film alum George Baker.

4) Comparisons are already being made between Sherwood's recruitment and the contributions of Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

So, it seems both the Bond film and book franchises have turned a corner, at least so far as revising the lens through which the stories may be told. This may portend for how Bond 26 does similarly -- that is, the "woke" concept as it concerns the presentation of women, for example.

I find it interesting -- if the rumors are true -- that Bond is missing. He's seemingly killed in the Craig arc and now missing in the Sherwood trilogy. To me, this suggests a continuation of deconstructing the Bond character, both as a toxic White male and, oddly enough, as the hero in his own stories. It's a wild possibility, of course, but what if Sherwood's first novel picks up where No Time to Die leaves off, and Bond isn't really dead?

While I suspect the Sherwood books will be treated as their own entity, separate from the films, perhaps there will be some cross-fertilization in terms of the broader ideas. At the very least, I suspect that if women are presented in 21st century ways in both, they will reinforce each other in redefining the Bond canon.

Thoughts?

https://www.yahoo.com/news/james-bond-kim-sherwood-write-151226287.html

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Comments

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,426Chief of Staff

    It's not the first time the literary series has reflected the films. M became female in both at roughly the the same point.

    The "Moneypenny Diaries" series seems to have a lot in common with this planned series- female author, behind the scenes at MI6 approach. Kate Westbrook aka Samantha Weinberg of that series is the first female author of "Bond" books, rather than Sherwood.

    Of course, they're all preceded by Vivienne Michel.... 😘

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    Yeah, the articles I’m reading suggest Weinberg doesn’t exactly count because Moneypenny is the main character, not Bond, but then it’s confusing how these newer books will differ from the same general idea with their focus on the other characters. I’m wondering if this also suggests the Bond franchise in total will soon branch out further, much like the Star Wars and Star Trek ones have.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,426Chief of Staff

    I'd say the Weinberg novels count every bit as much as these newer ones.

    And I for one wouldn't be too interested in "expanding the Bond universe".

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    I can’t really see what it has to do with B26, I’m afraid. They’re already trying to improve their portrayal of women… I don’t think it’s likely to have much influence on the films: unless there’s some radical idea we don’t know about in there, and it’s hard to speculate about that. And equally we could say the same of the incoming Horowitz novel.

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    I think expanding the franchise is, to quote Severigne, inevitable. The Bond films working harder to be more inclusive is not just following contemporary trends but an effort to find new audiences, and with Amazon getting involved, the future will be to create more and more content. Right now, there’s resistance, but so much money can be made under these newer distribution systems.

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    Let’s say these new novels with a feminist and team-oriented perspective generate great sales and pull in a larger share of the female demographic. I can see that having a profound impact on how future Bond films are conceived, similar to the way deconstructing Bond as a toxic White male and creating a more ensemble adventure rather than distinctly solo adventures for Bond followed the trends of superhero movies. I think the days of Bond as we knew him are over. The question now is what form Bond as a franchise will take.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,426Chief of Staff

    I fear you're right but I hope you're wrong.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    I think, even if these books do as well as the main Bond novels (and I would guess that they don’t expect them to bearing in mind the lack of a big name author or 007 himself), the numbers involved would be in the thousands rather than the enormous global audience the movies get. I just don’t think it’s likely these will have any effect on the films whatsoever, let alone a profound one

    And the films are already, as I say, moving towards a more progressive portrayal of women: it’s not a new idea these books have come up with- Eon are well aware of the changes to be made because they started down that path a long time ago (Danny Kleinman hasn’t put a nudey lady in one of his title sequences for 20 years, for example).

    I certainly don’t see Bond becoming more of an ensemble piece than it was before. How do you mean: he goes around in a team of three of four double-Os?

