As of time of writing, we still have no idea who the next James Bond will be. But what we do know is that the new James Bond will be British and he will definitely be “more emotionally sensitive. Unsurprisingly, social media has had its say regarding these latest comments from the film franchises producers, but with that being said, every one behind the scenes will know that regardless of the pressure they are put under, audiences will decide whether James Bond can stand the test of time when Bond 26 is released in cinemas worldwide.
Funnily enough, the Bond franchise and its producers especially have come under flak from the media numerous times throughout the years. From the ‘Blonde Bond’ outrage to replacing Sean Connery with an Australian model, we thought we would take a look at some of the times where the James Bond world has been met with outrage from the British and worldwide media.
Sean Connery is Replaced by… Who!?
Although initially doubtful, Ian Fleming was said to have “loved Connery in the role” after his appearance in the second Bond film, From Russia With Love. How then, would Fleming have felt if he had still been alive to witness Australian model George Lazenby take on the role in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (OHMSS)? After all, James Bond is a commander in the Royal Navy, so surely that would mean he has to be British? Regardless, one can imagine the uproar if social media was around back in 1969 when OHMSS was released.
Despite being viewed as a favourable film by Bond fans, Lazenby wasn’t to last as the enigmatic spy and was replaced by Roger Moore after only one film. Although, the facts seem to state that Lazenby quit the role of James Bond prior to the premiere of OHMSS citing that the role was too demanding and that he figured he would easily receive other acting roles now that he had become world famous.
Roger Moore – The Absurd Bond?
The ruthlessness of Connery’s Bond was followed by the charm of Lazenby, so perhaps it made sense for Roger Moore to approach the role with a completely different attitude. But for many viewers, his slapstick Bond was a little too much. Certainly, Moore’s Bond was the least like Ian Fleming’s 007 from the novels. However, no matter what you think of Moore’s portrayal, the facts are that his Bond movies earned over $1 billion in total. His time as Bond lasted over 12 years and he helped to establish the film franchise as one of the most successful and popular in the world.
Although the decision for Moore to leave was his own, it became apparent on-screen that he was beginning to look too old for the role. Not to mention, it seemed clear that the producers were looking to shape the future films in a different way. Hence, Timothy Dalton was installed as an all-action no-nonsense James Bond in the next two films. Overall, Sir Roger Moore was the longest and arguably the most successful Bond in history, up until Daniel Craig.
Blonde Bond Backlash
On Friday 14th October 2005, Daniel Craig was unveiled as the sixth man to play 007 with the producers claiming that he would bring a grittier edge to the role. Prior to the news, Daniel Craig was by no means a household name with the actor familiar only to fans of independent cinema – although Craig did once play a part in Sharpe, which is fairly hilarious to watch now.
Regardless, it was not Craig’s lack of fame that caused the outrage, it was the fact that he had blonde hair. When the news broke, fans flooded the airways with negative letters, emails and even websites bemoaning Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. As a matter of fact, never in the history of James Bond films has there been a more negative reaction to the casting of an actor in 007. Daniel Craig’s acting skills were never really the bulk of the complaints, it was all about his appearance. It may seem completely unbelievable now, but Craig was called everything under the sun from utterly uncharismatic to a charmless big-issue vendor.
Final Words and the Future of Bond
Fast forward to 2022 and pretty much everyone who wrote negatively about Craig looks rather foolish. Craig has been praised and accepted as one of the best ever James Bond actors who really did boost the franchise back to life and led it into a brilliant new era. Indeed, this should remind everyone that it is easy to be negative in the face of change, perhaps we should trust Barbara Broccoli and EON to read the room correctly once again when the eighth (David Niven included) James Bond is cast.
James Bond remains at peak popularity. The progression of the franchise has been fantastic, and Daniel Craig took the character to another level. In 2022, James Bond can be found everywhere from local cinema screens to comic books. There are now even James Bond themed online slots games, which is pretty incredible to comprehend. It is for this reason why we have to trust Barbara Broccoli and her team to make the right decision for whoever the future James Bond may be. Regardless of who takes the role, the news is guaranteed to generate a huge amount of publicity and we cannot wait to find out who will take one of world cinema’s most prestigious roles.