Ever since the inimitable Shirley Bassey verbally extolled the virtues of classic Bond villain Auric Goldfinger during the opening credits of the film that bears his name, hiring a high profile artist to belt out the theme song of each new film has become just as much of a James Bond tradition as Q's gadgets and 007's trademark Walther PPK/P99 pistol.
Each new singer/band accepts the Bond job knowing full well that their contribution will be judged against all the tunes that have come before, both the huge hits and the forgettable misfires. Next to be added to the illustrious list of Bond's musical backers will be British crooner Sam Smith... at least if a new report is to be believed.
The New York Post's Page Six gossip section is the source claiming that Smith will handle the James Bond 24 title song. This contradicts different rumors from a few months back that pegged Summertime Sadness songstress Lana Del Rey as the most likely choice to provide Bond 24's title track. Both Smith and Del Rey have yet to publicly confirm or deny this development; considering Page Six's spotty relationship with accuracy, though, this could very well be much ado about nothing.
That all said, Smith certainly wouldn't be a too out of left field choice for the job, as his emotional style of romantic pop music really isn't too far off from Adele, who memorably won an Oscar for her work on the title track of Skyfall. Smith seems to possess the vocal range to hit a similar, epic theme song out of the park.
Then again, Del Rey's musical style has often been referred to as tailor made for film, with many pegging her song Shades of Cool as a Bond theme in waiting (and she's already gone Hollywood once before, with her rendition of "Once Upon a Dream" for Maleficent). Neither pick would likely produce a bad song, although it's hard to imagine that Skyfall will be knocked off its Oscar-winning perch anytime soon.
Bond 24 has been the subject of much creative uncertainty in the past year, with reports first positing that Skyfall director Sam Mendes would not return, then that he would return to do the next two Bond installments, then that changed to Mendes coming aboard for only Bond 24 (followed by Mendes' Skyfall cinematographer Roger Deakins dropping out of Bond 24 and being replaced by Interstellar shooter Hoyte Van Hoytema). As if that wasn't enough, the film's planned October 2014 start date ended up being delayed, due to the need for a last minute script polish by Edge of Tomorrow scribe Jez Butterworth.
With even the status of Bond 24's theme song now seemingly in dispute, fans of the series might soon begin to wonder if all this confusion isn't a bad omen for 007's latest globe-trotting adventure. Of course, this won't be the first Bond film to experience a tumultuous production process, and it probably won't be the last. Such is the nature of the beast when it comes to billion dollar blockbuster franchises like James Bond. When a studio spends $200 million on a movie, it doesn't want to take any chances that the project will disappoint.
James Bond 24 premieres in U.S. theaters on November 6, 2015.