Should Fans Worry About ‘Bond 25’ Being Cursed?

Getting knocked around is nothing new for James Bond. Occupational hazards come with the territory. However, the James Bond movie producers probably wish they’ve been having less trouble with their latest venture.

First, it was the will-he-or-won’t-he-continue game with Daniel Craig, who has shown reluctance to carry on with these shenanigans. Then the original director left the project. Then, Craig injured his ankle, which probably made him thankful that this is the last film on his contract.

Now comes last week’s news that an explosion damaged property and injured a crew member. With all that’s gone on, the production is definitely troubled. But we’ll stop short of calling it “cursed.”

Daniel Craig’s injuries and set damages

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig as James Bond | Greg Williams/Eon Productions via Getty Images

Variety reported that the explosion at Pinewood Studios in London, which has been Bond’s home for decades, damaged the stage and injured a crew member. A tweet from the Bond company Eon Productions seemed to downplay the incident, calling the explosion “controlled” and the injury to the crew member “minor,” although some observers said that on-set footage suggests the damage was actually worse.

That explosion came hot on the heels of the news that Craig injured his ankle during filming and would undergo surgery. “He was sprinting during filming when he slipped and fell quite awkwardly,” reported an unnamed source to the British tabloid The Sun. A similar injury befell Tom Cruise during the shooting of Mission: Impossible Fallout.

Nevertheless, the 007 film, currently with only a placeholder title of Bond 25, is still on track to release April 20 of next year.

The ‘Bond’ movie switched directors

Bond 25 had problems even before a single scene was shot. The movie was originally slated to be directed by Danny Boyle, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire. Another Oscar winner, Sam Mendes (American Beauty),  had just helmed the previous two Bond movies, the extremely well regarded Skyfall and the somewhat less well regarded Spectre.

However, Boyle parted company with the project over “creative differences.” Exactly what those difficulties were hasn’t been spelled out, but Eon Productions is known for being controlling and wanting directors to do things their way.

That’s all well and good for directors like John Glen, who helmed the Bond movies of the 80s after he rose through the ranks as a second-unit director and editor. It’s not so great for directors like Boyle, who honed a distinctive visual style with movies like Trainspotting and 28 Days Later.

Bond producers shy away from directors who are likely to shake things up. That’s why Bond directors tend to be more solid journeymen such as Martin Campbell (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) and less like directors with names people would recognize, such as Steven Spielberg, who did express interest in Bond once before making Raiders of the Lost Ark instead.

Boyle’s replacement was Cary Joji Fukunaga, who is probably best known for helming HBO’s True Detective.

Is ‘Bond 25’ cursed or doomed?

There is no doubt that the latest Bond movie has seen more negative headlines than it usually does, but cursed is perhaps too strong a word. Truly cursed movies are ones that financially endanger their studios, such as 1963’s Cleopatra or 1980s Heaven’s Gate, whose budgets inflated so high that people lost jobs even before the movies were released.

Then there are horrible instances where people lose their lives. In 1982, actor Vic Morrow and two child actors died after a helicopter crashed on top of them during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Then there is the so-called Poltergeist curse, revolving around the filming of the 1982 movie. No one died on set, but Dominique Dunne later perished at the hands of her boyfriend, who strangled her. Heather O’Rourke, who had the immortal “They’re here” line, starred in both Poltergeist sequels and died at age 12 in 1988 after a misdiagnosed intestinal illness.

So the folks at Bond 25 should be thankful the headlines aren’t worse. Hopefully, the shooting will proceed without further incident, and all anyone will have to worry about is whether the movie is good.