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    I think those of us old enough to have the Connery and Moore films as our first forays into Bond are going to have the hardest time conceiving of the changes likely coming. We still imagine the films as a White male fantasy about privilege and domination, where the pecking order is clear. I don’t think that’s the form the Bond films will take anymore. At best, Bond will be the de facto leader of a more ensemble cast. We’ve seen it with the “Scooby gang” efforts to put M, Q, and Moneypenny into the field more in the Craig films. That will continue and expand. We may even see those characters get younger to accommodate a team. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Bond is routinely paired with, say, a female agent who is not merely an adjunct but an equal and the adventures are more like Mission: Impossible. It won’t just be like Tracy or Way Lin — she’ll be given more equal standing with Bond in the mission and screen time. It’s interesting that critics who’ve praised or panned No Time to Die nonetheless have all agreed Paloma was a success who deserved more than 10 minutes. Imagine Paloma being his partner through the entire film and even having some of the better lines.

    Of course, it all depends on what audiences respond to. We could easily swing back to more traditional Bond stories. But if these books are a tremendous success, they could then influence the scripts for future Bond movies.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    What you describe there with Paloma sounds like a fairly standard Bond woman partnership as seen in a few movies. Honestly, NTTD didn't get any complaints that I saw about having an unfair male balance in it- I think your imagination is running away here. Bond films will still star Bond; yes there will be a supporting cast, but they've always had that.


    These books will only be likely to influence the movies if they're a Harry Potter-style publishing phenomenon. And with the best will in the world to the publishers and the author: they won't be.

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,291MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    Paloma was brilliant. But I think she may have worn thin and her impact be a bit less had she been given more screen time. Nomi wasn’t great and she didn’t look great in action scenes either. Stomping around Safins lair like Godzilla and not at all as confident looking. Her only real move was the high kick to Valdos head, which was clumsy in comparison to Palomas slick and confident moves. . I guess that’s why they don’t show much of Nomi doing that. Actually it’s quite funny that the ditsy scatter brained girl looks badass and very confident and capable in the action scenes, while the confident character really doesn’t.

    They can still do Bond being a misogynist and a bit of a bastard if they wished. Plenty of characters like that in TV and film. But as many have said, they would de construct him and make him a fool too. And probably have an 18 rating as you can’t show things like that to the delicate youth of today.

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  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    They didn't deconstruct him or make him a fool in NTTD though, and it wasn't an 18 either.

    I agree that Nomi didn't really impress massively: she wasn't bad, but also she got pretty much nothing to do and affected the plot in no way at all. Neither did she smugly make Bond look stupid and small all the way through, which is what many were predicting that she'd definitely do. She scored one point in their first meeting (as many Bond girls have over the years) and then he got the upper hand in every single scene after that. Her being 007 didn't seem to be as terrible a deal as we were assured last year either. Turns out it doesn't really matter after all!

    I agree that Paloma was great in her bit, and that we didn't really need any more: leave 'em wanting more. Regarding her fighting I was reading an article and found it interesting that they needed to CG replace her legs at various points to make the hits connect- amazing what they do now.


    I think the problem with the argument that we can't possibly have a Bond film in today's current climate where Bond is the main star and isn't undermined by lots of powerful women is that we've literally just had a Bond film come out a few weeks ago and that didn't happen. And there was no massive backlash to that not happening either- it was mostly really liked. Yes, the women in it just have to continue to be given proper characters and not treated like total rubbish, but that's hardly a problem.

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 410MI6 Agent

    Unless the new novels--which sound interesting--reach Harry Potter levels of popularity, they won't have much influence. As emtiem notes, they are most likely to sell several thousand, not million, copies. Even Bond novels written by star novelists like Sebastian Faulks and William Boyd came and went. The new books will probably sell no better or worse than the Moneypenny Diaries. 

    I think the purpose of these novels is less to deconstruct Bond than to expand the range of Bond-related products. Modern marketing views the creation of a vast Marvel-style universe as the ideal of ideals. The easiest way to do this is by creating new Double-Os. Their adventures will be able to utilize Bondian tropes but the characters will be treated in a 21st century ways. The characters will be more malleable than Bond but share in his fantasy universe. Not a bad idea from a marketing perspective.

