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That is 80 % of the series, so hardly an oddity.
Edit: I realize "oddity" can mean different things.
@Birdleson makes a valid point about there being a link of at least one actor carrying on in their role film-to-film, tying the franchise together since Dr No, but I could argue the circumstances have now changed with bringing Bond's life cycle to its final conclusion. For cinematic clarity, they need to wipe the slate totally clean and start afresh with no previous baggage going forwards.
Why not? Many actors in the past have played different roles in the series.
Like @Birdleson I too would like to see at least one cast member return for the next Bond.
But replacing Q seemed like such an impossible task. I liked Cleese, but I‘d come to terms with nobody being able to live up to Desmond Llewellyn. Then along comes Wishaw, who completely reinvents it and absolutely smashes it. I wasn’t happy about the idea of a young, techy Q, but they nailed it. I think his Q is very much in keeping with the spirit of the character, while being distinct enough from Llewellyn to feel fresh, and Wishaw played it perfectly.
He’s been a real highlight of the last few films, and I don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near enough of him yet. I really hope he gets to do a Dench and stick around.
Part of the problem of the Scooby gang, especially with the Craig eta, is giving too many minor characters something to do. M, Q, Moneypenny and Tanner. During the Connery and Moore films, these roles were almost a cameo. And that’s why they worked IMO. Leave them wanting more.
Yes. Looking back at the Craig era, okay we had the experiment with more teamwork. But ultimately these are James Bond movies and that's where the emphasis should stay. I got Mission Impossible vibes during the climax of NTTD with Q giving me vibes the Simon Pegg or Ving Rhames characters constantly updating Ethan Hunt of the situation and all that. Bond always works best when left to his own resources.
I still think the new casting of Bond 26 needs to take a big step away from Craig's era and find its own two feet. Anything delivered half-cocked will only cause further confusion going forwards.
As for who they can get to replace them, there's plenty of British TV dramas or stage actors to cast their nets wide from. I'd offer up a few names myself, but I no longer watch that many British TV dramas.
Regarding potential new actors, I have two or three suggestions for M: Mark Strong (maybe too close to Fiennes?), David Harewood (he reminds me of the M from the Dynamite comics) and Ciarán Hinds.
prefer Wishaw) would confuse people at all. To be honest I think NTTD’s ending will make it clear that the next one is a reboot irregardless, but even if not, we’ll have a different Bond who’s significantly younger and looks completely different (might even be a different race this time), vauxhall cross will probably be back, we’ll likely get a big change in tone/direction, etc.
I think it’d be easy to keep any of the cast members they want to. Audiences accepted it with Dench, and they’ve accepted it in other things too. It’s funny that you mention the MCU @Herr_Stockmann, because didn’t they bring JK Simmons back despite the new Spiderman having nothing to do with the old one? I don’t think a brief scene with Q in his lab would have people questioning if this was the same Bond as Craig.
Or Robert Brown play M to Moore and Daltons Bonds.
Or Judi Dench play M for Brosnan or Craig.
So why would it matter, for the next actor to appear with Fiennes, Harris or Whishaw?
Again, times have changed and the cinematic landscape isn't the same. The fact that the codename theory is popular proves there is a desire from the audience to see narrative consistency and continuity. It wasn't a problem of having Bernard Lee play opposite Connery, Lazenby or Moore back then because the three were the same character and not a different version each time, but even in 2006 there was some confusion about Dench: is Craig playing a younger version of Connery? Is this a confirmation of the codename theory? These were questions heard back then and the MCU wasn't even a thing, just imagine 15 years later. I definitely think that the return of any member of the past supporting cast would matter and wouldn't be that accepted by the audience.
Edited to remove massive spoiler.
new Major Boothroyd/Q:
@Herr_Stockmann please remember that there are those of us who have yet too see NTTD. X(
A fresh approach someone once suggested on here, which I quite like the idea of, is having no MI6 regulars at all for the first film. You could have a Bondless PTS setting up the story, then have the first scene post titles being Bond getting off a plane, on his mission. Or maybe introduce us to the new Bond through someone else’s eyes, ala the TSWLM novel.
I really like this idea of skipping the London scenes altogether, just for a film. It’s fresh, because it hasn’t been done before, and it instantly makes this new Bond more of an enigma and strips things down compared to the Craig era. It also provides a great sequel hook too, because it leaves us wondering what this new Bond is like outside of the field, what his relationship with M/Q/MP is, all of which could then be explored in the second film. Start off very mysterious, and explore more as we go on, basically.
Nevertheless, is it possible to add a "potential spoilers" warning for this topic, like it has been done for the general post-Craig discussion? After all, it's relevant to take NTTD into account if we want to talk about the future.