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C'MON HOLLYWOOD: Get Bond 23 Back On-Track!

4 years agoby:
UPDATE: Just read this little item on The Playlist. According to potential Bond 23 helmer Sam Mendes' estranged wife, Kate Winslet, Mendes IS still attached to direct the next Bond and will begin production early next year. This concurs with a similar post by Bond composer David Arnold a few days ago. Fingers crossed!

Itís been two years since the last James Bond film, QUANTUM OF SOLACE came out. If everything were running smoothly at MGM, this holiday season Bond would once again be shooting it out at the multiplex, as the usual course of action for the Bond series is to leave two years between each installment.

But alas, itís been over two years and a new Bond isnít even close to going into production. Now, this isnít the first time thereís been a delay between Bonds. After THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN flopped, it took three years for THE SPY WHO LOVED ME to hit the silver screen, as script problems and the departure of co-producer Harry Saltzman ended up delaying the film. Between LICENSE TO KILL, and GOLDENEYE, we went six whole years without a Bond due to legal troubles, and many thought that was the end of the greatest action hero of all time. Luckily it wasnít, and in the guise of Pierce Brosnan, 007 was back sipping Vodka Martini's (shaken, not stirred of course), shooting it out with baddies, and getting it on with Euro-babes by the fall of 1995.

Brosnanís films typically hit theaters according to the two-year rule, with the only exception being DIE ANOTHER DAY, as it was delayed a year to take advantage of the fortieth anniversary of DR.NO (this ploy obviously worked, as DIE ANOTHER DAY remains the highest grossing domestic Bond film- despite its undeniable suckitude). We had another lengthy delay once Pierce Brosnan was dropped (or retired depending on who you ask), and it took four years of screen-tests and re-writes to bring us CASINO ROYALE.


Judging from the finished film, itís a good thing they took as much time as they did, as it was easily the best Bond film since at least GOLDENEYE. Once that became a smash hit, the series was once again back on track and QUANTUM OF SOALCE hit theaters exactly two years later. While many (including myself) found QUANTUM OF SOLACE to be underwhelming compared to ROYALE, it was nevertheless another smash it, raking in $586 million worldwide.

As the series is obviously as popular as ever, youíd think another installment would be a no-brainer. Sure enough, earlier this year work actually began in a rather promising fashion with Peter Morgan (FROST/NIXON, HEREAFTER) being hired to write the script, and Sam Mendes (AMERICAN BEAUTY, ROAD TO PERDITION) attached to direct.

But then, Bond met his most tyrannical, evil foe- bankers!

By now, everyone knows about MGM (the studio behind Bond) and their financial troubles, and Iím not going to elaborate on it here- for the sole reason that I can barely understand whatís going on myself. As it stands, MGM is bankrupt, and Bond isn't the only franchise affected. THE HOBBIT also went on hiatus (but is now seemingly back on track), and already wrapped films like RED DAWN, and Joss Whedonís CABIN IN THE WOODS are sitting on the shelf as the studio hasnít got the capital to release them.


My issue is this. MGM should have waited until the next Bond was off the ground before they started sinking money into THE HOBBIT or anything else. While HOBBIT will certainly be a smash, itís also going to be damn costly. While the Bondís now cost between 150-200 Million a film, thatís still cheaper than THE HOBBIT will end up being. With Bond being as huge as it is, theyíre all but guaranteed to make the money back- so that should have been their priority rather than sending a big budget film like RED DAWN into production. Another nail in Bond 23's coffin was likely HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, which to date is the last film MGM's gotten into theaters. While the budget was modest, they spent big money on the marketing campaign in order to turn it into another HANGOVER. While the film did fairly well, it was not a huge money-maker, and it looks like it all but broke the back of the already cash strapped studio.

At the very least, the MGM situation seems to finally be resolving itself somewhat, but there are other problems. The biggest problem is that Daniel Craig, after two massive Bond blockbusters is now (deservedly so) a megastar and a busy guy. This year, heís starring in both COWBOYS & ALIENS, and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, both of which will likely become franchises. In order to get the next Bond in theaters before 2014, theyíll have to act fast and get it in production at some point next year as Craigís going to get busier and busier if one (or both) of those films are successful enough to warrant a follow-up. Luckily, Craig seems open to returning (and is perhaps even contractually obliged), but lately Iíve had a feeling in my gut that we may have seen the last of Craig as Bond. Hopefully Iím wrong.


