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Bond, James Bond.

16. December 2017 08:26
by Moneypenny

Daniel Craig's James Bond Will Return

16. December 2017 08:26 by Moneypenny | 0 Comments

Daniel Craig confirms he will play James Bond Again, which, despite his remarks following the release of SpectreSpectre, probably surprised no-one. Depending on the release date, It could make him the longest running Bond in the history of the (official) Franchise - Roger Moore served as 007 for twelve years (1973-1985) appearing in seven Bond films. Sean Connery also made seven appearances as James Bond, the first six between 1962 and 1971, and then one more in 1983's Never Say Never AgainNever Say Never Again, twenty-one years after he first uttered the immortal words, "Bond. James Bond", but EON didn't make that film, so they don't count that one.

Timothy Dalton appeared in only two James Bond films (mainly due to some protracted legal and financial problems at MGM) but he was technically still James Bond from 1986 until 1994. Similarly, Pierce Brosnan was officially James Bond from 1994 until around 2004 or early 2005 when the decision was made to replace him. George Lazenby, of course also had the opportunity to be 007 for a decade or more, but famously turned it down. At just 30 years old, he could have been Bond for the next 15 or even 20 years.

All of which brings us to Bond 25 which will be Daniel Craig's fifth outing as 007. When Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond he was 37 years old, which is about the age Bond was supposed to be in Ian Fleming's novels, and basically the 'official' age he's has been for the last 65 years. Craig will turn 50 next year, which is the same age Roger Moore was when he made The Spy Who Loved MeThe Spy Who Loved Me, but while Moore always looked a decade younger than his years, Craig is not so lucky. From the neck down he still has the kind of body most men in their twenties would envy, but let's be honest, he is starting to look a bit like Sid James from the neck up. 

Sid James in Carry on Crusing
Commander Bond?

Now having a visibly aging secret agent isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are a lot of new directions the writers could go if they choose to acknowledge that. The problem of course is that if they do acknowledge that James Bond is finally aging, it means they might have to let the story play out until Bond retires. If they wanted to continue the series after that then they would need to do an extremely hard reboot with the next actor. Traditionally, at least until 2006's Casino RoyaleCasino Royale, EON preferred not to draw attention to the fact that the face had changed. "Here's the new Bond, same as the old Bond. Carry on," seemed to be the message they were sending.  

However, no matter which way they choose to go (either ignoring the fact that Bond has aged and now looks about 50, or acknowledging that he has aged and now looks about 50), I really hope they cast a more mature woman to play opposite him: Somebody like Monica Bellucci is perfect - still stunningly attractive, and she doesn't look like his daughter. In For Your Eyes OnlyFor Your Eyes Only, Roger Moore's Bond gracefully declines young Bibi's advances - Moore himself felt that, at 54, he was getting "a little long in the tooth" to be sleeping with twenty-somethings. In the real world, of course, she would have been the one rejecting his advances - "in your dreams grandad!" But this is James Bond we're talking about. Men want to be him, and women of any age want to be with him. Male movie goers want to live vicariously though him, since they generally cannot afford to drive (let alone casually wreck) an Aston Martin, nor attract the kind of beautiful young women seen in the films. I understand all that, and I'm not suggesting that our more mature Bond shouldn't still attract and bed the most beautiful women on the planet. But what I am saying is that they should at least look a little more mature, too. Consider this pairing:

Roger Moore as James Bond 007 and Bond Girl, Barbara Bach in The Sy Who Loved Me

Barbara Bach was 30, Moore was 50 (but looked early 40s) and the paring shouldn't make anyone cringe. Technically, he is old enough to be her father, but it doesn't look at all like that. 

Now take a look at these two:

"Here's to you, Dad!"

The combination of his more "everyman" appearance (compared to the obvious movie star good looks of Moore and Brosnan), the fact that at 47 Craig actually looked 47, while Seydoux's flawless beauty makes her look like she's still in her early twenties (despite the fact that she was actually 30 - making the age difference between the two less than that of Moore and Bach), it really makes this scene look like a father taking his daughter out for dinner. I know I'm not the only one who thought this. It's unfair, for sure, but that is how the scene played to me and it's something the writers and casting directors should consider carefully for Bond 25.

To be clear, I'm not insisting that it's time for Daniel Craig to hang up his Walther. I actually find the idea of an aging Bond, approaching retirement more interesting than more of the same. All I'm saying is that the screenwriters need to take into account the age of the actor portraying Bond, and as he ages, Bond should too.

Most James Bond fans (though certainly not all) agree that Roger Moore made at least one Bond film too many. At 57, it seemed that his stunt double had more screen time than he did in A View To A KillA View To A Kill. Whether or not this turns out to be Craig's "one too many" or his best bond film yet remains to be seen. Here's hoping for the latter.

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