    I also thought the women in NTTD were able to look strong without showing up Bond. As for future films, I think casting a younger Bond will result in more lovemaking. Craig's age had become an issue--in Spectre he was given a woman closer to his own age but the filmmakers didn't know what to do with her. In NTTD he intercats with three ladies much younger than himself and only one serves as a (prior) love interest. If the next Bond is in his 30s I predict more shagging. 

    I would also like to see some nude ladies in a future Kleinman title sequence. He can be egalitarian by including some nude dudes, as Binder sometimes did. 

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,426Chief of Staff

    I think you mean Binder, not Maibaum, Revelator.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    Yeah I think there are potentially more interesting spinoffs you could do from the book version of Bond, but they also have the problem of branding and association. A prequel starring, say, Red Grant might be of more interest to Fleming fans but no-one else is going to be interested: if you use the Double O section, M & Moneypenny then you have a close enough association with Bond himself for people to recognise and be hooked by (and let's face it, most people have heard of the films primarily so you need to ride on those coat tails).


    I agree that a younger Bond will help, and as you say they need to make sure the woman is around the same age too. There's no real reason not to do that.

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    No, I don't think it's the same, and that's something the old timers are probably not going to notice or want to admit. I've seen at least a dozen reviews where, for instance, even if the critic is negative about the movie as a whole, they point out they wanted to see much more of the Paloma character. It's a matter of degree when people are clamoring for more from a secondary character than the principle one, especially since contemporary critics seem to feel Craig is among the best, if not the best, actor to play the role. Of course the Bond films will always make Bond the star, but the point I'm making is I don't think he's going to be quite as unilaterally important anymore anymore. What old timer fans are missing is things are changing so the White male savior is losing ground as the point of the story.

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    Of course they can, and they may well. But I don't think so. The Craig films showed you can take a toxic White male and make him a loser in the end. So long as he has enough elements in common with the other guys, most of the old school fans won't realize he's being deconstructed while the newer fans will cheer when he's hung by his own petard and even killed.

  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 410MI6 Agent

    Yes, I must have still had memories of my Maibaum post from Thursday! Unfortunately when I tried editing my comment it disappeared. If you're able to restore it I will be in your debt once again.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,426Chief of Staff

    I'm the very definition of an old school or old timer fan, and I haven't missed that things are changing and that he's being deconstructed. Of course, I've also made no secret that I don't think Craig has enough in common with the other guys.

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    The distance between something serious and a satire of it is not that great, and taken as a whole, the 5-film arc does deconstruct Bond, to the degree it's almost a satire of the Bond character and films.

    The kicker is that Bond is killed by bombs launched by his own navy at his behest to stop horrifying weapons of mass destruction derived from a covert program sanctioned by his government and boss, who by the way, orders the British navy into other territorial waters. White males are the root of every problem in the story -- Bond, M, Ash, Blofeld -- even Saffin is essentially created as a villain by Mr. White (get it?). If Craig intended for Bond to die all the way back in 2005, it's not a stretch to see they invested a lot in this series to deconstruct the toxic White male as hero. That would be enhanced further by the presence of non-White and /or non-male characters who are given more importance.

    Of course, in order to satirize and deconstruct such, they have to present him in some recognizable form, the "joke" being audiences invested in his traits as positive may not realize he is essentially being lampooned.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,426Chief of Staff

    Sorted, and if I've done it correctly you won't have this problem again- I hope! 😄

  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,961MI6 Agent

    Sure. You and I are probably about the same age-wise, and we both see it, perhaps to varying degrees. Others on this board do, too. But I don't think we're the rule. I think a lot of people see the Craig films as the same old Bond but just with some modern flourishes as opposed to a film-by-film deconstruction of that guy for a more modern audience.

