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James Bond Will Return…Or Not…

August 10, 2010

Is it just me or does it seem like any time the Bond franchise challenges audiences or makes difficult, but delicious films, MGM and The Broccolis get into the scraps? When word leaked of Daniel Craig being shopped around as the lead in the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo surfaced, I immediately wondered what would become of the newly reinvigorated Bond franchise. Despite all the chow chow and financial blathering from MGM and their bean counters, all of this Bond franchise derailment discussion feels painfully familiar.

The backstage drama of the Bond franchise is filled with enough intrigue, double dealing and reversals of fortune to rival the franchise itself. From the production rights dramedy of Thunderball, which by the way, still has not been resolved, to the slapdashery in the handling of Bonds 3 and 4 – Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton.

There are conflicting stories regarding the casting details of Brosnan and Dalton. In Dalton’s case, both sides have differing recollections regarding his casting, but all seem to agree that Dalton was considered for the role as early as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. There was some back and forth for nearly TWO DECADES, with several other candidates – including Brosnan front runners for the role. When Brosnan was unable to be released from his Remington Steele contract the role was finally placed in the capable hands of Dalton, who has rapidly become my favorite Bond. Unfortunately, despite his stellar performances – the films themselves, The Living Daylights and License to Kill are ambitious but ultimately struggled to get audiences to fully embrace the new shift in the Bond paradigm – the franchise went off the rails again. There was more tomfoolery between EON/Broccoli and MGM and sadly, despite being signed for three films, Dalton “aged” out of the role.

This brought us Brosnan, which WAS FANTASTIC (not to take anything away from Dalton, who was an extremely studied and thoughtful Bond, a product of Dalton’s Shakespearean acting roots.) and his films were indeed solid and placed the Bond films back in the pop culture consciousness. Despite all the legal battles and bitterness, it was well worth wait. Bronsan’s first wife, Cassandra Harris, never lived to see him own the screen in the role she believed he was born to play. As an aside, Brosnan’s current wife, Keely Shayne Smith has taken a lot of heat for having the cheek to appear in public in a Bond girl bikini, while fat! This has nothing to do with the Bond issue, just me hating the haters.

This brings us to Daniel! Daniel saw the writing on the wall and got himself another gig. While being Bond age-appropriate now, three or four years from now, he’ll be aged out. It’s a shame though. He was doing some wonderful things with the role and I would like to have seen him fulfill his contract. Hell, at the rate this legal and financial dramedy is going, even the beloved Clive Owen is going to be far too geezerly to play Bond and Xena help us all, if Robert Pattinson decides he likes his martinis shaken not stirred.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 9:06 pm

    I was not a fan of Quantum of Solace, but I darn sure am a fan of Daniel Craig as Mr. Bond.

    Robert Pattinson as Bond? Ew. James Bond don’t sparkle.

  2. August 10, 2010 9:11 pm

    my entertainment weekly came in the mail yesterday and the “what will happen to Bond?” story is the cover, but my first thought was, I can’t wait to read what Snarky’s take on it is. then BAM, here it is. thanks for some damn good service.

  3. August 10, 2010 10:09 pm

    The history of 007 is certainly notable. Most people consider Sean Connery’s “Dr. No” the official start of the franchise, and I don’t want to mess with the earlier films that bore the Bond moniker, but I was always flabbergasted over the fact that they made a spoof film of Bond and used a Ian Fleming title right in the midst of everything (“Casino Royale”). I mean, how did they get away with that?

    I’m extremely glad Pierce Brosnan did NOT get out of his “Remington Steele” contract to play Bond because if he did, he would have resembled the lackluster Roger Moore’s portrayal, and that would have been unfortunate. Having had to wait gave him a far more seasoned and mature quality, and that was worth the extra time.

    I always thought that Timothy Dalton was a really capable and believable 007, and I feel he might be the most underrated of all of the men who played the part. I wish people took a closer look at all of the things he did and give him some more credit.

