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The Lost Adventures of James Bond by Mark Edlitz. A must read for Bond fans.
Although I think Ralph Fiennes always was a bit too attractive to play M and Ben Whishaw too dull to play Q, I would rather see them, Naomi Harris and Lashana Lynch staying on for continuity. Otherwise Jared Harris, Brian Cox, Charles Dance would make good alternatives for M if Bond was younger, and Mcdowell or Hopkins for an older one. Stephen Fry, Richard Ayoade, Stephen Merchant or David Mitchell would do well as Q.
Felix they will have to change since they killed him off. Someone close to the protagonist's age I reckon and of opposite complexion I presume.
In all seriousness, I think it would be absolutely fine for Wishaw to return, and I would welcome it. He was written better as the movies went on. That said, I think Eve Moneypenny and Mallory both play too pivotable a role in Craig’s journey as Bond. It might be better to start fresh with them.
Perhaps it's to do with the fact that his character's actions are so questionable in NTTD (the man should be arrested and prosecuted, the nanobot thing is that bad). Also, while his M was rather buttoned up, he never commanded respect in the same way Lee's M (and certainly Fleming's M) did. I want to see a version of the character that really commands Bond's respect, similar to the novels. I said on another thread but I can see Idris Elba playing this sort of M. If you were to tell me this man is a former solider and knows what war is like, I would believe it. If he were to get angry at Bond for insubordination I'd be more nervous than I would if Fienne's M expressed this. I don't mind seeing M making hard decisions (ie. sending Bond/other agents on near impossible missions should it be called for) but I think M should stop short at committing war crimes and should retain a certain amount of morality.
I thought Dench's M made numerous mistakes in her tenure through two different Bonds.
Completely agree with your assessment of the character, but I could see the dynamic being different if say Bond was played by a younger actor. Also if Whishaw would return he could begrudgingly scoff at the new actor for not taking his gadgets seriously and not being Craig.
I kind of get that. Still though, I'd say it depends on how the film frames the relationship with M and any Bond. In the Craig era we kind of got used to Bond being a loose cannon, essentially disobeying orders if he thought it was in the assignment's best interests (often he was right to do this). In effect it was a case where both Dench and Fienne's M had to come round to Craig's Bond, not the other way around, and it was a very conscious decision for that incarnation of 007 (again, even when Craig's Bond was newly appointed in CR he broke into M's flat, so his respect for authority was always somewhat limited, and this was the point).
I can see a younger Bond looking up to this hypothetical Elba M and the two trusting each other. We could have this relationship already established with Bond essentially following M's orders, and only deviating from protocol on M's agreement. That or we could build up to this sort of relationship throughout the film, but I kinda just want to see something different.
That's another one of those tings that are interesting in the Craig era, but I've kind of had enough of now: M as a fallible human being (in both cases) and as someone Bond doesn't actually respect all that much. Him firing back at Mallory in NTTD was tremendous fun to me, but now we can go back to a respectful relationship and an M who knows what they are doing, thank you.
I've recently thought it's strange that Samuel West has never been in a Bond film. He could be M or Q, but with the roles he has previously been cast in, he'd probably more likely be a villain or a government twit who is in MI6's way, like a mix of Mallory at the beginning of SF, Denbigh in SP and Tim Piggott-Smith's character in QoS.
I think the issue with having Fiennes come back is that his M will inevitably be the same one, just in a different universe. It was the same with Dench's M - same personality, just transposed into a different timeline. Mallory was written... well, rather inconsistently at times, to put it kindly (it's odd that the same man who was sceptical of C's whole cyber surveillance thing was willing to commission a high tech virus weapon). I think at the time it was refreshing to see a good old fashioned M behind the desk - buttoned up, former army, blunt, not going to take Bond's nonsense, but there was too much of that moral ambiguity in him and later on Bond showed him little respect (arguably less than Dench's M).
I think they could do something different, and that different thing might well be going back to the dynamic of the novels where Bond really does genuinely respect this man (he doesn't always like him and even begrudges him at times, but he respects him. I don't think we've ever had a Bond/M relationship in the movies that explicit). I mean, M isn't a wholly good character, especially in the novels. He certainly stopped short of developing experimental, illegal weaponry, but his job was to order killings and often send men to their deaths. I'm sure such a dynamic about the character could be pointed out while keeping this relationship between him and Bond, as well as keeping M on a certain field of morality. M himself doesn't need to be the old Admiral from the novels like I said and I'm fine with a younger, perhaps less reserved/bureaucratic M.
