James Bond producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had their handprints immortalized in cement at Hollywood's famous TCL Chinese Theatre, at a ceremony featuring actor Christoph Waltz Photo: AFP
entertainment

New 007 to 'serve king and country' as producers vow to keep Bond 'fresh'

27 Comments
By Andrew MARSZAL

The next James Bond will serve king and country -- but discussions with new 007 studio owner Amazon over the spy film franchise's future direction haven't really started, long-standing producer Barbara Broccoli said Wednesday.

Broccoli and her half-brother Michael G Wilson sat down with AFP to speak about the future of the 25-movie franchise, moments after having their handprints immortalized in cement at Hollywood's famous TCL Chinese Theatre.

The last Bond outing, 2021's "No Time To Die," was the final installment to star Daniel Craig, and Amazon has since bought 007 studio MGM. This means speculation is rife about what changes could lie in store for the world's most famous fictional spy.

"We're just beginning our relationship with Amazon. We haven't really started to get involved in the next Bond film yet," said Broccoli.

As custodians of the franchise her father Albert "Cubby" Broccoli founded 60 years ago, "we're not always just going to rest on our laurels and keep to a formula," she added.

At the center of the rumors and guesswork swirling around the next 007 outing is the matter of who will play the suave superspy with a license to kill.

Craig was initially a controversial choice, particularly for his blond hair and rugged looks, but his five 007 films broke box office records, with 2012's "Skyfall" surpassing $1 billion worldwide.

Fans have suggested the next Bond may be the first non-white actor in the role, while Broccoli has scotched claims that Bond in future could be female.

She told AFP that "there are certain formulaic things" that will always remain.

"The central character of James Bond is the most important element of these movies, and we believe he's incorruptible, he works for queen and now king and country," she said. "He's not in it for his own personal gain. He's in it for trying to keep the world a safer place. So I think that is something we definitely wouldn't change."

But Broccoli said their father "always tried to give us the confidence to take risks so that Bond can change over the years."

She added: "We like to change it up, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't -- but it keeps it fresh."

The Broccoli family's company Eon has immense creative control over the Bond film franchise, originally based on Ian Fleming's novels.

Barbara and her half-brother have presided over the films since "GoldenEye," released in 1995, a year before the death of her father.

Under a complex deal, Eon split profits with historic studio MGM, which had the right to finance and distribute the 007 movies.

But the studio was bought by Amazon for $8.5 billion under a deal closed in March, and it emerged weeks later that MGM's film leadership would be leaving.

In another sign of changing times, Amazon's Prime Video will release an eight-part Bond-themed reality-TV competition series called "007's Road to a Million."

Wilson told AFP it was important for Bond films to keep pace with the ever-changing challenges facing the world.

"What's the world going to worry about two or three years from now? How do we stay topical?" he said. "But so far it's worked pretty well. You can't be afraid of change... you have to embrace it, and you can't do the same thing over and over again. You have to change it a bit.

"The audiences have a certain expectation. But they also want to be surprised. So that's all part of the effort."

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


27 Comments
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Fresh is good, just don’t go woke

10 ( +17 / -7 )

If they do go woke then they will destroy another great franchise. I’m not sure these people even know about reading the air. The new Lord of the Rings series is a disaster just to give an example of how Hollywood and their wokeness can destroy a great and classic franchise.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

If they do go woke then they will destroy another great franchise. 

indeed, don’t mess with James Bond !

9 ( +14 / -5 )

The new Lord of the Rings series is a disaster

Only because of poor dialogue. The wokeness hasn't taken away (nor added) to the story whatsoever for me. The problem is the story just isn't written that well.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

It just only depends on the story and location. If it is then seen as new and woke or the opposite, very near to Ian Fleming’s original intentions, that is the viewer’s point of view afterwards and not so very important. For example, set in an Ukraine-like war scenario, the main Bond character can and should be the old school blond guy. But set in Africa, for example a story about rare earth minerals and Chinese military bases or such, then also a black Bond would make sense, otherwise he would be too easily detected by Chinese or Africans, wouldn’t he? Or if it is about China and Taiwan, then also an Asian woman could become the main actor, easily and undetected intruding both sides, and so on. It should be chosen pragmatically and fitting to the new script.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Everything goes "woke" in La-La Land.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

@sven

no no no !

if you want a black or female or gay super spy, develop a different character & make your own movie.