    But Daniel Craig was pretty spectacular. I have to give credit to my Birthday guy, Sean Connery, who is and will likely always be the BEST Bond, but Craig’s style, his attitude, his abilities make him a very surprising and very close second.

    I don’t know about whether Craig has to give up the part… after all Connery stopped playing Bond, then came back and did “Never Say Never Again,” which I guess some don’t officially count in the 007 Canon, but I don’t see why Craig can’t do something similar.

  4. August 10, 2010 10:25 pm

    WordPress does not like Brosnan! It keeps suggesting and “correcting” the spelling with other crap.

    Anyhoo, hopefully it stays fixed this time.

    @Dean – I agree with everything, except Connery 🙂 I love Connery, but you know, I was a Moore Moore Moore girl for a long time. At least I can hold my head up high while declaring Dalton my fave.

    What, no love for Uncle George? I actually have grown to appreciate OHMSS so much. It’s really underrated.

    Timothy Dalton is one of the most underrated actors and definitely the most underrated Bond. He has an intensity that easily shifts from unrestrained to measured with little detection. I think that’s why I find his Bond so fascinating to watch. It’s a shame the films didn’t allow the story to rest more squarely on his shoulders (and Robert Davi’s who was well utilized as a Bond villain, but by no means memorable)rather than overburden the film with too much action, plot and banality.

    I get the feeling that perhaps Craig might not be interested in reprising the role once the dust settles and the waring camps sign a treaty. Of course, he won’t be the the first Bond to walk away from all the squabbling.

    Never Say Never Again, talk about your truth in advertising. From what I remember it was terrible.

  5. August 10, 2010 10:47 pm

    I too have love for Roger Moore, you’re not alone! Octopussy was a childhood favorite, which led me to better films as I got older.

  6. August 11, 2010 12:27 am

    @Snarky’s Machine @raymondj Roger Moore was a dandy! he was all about mugging for the camera and being schoolboyish with the gadgets… very much like Remington Steele without the film references! Ok, he was passable in “Live and Let Die,” but the rest he just got worse and worse with the winks to the camera and all. I’m holding firm to Less Moore!

  7. August 11, 2010 1:14 am

    I will miss Daniel Craig’s intensity, and amazing Tom Ford wardrobe and equally amazing wet-from-the-ocean-and-nearly-naked-self. Casino Royale was a fantastic movie and they’re really losing out by not doing more with him.

  8. August 11, 2010 9:40 am

    @NYCPenpusher, regarding the 1967 Casino Royale, apparently Fleming sold the rights in 1955 (see the Wikipedia entry), several years before EON was started. The story of that film is one hot holy mess. It’s up there with Sgt. Pepper as one of my favorite unintentionally awful films.

  9. IrishUp permalink
    August 11, 2010 1:27 pm

    OMG YES! ’67 “Casino” is right up there with “Our Man Flint” for movies what induce the RCA dog pose. Redlami, thanks so much for that link b/c this quote:
    “[Val] Guest barked, “This is coordinated? If you do that, I’ll sue you!” explains almost everything.

    @Snarky, I also remember NSNA as gawdoffal.

    Growing up a Moore Bond girl, I had trouble with transitioning from a wink-wink-nudge-nudge Bond to serious actor Bond. I thought that the w-w-n-n was how Bond was s’posedta be, so I think I completely under-rated Timothy Dalton. I will have to give these another go.

  10. La Mommie permalink
    August 11, 2010 3:19 pm

    Call me crazy (and many people have)but I love all the Bonds. Not, of course, the ’67 Casino Royal, which I thought was a cheap down market production of the Pink Panther series, that somehow excluded Peter Sellers. A good time for me is a Bond marathon on a rainy October weekend.
    La Mommie

  11. August 12, 2010 10:39 am

    I enjoy Moore, but I have to be in the right mood. And by being in the right mood I mean, I have to have a couple of glasses of wine in me, otherwise, it’s Connery, Dalton, or Craig all the way!

  12. September 13, 2010 11:10 pm

    Does anyone have to be in a mood to enjoy the unintentional comedic stylings offered by both Hugo Drax and Bond in Moonraker?


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