Spectre has been out in the UK for a couple of weeks and the hype train has finally left the station. To the British press it was hailed as a brilliant return to form, while others saw it as a faltering step backward into Brosnan and Moore territory. To anyone with even a basic knowledge of the franchise the “twist” was eye-rollingly obvious and the connection to Daniel Craig’s previous entries seemed clumsily forced. Without nosediving into spoiler territory I compiled a list of things I’d like to see in the eventual 25th entry in the Bond franchise.
First off… Daniel Craig currently has the option on starring in Bond 25. After receiving a producer credit on Spectre (a carrot which hasn’t been dangled in front of any previous Bond) it would appear likely that he’d want to carry on for at least one more feature. In all likelihood this would mean we’d be seeing the Mendes era Scooby Gang again of Moneypenny, Q, M and Bill Tanner, which is no bad thing.
The final reel of Spectre pretty much ensures we’ll be seeing both Léa Sedoux and Christoph Waltz again, and after a passing mention it be great to see Jeffrey Wright’s Felix Leiter thrown back into the mix.
After his swift exit at the conclusion of the train fight in Spectre I’d very much like to see Bautista’s Mr. Hinx return. His creepy introduction and relatively silent approach to villainy made for an interesting henchman but he was sadly underused and clearly requires a Jaws’esque second outing. Only perhaps without a pigtailed blonde, weird love story and laser fights in space.
The Plot Thickens
First off the bat, NO MORE GOING ROGUE! Since the Brosnan stinker Die Another Day, Bond has gone rogue in the last 4 out of 5 movies. This is a storytelling trope I’m getting a little bored of in spy flicks. It works with Bourne but it’s becoming a drag with both Mission Impossible and Bond franchises. Besides quitting in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond didn’t properly go rogue until License To Kill in the late 80s. What’s wrong with just doing a mission?
Without giving too much away, the final reel of Spectre opens up a macabre opportunity for the sequel to kill off a particular character, leading to revenge style shenanigans. Or perhaps after 4 prequel’ish films it would be great to see Bond just out there doing his thing in an actual mission. Either embrace the darker tone from Fleming’s pulp novels or fall back into bed with the Science Fiction/ Action/ Fantasy tone of the Connery/Moore/Brosnan eras.
Just throwing it out there but I’d like to see a charismatic secondary villain in the mould of Emilio Largo or Dr. No. Double Oscar winner Christoph Waltz does a great Christoph Waltz impression but falls flat of memorable performances by Madds Mikkelsen and Javier Bardem.
And finally I really would love to see at least one other Double O agent. Perhaps one that doesn’t turn out to be a baddie. A new and exciting character that proves to be Bond’s equally in practically every way. They could cast someone like… oh…Idris Elba. We could see how that relationship develops and give the franchise an opportunity to do something it has never done before and spin off. Maybe then we’ll get a Bond movie more than once every 3 to 4 years.
Who To Helm?
Now Sam Mendes has left his indelible mark on the franchise with one and a half great movies it will be interesting to see who the producers look to for the 5th Daniel Craig outing. After the critical success of the Mendes movies I wouldn’t be surprised if they go “all out” and try to rope a heavy hitting British visionary like Christopher Nolan but after strong entries like Goldeneye and Casino Royale I’d like to see Martin Campbell return for a 3rd feature. If this does turn out to be Craig’s final Bond then I’d love to see Campbell bookend his tenure.
Who to Score?
I will say this now and only once… bring back David Arnold. I understand that Sam Mendes brought in Thomas Newman because that’s his “go to” composer but David Arnold is the most distinct and creative Bond scorer since John Barry. The man is an institution and needs to return.
Speaking of institutions. Would it be too much to ask for us to hear one final Shirley Bassey theme before we hit the 60th anniversary of Bond? It would’ve been a perfect pairing to hear her over the 50th Anniversary credits for Skyfall but it just wasn’t to be.
2022 sees the 60th anniversary of the official canon of James Bond movies. Provided we get Bond 25 in 2018 that gives us four years until this monumental landmark. It isn’t entirely inconceivable that the producers will try and hold onto him for a 6th and final feature (Bond 26) as he reaches 54 years old. Connery made it to 6 official outings as Bond, Moore hung up his Walther PPK at 57 and Brosnan completed his run on the 40th anniversary so it sort of makes sense. The alternative would be to reboot again for the 60th anniversary and that seems like an awfully big gamble for the bean counters for EoN Productions.
All of this is just speculation. I doubt any of the key decision makers have a clue what’s happening next. Whatever happens I’ll be there. Opening night in a packed cinema, eyes wide and ready for adventure.
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