James Bond is facing his greatest menace yet. Studio shenanigans.
Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle just bailed on the latest 007 assignment, citing the proverbial creative differences. Now, Team Bond is scrambling to find a new visionary to bring star Daniel Craig back for a fifth spy adventure.
It’s tempting to say, “why bother?”
Craig clearly doesn’t want the gig. He all but said so after his fourth Bond outing, “Spectre.” It’s hard to blame him. The shoot left him shaken and bruised. Today’s action heroes do plenty of their own stunt work. Just ask Tom Cruise.
It took a massive paycheck to help change Craig’s mind.
And then there’s the pressure to modernize James Bond. Cast a woman as the next Bond! Why not a man of color! Does he have to be so cruel, by the way?
It’s enough to make you shrug and say, let the franchise expire. Only we need James Bond now… more than ever. Here are four reasons why.
No Hand Wringing
Today’s action heroes often think about the consequences of their derring-do. The Avengers spent an entire movie wringing their hands over the fallout from their fighting — in a “Captain America” movie, no less. The latest iteration of “Jack Ryan,” coming soon to Amazon, finds him flinching from some of the grit spy games require. James Bond doesn’t cotton to those sentiments. The world is on fire. He’s here to douse it, or die trying. That’s as far as his pearl-clutching goes.
Take Your Toxic Masculinity and …
The Left’s latest bogeyman is toxic masculinity. It’s silly on the surface, but even more absurd when you consider how children are negatively impacted by the lack of father figures in their lives. James Bond oozes masculinity. He crushes it in a tux, but he’s equally at home in any sartorial choice. He’s quick to romance the ladies and even quicker when it’s time to pull the trigger. He’s a man’s man, the kind women drool over and men want to emulate.
Toxic? No, it’s refreshing in our safe spaces age.
(Some) Change Is Good
The Bond saga shows cultural artifacts can grow without losing what makes them special. Recent Bond outings have shown a less polygamous hero, for starters. And the series’ gadget obsession doesn’t play as well as it once did. That’s fine. We can watch our pop culture heroes adjust to modern times without giving up their core DNA. In this case, Bond is still Bond.
Bridge to the Past
Most franchises have fairly recent roots. For all the hullabaloo about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s still just 10 years old. The Bond franchise stretches back to 1962 courtesy of “Dr. No.” Consider what that means and how the culture has radically changed since then. There’s no practical reason for us to still care about an antiquated hero. We do all the same.
We’re living in an age when little connects us. Cable, streaming and YouTube channels give us hyper-niche choices to watch. The old water cooler shows are practically extinct. Still, Bond endures. That’s something we should fight for, even if it means waiting a little longer for the next 007 adventure.