Bond Talk After Dark: Locations, Auditions, and Ambitions

Let's discuss where Bond should go, look at where he didn't go, and read Pierce Brosnan's 1997 thoughts on where Bond needs to go.

The new fanboy rumor going around is that Bond 25 will ape the Logan model and feature Daniel Craig’s 007 on his very last mission, culminating in, of course, his death. As a man of words, I choose this next sentence carefully:

Fucking SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH.

Wolverine dying at the end was not what made Logan work, guys. And I’m always willing to be proven wrong by talented filmmakers, but killing Bond feels like the most “playing action figures” fan service move I can think of. It’s the most literal approach to a Bond 26 recast/reboot imaginable. And it edges us closer to those “James Bond is a code name” theories I hate so much. As my mom used to say, this is why we can’t have nice things, you animals.

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A fun Bond fan thing to do is speculate what new locales 007 will visit in his next film. Some fans are grumpy at how much time James has spent in London in the last two films. I can’t argue that point; there was a legitimate, thematic reason for the UK-centrism of Skyfall, but by the time we’re speedboating on the Thames in Spectre, wanderlust had started to set into this Bond fan’s heart. Fans are also tired of this Bond going to Italy. He’s been there six times in four films!* That’s a lot. (But two of those trips were to Lake Como, so it’s hard to blame him.)

The problem with where to send Bond is that at this point his destinations can start to feel like references to other Bond films. In Skyfall he drove a motorcycle through the Grand Bazaar where Kerim Bey had an office in From Russia With Love. In Casino Royale his showdown with Gettler is in the exact courtyard in Venice where 007 fought Chang in Moonraker. In Spectre Bond goes to a snow-covered Austrian mountain and we get pissed that there’s no ski chase a la On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (We were right to be), though. I feel like the high seas and the Paris catacombs are two Fleming-appropriate locales Craig's 007 needs to visit before he hangs it up. (Or dies, I guess, ffs.)

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The official 007 Instagram account tweeted out a still from Daniel Craig’s Bond audition, presumably filmed sometime in 2005. This still was in the Taschen 007 Archives, but I think it’s the first time it’s been online.

Eon is always pretty tight with the audition footage; would love to see this one. (Who played Tatiana??)

For fun, here's Sam Neill's Bond screen test (for The Living Daylights), as well as James Brolin's (back when Octopussy looked like it wouldn't get Roger Moore back in the saddle):

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FHM noted that it’s the 20th anniversary of Tomorrow Never Dies, and to mark the occasion they’ve rerun an interview with Pierce Brosnan from back then. It’s a fascinating read:

"There’s no reason we couldn’t do a different genre type Bond. A thriller Bond, a scary Bond, a science fiction Bond, a horror Bond...I know it can be done somehow...You have all the tools there: the character, the music, the women, the martinis, the gadgets, M, Q! — you take those people and put them in a setting which is different. It’s exciting to think about. You set the whole piece in London. You do a character piece, maybe M gets kidnapped, or something like that. Casino Royale would be wonderful. If there’s a next time around, there’s no reason not to go after some of the other directors, like the Tarantinos. Martin Scorsese said he would love to try and do one. Can you imagine that? Try saying that to [producer] Michael Wilson.

Damn, Brozzer, don't hold back. Reading this interview, one sympathizes; he angled for the Bond gig for a long time, and you can really feel him yearning to take the franchise in new directions - some of which, we should note, came to pass in subsequent films. But imagine being Brosnan, making the Bond movies he did, and reading that Tarantino wanted to adapt Casino Royale with you. That had to sting. 

*Casino Royale: Lake Como, Venice, back to Lake Como; Quantum of Solace: Sienna, Talamone; Spectre: Rome. 

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