The future of the James Bond series is currently unknown. Recent rumours - although we must take them with a pinch of salt - all but confirm that Daniel Craig is done with the character. So who will come next? Will Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Henry Cavill or Aidan Turner (I think they're the main rumoured ones?) bag the role? Will Sam Mendes do another u-turn and direct the next film? All we can say at this point is ‘who knows?’
With all of the uncertainties, for the last few weeks I have been discussing with friends possible cast members and directors for Bond 25, and the routes the next instalment in the franchise might take, and whilst Hiddleston’s name keeps popping up for Bond, Ben Kingsley’s for the villain and how we think Sam Mendes should leave it be now (although if he and Craig return for one final film, I wont mind too much), in my head I keep coming back to one name;
Tarantino. Quentin Tarantino.
It is no secret that Tarantino wanted to produce his own version of Casino Royale and there is a fantastic piece on this very site that goes into wonderful detail about it, so I urge everyone to have a read of it before you dive into this.
Read it? Good.
So as you know. Tarantino’s Casino Royale would have starred Pierce Brosnan as Bond, albeit a different Bond to the one he played between 1995 and 2002. This version of the film would have been set in the 1960s and would have been in a different continuity to the first 20 (Dr. No - Die Another Day) films, just like how the Daniel Craig Bond films are in a separate ‘universe’ to the originals. This is exactly what I want for Bond 25. I like how the Craig films all link together but I prefer the more standalone nature of the first 20 movies (although there was a loose continuity surrounding them, it wasn't pivotal and is easily ignored) and I don’t see why they couldn't make a single Bond film which shares no continuity once again. If anything, doing a one off movie now would allow the producers to come up with a suitable storyline for the next set of Bond films rather than making it up on the spot as they obviously did with Craig.
“You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?”
Now, I know bringing back an old Bond didn't work for Kevin McClory’s ‘Never Say Never Again’ (which starred Sean Connery), but I would really love to see an aged Bond attempted again for a one off film and I feel that Tarantino could easily pull that off. Brosnan really has still got it and lets be honest, apart from ‘Goldeneye’, he was rather wasted with subpar scripts during his era. He deserves one last hurrah and a fitting send off. An older Bond would make sense given that Tarantino wanted it set his version post Tracy’s (Bond’s wife - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) death, and could certainly help ground the film, taking it on a more realistic approach, and could focus on Bond still coming to terms with his loss as he meets Vesper Lynd. In this reimagining of Casino Royale, we would be dealing with the older, more experienced Bond, rather than the young agent just becoming Bond, and who better to do that than Brosnan?
It is hard to imagine another take on Casino Royale after the 2006 telling (especially considering it’s my favourite of the entire series), but setting it in the 1960s would allow for a nice reimagining of the story and would also ensure viewers that this version isn't in the same canon as previous films and can be watched by new comers without any prior knowledge of the series.
Let’s talk about casting. Of course, we want Pierce Brosnan back to get the outing he deserves as Bond, but what about Le Chiffre? Well I have the perfect answer…
Yes, yes, I know what you're going to say: “but Nick, Waltz was in the last film only a few months ago!” Okay, yes, it might confuse people but lets be honest here, Waltz was wasted in Spectre and deserved much better material than he got. Tarantino gets everything and more out of his actors and I cant think of a more perfect pair than Tarantino and Waltz. They’re like bread and butter or those little chunks of cheese and pineapple you get on cocktail sticks at parties. They just go hand in hand and I refuse to suggest anyone else who could do it, because apart from Mads Mikkelsen, I cant see anyone else in the role.
As for Vesper, Tarantino wanted Uma Thurman, and I think that would be a wonderful choice, but how about Zoë Bell whose first major film role was in the Robert Rodriguez and Tarantino directed double feature Grindhouse? I think she’d be great, although perhaps a more up and coming star would be more suited to the role. It’s a tough one.
I feel the formula for Bond in recent years has become a bit stale and it really is time to rein it in, give it a shake and try something new. Even if they’re retelling a book, they can still make it new and interesting and take it in a completely different direction than before. They could easily keep the gritty and bloody side to it (which Tarantino does so well) and bring back that lighter touch that has been missing for so long (although Mendes did try to bring it back with Spectre). And my goodness, please, lets get back some colour to the films. As nice as the cinematography has been, Skyfall and Spectre just seem so washed out and de-saturated (the latter suffers horribly from that nasty brown colour grading that seems to plaguing movies nowadays). As I watched the latest Mission Impossible and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (which is also set in the 1960s) I realised just how dull looking the recent Bond films have been. Let’s get some of that 1960s colour onto our screens!
If we’re being perfectly honest here, this isn't going to happen and I am willing to bet - if the bookies would still allow it - that Tom Hiddleston will be the seventh incarnation of our favourite Time Lord James Bond. But a guy can dream, eh? And can’t you just imagine the idea of a Bond soundtrack composed by Ennio Morricone? That’s even less likely than anything I’ve already spoken about but wow… I need that in my life.
Anyway, I’ll leave you all with a little poster I mocked up and ask, what direction do you want the Bond series to go in?
Nick is a 2000 year old alien who travels through time and space, saving the good and conquering the evil... or so he likes to think.