When the James Bond franchise celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2012, many fans around the world rejoiced, myself included. Wow, has it really been that long, a full half a century, since Sean Connery first wore the tux and strutted his stuff on screen for the first time? Shocking, positively shocking.
It feels like a few months ago, this 2012.
When Skyfall came out in November, it absolutely crushed all expectations, making over a billion dollars at the box office and charming both critics and audiences alike. All references to past glories aside, Skyfall is a great film in and of itself. The little touches it added for long time fans were subtle and downplayed by an incredible story, high production values and another fantastic turn in the role by Daniel Craig, who has really made it his own even more. Hell, he made it his own from the first scene in his debut Bond film, Casino Royale.
So the franchise is in great hands as it chases its next fifty years.
In fact, things have never looked better for the most successful, most lauded film franchise in movie history. More than half the people on the planet has seen a James Bond film. It’s James Bond. There’s nothing else to say about it.
But what happens next?
If you look at all the original Fleming material not filmed, the pickings are a bit slim. With Craig’s run, that has not been a problem but it’s been a problem in the past for the series. By the time Pierce Brosnan took over in 1995, they had filmed all of Fleming original novels at least in name and most of his short stories. There are still some original titles left over but not much content.
Cubby Broccoli, one of the two original producers for Bond, said many times before he died that whenever they were doubt to go back to Fleming. When the well has run dry, what’s left to turn to?
Cubby’s daughter Barbara is still young but she won’t live forever and sorry but it’s doubtful she or anyone associated with the series now will still be involved with it in anther fifty years’ time. Will they just keep handing it down to younger family members as time goes by? I suppose it could work but there is no guarantee there will be anyone within the family that will care as much as Barbara and Cubby’s stepson Michael Wilson do. Most of their kids work for EON Productions so things are in play for them to continue but that might not be enough.
The audiences have something to say about it and thus far, audiences are on board with it.
The Bond series have survived and thrived for so long because it has adapted well with the times while still maintaining what makes it recognizable. So it appeals to hardcore fans and brings in new fans film after film. They stay true to their roots but are also able to freshen things up from time to time as well.
But fifty more years? It seems inconceivable to me.
My goal in life is to live enough to see my son become a grandfather.
And thus make me a great grandfather and since that will take around 60 more years I should still be around long enough to see Bond make it that long. Right now there are six actors to have played the character, that’s less than the number of human beings that have walked on the moon!
Though they have slowed down the output of films compared to the beginning-
There were 16 films the first 25 years and only 7 the next 25- we might get another 15 films and maybe four more actors if they make it to a full century in film. No matter what, it’s a pretty impressive run.