Whoever ends up with their hands on the franchise after the MGM situation is cleared up (fingers crossed for Sony, which did a great job as a co-producer on the last two) needs to get a new Bond going as their first order of business. Luckily, Bond is still in the hands of the Broccoli family, and my hope is that theyíve continued working on the script throughout the delays to assure a new Bond will be in production before long. At the very least, we need AT LEAST one more Bond film with Daniel Craig to close out his storyline, before yet another re-boot (God forbid). The fans that have been following the franchise for almost fifty years deserve it. It makes me very sad to note that 2012 with mark the fiftieth anniversary of the series, and that year likely WONíT be marked by a new Bond film.

Extra Tidbit: Got my Bond mojo on the other day by watching OCTOPUSSY. Still one of my favorites, critics be damned! That Aerostar Mini-Jet is cool beans.
Source: JoBlo.com

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8:09AM on 12/03/2010

Amen Chris!

I feel like I just went to church after reading this Chris. You speak the truth my brother. Long live Bond!
I feel like I just went to church after reading this Chris. You speak the truth my brother. Long live Bond!
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8:31AM on 12/03/2010

I could not cosign this any harder

Props. And you have the exact same argument I had as to why it was so fuckin' stupid of them to greenlight the half billion dollar Hobbit film(s) when a Bond movie could cost a quarter of that price and MAKE half a billion, which you then write a check for to Peter Jackson.

Seriously, who the fuck are the mouthbreathers that are "running" MGM nowadays?
Props. And you have the exact same argument I had as to why it was so fuckin' stupid of them to greenlight the half billion dollar Hobbit film(s) when a Bond movie could cost a quarter of that price and MAKE half a billion, which you then write a check for to Peter Jackson.

Seriously, who the fuck are the mouthbreathers that are "running" MGM nowadays?
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8:35AM on 12/03/2010
One of the best Come on Hollwoods yet. Obviously I approve of it. I keep waiting to hear that they are starting production alas still nothing. I would like to see at least 1 more Daniel Craig Bond before moving on. He's been great in the role, hell I even enjoyed Quantum despite it's flaws.
One of the best Come on Hollwoods yet. Obviously I approve of it. I keep waiting to hear that they are starting production alas still nothing. I would like to see at least 1 more Daniel Craig Bond before moving on. He's been great in the role, hell I even enjoyed Quantum despite it's flaws.
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9:06AM on 12/03/2010
I have no need to add more to the table than what the article already mentions, except that I agree 100%! I want more Bond movies with Craig! And I'm pretty sure millions of people worldwide want them too!
I have no need to add more to the table than what the article already mentions, except that I agree 100%! I want more Bond movies with Craig! And I'm pretty sure millions of people worldwide want them too!
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+2
9:14AM on 12/03/2010
Octupussy is one of my favorite Bond films as well! Along with the Spy Who Loved me it is my favorite Moore film. And I can't wait for the next Bond film. While I did enjoy Quantum, I'll admit to it being inferior to Royale and it definitely felt like Bourne action film. However, the story was a continuation of the previous film and I think we had to conclude Bond's intro story full circle. With that out of the way I think the next Bond we see is going to be one of the best!
Octupussy is one of my favorite Bond films as well! Along with the Spy Who Loved me it is my favorite Moore film. And I can't wait for the next Bond film. While I did enjoy Quantum, I'll admit to it being inferior to Royale and it definitely felt like Bourne action film. However, the story was a continuation of the previous film and I think we had to conclude Bond's intro story full circle. With that out of the way I think the next Bond we see is going to be one of the best!
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+1
9:40AM on 12/03/2010

Live and Let Die!

