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May 29, 2016

The State of the James Bond Franchise

by Reggie's Take

The James Bond franchise has become one of the hallmarks of movie franchises in Hollywood and after twenty-four movies and fifty-four years what exactly will Bond look like for it’s twenty-fifth movie?

Before Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel’s MCU or even Warner Brother’s DCEU, James Bond can honestly claim to be the first, the original movie franchise in Hollywood. The character of James Bond has been portrayed by a total of six actors beginning with Sean Connery who by many will forever be the one and only “Bond”.

Since Connery left the role of “Bond” such actors as Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan have all given us their version of James Bond. Daniel Craig the current actor portraying everyone’s favorite British spy the last four movies have let it be known he’s done with the character.

Daniel Craig

Craig is technically under contract to return for a fifth go around and the internet has been a buzz about who they would like to see in the role of “Bond” if in fact Craig does not return.

Names like Idris Elba, Damian Lewis, Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill, and Michael Fassbender have all been brought up as possible candidates to take over for Craig, but now it seems as if one actor has jumped to the head of that line as a very real and serious contender.

It has been reported and confirmed that Hiddleston is in serious talks to become the seventh actor to portray “Bond” for the 25th movie though there has been no official word from the producers behind Bond.

Sam Mendes, the British director behind the last two Bond movies of “Skyfall” and “Spectre” has now said he’s finished with the James Bond franchise.

“It was an incredible adventure, I loved every second of it, but I think it’s time for somebody else. I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.” Mendes revealed his plans to step down from the series to an audience at the Hay Festival of literature in Wales.

Mendes directorial effort with “Skyfall” was considered a huge hit with both fans and critics bringing depth to the characters. “Spectre”, Mendes second time behind a Bond film was financially successful, but some have criticized it for feeling tired and Craig not giving his best.

Mendes also remarked on all the rumors about who might take over the role of Bond and the lobbying by the fans was pointless because the decision lies solely with series’ producer, Barbara Broccoli. “It’s not a democracy … Barbara Broccoli decides who is going to be the next Bond, end of story,”

Reggie’s Take
If Craig is serious about not returning to the role of “Bond” then that’s fine. Granted I would love to see him return, but I would rather see him walk away then return and not give any effort and have it show up in the big screen.

What I would ask of Mr. Craig is that he makes his intention known sooner rather then later. If he’s not returning then come out and make it official so all the questions of is he or isn’t he will stop and we can move on.

If Craig does not return to the role of James Bond and a new actor is brought in then I have the full confidence in the producers and movie studio to hire the actor who will best embodied “James Bond”.

What I don’t want to see in a new actor from the studio is rebooting the franchise. After the events of “Skyfall” and “Spectre” the franchise is in a great place and at interesting point with the new “M”, Money Penny and “Q” that I love what they have done how they have gotten to this point with Craig’s Bond.

In my opinion all the studio needs to do is plug in the new actor and continue on with their next story just as they had if Craig was returning. At the end of “Spectre” we saw Bond drive off into the sunset as it were in the Aston Martin.

Jump a head 6 months to a year and have the story start out where something happens that makes “M” decide they need to find and bring “Bond” back into the fold, thus the reveal of the new actor in the role.

I realize my opinion means little and the people behind the “Bond” franchise will do what ever is there going to do, but I see no need to reboot the franchise from scratch again like they did when Craig was hired.

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