About that whole ‘true’ Bond fan thing

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

Recently, I’ve seen some posts on social media bringing up the issue of who is a “true” James Bond fan.

I suspect the recent posts were spurred by the poll of Americans last month performed by Morning Consult on behalf of The Hollywood Reporter. It dealt with opinions about 007 films.

Some Bond fans complained, saying only people who are knowledgeable about 007 should be polled.

The Morning Consult poll appeared to be trying to come up with a statistically representative sampling of Americans. In that regard, it was similar to a political poll. Such polls talk to everyone from hard-core political junkies, to those who couldn’t spell “president” and everything in between.

Anyway, if you were to do a poll of “true” James Bond fans, how do you define that?

Should only those who’ve seen every Eon Productions 007 movies be considered? If so, how many times? Five? 10? 15? More?

How about only those who’ve seen the Eon series plus the two non-Eon 007 films? All of the above plus the 1954 CBS adaptation of Casino Royale?

How about all of the above plus those who’ve read the Ian Fleming original novels and short stories? Or should the continuation novels and short stories also be part of the definition?

I brought this up on Twitter this week and got a lot of feedback. Some of it, I suspect was tongue in cheek. Some of it, maybe not.

Regardless, this isn’t the first time the subject will come up. It’s unlikely to be the last.

However, the more germane issue is how James Bond — despite many interpretations over the decades — still is popular with the general population, not just hard-core fans.

In that regard, he’s similar to Batman, a character who has been around even longer. (Batman debuted in 1939 compared with Bond’s arrival in 1953.) You’ve had the Dark Knight. You’ve the Bright Knight. And everything in between.

That kind of longevity should be something that 007 fans — “true” fans or casual fans — ought to be able to celebrate in unison.

6 Responses

  1. You have the hardcore knowledgeable James Bond Fan who indulge in anything Bond not just the Films, and you have a Larger Population world wide who Just Love James Bond in General especially when a new Film is Released. it’s this Mixed Group of Fans who Keep the Legendary film Franchise alive for so Many Decades.

  2. IMO, a “true” fan should not be an insult to a casual fan, of Bond (or any beloved movie or TV series). If someone is discovering Bond (or anything similar) after decades of the original production, then they should be welcomed. With certain features (at point of inception) something just clicks in a person’s brain creating that deep sense of fandom. A sense of identity or an ability to relate or to imagine a fantasy relationship. True fans though, are accurate fans. They’ve studied what defines the cult, the details, it’s history, whatever enriches the specific interest, and at best, a true fan can enrich the knowledge base of the subject. It’s a matter exchange in terms of mutual interest among similar enthusiasts at the same level of expertise.

  3. Interesting since not a mention of the Fleming novels. It is tough for me to consider one to be a true fan if they have never even read a single novel. There are a lot of fans that have not. I am more of a literary fan and find a good number of the movies are unsatisfying. Some of my fellow fans find that shhhocking when I am very critical of many of the movies.

  4. @Michael: Not a mention of the Fleming novels? Did you see this passage of the post:

    “How about all of the above plus those who’ve read the Ian Fleming original novels and short stories? Or should the continuation novels and short stories also be part of the definition?”

  5. @The Spy Commander: He must not be a true fan since he didn’t read the entire article 🙂

  6. My slip. I missed that somehow.

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