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But here's a question related to your OP: Would fans want to see Irma Bunt in future Bond films if/when we do in fact see Blofeld's return? I believe Blofeld could be done without her, though some might argue otherwise. Would there be concerns over whether reintroducing Bunt might take the series one step too close to repeating OHMSS or reintroducing Tracy?
Not Blofeld either then? I think we're going to get that, yes?
Well it's too late for Blofeld. I was one who wanted him and all the other previously used Bond villains to remain in the past. Blofeld was inevitable with all the other reboots reviving their iconic villains. Zod, Moriarty, Khan...Blofeld's return was bound to happen. I want so see Bond fight new enemies. Not old ones in an updated way.
Yes, as you may know I was in the same cam,p as you, @Murdock, but I am prepared to give it a chance and see how it is handled in the upcoming Spectre.
I'm hoping for the best but I still have my doubts.
Furthermore, with Bunt there is an opportunity to cast an older actress in a more prominent role in a big studio action movie. I know Spectre has already achieved this with Bellucci but it would be nice to continue this trajectory. In fact, when Bellucci was first cast I was convinced she would be playing Irma.
Other possible casting decisions:
Kristin Scott Thomas
And based on her looks, this could very well be her breakthrough-role with bigger roles. Judging her looks and those of Tilda Swinton, I can imagine that Tilda was in fact first asked to play a possible henchwoman in SP. And when she then declined, they perhaps casted Brigitte Millar.
I see the logic in Blofeld, but I'm curious why you think Bunt should also be re-established, more than any other supplementary characters? The producers reticence is well-founded imo. I think it's a very, very tricky area and not worth the risk when the alternative is adding to our already legendary rogues gallery. All it takes is another Tamahori, a Director who on paper should do a decent job, to come in and we'll be seeing a rebooted Jaws et al. I get that Bunt isn't in the same strata in terms of popularity, but it's a slippery slope. I'm more than happy for Miller and co to be new entries into the pantheon of bizarre villains.
And I would love to see Swinton in a Bond film.
The case for Blofeld's return is strong especially considering his reputation as Bond's archenemey and that he has figured as the central antagonist in numerous films before. However, I think Bunt's connection to Blofeld and the role she plays in two of Fleming's novels, OHMSS and YOLT, make Bond 25 an opportune chance to bring her back.
Should they bring back back other characters? I'd be all for getting Goldfinger back if Philip Seymour Hoffman was still with us today.
Also regarding Cotillard: It's a sin she hasn't been in a Bond yet. In fact, I'm kinda thinking they should have switched out Seydoux for her. I'd much rather see Craig with Marion.
Given the direction SF seemed to be heading at times, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you're right. I think SP could prove pivotal in this sense. I'm torn, basically because I was quite fond of the direction CR and QoS seemed to be going. The sense I now get is that SP will bring even more of the 'formula' to the fore. For example, I expect to see a vehicle with gadgets, Q with a lab etc. As long as they do it well, I'm in, but I really hope the reintroductions start and finish with Blofeld and his cronies.
Me neither @Murdock.
Yes to both, excellent choices @Pierce2Daniel. That would be the kind of news to get me interested in a new Bond film.
I'm sorry, I don't understand your concerns at all. Why is it tricky really? Why is it a slippery slope?
I just believe that the reintroduction of characters has to be really carefully executed and preferably limited. It seems to all extents and purposes Blofeld will return, as such Bunt can be thrown in as baggage, and probably will be. Whether I think it's a good idea is irrelevant as it will probably happen. What I don't want to happen is for other Directors to step in and start toying with rebooting GF, or Mr.Big etc, etc. I'm not saying this will happen, but once the seeds are sown it might be difficult for all involved to step back immediately. If SP works and the audience love Blofeld's return, will the studio then consider rebooting other classic characters? My point, as I've said on several threads many times is that on the whole I would really rather they experimented with new characters and stories.
Point taken. But what is your exact problem then with re-introducing more famous "names from the past"? Will they inevitably lead to Lee Tamahori-esque destruction? Or can they lead to a fresy, new, even creative very interesting approach, in which the actual name is nothing more than a "shell" for something brand new?
I actually do understand your worries. Marvel and DC Comics do it too. Sometimes to great effect ("The Joker" in TDK, "Robin" in TDKR), and sometimes to lacklustre effect. Although I really need to think of some bad examples. Can u help @RC7?
I feel like it would diminish the canon. There's something quite unique in having such a plethora of great villains and the exciting thing for me is expanding on that. The groundwork was laid by Fleming, some non-Fleming villains hit the mark and others float at opposing ends of the spectrum, but they all offer an interesting proposition and challenge for Bond. They all combine to create the Bond mythos. If you were to give me two options, 1) New story, new villain, or 2) New story, re-booted villain, I take the first every time. One of the great pleasures of new Bond films, for me, is; 'Who's the villain?', 'What's the threat?'.
Nothing is truly original and there will always be similarities and shared traits, but falling back on past glories is the height of laziness. It's an unnecessary safety net that can't last and has the potential to taint the legacy. I don't need to see Goldfinger, or Kanaga, or Stromberg, or Sanchez, or Zorin re-imagined. They're all perfect as they are. I can give Blofeld a buy, as the only returning character, and his weighty presence in the novels is also to be taken into account.
