I know. It’s Thursday. But hey, Bond breaks rules. So do I!
THE GUARDIAN this week proposed how they think Bond ought to progress in the years ahead. For a paper so determined to drain the joy out of everything, they do spend an awful lot of time talking about 007, thereby scoring hits, without compromising their politics. Bemoaning Bond’s old school values = still a piece about BOND. Anyway..moving swiftly on.
To explain, summarise and conclude my BOND 26 pitch. Here we go..
- Period piece. But not 50s/60s. More early to late 1990s. And no that does NOT preclude sponsorship tie ins and merchandise / adverts etc. Retro tech! Plus modern coda to solidify the deals.
- Henry Cavill as Bond prime. Pierce and /or Tim bookending that in present day codas as a retired Bond the businessman.
- Self contained missions. But do build an arc toward the darker times of the early to mid 2000s, thereby forming a ‘meta’ comment on the series and its politics, whilst providing old school escapist fun.
- Idris Elba as M (past) pre Judi Dench, post Robert Brown. Samantha Bond as present day M, with the old Brosnan era team (Kitchen, Cleese, Salmon?).
- New Q: Ross Kemp as no nonsense field veteran armourer in the ‘prime’ bits. He is married to his assistant (Sophia Myles?). Other Q casting options inc: Mitchell and Webb? Bill Bailey?
- You do not need a Moneypenny! Use Ponsonby /Goodnight. Daisy Ridley? Make her the mi6 office manager, akin to a Barrister’s Clerk? Agent to the field agents or something?
- Fleming material: use Phillip and Rhoda Masters from the short story, QUANTUM OF SOLACE. From MOONRAKER: Gala Brand (Sienna Miller? Congrats on your court victory today btw!). Hugo Drax (Hugh Grant?).
- Locations: Oxford. Dublin (via Shelbourne Hotel?). Russia! Cyprus. Iraq. Military /Naval bases. Grand Canyon. New York. Washington. Australia. London at Christmas? Paris (Rue La Fayette?).
- Gadgets: Exploding laptop. Cufflinks with transmitters / cameras/ poison darts inside. Tailored suit with inbuilt parachute? I-Pod that controls Bond’s Bentley/Lotus (give the Aston a break, maybe?).
- Pre-Titles: Bond in action in Gulf War? Followed by a mission to make a few revenge kills in Europe, perhaps? Suave, svelte, distinguished but still has stuff to learn (hence the need for Idris’ M or maybe Timothy Dalton /a n other as a Naval admiral /family figure mentor as the film progresses?).
- Music: Full on 90s nostalgia. David Arnold back or Carter Burwell, John Powell, Brian Tyler. Someone like BLUR on title track?
- Directors: Martin Campbell? Steven Spielberg? Mimi Leder? Phillip Noyce? John Madden? Peter Jackson? Danny Boyle? Kathryn Bigelow? Mike Newell? Brian DePalma? Chris McQuarrie?
- TITLE: UNDER THE QUEEN’S PEACE.
Mid road, third way. FUN! ESCAPIST! ETHICAL HEDONISM / PATRIOTIC. But not so bland that you undo the emotional arcs of the Craig era. Bond can still learn and grow and yes, move toward what will be a third or fourth movie in which he can resign under a cloud and disappear into the night.
Granted, Cavill is not the world’s greatest actor and is a tad obvious as a choice. But it is TIME for obvious and to use that imagery and safety and establishment to rebel against identity politics by championing genuine freedom and inclusivity.
Cavill would convince as Bond the scuba-ski-killer St George who slays the Dragon and is back in time for tea, martini, Golf and cheeky one liners. You can still sneak in the danger, the depth, the darkness. Just don’t lose the sense of old school sporting FUN!
Bias against the middle class, white, heterosexual male is still a form of nastiness against which we MUST stand, with Bond at the centre of that fight.
Henry looks the part, works hard, is a nice chap and can grow in the role. He comes from a military family and convinces in action. Women LOVE him, thereby excusing Bond being a ladies’ man: as in they FANCY him yet remain their own, independent forces.
Hence, Gala Brand (played by Sienna!) being such an obvious choice. She likes Bond but makes very clear in a bathetic climax that she is spoken for, having bedded 007 simply because she thought they were facing imminent death.
COMETH THE TIME. COMETH THE MAN. COMETH THE HOUR. JAMES BOND WILL RETURN. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, ONE AND ALL. TRANSMISSION ENDS. X