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What's Next for James Bond 007 after No Time to Die?

No Time to Die is coming to the end of its theatrical life and marking the end of Daniel Craig's run as James Bond. Change is coming. It's going to be more than a year before they pick the new Bond and reboot the movies. Craig's Bond has a complete story arc with a beginning, middle and end. The films also show that James Bond as a character might be at a dead end.

Ten Thoughts About James Bond: No Time To Die
Daniel Craig as James Bond in "No Time to Die," MGM

The thing about Bond, the movie version anyway, is that he works best as an unchanging hero who lives the high life and shags and kills his way through each mission to take down a megalomaniacal villain. Being a serious actor, Craig insisted on playing a Bond with an anguished inner life with an endpoint to his story. By the time No Time to Die came along, his Bond was full of emotions and sadness as he came to the end of his story. This means the next James Bond movie is going to be a complete reboot, starting with a brand-new Bond and possibly a new M, Q, and Moneypenny. The race to find the next James Bond and the media's click-baiting wild speculations will be as tedious as the race to guess the next Doctor Who.

The owners and producers of James Bond have always felt James Bond needs to evolve to keep up with the times. This is why James Bond cannot be as racist, misogynistic, or rape-y as he is in the original Ian Fleming novels (or the Sean Connery movies) now. Every Bond movie has reflected the trends and preoccupations of its era, including the funky affectations of the 1970s during Roger Moore's first Bond movies and even the nods to Miami Vice in the Timothy Dalton era. The Daniel Craig movies reflected the emo phase of Hollywood storytelling where everything has to be "personal" for the hero, and he has to have angst from a tragic backstory. The main appeal of James Bond, ironically, has always been that the missions aren't personal to him – they're just his job, during which he finds every excuse to live the high life drinking, eating the best food, wearing boss suits, and shagging as many women as he can. Fans would say he goes on his missions out of a sense of duty to serve Queen and Country and save the world, but really, at most points, he could have just decided "Sod this for a game of soldiers!" and just walked away to play golf in Monte Carlo. The appeal of the fantasy of James Bond is a life of sex and adventure where you get to murder bad guys without consequences. That essential core is probably not going to change. It did for Craig's Bond, and now it's ended.

So the core of James Bond won't change, but the world around him probably will. There are already hints of things to come: Amazon Studios bought up MGM recently, including the movie and TV rights to James Bond. While Amazon has promised to keep James Bond in the films, there's nothing stopping them from launching a TV series set in the world of Bond. The Ian Fleming Estate also recently announced that they'd commissioned novelist Kim Sherwood to write a trilogy of novels set in the James Bond universe featuring the next generation of 00 agents after Bond himself has gone missing. This suggests the franchise is preparing for a media expansion of the franchise.

Maybe the next movie will feature a new James Bond as a Chav (Council-Housed And Violent) who's recruited from an Amazon Fulfillment Centre in Croydon. A pissed-off, previously-broke James Bond working a shit job would certainly be in the mood to shag as many women and kill as many people as he can get away with.

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Adi TantimedhAbout Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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