Eon’s new normal (cont.): Q’s comments analyzed

Publicity still of Ben Whishaw with Daniel Craig in Skyfall

So, this week, actor Ben Whishaw, Q in the two most recent James Bond movies, made a few comments to Metro which were deemed news about Bond 25.

“I haven’t had an update for a while. I would imagine, I think they have a release date for next year, so I think by the end of this year we have to have started filming something,” Whishaw was quoted by the website. “Although it has gone strangely quiet, but that’s often the way it goes.”

This was analyzed by Birth. Movies. Death (“Q Is Standing by for BOND 25“) and Screen Rant (“Ben Whishaw Expects Bond 25 To Begin Filming Later This Year“).

And, yes, it was news, at least of a sort. Neither Eon Productions (which makes Bond movies) nor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (which controls half of the 007 franchise) have said a whole lot for months. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In the land of a news blackout, a nugget becomes news.

It’s another reminder about Eon’s new normal. The Bond franchise has franchise has transitioned from being a film series to more like occasional events not on a set schedule.

In the 1970s, even 1980s, it probably wouldn’t have been much of a story if Desmond Llewelyn, the longest-serving film Q, commented about an upcoming film.

Imagine in that time period if Llewelyn said, “I guess they’re getting ready. They have a release date. So they’d have to start filming something before too long.” That wouldn’t have been a blip.

Also, consider this line from the Screen Rant story: “Whishaw may have confirmed his involvement, but there is still no news as to whether Ralph Fiennes (M) or Naomie Harris (Moneypenny) may be joining him.”

In the 1970s, the equivalent would have been: “Llewelyn may have confirmed his involvement, but there is still no news as to whether Bernard Lee (M) or Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny) may be joining him.”

In those days, it’s not a question a lot of people would have been asking. The show was James Bond and whoever was playing him. Connery is back! (Diamonds Are Forever) Who will be the new Bond? Can Roger Moore make it as the new Bond? (Live And Let Die)

This isn’t a complaint. The world is as it is. And Eon’s new normal is what it is.

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Bond 24: nature abhors a (media) vacuum

Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes

Nature abhors a vaccum, the old saying goes. So it is with Bond 24 — a movie still more than two years away. People are anxious for something, anything about it. Actor Ralph Fiennes presents a case study.

It began with A PRESS ASSOCIATION STORY CARRIED ON THE YAHOO MOVIES WEB SITE. That story quoted Fiennes in this passage:

The Harry Potter actor has been named as the next person to take on the role of M, after Dame Judi Dench’s character was killed at the end of Skyfall.

Asked about playing the famous part, Ralph said: “I think everyone knows that, I don’t think that’s particularly a secret.

“I’m looking forward to it very much.”

Pretty innocuous stuff, eh? A U.K. media outlet called Metro DID ITS OWN STORY citing Yahoo Movies for the quotes.

The Metro piece added this line at the end: “The next Bond film, to be directed by Sam Mendes, will reportedly be based on Sebastian Faulks’ 2008 novel Devil May Care.” There was a link to a JULY METRO STORY that in turn cited the U.K. Sun newspaper as the source.

Back in July, John Cox of the Book Bond Web site, which deals with Ian Fleming Publications on a regular basis ran A POST that included this line:

While it isn’t IFP’s policy to respond to rumors, I can confirm for you that this “scoop” by The Sun is complete and utter rubbish. Bond 24 is NOT based on Devil May Care.

Thanks to Metro, however, Bond fans are discussing this on the Internet all over again.