It may not be the most popular franchise these days, and it may not make the most money at the box office. But James Bond has stood the test of time, leaving an onscreen legacy few other characters or properties can match. Of course, with a franchise as longstanding as Bond, it’s important to adapt. Daniel Craig will play Bond for the final time in the upcoming film No Time to Die, and Craig’s run as Bond has shown how critical it is for the character to evolve.
Recently, Craig made some comments about the difficulties the Bond franchise faces – let’s take a closer look at what those comments were and the context surrounding them.
James Bond has been a successful franchise for years
Craig isn’t the first Bond by a long shot. Many other actors have taken up the mantle over the years. Each generation has its own Bond. Some of the actors who have played the legendary secret agent include:
- Sean Connery
- George Lazenby
- Roger Moore
- Timothy Dalton
- Pierce Brosnan
Craig is the current Bond, though his run is nearly over. What’s characterized the Bond franchise over the years is how it changes to fit the times it’s in. For example, the series was much campier in its earlier years. The Craig-era Bond films have adopted a grittier, rougher approach to resemble today’s action films like the Jason Bourne series.
That’s not to say that there aren’t recurring elements and themes present in every Bond. The tuxedos, martinis, and Q’s gadgets always make an appearance. But there are variations in each iteration.
No matter who has played Bond, or what style the film has taken, fans have shown up for every film in droves. Every Bond film has been successful at the box office. The character has stood the test of time – though it hasn’t been without its challenges in doing so.
Like any long-term franchise, it’s difficult to make James Bond relatable to a modern audience
The latest Bond film has undergone more challenges than most. Consider that it was set to come out in the spring after the COVID-19 pandemic began, delaying it until over a year later than originally planned.
According to Screen Rant, Craig made comments regarding many changes being made to the film’s script on the fly. The film lost its original director, Danny Boyle, only to replace him with True Detective vet Cary Fukunaga. Phoebe Waller-Bridge rewrote the script, and amidst all of this, Amazon bought the film’s studio, MGM.
It shows that Bond has always had to adapt, but this time around, it’s been even harder to do so. It has to make fans wonder what the finished result of the film will be.
The future of James Bond and Daniel Craig
On top of the many issues faced by the upcoming movie, it will also be Craig’s final time portraying the character. That puts an immense amount of pressure on everyone involved to ensure it’s a solid film. Craig has now played the character for 15 years, beginning with 2006’s Casino Royale. Unlike earlier versions of Bond, his version had a linear story told across movies that will culminate with this final chapter.
After Craig leaves, someone else will be cast in the role of Bond. But with this being Craig’s final entry, it’s vital for the franchise to get this right. They’re sending off one of the series’ most enduring stars under the most trying circumstances possible. It stands to reason that the studio will want Craig to leave on a high note.
No Time to Die may have been one of the hardest Bond films to pull off, but the franchise owes it to Craig for this to be a good installment.