Meaningless: Lists of top ten 007 movies

"I'm sorry, 007. You're not generating enough clicks."

“I’m sorry, 007. You’re not generating enough clicks.”


Over the past 15 years, the Internet has turned journalism upside down (and then some). Example: “list-icles” such as Top 10 James Bond movies.

Background: there have been 23 films (soon to be 24) in the James Bond film series produced by Eon Productions. Top 10 means you’re almost halfway through the complete series. That’s like, say, bragging about getting a “Top 20” series in a NASCAR auto race when there are 43 cars to begin with.

Yet, the Internet has transformed “click bait” into a premium. You could do a “Top 10” Bond movie list at random but you’d get 007 fans to click on the link. They’d argue, debate, etc. That wouldn’t matter. As long as they clicked on the link, the purpose of the story would be served.

A few recent examples: a Top 10 list by a website CALLED ASKMEN. A James Bond countdown from THE ROTTEN TOMATOES website. A WHAT CULTURE list of the top 10 007 movies.

It doesn’t matter how these (or many other such stories) have done careful reasoning, informed analysis, etc. It’s all about the clicks. In the Internet “journalism” (such as it is) of the 21st century, it’s all’s about the clicks. The clicks drive traffic, the traffic drives advertising revenue, etc.

With that background, analysis takes a back seat to emotion, such emotion will spur people to agree or criticize. If an article generates enough clicks, it’s worth it.

The Bond 24 ‘hot stove league’

Daniel Craig during the filming of Skyfall

Daniel Craig during the filming of Skyfall

For those who follow baseball in the United States, there’s what’s known as the “hot stove league” — what happens during the off-season that will affect the following year’s games.

Right now, we’re in Bond 24’s “hot stove league” — filming won’t start until sometime this fall and the movie won’t be seen until fall 2015. As a result, people get excited about the smallest bit of information, even when it concerns A BOGUS TITLE.

Here’s how the Bond 24 “hot stove league” is shaping up on some key ingredients.

Bond 24’s title: The information will be available when Internet domain names get registered. In the case of Skyfall, the THE FUSIBLE WEBSITE sniffed out the domain registrations a month before the official announcement.

Casting: This is a little harder to pin down. With Skyfall, Naomie Harris’ casting was reported by the now-defunct News Of The World; Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney by the Daily Mail; Javier Bardem’s offer to be in the movie was reported by the Deadline entertainment news website and Bardem confirmed he’d been cast in an interview with ABC News; Ben Whishaw’s casting was disclosed by his agent, even though Eon Production denied it for months.

In other words, fans inclined to keep up with casting news should be on alert going forward.

Crew: Again, harder to pin down, but Skyfall’s history provides some guidance.

Roger Deakins confirmed in a 2011 post on his blog (later zapped) in spring 2011 that’d he be Skyfall’s director of photography. John Logan’s hiring as writer already was reported by the Daily Mail and Deadline in November 2012. It was initially denied by Eon Productions but confirmed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer a few days later.

While Deakins isn’t returning for Bond 24, he said recently that Skyfall director Sam Mendes, who is returning for Bond 24, has a “great idea for another film, which is really an extension [of ‘Skyfall’] but from my point, I don’t know what else I could do with it, really.”

If Skyfall is a guide, some of the crew appointments may get reported by mid- to late-spring.