I am asking this pivotal question, because I seriously think we are witnessing a global power shift on this planet that would seriously excite Bond's creator Ian Fleming. We all know that the inspiration for the very character of Bond came from his own dealings as a Naval Intelligence officer working on the decoding (Enigma
Ever since then, and until his death he was inspired by the events from the Second World War and the later Cold War. But we also know that during the late 80's détente kicked in. For several decades we experienced relative peace and prosperity in the Western World (USA, Canada, Europe, Australia
). On top of that agent 007 wasn't only the personification of Britishness, he was very much so a child of Western Civilization. Yes, he was very much a fierce supporter of Western interests.
But things have rapidly changed since then. We had 9/11, which was already reflected in the Craig-era of Bond films. Ever since Connery's early films we haven't seen so many terrorist attacks in Bond films. It's eery to say, but films like "Casino Royale" and "Skyfall" therefore still feel very much realistic, eerily realistic to be honest.
And now we have more and more conflicts. Starting with.....
--> Islamic State in the Middle East,
--> Islamic State terrorist attacks (Orlando, New York, Madrid, Istanbul, Berlin, Nice, Brussels, London, Paris
--> failed Arabic Springs in countries like Syria, Tunesia and Lybia,
--> a massive immigrant crisis in Europe,
--> escalations of conflicts in Eastern Ukraine (Crimea),
--> the rise of right-wing (and left-wing
) populism in The West,
--> the rise of 'Putinism'
--> a failed coup-d'etat in Turkey
--> a Cold War-like relationship between the USA and Russia,
--> the crumbling of the EU,
--> serious cyber terrorism from Russia (Hello Raoul Silva?!!? :-O
), and, as of today (29.12.2016
--> the most serious sanctions since the end of the Cold War against Russia, issued by the USA.
I mean, the late Ian Fleming would be wishing to be alive today!
BUT, there's a big 'but'. With the growing shift in the balance of power on the globe, also welfare and financial prosperity are shifting towards other parts of the globe, especially China
. China becomes more and more the new world order when we're talking about economics. And the Hollywood movie industry knows this. Already many Hollywood movie companies are teaming up with Chinese producers. Look at the recent productions of Paramount. Even "Skyfall" was in essence a Chinese co-production (a minority share yes, but still
), although EON managed to get rid of these ugly Chinese movie logo's. Something which Tom Cruise doesn't care about for his "Mission: Impossible"-franchise.
So what will happen with the plots and storylines of future Bond films? Are we going to reflect politics in Bond films like we have been doing the past 20 years? Not to mention the fact that this was already the case in the Connery- and Moore-era of Bond films ("From Russia With Love"? Hello?? "Octopussy"? Hello?!!?! :-O).
Are creative movie professionals and commercial movie professionals not going to clash on this subject? For the sake of global expansion of agent 007, are the Bond producers going to let Chinese and Russian censorships give more influence on what particular stories they ought to tell? Do we make agent James Bond 007 a double agent that sooner or later actually switches to the Chinese side? Russians are already complaining that "SPECTRE" was 'too serious'. Or are we going to stick to Fleming's premise of the original character; the sole defender and hero of Western interests, thus risking the Bond franchise commercially and/or even lowering market shares within the action-movie blockbuster genre?
I am curious what you all think of this :-)