A few things about Bond fan outrage

The past few days have been overheated in James Bond fandom. If you’ve followed the news, even casually, you can guess why. But here are a few things to keep in mind.

It’s only a movie: James Bond isn’t real life. If you want to get upset, get upset about real-life events. There are plenty to choose from.

Don’t go there: I saw a video that specifically made a homophobic reference to a Bond fan who does amusing YouTube James Bond videos. No, I am not going to link it.

Don’t go there. Don’t do it. There’s no need to do it.

Long-running characters change and evolve: Sherlock Holmes got “timeshifted” to the 1940s in movies made by Universal during World War II. Batman fought aliens in 1950s and early 1960s comic books. Dick Tracy had his own “space era.”

If you don’t like one era for a character, it’s likely a new era will occur sooner or later. Batman became darker after the end of the 1966-68 Batman TV show thanks to stories by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. Bond has had his own share of different eras.

Characters may change race or gender: Marvel’s Nick Fury went from white (in the original 1960s comics) to black. It happened with an “alternative universe” version where Fury was drawn to resemble Samuel L. Jackson. When Marvel began making its own films, Jackson got cast in the role. A 2010 Hawaii Five-0 television series (still in production) turned The Governor and Jonathan Kaye into women characters (Pat Jameson instead of Paul Jameson, Jenna Kaye instead of Jonathan Kaye. Also, Kono transformed into a woman character in the new series.

Meanwhile, Bond films came out with black versions of supporting characters. such as Felix Leiter and Moneypenny.

Miscellaneous notes about the U.N.C.L.E. movie

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. teaser poster

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. teaser poster

No real spoilers (in terms of giving away plot points) but the most spoiler adverse should avoid until they’ve seen the movie.

A few tidbits after seeing The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie twice:

Alternating lead billing: Armie Hammer (Illya Kuryakin) gets top billing in the main titles while Henry Cavill (Napoleon Solo) gets top billing in the end titles.

Possible in-joke: In the end titles, we see Waverly’s dossier and discover he was, at one time, an opium addict. Director Guy Ritchie directed Sherlock Holmes movies in 2009 and 2011. The great detective was known, on occasion, to partake of opium. A passing reference to the director’s previous work?

Missed opportunity for an in-joke: The Waverly dossier in the end titles gives his birth date as March 1, 1913.

It would have been really cool if it had been April 29, 1913, the birth date of Norman Felton, the producer who initiated U.N.C.L.E.

Beyond that, a bespectacled Hugh Grant (who turned 53 during production) as Waverly looks somewhat like a 51-year-old version of Felton in The Giuoco Piano Affair, which aired in the first season of the 1964-68 television series. Obviously, some projection on the part of the Spy Commander.

A credit of note: Felton got an “executive consultant” credit on the movie even though he passed away in 2012, more than a a year before the Ritchie film began production.

Presumably, Felton’s credit was the result of a contractual obligation. John Davis, one of the producers of the movie, originally optioned the property in the early 1990s.

Thunderball reference: In the film, Armie Hammer’s Kuryakin beats up three Italian fellows, one of whom is named Count Lippi. The 1965 James Bond film included a minor villain named Count Lippe. Interestingly, the character was referred to as Count Lippi in a 1961 draft by Richard Maibaum.