I’ve written about James Bond before (this is my favorite), but I’m just a hack. With the latest James Bond film in limbo, there’s an uneasiness in the Bond-o-sphere (that’s what I’m calling it), with many fans left in limbo. I tapped the smaratest Bond fan I know to rant a little. Here it is:
It’s been wearing on me for months. Some mornings I wake up thinking it’s all a dream. And, the worst part is that I really can’t talk about it with anyone. Yes, I am talking about the recent cancellation of the expected (by all us fans), upcoming Bond 23 film.
You see, the only time I really get to talk with others about Bond is when we all secretly gather, the opening night of the latest film, sitting separately, nameless in the dark of the theatre about one hour before the film begins and someone finally says, “So, who’s your favorite Bond.” Just try to stop the chatter after that!
As any good Bond fan knows, only one other time in the history of the franchise has there been a delay this long – and that did not end well for Pierce. The last time there were disputes regarding the leading man’s contract. While there was buzz around the delay – there was also some level of understanding with the general public that actors, making movies, and continuing the story can be a precarious negotiation, but the studio will make it work.
Ultimately, most of us rested assured that time would pass a little slower, but eventually the tale would be told and the saga would continue.
This time it’s different. I have been wondering what is different this time – I mean besides the fact that the film should have been in the can LAST summer and released the second week of November 2009 per the expected tradition. We have been drug along with the carrot that Daniel was shooting and learning some of the cast names, tidbits about the script, etc. for months.
So many questions remain unanswered. I am not an expert, but I just know that for the duration of my lifetime (and really much before I was born) there has always been me, James, and the story.
Which begins my first thought – it’s really all about money. So, MGM is having money a problem, the sale is going slow, slower, slowest, and it’s simply not possible to make a film with no money.
I am trying to remember that making movies is also about making lots of money. But, does it really cost too much to make a Bond the way audiences expect to see it today? Does more really mean better? Maybe they could drive one less car off the top of a cliff or something.
Next, I get angry because I don’t understand why the heck we have told we need a Bond movie in 3D. The increased cost for filmmaking (according to this amateur) seems to be held in the chase shots and technology. My rant moves to include things like – dang it, we watched great story lines for decades without all the expensive technology, explosives, fancy shots or 3D. (Just go back and look at the cardboard space vessels in Moonraker, you will see what I mean.)
In fact, Ian’s books were relatively thin. Why? Oh yeah, because we had to use our IMAGINATION to fill in the blanks for the great spy stories. When did we move from a well-shot, slow-building film to a fast-paced, crash, bang, give-me-more movie? And why do we expect something more like 3D, but not more blood and guts (they still don’t show the graphic violence in the kill shots, etc.) and not much more graphic sex (it’s typically tastefully shot sex scenes with the Bond girls leaving something to the imagination)?
Now, what about the media’s role in the franchise? Is Bond 23 really cancelled or delayed, or building the expectation so that they make more money?
I read that, “We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of Bond 23, (http://www.seattlepi.com/movies/418745_tvgmovies20.html). Which is weird, because it leads me to think we may NEVER get to see this story.
That is sad on several levels: 1) Daniel is the best Bond since Sean, 2) this was going to be the first trilogy, 3) they have already started shooting, and 4) they were going to use a 3D version for the first time.
I dunno. I just watched Casino Royale (the all time best Bond film) on t.v. this morning. I let the joy of the movie wash over me once again. Then I remembered… I’ll just have to re-watch my DVDs until by some gift from the British filmmaking gods we are blessed once more to enter the darkness with buttery hands and over-sized drinks and hear those glorious words said anew, “Bond, James Bond.”
Dr. Amy Chesser teaches doctors by day and keeps tabs on the James Bond world by night. She knows more about James Bond than most people know about their mothers.