James Bond will return…right?
Yes! If you would have asked me that question a couple of days ago, I might have looked at you sadly and replied, “dunno…can MGM pull their heads out of their butts enough to fund his mission?”, but luckily today I can answer yes, Bond 23 will definitely happen. I read yesterday that Spyglass Entertainment won the bid to put out the next Bond film, and that filming should start/resume soon. This came with news that Peter Jackson’s “the Hobbit” would also see the big screen in two installments after it too was left in limbo with MGM’s poor financial situation. I, for one, am extremely excited to see Daniel Craig reprise his role and grace the big screen again…I had started to think that we would only see him in video games this year as the original story “Bloodstone” and the Goldeneye remake, both starring Craig, will be released this year.
Now I have to be honest…pre-Casino Royale I hated Daniel Craig. Not that I knew him personally, mind you, I just hated the idea of him being James Bond. I mean, I was born as Timothy Dalton was finishing his time as Bond, which was then followed by a lengthy absence of Bond films until something wonderful happened: Pierce Brosnan took the role and blew us away with Goldeneye. That along with the N64 game that followed solidified him as the only James Bond. Now granted, only two of the four films he starred in were really worth anything, and the video games donning his face after were really hit and miss, but still…he was James Bond, and this blond fellow with no eye brows or interest in guns, boats, cards or guns wasn’t going to be able to compete.
Now don’t get me wrong, if Bond films were going to continue in the direction that Die Another Day took the franchise, I would have just as soon saw no Bond films released in the theater. I was so disgusted with their choice in actors, I went as far as signing a petition online that was sent to Sony requesting Craig be removed from the project. Obviously our voiced weren’t heard – thank God. Craig’s Bond and the script and direction of Casino were exactly what the franchise needed. This film had everything and completely changed my perceptions of the actor. I immediately embraced him and the reboot of the franchise…almost as if the decades of films before didn’t exist.
Now we are in a similar situation. Craig’s sophomore effort as Bond was a huge disaster. Not that it was Craig’s fault, his Bond was just as brilliant as ever…well as brilliant as it could be with such a lackluster script and poor direction. The decision to have Marc Forster direct Quantum of Solace confuses me to this day…we threw away the stylish classic feel that made Casino so great, and traded it in for an attempt to make the film look like one of those fast-paced, throw-away summer action flicks. No thanks. It’s not that there is nothing to like about the film, it’s just that there’s not enough to like the film as a whole. The whole thing only runs about an hour and a half, which is only about half of the average Bond film, and does very little to make you feel like you are watching the world’s best international spy. The villains are dry, two-dimensional characters that are more laughable than menacing, and the Bond girl, while feisty and sexy at times, just can’t compare to the class, elegance and charm that Vesper brought to the series in Casino.
If it weren’t for the green light on Bond 23, it would have been up to the up and coming video games, Blood Stone and Goldeneye, to keep the franchise alive for the remainder of the year and try to pull it out of the slump created by QoS. No easy task. Now, before finding out the film is back on, I read plenty about Blood Stone from IGN and it seemed like it just might be enough to hold on to until the film industry can do the franchise justice, and I’m definitely excited about the game. As far as Goldeneye, it’s hard not to be excited about a remake of the most classic first person shooter and history, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder if this will be a trip down memory lane or if it will tarnish those memories…y’know, similar to what happens when you watch the last Indiana Jones flick. I hope that it is not the latter because I can still sit and think fondly of booby trapping rooms with proximity mines and laughing maniacally when your buddy gets blown to bits, or matches with the Golden Gun where you can really show your friends just how awesome you are. As a matter of fact, the game is still a staple at family get togethers at my grandmother’s house as she still has a copy in her basement.
Anyhow, it looks like Bond fans have a lot to look forward to in the remainder of 2010 and 2011. We will see if the new film can pull the franchise out of the hole that they dug with Quantum of Solace. We will also see how Daniel Craig fairs in an original story penned just for a video game in Blood Stone. And, perhaps the most important, see if our fond memories of Goldeneye 64 will be relived or tarnished with the upcoming Wii remake. Time will tell…