We know when the next Bond film is coming out, even if it’s more than two years in the future. We know who’s almost certain to reprise the mantle of 007 once more. We even know who’s being tipped as the frontrunner for the director, namely Frenchman Yann Demange, keeping the Gallic connection of Daniel Craig’s Bond films going. As to the rest… well…
The short story is, there’s nothing definite to tell. So I’m afraid what follows is going to have to pass for well-educated speculation; trying to figure out where the story will go next.
The most likely scenario is that Blofeld gets loose from Belmarsh or wherever they’ve sent him, and goes after Bond to… You get the idea, and God that would be boring and oh so predictable. Because the best thing about the Bond franchise with Craig in the leading role has been the fresh interpretation he’s brought to the part. Casino Royale pretty much
Casino Royale pretty much broke and then reset mould because it showed a Bond who, in addition to hurting others, could be hurt himself. Quantum of Solace continued that fine start by showing the character’s darker side. Instead of the suave and sophisticated secret agent typically presented, we saw a man drinking alone, on a plane, in the middle of the night. Hardly an enticing image, but a more believable one.
Skyfall followed in the same mould, even if Spectre didn’t, which is why the last film under Craig’s tenure, as he’s contracted to five films, needs to rediscover that innovative spirit of his earlier outings as Bond. Along with the courage to show the character’s darker, or weaker, aspects.
For Craig’s Bond has always been the one that most clearly resembles Ian Fleming’s original creation. The Bond of the books isn’t always the most likable or sympathetic of characters. Just as the start of Goldfinger has Bond waking up with an imperial sized hangover, so that was reflected in the airplane scene from Quantum of Solace, as he drinks martini after martini. The only problem, of course, is how exactly are the writers going to do this? Bond has already lost plenty of women in his life. He’s already been taken to the brink in terms of his own sanity.
So whatever they try is going to be hard pressed to stay fresh. Yet anything is going to be better than a straight up tale of one man seeking revenge against another. Given that four years or so will have passed since Spectre, such a story would feel stale. What’s more, the Quantum arc of the first two films was dumped with Skyfall, and then brought back, sort of, for Spectre. The end result though is something too fragmented to be worth trying to patch back together.
Still, that seems the most likely story, given the events of the last film, but here’s a thought. If the producers must do that, then give Daniel Craig an ending that recognises the originality and fresh faced thinking he’s brought to Bond. Give him his rematch with Blofeld if you must, but let it be his last act as a 00 and have him retire, or be lying in a coma or something. It’s a fitting way for Craig to hand over the torch.
By Gareth Wood