By Skyfall, that is exactly the opposite of what Mallory is telling Olivia Mansfield as the reasons for her involuntary retirement. She is too stuck in the old ways. Too much work in the shadows and so on. In the Craigverse, she sends him to play cards against a target, using government funds and shows a "whatever is necessary" approach in ordering Eve to shoot at Patrice and Bond.
Maybe Bond has - over time - won her over to his way of doing things, but her approach seems to be very different to the point that I wouldn't think she's the same character.
It's a bit tricky to tell because Brosnan's Bond in GE was essentially a 'blunt instrument', a relic of the Cold War, sure, but he'd always follow orders. Craig's Bond actively disregarded orders for 'the greater good' from the word go. For what it's worth when Bond escapes and goes rogue in DAD Dench's M does defend him and isn't quite as straight-laced, so she certainly comes round to Bond's methods too.
It's also worth noting I never got the sense the M of GE would have any problem ordering someone to shoot even if Bond was in sight, as in SF (perhaps earlier on/before her relationship with Brosnan's Bond developed she'd have been more cavalier about it, but she'd have ordered it). Perhaps there's something to how cautious she is in GE compared to CR (although this is a mixture of her character coming round to Craig's Bond's methods and the fact that the source material necessitates using MI6 funds for gambling, which Fleming's M also ordered and could be rather by the book).
Anyway, I never got the sense they were fundamentally different characters, and their character arcs/how they learn to work with Bond are very similar. I just think Fiennes returning in the context of post-NTTD would leave a bad taste in the mouth, at least when it comes to the fans. Like I said too, best to do something fresh.
What if, for example, instead of Bond being the loose cannon, 'go with your gut' type that he was in the Craig era, this quality instead be transposed more onto M? Fleming's M could be cautious, but he was prone to going 'off the books' and giving Bond more free reign if needed. Might be interesting to have an M that is at odds with the bureaucracy/upper 'establishment' of British government (perhaps many are corrupt or are ultimately less moral than he is, and it's proven he has better instincts in his job than them, despite the fact that he's not as 'by the books'). Bond standing by and respecting such a man would have a different dynamic to it. In that case I can't see West convincingly playing such a character.
Bond has always known better than M, throughout all the films in the 60s-80s you see Bond quite often basically ignoring orders and doing what he thinks is best. M quite often will back him more or less, but I wouldn't say the old Ms 'always knew what they were doing' any more than the recent ones.
Just to take issue with a detail: although Craig's M was called Olivia Mansfield, Barbara Mawdsley was entirely a creation of Raymond Benson: he made the name up and actually never used it in any of his novelisations of the Bond films, only in his original novels. Eon's M wasn't called Barbara Mawdsley.
Yeah. Me too. I like the actors, but can't see them returning, since Bond met his end...and I would like to believe EON thought about the actors not returning, before filming NTTD's ending.
Where did you hear that? I'd have to see it to be convinced. It would be especially unlikely that Benson and IFP would actually use a character from the movies as they have no rights to do that, and haven't done it in any other circumstance that I think of (other than very vague ones with roots in Fleming they can get away with, like Q). The novelisations were separate and, as I say, he never used his Mawdsley name in any of those.
Apparently some prop documents for DAD or something like that used the Mawdsley name (but a different Christian name) but I guess that's because the props guys didn't have a name to use and just used what they thought was right. There were also prop documents made for DAD which I've seen in an exhibit which name Rosamund Pike's character as Gala Brand.
Emma Thompson as a new M, per chance?
John Boyega as Mr Moneypenny?
And a female Q? Jodie Whittaker?
I think I'd keep the Q. name, and cast a woman if Whishaw won't come back.
Maybe just have Loelia Ponsonby fill that sort of role? It would be a reinterpretation of the character to an extent, but I guess if she was reimagined as more of an 'assistant to the 00 section' rather than a secretary it would be plausible.
I'd rather have Loelia Ponsonby as a semi-regular character. Have her in two or three films and make the one that got away. Could be an interesting contrast with the Bond girls.