As one of the most enduringly popular franchises in the history of cinema, James Bond is no stranger to reinvention. Each recasting and reboot is obligated to move with the times in order to remain relevant, something that’s been a key component of the brand’s continued appeal since 1962’s Dr. No.
The Daniel Craig era saw 007 updated as a very modern kind of action hero, which was influenced by the espionage genre finding newer, more relatable and deeply flawed icons like Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer, with the quip-happy and gadget-heavy adventures for MI6’s top operative viewed as relics of a distant time.
No Time to Die will be drawing the latest iteration of the iconic character to a suitably epic and spectacular conclusion, and then the speculation will turn to what comes next. In a new interview with Variety, Q actor Ben Whishaw offered his opinion that the property is in need of something radical to keep propelling it forward.
“If they want to continue with this character and the franchise, I think you can explode it and do anything. I don’t know what that should be, but it seems to me like it should be something quite radical, something really different. It’s got to change; it’s got to keep changing. We’re in different times now. There will always be people who want it to stick to the way it was whenever ago, and they’re important, because they love these films. But I think you can do both. You can honor the character and the tradition, and you can push it forward, too. And I think you have to, if it’s not just going to become a kind of museum piece.”
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Whatever happens in the immediate future of James Bond has been given a very interesting new wrinkle following Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, which sees the multimedia monolith holding a vested stake in the series. The producers are confident the future remains exclusively on the big screen, but there’s going to be some intense discussions behind closed doors over how to proceed once the dust settles on No Time to Die.