    It's interesting because even the titles after Casino Royale are arguably a bit more dour and pessimistic than those in the classic era. Quantum of Solace, of course, is a Fleming title, but it's probably the most tragic-sounding of the Fleming titles -- literally a fraction of a moment of peace. Skyfall on first glance sounds like a riff on Thunderball, but it's a plunge from Heaven (and the definition of classical tragedy is a great fall). Spectre, of course, references Bond's old school nemesis, but it also sounds like spirit and haunting (and arguably Blofeld is malevolent spirit who's haunted Bond's life). Finally, No Time to Die, which could be a cruel joke on Bond, who, indeed, dies at the worst time possible for his character.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,426Chief of Staff

    Yes, I agree with that.

    And yes, you and I and others here are not the rule as evinced by our posts here for a long, long time. However, we are in no way representative of the audience Eon must attract. Those of us who happily watched Sean Connery on the big screen back in the 60s are a dying breed which they can afford to not take into their calculations.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    But that didn't happen: he saved the day...? No ground was 'lost'.

    And when you say it's not the same: you mean the version you are imagining with Paloma as co-star isn't the same as the old movies. But you're imagining that version, it doesn't really prove anything.

    We're all 'old timers' here.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    White males are the problem in every Bond movie. Save for LALD and (partially) TWINE.

    I really think you're trying to turn this into something it isn't.


    The titles are more dour than in previous years? 'Live and Let Die' not dour enough for you? :D 'The World is Not Enough' etc. - after the purely noun-based descriptive ones it's only the non-Flemings which had positive titles like 'Tomorrow Never Dies'- 'No Time To Die' is hardly all that negative.

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,291MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    White males are also the only solution in all those. And he comes through every time. Yay!!!!

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  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    Indeed, as in every Bond movie, including the one currently in cinemas. So... what are we complaining about again? 😁


    (Actually, let's not include Thunderball, because a lady -spit- saves James Bond and kills the main baddie. Talk about woke! And she's forrin!! )

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    And don't forget that in the climax of Goldfinger Bond is totally helpless and has to rely 100% on a woman (even worse: a lesbian!!) and hope that she saves thousands of people for him. Sure, he's kissed her to bring her onto his way of thinking, but he's still rendered impotent and the mission and many, many lives are in her hands regardless. And even right at the end he's floundering around until a much cleverer American comes along and turns off the bomb for him. Imagine what some of the 'old timers' would say if that happened in the next Bond film.

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,291MI6 Agent

    Goldfinger was a bit crap though. Bond does nothing. Pure luck he wins. It’s only the iconic imagery, song, DB5, pre titles and style that is good about that film.

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  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    I would say that if you don't like the idea of Bond winning out of pure luck you'd best not read any of the books by that Eoin Felming guy 😉

    Personally I'd say Goldfinger had exceptional set design, acting, title design and an incredible score too, but your mileage may vary.


    I think if we're writing off the endings of Thunderball and Goldfinger -two of the most classic Bond movies from the pure pomp of the series- as being 'a bit crap', then again: what are we actually complaining about here? Where is this idealised view of Bond that is being eroded by the modern world (except obviously not actually in the films being released in 2021) coming from?

    Then in the next film after Goldfinger and Thunderball no-one even brings justice against the bad guy at all- not even the girl this time: he just clean gets away. Bond fails again.

    Okay, the baddie lost his cat.

    And in the one after that, he gets away again, and this time kills Bond's wife. So in the six 007 films of the 1960s, Bond gets the baddie in two of them. And that's being generous: really he only gets the henchman in the second one (and kills an old lady too: great work Bond!). If any of this stuff happened at the end of a new one would we call it a lampooned, emasculated version of Bond? Maybe all of the Connery films are a bit crap?


    For Your Eyes Only was on the telly earlier: Bond didn't kill the bad guy in that one either- some terrible swarthy chap had to save his life and do it for him.

This discussion has been closed.