Best boat chase [link] Also Baron Samedi is bad ass!
Best boat chase [link] Also Baron Samedi is bad ass!
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10:17AM on 12/03/2010
My favorite will always be Living Daylights. Last John Barry score and probably his best. Timothy Dalton was Ian Fleming's Bond down to the single curl in the hair, not too over the top with the writing, great supporting cast. Most bad ass KGB agent since Grant from my second favorite, From Russia With Love.
My favorite will always be Living Daylights. Last John Barry score and probably his best. Timothy Dalton was Ian Fleming's Bond down to the single curl in the hair, not too over the top with the writing, great supporting cast. Most bad ass KGB agent since Grant from my second favorite, From Russia With Love.
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10:29AM on 12/03/2010
Totally agree. Craig is the best Bond even though I liked Brosnan alot and "Casino Royale" was one of the best movies I have ever seen. We need another Bond movie.
Totally agree. Craig is the best Bond even though I liked Brosnan alot and "Casino Royale" was one of the best movies I have ever seen. We need another Bond movie.
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10:36AM on 12/03/2010
Kate Winslet revealed today that Sam Mendes will begin shooting next year: [link]

Also, just want to point out that MGM isn't funding THE HOBBIT on its own, Warner Bros. is also involved.

Great article, though. Can't wait to see where they go next with Bond.
Kate Winslet revealed today that Sam Mendes will begin shooting next year: [link]

Also, just want to point out that MGM isn't funding THE HOBBIT on its own, Warner Bros. is also involved.

Great article, though. Can't wait to see where they go next with Bond.
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-7
11:16AM on 12/03/2010

Close out Daniel Craig's story?

Wasn't everything tied up at the end of Quantum of Solace?
Wasn't everything tied up at the end of Quantum of Solace?
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2:39PM on 12/03/2010
Ah ok. I remember Bond taking photos of them all standing up in the theatre during QoS, I assumed that now MI5 knew who they all were, that pretty much summed that up.

I suppose it could be drawn out in a third. I'm all for Craig returning, I just got through Blood Stone, which in itself is a decent little Craig Bond story.
Ah ok. I remember Bond taking photos of them all standing up in the theatre during QoS, I assumed that now MI5 knew who they all were, that pretty much summed that up.

I suppose it could be drawn out in a third. I'm all for Craig returning, I just got through Blood Stone, which in itself is a decent little Craig Bond story.
2:30PM on 12/03/2010
While they did seem to tie up the Vespa storyline in QOS at the end, there is still the bigger story of the Quantum of Solace group. They've built up this powerful shadow government over two films so it would be stupid not to continue with that storyline.
While they did seem to tie up the Vespa storyline in QOS at the end, there is still the bigger story of the Quantum of Solace group. They've built up this powerful shadow government over two films so it would be stupid not to continue with that storyline.
1:34PM on 12/03/2010
Ok...thanks for that. Anyone have a genuine response?
Ok...thanks for that. Anyone have a genuine response?
1:22PM on 12/03/2010
The fuck is wrong with YOU?
The fuck is wrong with YOU?
11:33AM on 12/03/2010

AMEN

They need to get it together.
They need to get it together.
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12:05PM on 12/03/2010
Best column in a while. You hit the nail right on the head. MGM is setting money on fire and pushing the clock forward.
Best column in a while. You hit the nail right on the head. MGM is setting money on fire and pushing the clock forward.
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12:10PM on 12/03/2010

Nice Article!

Hopefully beginning of next year we should hear if Daniel Craig will return as Bond or not. If he isn't, we can always start speculating, my vote is for Clive Owen.

Whether Bond is replaced by a different actor or not, I will still spend my money on this. There were some really great Bond flicks that should out, but let's face it: Bond is a pure escapism, action/adventure, eye candy type of flick. I'm not ashamed of admitting that.
Hopefully beginning of next year we should hear if Daniel Craig will return as Bond or not. If he isn't, we can always start speculating, my vote is for Clive Owen.

Whether Bond is replaced by a different actor or not, I will still spend my money on this. There were some really great Bond flicks that should out, but let's face it: Bond is a pure escapism, action/adventure, eye candy type of flick. I'm not ashamed of admitting that.
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12:19PM on 12/03/2010

Here here!