One thing I will say, and this is of genuine concern given the way Mendes seems to work, if he has made the Blofeld/Bond dynamic personal, I will be beyond disappointed. I'll be exceptionally gutted. It would be the biggest slap in the face to Fleming in the history of the franchise.
I've always felt the same way. Part of what makes Bond so great is that he's always fighting a new threat and new face. I was always against bringing back old villains for the sake of "It's a rebooted Bond." I was even against Blofeld's return. Though I understand he was a big missed opportunity by the end of Connery's era so rebooting him to be like his novel counterpart is logical.
That being said. What would be the logic in rebooting Goldfinger, Red Grant, Dr. No, Largo and ect? Why? Weren't their original appearances great already? What's the point in bringing back what was already good?
To me rebooting them would be an insult to Connery and the others involved in that era.
You can't compare Bond's villains with Batman's villains because one.
Bond's villains tend to die in their story. (Blofeld notwithstanding though he does eventually die.)
Batman's villains get beat up and hopelessly taken back to Arkham Asylum only to escape and do their bad deeds. Name one Batman villain who was killed in the comics who stayed dead.
Bond and Batman come from two different mediums. Bond is a literary character who live through one long arcs. Batman is a comic book character who has lived through many different arcs and retelling to fit the time period.
@Gustav_Graves, You want a bad example of rebooted villains done horribly.
Well, I like to think that after DAD there was finally made an end to an ongoing timeline (1962 - 2002). A timeline that already went on way way too long if you ask me. It is of my personal opinion, that many "original" character names (solely names) during the last two decades of this timeline were dealt with in sometimes very disappointing ways. Elliot Carver (TND) for instance didn't look like a real media mogul. He wore a Blofeld-esque outfit. And his preachings recalled those of Drax, albeit way more pastiche. Zorin in a way is a rip-off of Goldfinger, who was re-written a bit and who only worked on screen due to the wunderful performance of Oscar winning actor Chris Walken.
But with CR a new timeline started (2006). And with thát film the actual tradition of rebooting started, not solely with SF. If you are true to previous cinematic incarnations of the character, then EON Productions actually did a 3rd (and best!) attempt to bring the character Le Chiffre alive (1957 and 1967 the previous two times). It's a crude comparison, but in essence it shows how wunderful reboots can turn out. And how they can inject a franchise with new blood, creativity. And how they can actually turn an original Fleming-name in nothing more than a shell in which a complete new character is being written.
In 1999 EON obtained the rights for "Casino Royale" from Columbia Pictures. It did great stuff to the Bond franchise. In 2013 EON obtained the rights for "SPECTRE" and "Blofeld" from McGlory. I believe it'll do wonders to the upcoming Bond flick "SPECTRE" and more films to come.
Two questions I have for you @RC7:
1) Would you be more happy if the current character "Ersnt Blofeld" (stilll a rumour!) or "Irma Bunt" (also a rumour), that has been written in the screenplay, would have been renamed to, let's say, "Henrik Heimlich" and "Syreeta Stein" (to come up with something original) ??
2) How do you think about other franchises, like for instance Batman? Should they have created a complete new original villain, not present from the comic book material, and not rebooting "The Joker" in TDK ??
I just don't see the point.
The real risk and genuine creativity would be in developing a Bond picture that doesn't follow the standard template, one that injects a less action-heavy pace, one that resembles something similar to the Fleming tone and content. I think it was @Birdleson who mentioned, in another thread, the idea of a Bond film without a single explosion. Could that happen? That in my eyes is erring more on the side of risk and creativity. Using a character from the past to ensure you get bums on seats is first and foremost lazy and secondly has no longevity. It's neither risky nor fresh. It's what other franchises do, we're better than that. To paraphrase Ian Malcom, 'People are so busy thinking about whether they could, they stop to think if they should'. That pretty much sums it up for me.
Aside from the logistics, and yeah there's every possibility you could bring back Goldfinger and make a successful film, the audience are suckers for nostalgia, but then you can count on one hand the number of Bond villains that the general public will know by name. I mean they're even casting bald men as Red Herring's to stoke the audiences memory of our cat stroking uber-villain. The reason the series has been so successful for so long is by not falling into this trap.
1) I'm fine with them using Blofeld by name if they adhere to the Fleming Blofeld of OHMSS and have his organisation resemble a modernised version of the composition we're familiar with in the novels. What I don't want is for them to shoe-horn a personal angle in between him and Bond. This isn't Star Wars. If they rework the Blofeld/Bond dynamic in this way then I have to ask, why bother? Just create a new character. (For the record, I'm sure he'll be known by a pseudonym and not 'ESB', until possibly the end).
2) I don't see the comparison with Batman to be honest. The Marvel and DC universes have a wealth of expanded material to draw on, where characters are re-imagined, re-versioned and re-booted almost yearly and in various mediums. Bond does not share this kind of expanded universe. It doesn't need to. The films are what matter, and the Fleming novels. The canon expands itself with each new entry. Regurgitating what has gone before is simply limiting the scope of the canon and is, I honestly believe, potentially more damaging than the DAD surfing scene.
I just don't see, at this stage, that bringing back Blofeld was solely done for the purpose of ticket sales. Yes, there's a familiarity with the character, but so far, as seen with Le Chiffre, Moneypenny, Bond and Q, it's not just copy-paste work.
I understand your worries, but I also think it's way too early to say this will influence the overall quality of the film. For me, at this stage, and I can only speak for myself now, I feel quite uplifted about this film SPECTRE.