How’re you? I’m good, thanks for asking!
Hey, you know how you often sit around with three to ten of your friends thinking, “What would Adam do with the James Bond franchise?” Well get ready to collect on whichever bet you set, ‘cause I’m about to net your… uh… pet a, uh… jet…?*
*takes twenty minute coffee break, returns over caffeinated.
Okay, okay, okay you guys, here’s my idea for the James Bond franchise, no lies, he spies, sometimes in a vague disguise, often flies, he’s known to eat pies (gross), won’t compromise, wears ties, has two eyes, rarely cries, never dies (except for when he does), deals clockwise, uses innuendo when he implies, enjoys watching the sun rise, likes to exercise, when singing he’ll usually harmonize, knows how to compartmentalize, doesn’t need to write things down, and always tries (his best).
Hey, why aren’t promise and compromise not pronounced the same way?**
**crashes and takes twenty minute nap, returns evenly caffeinated.
I think, and I’m not the only one, that where the Bond franchise has perhaps steered wrong over the past few movies has been in their attempt to universe build. It’s fine for Marvel, who have a thousand-ty characters to choose from, and it’s okay for Star Wars, even though it isn’t really, but in this writer’s opinion it doesn’t work for James Bond (or Star Wars...).
Again, I’m not the first nor the last to say this. I’m just the one who’s saying it right now.
I think the problem with building a Bond universe is that it begins to make Jimmy B too serious, and forces him to take himself too seriously. Don’t get me wrong, a Casino Royale gritty reboot Bond is the tits, but then they took it too far. Linking Casino Royale to Quantum of Solace was fine (writer's strike, etc...), but then it all began to get too intertwined, and reverse engineered, and farfetched but trying to be realistic at the same time.
Remember the old Bonds? They had the same characters, played by different actors. Sometimes they’d reference his dear old deceased wife, sometimes they wouldn’t. Does Felix Leiter have legs? Does James Bond have chest hair? How’d they move all of M’s office to a half sunken boat or to the belly of a cargo plane? None of these questions needed answering, and they usually didn’t offer any answers, and we were all totally cool with it.
Sure, often times the movies required a Laffy Taffy stretch of the imagination (I’m looking at you, Moonraker and Die Another Day), but that’s what made them fun (I'm no longer looking at you Die Another Day). I don’t think anyone really wants a realistic James Bond movie. If we did we’d just watch the Mission:Impossible series.
(I’m half-kidding about that.)
Damian, who writes and produces a bunch of stuff we make, says that they’re B-level movies with A movie budgets. Or at least, they used to be.
So, keeping that in mind, here is my proposal!
A Bond movie every year to two years!
Think about it. How cool would it be to get a new Bond every eighteen months, instead of every five years? And instead of swinging for the fences and making something that’s the BIGGEST AND CRAZIEST MOVIE EVER THAT DEMANDS YOU SEE IT IN THEATRES, EVEN IF THE STORY IS QUESTIONABLE, AND WE’RE GOING TO RELEASE IT EARLY BECAUSE THE FANS DEMAND IT, NOT JUST BECAUSE IT INFLATES THE OPENING WEEKEND BOX OFFICE, AND THERE DEFINITELY WEREN'T TOO MANY PRODUCERS OFFERING OPINIONS ON THIS, ALSO HIS NEW WATCH IS THE GREATEST WATCH AND YOU NEED ONE…
…why not make movies that are FUN?
Spectre cost something like 245 MILLION DOLLARS to make. That’s one sixteenth of what Disney paid for Star Wars. That’s a lot of scratch, yo.
John Wick cost something like 30 million.
Instead of buying a quarter of half of Star Wars, we could’ve had seven more Bond movies by now!
So let’s make ‘em at John Wick prices!
It could be so much fun! We throw out all thoughts of continuity. Screw ‘em. We didn’t need them before, we don’t need them now. Fun is being free, and being free is going to be more fun.
Let’s say there’s a new movie every year. That’s too many movies, but this is just the example. Every year we get a new Bond movie, but we also get a new Bond, a new director, a new era…
THINK ABOUT IT!
(Also, I’m trying to be as inclusive as possible but obviously not everyone will be happy with this list. Come up with your own, better list and we’ll pitch this idea together!)
2020: Tom Hiddleston is James Bond! Directed by Steven Spielberg! Set in 1974!
2021: Idris Elba is James Bond! Directed by Edgar Wright! Set in 1992!
2022: Benedict Cumberbatch is James Bond! Directed by Patty Jenkins! Set in 2016!
2023: Emily Blunt is James Bond! Directed by Quentin Tarantino! Set in 1964!
2024: Idris Elba returns! So does Edgar Wright! Set in 1993!
2025: Charles Melton is James Bond! Directed by the Coen Brothers! Set in 1944!
2026: Tommy H comes back with Stevie S! Now it’s 1982!
2027: Auli’i Cravalho is James Bond! Directed by a Canadian moron with a blog! It’s a comedy where James Bond has to deal with something mundane and relatable! Set in 2020!
Look at the variety of movies you’d get to watch, all with the same characters! Moneypenny! M! Q! Felix! Blofeld! Gadges! Cars! Oh man, think of all the cool cars!
An entire James Bond universe. You know what you’re getting, but you don’t have to watch the same movie with bigger explosions and crazy plot stretches trying to tie everything together.
I don’t know about you, but this feels so right that it couldn’t possibly be wrong.
Now, a lot of this assumes that we survive whatever madness is provided by whichever crazies are holding political office, but if we DO survive, think about how glorious this could be!
Anyhoozies, tell your friends about this and when I meet up with Barbara Broccoli next month for our twice yearly, biannual, summer/winter get together I’ll include any ideas y’all have!***
***Unless they suck. Or if they’re better than my ideas, in which case I’ll claim them as my own and you can't stop me.