Bond 26 questions: Future of the franchise edition

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

There has been a lot of James Bond film news the past week. Naturally the blog has questions.

What decade will Bond 26 come out in?

If we’re lucky, the 2020s.

Oh, come on! That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?

In 2012, when Skyfall came out, did you think there’d only be two Bond films in the 2010s?

Put another way, can you be sure there will be two Bond films in the 2020s?

Never mind. But why such a negative vibe?

Because there are a lot of unanswered questions concerning the future of movies.

No Time to Die (plus Marvel movies, plus DC Comics movies, plus Fast and the Furious films plus Jurassic World movies) were pre-COVID-19 movies scheduled to debut in a post-COVID-19 world.

Studios counted on big “tentpole” epics to bring paying customers into movie theaters to supplement on-demand and home video releases. Meanwhile, mid- to small-budgeted projects have gone over to streaming services.

There have been many, many delays of “tentpole” epics during COVID-19. No Time to Die alone was pushed back from April 2020 to November 2020 to April 2021.

But movie theaters are under a lot of financial strain. What happens if many theaters — the same theaters studios rely on for a major tentpole revenue stream — go under?

At one time — say a year ago — people weren’t talking in those terms. Now? It’s a possibility.

What are you saying?

As the saying goes, “James Bond will return.” But will it return as a $250 million-budget “tentpole”? Or does Bond return in a form similar to his 1962 film debut, i.e. a more modestly budgeted film adventure.

Time will tell.

2 Responses

  1. The article makes a good point!

    As only a single paying customer (to me) franchise movies make a mistake in trying to out do themselves. Why can they NOT trust that fans want a rich storyline, meaningful relationships, and strategically placed graphics and action sequences that lend purpose to the plot.? Meaning, not being staged simply for the glitz and glamor of it. What did Star Trek (The Movie) teach? What MFU (The Movie) teach? That there’s no point in putting out a movie at all unless there’s purpose and relatability in the effort. Maybe “tentpole” productions should be over. If a modestly budgeted film adventure can capture the true spirit of the Franchise, and do justice to another installment of story arc, it might be nice return to the 1960’s tradition!

  2. I’ve said for a long time that a movie industry that depends on tentpoles is a sick industry, one that was vulnerable to events like the pandemic. When I was growing up in the ’50s and ’60s there were event movies, with road show releases. Examples were How the West was Won and Around the World in 80 Days, but the business did not depend on them. James Bond movies, while they were events for us, were just bread and butter business as usual for the theaters. The industry has painted itself into a corner and I confess to a certain schadenfreude now that quality fare has moved over to the streaming services. Honestly, I wish that the Bond franchise abandoned the cinema route and signed with a Netflix to do a series of period adaptations of the novels.

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