Could the James Bond Delay Actually Be a Good Thing?

james-bond-delay.jpgWe've been told over and over for decades that James Bond will return, and implicit in that promise is that in the in-between time won't be long at all. The turmoil at MGM has changed all that, however; not only has the next Bond film lost Sam Mendes as the director, but now, according to an irate Harry Knowles, development on the movie has stopped completely (not to be confused with when it stopped indefinitely). Is that really so bad, though?

I mean, let's be serious: at some point, there will be a new Bond film. It may even be this one! It just won't be this one right away, and I think that's actually a good thing.

Yes, Daniel Craig was terrific in Casino Royale, but that entry in the series came after a very necessary recharge of four years since the last Bond installment, Die Another Day. (That's what passes for a long break when it comes to this franchise.) Royale's goodwill was squandered with its follow-up, the rushed, tedious Quantum of Solace, which cost tens of millions more than Casino Royale yet grossed less, making it the first Bond film since 1997 that failed to outdraw its predecessor.

As time passes, I see two potential benefits for the franchise: people will have forgotten about the misstep of Quantum of Solace, while the producers behind Bond will enjoy the kind of off time they haven't had since before Royale -- an interim that will hopefully prove just as fruitful. (And maybe then they can give it back to Martin Campbell, who directed two of the best Bond films? Here's hoping.)

How bad is MGM off right now? [AICN]


  • DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    The script for Quantum of Solace was rushed through due to the writers' strike, and then they hired a director who was completely out of his depth. It was one of my more disappointing moviegoing experiences in recent memory. I haven't even bothered to watch it a second time, and mind you I've seen The Man With The Golden Gun at least twice.
    I wonder how strict Daniel Craig's contract is, though? Does he get to fly the coop if they can't get their shit together quickly enough, like Timothy Dalton did?

  • Boo Hearne Carroll says:

    Daniel Craig is currently filming Cowboys & Aliens with Harrison Ford in New Mexico. He is in the running for numerous other films. He isn't losing any sleep about the next Bond film, I'm sure. I am hoping that by the time they get James up and running again, they have replaced Craig with Clive Owen. Now HE is the real deal. Craig is a bit too pretty to play Bond.

  • Brian says:

    What is your obsession with Quantum of Solace? Ok, it isn't as good as Casino Royale, but few movies are. Quantum had mostly positive reviews and made $586 million worldwide, only $8 million less than Casino Royale. Quantum actually made slightly more than Casino in the US. While Quantum cost more, it can hardly be described as a disappointment.
    I do love the cheesy way you massage facts in order to bolster your opinion, such as failing to mention that Royale only outgrossed Quantum by $8 million, and pointing out that Quantum is the first Bond movie since '97 to fail to outgross it's predecessor. That would seem to be pretty bad, if not for the fact that only two Bond movies other than Quantum and Royale have been made since '97.
    I don't know whether a longer than expected break is good for the Bond franchise, but it certainly isn't better for fans who wanted another movie in '10 or '11, or for the studio, which could certainly use a big payday. Using your logic, maybe waiting a decade for the Hobbit to come out is really a good thing for fans and the studio alike!

  • Neil Marlowe says:

    QoS is a great film. The more I watch it, the more I like it.
    And I'm a Bond freak.
    The fact that it's more "Bourne" than the frothy Bonds we're used to has people up in arms.

  • Alex says:

    I've been a fan of Bond since the late 70s and I saw nothing wrong with Quantum of Solace. What people either forgot, or were unaware of (and that's MGM's fault) was that this was the middle chapter of a trilogy. And middle chapters play by different rules that the bookends. I don't want the delay to be too long because I want the rest of the story told, and with the same actor as Bond. If they wait too long, Craig will quit just as Dalton - who in my opinion was a fantastic Bond - chose to quit when legal wrangling forced a 6-year hiatus in the Bond series in the early 90s. Riddle me this: if QoS "squandered" so much goodwill, why was it the most commercially successful Bond film ever? There was nothing wrong with it. QoS's only sin was in following a "fluke" Bond film that became a huge mainstream success. Last year's Star Trek reboot did the exact same thing, and guaranteed the next Trek film will also be accused of "squandering goodwill" simply because it's impossible to reach those same heights again. QoS was fine, Daniel Craig was fine, and if I were EON Productions I'd put a short deadline on MGM getting its house in order and if it can't, then take Bond away from them and go to Warner Bros or some other company. Or take some of the billions they've made from Bond over the years and produce Bond 23 as an independent film.

  • Le Retour de la Revanche du Fantôme de la Nouvelle Vague says:

    How true...
    To the people who defend QoS, here's a short list of a few things that go wrong:
    - the bodyguard with a toupee named Elvis
    - Bond "spying" on the bad guy by standing 30 feet away from him and listening to his conversation, nonchalantly staring at him from the other side of a fence
    - a "realistic" plot that's actually dull. A blogger was spot on when he noticed that a company tried to triple the price of water in Bolivia, not just double it as stated in the movie...
    - the lack of a definite style in the direction. Marc Forster switches between gritty action scenes à la Bourne and pretentious arty touches (the assault at the opera shot in b&w with a temporary loss of sound). CR cut the cheese around Bond, QoS turned it into a generic spy movie shot by a guy who wants to show he's also an auteur.
    The revenge thing in the Bond universe was attempted several times and much better. Waiting two or three years for some guy who mourns the death of the girl he shagged during a week to track and kill the guys who are responsible for this makes little sense. "License To Kill" and "You Only Live Twice" (the novel, which is about the final fight between Bond and Blofeld, and had little to do with the movie) are more satisfying.

  • casting couch says:

    QoS was pretty damn good (that opening car chase is probably the best in the series).
    Daniel Craig should come back (if not, Clive Owen is a good replacement as others have suggested). And it'd be comforting to see Martin Campbell return to direct the action.

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