007 questions about Bond 23’s indefinite delay

The announcement that Eon Productions has opted to delay Bond 23 “indefinitely” is generating a lot of questions. Let’s get to them.

001. How long is indefinite? Well if there was a specific timeline, it wouldn’t be indefinite, would it? Still, indefinite can vary.

Golfer Tiger Woods, in a Feb. 19 statement didn’t actually say indefinitely but used similar words when talking about when he might play in a tournament again: “I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that day will be. I don’t rule out that it will be this year.” It turned out to be less than two months.

In the case of Bond 23, how long indefinite turns out to be is linked to the fate of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and, for the moment, it appears that’s going to take longer than two months.

002. Does this mean Daniel Craig has played 007 for the last time? This will depend, at least in part, on the answer to 001. But here’s something to bear in mind: Pierce Brosnan’s tenure as Bond couldn’t survive a four-year hiatus by Eon; Timonthy Dalton’s couldn’t withstand a five-year hiatus. Even if Eon got Bond 23 out by 2012, a dicey proposition at the moment, that would be a four-year gap since Craig’s last 007 appearance in 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

003. Bye bye Sam Mendes? Eon has never officially announced Mendes was actually going to direct the movie. If he has been working on the film, the indefinite delay may very well scramble that. Recall that Guy Hamilton was actually signed to direct The Spy Who Loved Me, but bailed out as the partnership between producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman was coming unraveled. That event resulted in a mere two-and-a-half year gap between 007 films, which seems rather quaint now.

004. Bye bye Peter Morgan? Morgan, the scribe behind Frost/Nison, actually was hired officially. He indicated in a December interview that he hadn’t done any work on the project since October because of the uncertainty surrounding MGM. At this stage, it’s hard to tell if he’ll ever resume.

005. Do the Broccolis take this opportunity to cash out? We’ve noted before that producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli seem to show more enthusiasm for non-Bond projects. Also, Michael Wilson has talked since at least 1999 about how tired he is.

006. Bye bye Judi Dench? The Oscar winner is now 75 and potentially looking at a few more years before reprising the role of M. Part of the answer may depend on whether Craig returns as Bond or not.

007. How much damage does this do to the 007 franchise? This is the biggest question and perhaps the hardest to analyze. One the one hand, it has survived other long delays in launching Bond movies. On the other, how many of these shots can the Bond series take?

6 Responses

  1. Good points, but I want to pick you up on some of the points raised in 002:

    You say Pierce Brosnan’s tenure as Bond couldn’t survive a four-year hiatus by Eon. That isn’t really true though as they didn’t get rid of him because of the 4 year gap.

    Rather the reasons for the 4 year gap and hiring a new Bond were the same – Eon realised that they needed to move the series on. As they decided to reboot, they also needed a new actor who to match the updated style.

    And the comparison with Timothy Dalton doesn’t stand up too well either; he was an unpopular Bond, whereas Daniel Craig, although despised as Bond in certain quarters, has more than filled the shoes of many of his predecessors and is extremely popular.

    Having found a great James Bond in Craig, and having given us one of the best films in the series, it would be a real shame if his last Bond film was the damp squib known as Quantum of Solace.

  2. I’ve had a think about this and come to the conclusion that there is more to this message than meets the eye – it’s a warning shot across the bow of MGM to say get your act together or else:
    http://www.tjbd.co.uk/news/bond-23/bond-23-delay-what-eons-announcement-really-means.htm

  3. Actually Guy Hamilton told me he had a few ideas of his own which WERE incoporated into the final SWLM draft and then survived the round table script meetings – the most important being ‘ seeing Bond in full naval attire again ” ( hence the Scotland naval base episode at the very beginning of the film )

  4. Best-case scenario: Broccoli & Wilson take this opportunity to cash out, selling EON lock stock and barrel — followed by MGM’s sale of the James Bond property to the same entity. New owners can use all the familiar Bond film elements, and actually give a damn about making James Bond movies. I would think most of the major studios would be salivating at the prospect of being THE Bond film distributor (Columbia/Sony already has had a taste of that juicy pie).

    James Bond Movie Factory, now under new management, proceeds to skillfully and reliably manufacture a new 007 picture every two years.

  5. Worst case scenario :
    Broccoli & Wilson take this opportunity to cash out, selling EON lock stock and barrel — followed by MGM’s sale of the James Bond property to the same entity. New owners can use all the familiar Bond film elements, and actually give a damn about making James Bond movies.
    Enter Brett Ratner , beating Quentin Tarantino to the director’s chair , and boasting from being at last at the helm of a real James Bond film …

  6. […] six months ago because of continuing financial trouble at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. At the time, we posed (00)7 questions about the move. There aren’t many definitive answers, but here’s what can be said about the seven […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: