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Should There Be a Period Bond Film?


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Poll: Should there be a period Bond film?

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Should there be a Bond film set in any other period than the time it is made?

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If yes, when?

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#1 DavidJones

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:01 PM

I know this is a topic which fans consider every now and then, but what do you guys consider to be the pros and cons of a 1950s/60s set Bond movie?

 

It would be set in the Cold War, like the books, and would make the franchise stand out from the crowd.

 

On the other hand, would people still consider it relevant?



#2 Jim

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 06:13 PM

No particular point to this - Bond was written in the present day and the written attempts to fix it back in the past have been too knowing and laced with sledgehammer attempts at irony; less so perhaps in the Young Bond ones but those have been laced with anachronism. It's anachronistic enough without forcing it further that way.

 

I'd call it a backwards step - a "no" from me, but it is an interesting question.



#3 Dustin

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 07:11 PM

Same here - I'm afraid period films of that era made today often don't work for me, simply because they are so regularly infused with today's awareness of events. I've been very hard on TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY and I suspect a period Bond film would not fare much better in my judgement. We pick ourselves a period that we think is 'classic' in some way, but often enough the depiction of the period is what today's audience expects that period to have been like, not - of course! - the real thing. With Bond you arrive pretty fast at a point where even a serious tone and story would end up as caricature on the screen. After all, Bond was what shaped the 60s to an extent, so the protagonist would act in a bubble of 60s setting that he himself helped create.

At the time this worked because Connery, Lazenby and Moore all employed that little ironic wink, telling us it's a joke, a massively hot and trendy joke - but fluff nonetheles. Today, whatever story you try to tell, you will always end up with either a rose-tinted, selfindulgent piece of nostalgia nobody will much care for. Or with a mildly entertaining outright spoof that's been done before, and probably better. When the constant allusions to the so-called 'iconic' moments of the past stick out like sore thumbs in a Bond film of the present - what will they evoke when they turn up in a pseudo-period setting? A period Bond production would practically consist of little else.

No, on balance I don't think hiding out in the past is the way into the future for the film series. Or the books either. Young Bond worked splendidly, but that's mainly due to Higgson's talent and a big chunk of luck that happened to fall from the skies when this was conceived. Its success, that of YB, was the exception from the rule.

#4 Single-O-Seven

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 09:00 PM

I think the idea could work, but not yet. If Bond should slide from copyright, and multiple properties open up to explore the character/series in different ways - think Sherlock Holmes - then there would be room to attempt it. But that is likely a long way off. If it does happen, perhaps a TV setting, via HBO/BBC, would be the best way to explore it. I'm not sure why. I like the idea but, as others have pointed out, Bond has always been a character of his time, if not a step ahead of it. Even Fleming embraced everything modern, and I suspect he'd want Bond continued in that vein.



#5 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 05:24 AM

It's anachronistic enough without forcing it further that way.

 

Perfectly put.

 

And since every Bond film is a period piece in itself, we have lots of decades to choose from already.



#6 Jim

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:11 AM

Poll added



#7 Dustin

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:21 AM

Now you got me there, Jim. A Bond film set in the future...

Obviously I find this an interesting concept, in spite of the various problems that would come with it. For example few sf writers predicted the Internet and many of the best works of the genre would have to do some explaining why this massive influence has been absent. And one of the things that changed our daily lives more than anything else - in spite of what politicians may tell you - is the mobile Internet and the instant accessibility of content. So to state the obvious, predictions about the future are best made looking back on it.

But I think it would be possible to interpolate a not-too-unlikely version of the world in, say 2066 - a time not too far away as to render our present day influences completely void. The task would be to create a world not simply shaped by global disasters or dystopian visions; it would have to offer the same range of economic and political diversity. Stupid and nasty would still be around and walking along reason and sanity. Everyday life would still offer the same consumerist problems and Bond would still largely exist outside everyday life.

Philip Kerr some years ago wrote The Second Angel, an sf novel centred around a heist on a maximum security vault on the moon. The book used many ideas - too many in my view - and turned from adventure thriller to philosophical evolvement of mankind by means of nanotechnology. It was a bit all over the place consequently, not his best book. But some of its elements would work fine with a James Bond story and I could imagine a screen version that would make the most of it.

#8 AngusMcLean

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 07:59 AM

Interesting topic, and I hear what you're all saying, but...it pricks my interest. A classy 50's/60's version could be awesome, if it was done right. Maybe a TV series or mini series would be good, based on the unused stories in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy.

 

I may be the only fan, but I'd watch it :)

 



#9 Agent 76

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 12:22 PM

The thing is, would they make the period bond film like an event a one time only, or lets say hire a new actor and set all his movies in the 1960's ?

#10 Dustin

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 01:46 PM

Today, the sole way for something to remain a one-time-only event is to be a massive b/o failure. Even if they hypothetically set out to just do a single one, there would always be options to expand.

#11 Simon

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 02:12 PM

No.

 

If only because we would be forced to reintroduce all that sexism and imperialism that 'they' have been trying so hard to move away from.

 

A Bond film released in 2021, set in 1960 with a Bond demanding of a coloured chap to 'get my shoes', and to lightly tap a girl's behind as she leaves the men to sort things out...  Not strictly necessary to include of course but just to reference the rose tinted aspect as mentioned above.



#12 sharpshooter

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 02:24 PM

And since every Bond film is a period piece in itself, we have lots of decades to choose from already.


Good point. I'm fine with new novels being period pieces, and for the original Fleming stories to be adapted into comic form. But as for live action, keep it in the current day.

#13 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 02:47 PM

I also donĀ“t think that it is possible to do a period piece now that would look and feel as authentic as the films that were actually made during that particular eras.



#14 DavidJones

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 03:01 PM

I suppose we've seen something similar with last year's Man from U.N.C.L.E. film.

 

I'd quite like to see a really classy, sophisticated look at the '50s. Like a  British 'Mad Men', when everyone was elegant and sipping cocktails and smoking coolly.


Edited by DavidJones, 21 September 2016 - 03:02 PM.


#15 plankattack

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 03:04 PM

In practicality I agree with those that they say it shouldn't happen, or, like the recent continuations, not happen in an authentic fashion. A series as self-aware as the films probably couldn't make a film about the 50s without acknowledging it.

 

That said, hypothetically, I'd definitely watch a film that accurately reflected the era/attitudes etc. I appreciate Fleming was write in an era rather than of an era, but to an extent there's still a resemblance of social "commentary" in there, if nothing else than an reflection of life in that era.



#16 Simon

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 05:36 PM

However, I DO think they should do a period Saint film.  Something to set it all apart from the obvious comparisons...

 

30's and 40's.



#17 DavidJones

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:36 PM

However, I DO think they should do a period Saint film.  Something to set it all apart from the obvious comparisons...

 

30's and 40's.

 

Definitely! There's a new Saint movie in development, but it's set now. I'd take anything Saintly at this point.



#18 Mendalla007

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:53 PM

I find that Bond has often existed in a slightly advanced version of the period each movie is made (not always, e.g. the Dalton movies and FYEO are pretty much on par for their time technologically). Things often happen that are simply a bit ahead of their time (e.g. the space station in Moonraker or the space laser in DAF as well as many of Bond's gadgets) but other elements are very much part of the period when the movie is made (the cars driven, the drinks consumed, the clothing, etc.). And I think that works for the most part. It gets a bit silly if they go too far ahead (e.g. Moonraker) but going backwards would risk that, too. The TV series Max Headroom had the opening tagline "twenty minutes into the future" and that's probably about where Bond movies should sit, a bit ahead of their time technologically and very much of their time socially.

 

Now, if they were going to make the Fleming novels into movies again or adapt them as a TV show or something? That could, and maybe should, be a period piece.



#19 DavidJones

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 06:57 PM

It would put the budget up, perhaps, but if they scale back on the action, perhaps it could be evened out.



#20 Dustin

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 07:37 PM

I wonder if 'period' would really make such a big difference in terms of budget? It's a sub genre like many others today, there is a whole branch of the industry invested in props, clothes, cars and so on for just this specific purpose. Period productions are not all that seldom today any more, with two or three prominent ones every year. The biggest problems are the location shots and here cgi can put you in any year you want today. Don't get me wrong, I know it's a huge effort for smaller productions. But for Bond it should not be the deal-breaker. I think if they wanted to they surely could do it.




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