This dates back to some posts I made on Twitter back when Twitter was called Twitter and not whatever Elon thinks it is now. Those are lost to the sands of digital time because I was permanently suspended under his administration for something they wouldn’t bat an eye at now, but hey, I can recycle my genius concepts here, on my blog, a place that I own.
There should be no more James Bond films. We’ve done it for over sixty years, had a bunch of iterations ranging from lean spy stories to camp comic book explosiveness, and with the Daniel Craig era gulping down the lore pill wholeheartedly to a completely unsatisfying conclusion, I think it’s time we shut it down as a movie franchise, let it chill out for a while, and then bring it back as…a streaming series.
I know, I know, but hear me out. This is where my idea gets good. Each of the original novels gets a season of the show, handled by a different director and cast. James Bond always seems to work best when it tries something new.
Imagine a straightforward, period-appropriate, warts-and-all, look-at-how fucked-up-Ian-Fleming-was adaptation of Casino Royale with Jude Law as an appropriately slimy Bond, directed by Steven Soderbergh. With his rolodex and the loyalty he seems to inspire, you could have Timothy Olyphant as Felix Leiter, Vincent Cassel as Rene Mathis, and Claire Foy as Vesper.1Hell, I’d even have Mikkelsen come back as Le Chiffre because he was really good. You’d be have something entertaining that also serves as a commentary on the franchise as a whole and masculinity in the middle of the 20th century.
(Yes, I know about the Daniel Craig movie2We all loved it, for good reason. and I know that Soderbergh basically already did a Bond movie with Haywire,3RIP, Gina Carano. She died on her way back to her home planet. but we could wait a couple of seasons to do that one because these would be discrete adaptations, each hermetically sealed off from the others so that the creators and actors can go wild!)
You could have Yorgos Lathimos doing the same thing in a genderflipped, queer, darkly funny version of From Russia With Love. You get Olivia Colman as M, Emma Stone as Bond4Her accent is pretty peerless, admit it., Rachel Weisz5Yes, I see the irony there, too. as Tatiana? Five stars, instantly, from everyone, everywhere all at once.
I mean, I could do this all day, but I think my real point is that Bond is like Batman: infinitely flexible because the root idea is so strong. You can go funny, you can go dark, you can go realistic, you can go superheroic and Bond Remains Bond, just like Batman Remains Batman. There’s no real cognitive dissonance if you’re a Bond Fan: you can enjoy A View to a Kill and Skyfall equally.6This is a lie. Skyfall has the single stupidest scene in the franchise in that bit where Q plugs the super deluxe hacker’s computer into the MI-6 mainframe. At least A View To A Kill seems to know just how dopey it is.
They should go really fucking weird for a while. Bond can handle it. I mean, he survived Never Say Never Again.