James Bond 007: A Cinematic Legacy – Part 2 of 2

Published 6 years ago by

bond logo1 James Bond 007: A Cinematic Legacy   Part 2 of 2Welcome to the final installment of this two part examination of James Bond. We look at how Ian Fleming’s character has remained popular for over 50 years. You can read Part One here. When an aging Roger Moore finally retired from the James Bond series in 1985, a young Irish actor named Pierce Brosnan was hired to replace him. However, when his series Remington Steele featured a surge in popularity following his casting announcement an option in his contract for more episodes was accepted meaning that he had to turn the role down.

In 1987 Timothy Dalton finally appeared as Moore’s replacement in The Living Daylights. More serious than Moore, Dalton took Bond back to his literary roots as a fierce killer. However, Bond faced his biggest challenge yet – the 80′s action hero. Faced with action stars like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson, it appeared that Bond had finally met his match. In the summer of 1989 Licence to Kill failed at the box office when pitted against the blockbuster likes Batman, Indiana Jones and Lethal Weapon. It looked like the era of Bond was over.

living daylights James Bond 007: A Cinematic Legacy   Part 2 of 2Audiences never really connected with Dalton’s portrayal of Bond. While he may have taken the part with the best of intentions, many critics believed that the Welsh actor felt that the role was beneath him. Looking back it’s easy to see that this just wasn’t the case, the excess of the 1980′s just wasn’t ready for this interpretation of Bond. Maybe things would have been different if audiences had been given the opportunity to see Dalton in more of the super spy’s exploits; however they wouldn’t have the opportunity.

Following a 6 year court battle over rights issues between Eon and MGM, many thought that the suit wearing Bond was now a relic of a bygone era. In the mid 1990′s Dalton declined an invitation to return to the legendary role and, in 1995, Pierce Brosnan finally had his chance to star as James Bond in Goldeneye. Re-launching the franchise in glorious fashion the film and Brosnan’s subsequent films were a huge success. Each of Brosnan’s films grossed more and more at the US box office and he became Bond for a whole new generation. However, following the 9/11 bombings and the Jason Bourne films many thought that 2002′s Die Another Day had taken the franchise back to the realms of Moonraker with its far fetched plot and over the top special effects.

Deciding not to renew Brosnan’s contract for a 5th film, the Broccoli family hired controversial choice Daniel Craig to reboot the franchise (along with Goldeneye director Martin Campbell). Whilst many thought that the film would be a huge failure, the film became a critical and commercial hit. Bond was back.

quantum of solace James Bond 007: A Cinematic Legacy   Part 2 of 2

Craig and Campbell stripped away many of James Bond’s iconic elements. Discarding Q, Moneypenny and gadgets this 21st Century Bond was again more like Ian Fleming’s original creation.  Mark Forster’s Quantum of Solace takes a similar approach – however the film feels like homage to the Roger Moore years with many images and situations recalling the 1970′s and early 80′s period of Bond. Don’t worry – this isn’t a bad thing. Solace is a leaner movie than Casino Royale, and the film picks up mere minutes after that films finale (a first for the series) and follows the previous films plot points through to its conclusion. Action packed, but light on quips Solace is the shortest film in the franchises 46 years, but with its high grossing box office it looks like James Bond will keep retuning every few years.

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  1. I think they should bring Martin Campbell back. He’s proven himself in 2 Bond films already.

  2. I disagree I think they should bring back Pierce Brosnan!

  3. Any news on the next bond film? Daniel Craig is doing great!!why do you want to change bond in next film?

  4. @Bal

    I’m sure there will be another film – Daniel Craig has stated that he would like the next one to be “lighter.” Bring on the martinis, Q and Moneypenny.

    I know I’m ready for their return.


  5. cool, cant wait to see it…do you think it will be released this year?

    I hope so.

  6. One of the things I like most about the last two movies is the fact that they were much closer in tone to the Fleming books. I don’t see the return of Q to the series as continuing with that trend, though, and I hope that doesn’t happen. I personally prefer seeing him rely on his own wits and whatever he has at hand than on special gadgetry for a change.

  7. I hope Bond retuns to classic form next time
    Pre Quantum that is .

  8. Quantum of Solace was a huge disappointment for me!

    I expected some further development of Bond’s character – something that worked very well in Casino Royale! They managed to re-invent Bond by successfully restarting him as a character!

    Instead we get a pretty forgettable sequel with some extremely bad choices regarding the villain, his henchmen AND the ladies – anorexic may be a question of nowadays fashion, but no interesting face at least some real eye candy?! And, most important, no further character development for Bond, nothing!

    If you have a franchise like that you either are smart and try to hit all the right notes in some unexpected ways (remember the question about the Martini in Casino Royale?) – or you leave the established ground and try something completely new. (The next Star Trek movie will have to prove that too!)

    But what did they instead? They fumbled it! “Lackluster and uninspired” were my thoughts when I came out of the cinema.

    Bond was alive for one more movie, but this one clearly is a failure and if they don’t get back on track (Craig said it already in a very polite way) they will ruin the series… again!


  9. I heard Daniel state the desire to have Bond hang out on the beach for the first 30 minutes. After seeing the latest, I can understand. Daniel barely could sit down let alone chill out. He was always doing some sort of physical movement. He must have been exhausted — rich…but exhausted.

  10. Martin Campbell should be the new Bond.

  11. I really hope that they find some way to introduce Moneypenny and Q into this new realm of Bond. It feels vacant and void without their presence. And MArtin Campbell is the man, whenever there is a new Bond film, he should always have first dibs on the directors chair.

  12. Daniel Craig is the greatest. I feel more comfortable seeing this new Bond and the removal of Moneypenny and Q. Marti Campbell is great with Bond films and should just go ahead and direct them all. Maybe Craig could do a remake of Connery’s films? Just a thought…an update of a more sinister Dr. No would be awesome.

  13. I heard a rumor that there will soon be a black James Bond. And it will be done by Sean “P-Diddy” Combs.