James Bond is back in the news once more, with tabloid rumours suggesting Daniel Craig is now being offered $150 million to return for two more films. This is a $50 million jump since it was last reported. Is it true? Possibly. Sony/MGM seem desperate to keep Craig on board and it is really starting to look desperate on their part, the actor has made it very clear that he does not wish to return to the role that made him a worldwide name, and simply throwing money at him isn’t going to fix it.
Other names have been thrown around, Idris Elba is the solid fan favourite, but Tom Hiddleston, Michael Fassbender and Aiden Turner always seem to crop up as well.
They can’t all play the next James Bond.
Or can they?
I want to suggest a radical solution to the problem of Bond. Instead of locking actors into contracts that carry on for decades, making them feel bored and tired before they hand up their Walther, and writers with nowhere new to take the character, how about we make Bond an anthology series, with each actor only making one film each.
Sounds crazy. I know. But hear me out. What if we can have films from Elba, Hiddleston, and then even bring back an old favourite like Brosnan or Dalton? The opportunities this opens up are endless, it no longer forces Bond to try and be a jack of all trades in terms of genre, we can have a high tech Bond, then a 1960s set film, or one set in a single location like a submarine. This would also allow for actors of different ages to play the character, and finally fulfill my dream of having Hugh Laurie play 007.
Another aspect that would lend to this idea, is dropping the budget. Spectre cost a frankly disgusting $300 million. Make these new anthology films for under $100 million, even try an unknown for one film, make it on a tiny budget, just to try something different.
The Craig era promised us something different and in fact did the opposite, keeping the character in pretty much the same place he’s been for over 50 years.
2018 – Idris Elba
2019 – Tom Hiddleston
2020 – Hugh Laurie
2021 – Michael Fassbender
2022 – Tom Hardy
This anthology can be dark and gritty in one film, then lighter and funnier in the next, make it a bit more high tech and sci-fi, then change it all up the next time around. Bond tries but refuses to really evolve, taking a chance like this would really give the franchise a shot in the arm.
It’s worth remembering that George Lazenby only made one Bond film, and that film was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, arguably the greatest 007 adventure yet.
Maybe, just maybe, we need the format to be shaken, and not stirred.