Greetings my Movie Geeks!
Bond has been out a few months now, and you can watch my spoiler-free review here. But I wanted to delve a little into No Time to Die, as it holds a lot that we should unpack. So from here on, there will be spoilers. So if you’ve seen No Time to Die it is for your eyes only. But why does No Time to Die set up Bond’s future better than any Bond movie before it? Let’s find out What’s Next for James Bond?
Honestly, I’m going into spoilers so you have been warned.
Daniel Craig’s Bond
Daniel Craig should go down as a fairly influential Bond. His tenure, which is 15 years and five films, have been game-changing in the way they are shot, in tone and style.
Casino Royale gave us his origin and how he became a Double O. So it’s safe to say that No Time to Die gave us his end. By this I mean his five films chart his career as a Double O, outliving MI6 staff and villains alike. There has been a thread of being outdated and old. A carry-over from the Cold War throughout and No Tie to Die culminates in Bond being the last piece of this. So, love it or loathe it, the end to No Time to Die works extremely well as an end to this series of Bond Movies. Arguably they could carry on with what they’ve built since casino Royale, but I don’t reckon they will. It’ll be a full reboot.
Daniel Craig’s era of Bond has been a different sort of Bond series. Looking back at the others, Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan, they all had tenuous links to each other. Some more than others. Moore’s For Your Eyes Only references On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as Bond visits Tracy’s grave. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service references Connery being ‘The other Fellow’ as a funny nod to the actor change or setting up Bond as a codename.
There are more, as in Licence to Kill has the recurring character of Felix Leiter played by David Hedison who also played the character in Live and Let Die. Then there’s a series of actors who have played recurring characters throughout. M played by Bernard Lee from Dr No to Moonraker. Miss Moneypenny played by Lois Maxwell from Dr No until A View to a Kill. So even looking at this, there is a carryover, a link to each film.
Future Casting Can Be Anyone
But with Craig’s Bond, he and his supporting characters don’t change. There isn’t any recasting, it is self-contained, away from the other Bond movies, and this makes me think a future casting of Bond, could be anyone.
There are a lot of names thrown around, and amongst them is Idris Elba. A fantastic actor who has successful roles such as Luther, where he portrays a DCI. Could he play Bond? After Craig’s Bond, yes, he could. If EON are going to continue making standalone series of Bond movies that are self-contained and not one long joint venture, they could and should cast Elba.
But what Craig’s Bond has done is make the character work so anyone can play Bond, no matter what ethnicity they are. It would work, and it would open the doors for a more diverse cast that would represent everyone, and that is a great thing.
Since Dr No, we have been following the endless ticking of time, there has been no let-up. The further on we get, the more the technology and gadgets move on. This was seen in Die Another Day where Bond is given an invisible car, which some say was a terrible choice, but I don’t see it and will defend it, as I defend it in my series In Defence of which you can watch here.
But what if, the next series of Bond films wasn’t a contemporary setting. What if Bond was timeless, or at least set when the books were set. Take the series back to the 60s and give the movie-making technology of today a shot at making a Bond film with the aesthetic of a film made back in the 60s. There’s be a reason he drives the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 because it is brand new. It can have all the gadgets it would have in the 60s but it wouldn’t look dated.
I’m not suggesting remaking those movies, making something completely new, but having the films be set in a specific time period. It would make a completely Timeless Bond film that I think would appeal to a lot of people.
They are Bond, James Bond
Now, you may have noticed that I have only mentioned male actors in the place of Bond, and after Daniel Craig’s recent interview that instead of changing James Bond’s gender, make iconic characters for women to play. Now, looking at No Time to Die, and the character of Paloma, played by Ana De Armas, there are female characters who could be built upon and made to be iconic. She only appears in the film for about 15 minutes and yet, she will go down as a great character.
But if we’re looking at Bond specifically, I agree with what Craig is saying and Bond should be played by a man. But that’s not stopping the filmmakers from playing around with the concept. Skyfall suggested that Bond was bisexual. This could be explored in subsequent films. It isn’t in the realms of impossibility that Bond wouldn’t go both ways, but it needs to be written and followed through. Hell, maybe one day we’ll have a Bond that is attempting re-entry with a Felix Leiter!
Or perhaps we’ll have a Bond who doesn’t align with any gender stereotypes and is played by someone who identifies as They or Them. Only time will tell.
Bond’s Future is behind him
No Time to Die has done something great. It has ended Craig’s bond with a bang. Quite literally! It has rounded out the film series and set up what could be a great future for Bond. As mentioned previously taking the template from Craig’s Bond you could do anything with this franchise now. They don’t need to stick with the old ways, they can go forward and make entertaining films that don’t have to be stuck in the same old stories. They can experiment and experiment they should.
No Time to Die as Casino Royale did, has given Bond a new lease of life. The next Bond could be anyone. It can tell any story over any number of films. By experimenting with Daniel Craig as a split from the usual Bond type, they opened the door to different storytelling and what exactly is Bond. Craig only stayed around for 5 films, but more than half are great, and even the bad ones aren’t terrible.
Hopefully, They won’t rush to recast a Daniel Craig type so they can try to replicate this series of films. They need to reinvent the genre and make it feel fresh. So, let’s all grab our Vesper Martinis shaken, not stirred and drink to the Next Bond.
Thanks for watching. Have you got any suggestions for the next Bond? Have you seen No Time to Die? Do it and the Craig movies lend themselves to justifying stand-alone Bond movies in the future? Let me know down below and don’t forget to subscribe.
Thank you for reading.