Bond rules- I'm currently watching the entire series, Bond is the best.
Bond rules- I'm currently watching the entire series, Bond is the best.
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12:45PM on 12/03/2010
In a way it's kind of a good thing that another Bond is taking so long. Casino Royale rejuvenated the franchise in a huge way and before we even had a chance to really savor it, the underwhelming Quantum rushed to theatres. At least now we all have some time to long for another one and eagerly await the return, and they may as well take advantage of the lull to figure out where they want to take the franchise and come up with something that could really top Casino Royale. As long as Daniel
In a way it's kind of a good thing that another Bond is taking so long. Casino Royale rejuvenated the franchise in a huge way and before we even had a chance to really savor it, the underwhelming Quantum rushed to theatres. At least now we all have some time to long for another one and eagerly await the return, and they may as well take advantage of the lull to figure out where they want to take the franchise and come up with something that could really top Casino Royale. As long as Daniel Craig is back as Bond I'm sure it will be worth waiting for.
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1:33PM on 12/03/2010
What an excellent article! Easilyone of my favorites for this column! Well reasoned, made absolute sense, and I whole heartedly agree! I really want at least one more Craig-ed Bond, the other two are great (I find "Solace" to be underrated).
What an excellent article! Easilyone of my favorites for this column! Well reasoned, made absolute sense, and I whole heartedly agree! I really want at least one more Craig-ed Bond, the other two are great (I find "Solace" to be underrated).
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1:54PM on 12/03/2010
I completely agree but as Cigarette Burn points out, I'm pretty sure they start shooting next year. Also, there's no doubt in my mind that the script is already finished. I mean, they almost started shooting a couple times so I'm sure they probably had a script ready. Anyway, I loved Casino and I'm sure this will get started soon enough.

BTW, if you guys really need your Bond fix right away, I recommend playing Blood Stone. It's a pretty fun game and it's got Craig as Bond so you may want to
I completely agree but as Cigarette Burn points out, I'm pretty sure they start shooting next year. Also, there's no doubt in my mind that the script is already finished. I mean, they almost started shooting a couple times so I'm sure they probably had a script ready. Anyway, I loved Casino and I'm sure this will get started soon enough.

BTW, if you guys really need your Bond fix right away, I recommend playing Blood Stone. It's a pretty fun game and it's got Craig as Bond so you may want to check it out. I just finished it like 2 days ago and it was certainly worth playing just for the bond atmosphere. Great opening sequence.

Also, what happened to Eva Green? Beautiful and talented but fell off the face of the earth after Golden Compass. Doesn't really look like she's got any big budget movies coming out either. I liked her.

Lastly, I'd like to add that this isn't the first time MGM completely fucked up Bond. Can someone please explain what sort of completely braindead fuckface felt that it was a good move to release a Bond film in 2006 and then in 2008 but not in 2007. Seriously, 2 007, Bond's agent number is right there in the fucking year. Imagine the promotional opportunities that would have opened up. It would have been THE year of Bond. All they had to do was delay CR a month and a half for fucks sake. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and they completely dropped the ball. Just imagine, Summer 2007, 007 Returns. It would have been phenomenal. Whatever, that was my rant on the biggest fuckup in promotional history. It still makes me angry. A month and a half you fucking idiots. Sigh.
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1:57PM on 12/03/2010
Holy shit you're right!
Holy shit you're right!
2:26PM on 12/03/2010
I brought this very point up to my brother over the thanksgiving article. Great to know that I'm not the only one urking for another Craig Bond film. I loved Casino Royale and thought QOS was a good follow up. My one suggestion to the producers-GET A BRITISH ROCK GROUP TO DO THE THEME SONG. I would love to hear a bond song done by Muse, Radiohead or Damon Albarn from the Gorillaz.
I brought this very point up to my brother over the thanksgiving article. Great to know that I'm not the only one urking for another Craig Bond film. I loved Casino Royale and thought QOS was a good follow up. My one suggestion to the producers-GET A BRITISH ROCK GROUP TO DO THE THEME SONG. I would love to hear a bond song done by Muse, Radiohead or Damon Albarn from the Gorillaz.
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7:33PM on 12/03/2010
It blew my mind too the first time i thought of it lol. Actually it came about when I was listening to their song "Undisclosed Desires" from their newest cd. That song pretty much sounds like a bond theme song already lol
It blew my mind too the first time i thought of it lol. Actually it came about when I was listening to their song "Undisclosed Desires" from their newest cd. That song pretty much sounds like a bond theme song already lol
5:30PM on 12/03/2010
A Bond theme from Muse? You just blew my mind right there!
A Bond theme from Muse? You just blew my mind right there!
+9
3:50PM on 12/03/2010
For England, James?
For England, James?
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6:03PM on 12/03/2010
I would have also accepted "For England Alec, always for England".
I would have also accepted "For England Alec, always for England".
5:55PM on 12/03/2010
No.....for me.
No.....for me.
6:55PM on 12/03/2010

