When it comes to rebooting James Bond for a new generation, nobody’s done it better than Martin Campbell. In fact, he even managed to do it twice, and both times delivered a globetrotting espionage blockbuster that debuted the latest incumbent of the tux in the most spectacular fashion possible, right from the opening scene.
Having proven his chops with 1995’s Goldeneye that kicked off the Pierce Brosnan era, Campbell was once again drafted in to provide a safe and experienced pair of hands when Daniel Craig was bringing 007 back to basics as a hard-edged rookie agent in Casino Royale. In each instance, audiences knew they were in for something special before the elaborate credits sequences had even started.
Craig’s final outing as cinema’s most iconic secret agent is still awaiting release, with No Time to Die having been delayed for eighteen months as a result of the pandemic. During that time, Amazon acquired MGM and generated a ton of speculation about where Bond goes from here, although producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have reiterated their commitment theatrical exclusivity.
As someone who knows a thing or two about Bond, Campbell was asked in a recent interview what he thought the future may hold, and he believes Eon might just hit the pause button on the franchise.
“I think, at the moment, the studio is determined to get the one that’s been sitting on the shelf for a year and a half, whatever it is, to get that out. And, normally, Bond’s cycle is two years or three years. Every two years, it used to be a new Bond would come out. I think with Daniel Craig going, I think with the one that they’ve got on the shelf that I think is coming out the end of October, I’m not sure, but they’ve given a date for it and they’ve had two false starts already.
So I think they’ll get that out and then they’ll just take a big deep breath and it’ll probably be maybe another three years before the next one comes out because they have to cast a new Bond and that takes some breaking in. And it has to be scripted and everything else. So, now that Daniel’s gone, of course, where do you go with it? That’s the other question.”
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The next step for James Bond is going to be a pivotal one in the wake of the Amazon/MGM deal, especially when a new leading man is being sought to fill one of the industry’s most coveted roles. It’s a curious time to be a 007 supporter, that’s for sure, but there’s just as much uncertainty as excitement.