The next phase of the franchise must overcome the Craig era
If there’s one thing that sets the latest copy of the 007 franchise apart from the 24 previously released films, it’s its conclusion. The fact doesn’t put him on the podium as the best of all, however, it just presents a different element. Historically, works featuring James Bond have always focused on episodic narratives, in which a production was not required to be directly related to its immediate predecessor.
At the start of the project, in the ’60s, there was even an attempt to maintain a definite timeline when Moscow vs. 007 directly referred to the events shown in Satanic Dr. No (these two being the franchise’s first productions). However, it is clear that it will not be long before the producers of Goldfinger abandon this idea for good.
As stated in a previous text, the absence of a well-segmented timeline has its advantages, the main one being the ease of attracting more viewers with each new release, since the episodic nature of the saga takes the public all the responsibility of know the background everything that has happened in the previous chapters (unlike an MCU, for example).
The different generations of 007 never shared a timeline with each other.
However, by the end of the scene starring Pierce Brosnan, the producers realized that it was time to try something new. Cassino Royale enters the scene with the proposal to be the first adventure of this new James Bond, in which each film starring Daniel Craig would be linked to the previous one, thus showing the evolution of this version of the spy.
No wonder No Time to Die appears as the closing of this series, as well as the version starring Craig, delivering something unprecedented in the franchise that is an actor’s true farewell to Bond. Never before have the character’s cast had such an opportunity, in large part due to the aforementioned episodic nature of the film series.
Some view Her Majesty’s Secret Service as the actual closing of the character arc involving Sean Connery’s Bond (although in this film he is played by George Lazenby), however, the poor reception of the work prompted the studio to summon to new veteran actor. Diamonds are forever soon after.
Finally, the franchise now finds itself once again on the ground deciding where to go after the end of one of the “eras”. Even though producer Barbara Broccoli has said the only certainty at this time is that the spy will return, it’s worth starting to speculate on how this comeback will turn out.
It’s a hypothesis that has received a lot of support in the pop culture media, especially among options regarding where the franchise will go. It is not difficult to see that this hypothesis has many positive points. Going back to the 60s (or even 50s), as a result of the Cold War period, is going back to the golden age of espionage and, no wonder, where the franchise began.
Going back to the Cold War era can be interesting, as shown in “The Spy Who Knew Too Much”
Not only that, but the decision to revisit the ’60s can be very interesting from a production design standpoint, as it will involve the in-depth recreation of an entire retro setting. More recent work like Last Night in Soho has already shown just how vital the design of a film production can be to audience immersion and narrative progression.
Using this tool with a spy theme, the project could use works such as Ponte dos Espões and The Spy Who Knew Too Much (while avoiding the much slower pace of that second) to position the fictional James Bond at the midst of the history of the events of the time like the construction of the Berlin Wall or the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, if one does not resort to the traditional extravagant adventures of the franchise.
Inserted into the pandemic world
The other option is to stick with the present and, in this way, to continue another long tradition of the brand. Along with the episodic style, all of the 007 movies in one form or another are visibly conscious of the time frame in which they are produced.
Bond’s adventures have always dealt with topical issues.
The Connery scene features a hero more in keeping with the archetypal hero of the 1960s (not to mention how he relates to women); the Moore phase, the longest, in his first project (Live and Let Die) uses elements of Blaxploitation which grew a lot in the USA in the early 70s, a few years later Rocket of Death would bring a space battle visibly inspired by Star Wars.
Not only that, but the saga has always had a dialogue with the representation of sex cinema, which was treated very openly by the protagonist in 1962. It was a contribution with its share of importance to the treatment of this theme in films intended for the General public. . Representing the time you live on the screen is a very important mark for 007.
As the world still lives under the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, mainly economic, and the environmental emergency in the search for new forms of fuel, it is to be expected that the next Leap will have to face a nemesis who , in one way or another, represents this frame.
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