Couldn't agree more

I don't mind if they take their time with it and, as a result, produce a really great third installment for Craig, but still...tick-tock, etc. They've had two years to sort it out, though, so I'm sure MGM will get the money situation worked through and give us yet another memorable Daniel Craig Bond flick (QOS is indeed very underrated).

And despite the fact that the plot doesn't really bother to show up until the last act of the film, I mostly agree with you about Octopussy.
I don't mind if they take their time with it and, as a result, produce a really great third installment for Craig, but still...tick-tock, etc. They've had two years to sort it out, though, so I'm sure MGM will get the money situation worked through and give us yet another memorable Daniel Craig Bond flick (QOS is indeed very underrated).

And despite the fact that the plot doesn't really bother to show up until the last act of the film, I mostly agree with you about Octopussy.
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-16
11:15PM on 12/03/2010
I'd rather see Roger Moore do a low budget remake of Never Say Never Again than be put to sleep by Daniel Craig again.
I'd rather see Roger Moore do a low budget remake of Never Say Never Again than be put to sleep by Daniel Craig again.
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12:58PM on 12/04/2010
Suddenly I imagined Daniel Craig singing you to sleep with a lullaby. You know, like a baby.
Suddenly I imagined Daniel Craig singing you to sleep with a lullaby. You know, like a baby.
2:47AM on 12/04/2010

Bank it

MGM should hit up a Money Mart and get an advance on the $500+ million the next bond would make and just get to it already.
MGM should hit up a Money Mart and get an advance on the $500+ million the next bond would make and just get to it already.
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+2
5:19PM on 12/04/2010

I'll admit I'm kind of high...

but I was hanging on your every word. I've been a lifelong Bond fan, I'm completely with you. Bond is an institution and it stands for what is awesome.

I ordered the Pre-Brosnan VHS Gold Box Set of James Bond movies when I was maybe 9. I watched all of them and liked nearly all of them. I had to tape Never Say Never Again (ridiculous Old Man Connery one). Brosnan did okay, Daniel Craig has been mostly on fire, what's the hold up?

Do they need more than $586M for every $150M-$200M? Get
but I was hanging on your every word. I've been a lifelong Bond fan, I'm completely with you. Bond is an institution and it stands for what is awesome.

I ordered the Pre-Brosnan VHS Gold Box Set of James Bond movies when I was maybe 9. I watched all of them and liked nearly all of them. I had to tape Never Say Never Again (ridiculous Old Man Connery one). Brosnan did okay, Daniel Craig has been mostly on fire, what's the hold up?

Do they need more than $586M for every $150M-$200M? Get with it. No-brainer.
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+2
3:23PM on 12/05/2010

For the future

I personally love Daniel Craig as Bond. To combat the popularity and swift violence portrayed in the Bourne films, he definitely takes the leap forward and dishes out as much badass awesomeness as possible. They really need to get cracking on a new flick after these financial issues. Btw perhaps Daniel Radcliffe would make a good Bond 10 or so years from now, just saying
I personally love Daniel Craig as Bond. To combat the popularity and swift violence portrayed in the Bourne films, he definitely takes the leap forward and dishes out as much badass awesomeness as possible. They really need to get cracking on a new flick after these financial issues. Btw perhaps Daniel Radcliffe would make a good Bond 10 or so years from now, just saying
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