About that killing James Bond off in Bond 25 thing

Danny Boyle, a sort of spectre over Bond 25.

Some time back, it seemed the memory of Danny Boyle, briefly the director of Bond 25, had dissipated. But, for some reason, that memory is hanging around like a spectre that won’t leave a haunted house.

The catalyst of this was a story in the Daily Star proclaiming that Boyle had gotten the boot because he wanted to kill off 007 in his version of Bond 25. The story got picked up and Bond fans were aghast about it.

The thing is, this wasn’t the first time — not by a long shot — that this notion had made the rounds. The Playlist’s Feb. 16 story about the hiring of Scott Z. Burns as a Bond “script doctor” also alluded to this idea. That piece said “there were rumors that Boyle wanted to kill Bond in the end…and this was a bone of contention. Having heard about the ending of the current, non-Burns version of the script (which I can’t reveal), I can say there’s likely some truth to that rumor. ”

Of course, the idea goes even further back. The Sun, in an August 2018 story, had it the other way around — that Eon’s Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig wanted to kill Bond off but Boyle didn’t.

It makes your head hurt either way.

In 2017, Eon had spent months developing a story by long-time 007 screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. But, as first reported by Deadline: Hollywood in February 2018, Boyle and his screenwriter John Hodge made a pitch that intrigued Eon.

Suddenly, the Purvis and Wade story seemed expendable.

Three months later in May 2018, Eon announced that Boyle was onboard and Hodge was writing the movie. Another three months later, Boyle and Hodge were gone.

Now, if Boyle wanted to kill Bond off, when did he present that idea? During the pitch? In a treatment by Hodge? When Hodge turned in his first draft? Still later? (“Oh by the way, we’ve got to kill Bond off.”)

If Broccoli and Craig wanted to kill Bond off, when did they present that notion to Boyle? When they were having their pitch meetings? After Hodge did his script or….well, you get the idea. Killing off James Bond would be a big deal. You would think it would have happened early in the discussions. If it was deal killer (which you’d think it would be) it’d be something to resolve right away. Oh well…..

6 Responses

  1. I remember a rumour about killing Bond off in 2002 for ‘Die Another Day’…

  2. One gets the impression that perhaps Craig and the Producers just don’t know where to take it from here. There was quite a bit of spinning wheels going no-where. Purvis and Wade have served the production reasonably well over the last few films. Suddenly they are out because of a potential new take & direction from Boyle & Hodge …which went nowhere. Now we have a second director and third writer.

    I get the sense that Broccoli and Wilson just don’t know where to take this and perhaps are just tired of the whole process of making a Bond film ( MGM and various distributors can’t be the easiest of things to deal with not to mention how one incorporates all the product placement these days without looking like one long commercial ). Craig has definitely made his feelings known where he stands on all of this. It’s like they are going through the motions as there is a distinct lack of energy and enthusiasm. I hope that this is not the case … but the delays and change of direction do make you wonder

  3. That idea goes even further back. Ian Fleming famously killed off Bond at the end of From Russia With Love, only to bring him back to life in Dr No with a vaguely written recovery from Rosa Kleb’s poison boot kick.

  4. Doesn’t sound good. They don’t know what they’re doing.

  5. Perhaps it would help whoever writes the next draft of the Bond-25 script to review what made Tomas Alfredson’s version of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” so haunting and gripping. Like “Casino Royale,” there are no gadgets (cellphone app excluded). The focus was as much on the lead character’s internal struggles as well as those of MI6.

    There is no need to reinterpret SPECTRE for a 21st-century audience. Monolithic organizations out to control the world sound like alt-right conspiracy fantasies. They simply aren’t necessary, especially when there is plenty of extant evil out there.

    Fleming’s Bond was an intelligent character grounded in 1960s sexual mores towards sex, women and minorities. Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Bond showed how one actor–one damned good actor–can surmount these tired tropes, playing on them rather than embracing them. Craig’s adroit physicality is a tremendous leap over previous Bonds. But his age needs to be a mitigating factor lest he become the laughable shell Sean Connery was in “Diamond Are Forever” or Roger Moore was in all of Bond films.

    The threats to the world–always at the heart of a Bond film–can give way to more attention on Bond’s metier and his internal struggle with his profession. Le Carre’s George Smiley proved intriguing because he was a slight intellectual haunted by his failing marriage and a Cold War that strained people’s loyalties. The number of defections and disloyal government workers today is a reminder that, in this regard at least, little has changed in the past six decades.

    Let Bond-25 jump off from here. Give the gadgetry its due but do not at the expense of story or credibility (no invisible cars or cloaking devices, please). Let intelligence in its plurality rule. Give Craig a chance to truly act in a story that is chilling because of its realism, and not because it invokes the next incarnation of Ernst Stavro Blofeldt; leave him to the dustbin of faded, unmemorable Bond villains.

  6. I don’t think Danny Boyle was intending to really kill off Bond. But probably near the End of the film to Facilitate Craig’s exit he wanted it to appear so by Making 007 in his last mission badly wounded and dis-figured and missing Leaving the story opened for a new James Bond in bond 26. which is just my opinion.

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