Some will see it as the best news ever, some will roll their eyes and think to themselves, ‘not another one’, while some will simply be indifferent. Whatever your reaction, next year there will be no escaping the name Bond, James Bond. Newly revived MGM, with brand new owners after their brush with bankruptcy, have announced the release date of the next 007 movie as 9th November 2012, at the end of a year which will see the evergreen British agent celebrate his 50th anniversary. Expect the working title to be Bond 23. I know, imaginative.
Daniel Craig has confirmed he will play the British agent for the third time, revisiting the darker, colder, blonder Bond he created for 2006′s Casino Royale. But the really interesting news is that British director Sam Mendes has agreed to helm the movie. Mendes, director of the excellent American Beauty and Road to Perdition, is one of the higher profile names to step behind the camera for a Bond movie, and his presence should promise something above and beyond. Who knows? Perhaps a trend for assigning star directors to the franchise will emerge after this. Perhaps even Steven Spielberg will get his long-coveted chance to direct the English secret agent.
Despite the outcry from some die-hard Bond fans, culminating in the ridiculous craignotbond.com site, Daniel Craig’s previous two movies have revitalised what had become a tired, creaky and worn-out franchise. Stripping the character of the crappy wisecracks, tedious womanising and overall smugness gave Bond back to an audience who had grown fond of the grittiness and realism of Jason Bourne and his contemporaries, and a lot of the credit for this has to go to Craig.
I haven’t been this excited by a Bond movie since…okay, I haven’t been this excited by a Bond movie. I’m looking forward to this one. And since it’s almost traditional to ask this question when discussing 007, who is your favourite James Bond?