James Bond is a heterosexual Caucasian man.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Iam already disinterested.

I think the new 007 will be a failure.

Not handsome or sophisticated or tough

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

James Bond is a heterosexual Caucasian man.

Moneypenny was a caucasian for awhile there then the beautiful Naomie Harris gave it some color. Felix was white, till he wasn't. M was a man, till she wasn't. Q was a grumpy old man till he became a young gay man. Those changes must have shocked you something fierce!

007 could be a lesbian black woman in the future. Or any of those 3 qualities you abhor.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Iam already disinterested. I think the new 007 will be a failure. Not handsome or sophisticated or tough

They haven't even chosen the person you already dislike yet.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Moneypenny was a caucasian for awhile there then the beautiful Naomie Harris gave it some color...

007 could be a lesbian black woman in the future. Or any of those 3 qualities you abhor.

Clearly not a reader or appreciator of storytelling. Supporting characters are just that, they usually lack depth and can be switched about without eviscerating the story.

The story revolves around the main character, 007, who is clearly developed as a man who sees women as sexual conquests, among his other traits. The stories depend on his personality to be successful. Sure, you could change him into a talking giraffe if you want - but that would be a completely different story and different character. If you want a film about a talking giraffe (or a lesbian black woman from the future), then write your own story and stop bastardizing somebody else's work.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

indeed, don’t mess with James Bond !

Isn't it too late already? They killed him off in the last one...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yup, you’re right Beer Man, they already killed him. It’s over.

Besides, nobody did 007 like Sean Connery

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sure, you could change him into a talking giraffe if you want - but that would be a completely different story and different character. 

I mean...that would be awesome. Certainly better than Pierce Brosnan in the role.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Commanteer

excellent retort !

007 could be a lesbian black woman in the future

as could you - go right ahead

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sunbunfun - those are ticking boxes as usual.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I favour either Vinnie Jones or Jason Statham for the role.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So now the tired 007 franchise that should have jumped the shark years ago looks to creak on cashing in with "Killing for King 'n' Country" (from the playing fields of Eaton & Hogwarts), Producers and investors are salivating at the chance to further feed the insatiable appetite of the masses for cheap circuses and myriad distractions as our planet is sent into a tailspin by the blind, endless greed of the self-styled "Lords of the Earth" (you'll recognize who they are when you see them).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ian Fleming's James Bond was a Scotsman.

They went woke when they put in an Englishman, Australian, Irishman and American in there as 007!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Craig was a fantastic choice, just like Connery. All the others really didn't fit the role, but we put up with them.

Pierce Brosnan, Irishman, always made me think of Reminton Steele, a bookish PI in an American TV series. Not a killer. Bond needs to be a cold, killer, for the bad guys, but kind to everyone else, in his own way.

Can't recall any American playing 007.

They need a Bond who is about 30 yrs old. No more 50+ yr olds. M'k?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

James Bond is a heterosexual Caucasian man.

I couldn't care less what color James Bond was, if the actor did the role in a manner that had be believing they're James Bond while I watch the movie.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

We all know that David Hasselhoff is the best man to play Bond.

C'mon, admit it.

Don't Hassle the Hoff.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Since the ‘go woke, go broke’ theory regarding filmmaking is leaking like a sieve, plenty of options are on the table.

Nice position to be in.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In my opinion Herny Cavill is perfect for playing the 007

1 ( +1 / -0 )

> tooheysnewSep. 22  08:23 am JST

If they do go woke then they will destroy another great franchise. 

indeed, don’t mess with James Bond !

Ian Fleming himself has said that James Bond is a British Secret Service Agent who is an adventurous sex-craved jerk. That's the thrill of the character he created, and it should not be toyed with, ever. He's not a role model and is not to be taken seriously.

Many women I knew (and dated) in college knew this and just took it is - entertainment. James Bond Agent 007 is just meant to entertainment, like the superheroes and STAR WARS and STAR TREK characters whose franchises have become hosed up beyond hope by the PC/woke crowd who don't know what fun is.

indeed, don’t mess with James Bond !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In my opinion Herny Cavill is perfect for playing the 007

Good choice. He's got the looks and the body for it but he lacks that "dangerous, killer instinct" aura that Sean Connery and, to a lesser extend, Daniel Craig, exude.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Its just a character in a fiction book, no need to get your Knicks in a twist

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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