EDIT: Changed the confusing title.
Should start by saying I don't mean conservative in the political sense. Although I do think there's a connection there as well, I'd say this forum is fairly right leaning, but Bond is a proper Tory isn't he so that's hardly surprising.
What I mean is conservative in terms of taste. Not wanting the films to be too different or to stray too far from the established formula, even as a one off. Look at the recent backlash against the idea of a female 007 or the rumours of Bond dying at the end. We know that none of this would be permanent and that they'd still carry on making Bond films, but there's still fans who really don't want to see anything that different, even as a one off.
I'm not attacking anyone for having that sort of mindset by the way. Nowadays I have a real "anything goes" mindset when it comes to Bond to be honest, as long as it's still recognisably Bond. Even Brofeld didn't really bother me that much. But there was a time where I used to lean that way myself (and still do with the gunbarrel), the early Craig era was a real shock to the system for me because of how different it was and it took a while for me to loosen up and accept that, you can probably find old posts from me on here craving something more formula driven. So I'm not judging anyone for wanting EON to play things fairly safe and traditional, I'm just wondering why that is.
Not being part of any other fan communities myself, I'm wondering whether it's a Bond exclusive thing? A result of them more or less religiously sticking to the Bond formula from 1962-2002. Or is it the same with fans of anything, would there be backlash on Marvel forums for example if they started to shake things up like EON did with Craig?
Look at Indiana Jones fans. After Raiders they do Temple of Doom. Fans complain, too dark, not enough swashbuckling, etc. So what do they get Last Crusade which really follows the Raiders template but adds in a father character.
Marvel is unique because the characters lend themselves to different tones and types of movies. So we have Spiderman with a John Hugheseque movie about teen angst. We have Guardians of the Galaxy which heightens the comedy. Winter Solider which harkens to a thriller, etc. So they can change formulas and not offend the fans cause the fans know what to expect going in. Now if they did a comedic Captain America movie you'd probably get backlash and upset fans.
As for Bond, they have been able to do many different things with the character through out time. You want fantastic and outlandish? We got DAF, MR, DAD. You want some tough gritty spy thrillers? FRWL, OHMSS, FYEO, CR You want some fun movies with action and humour? GF, TSWLM, GE, TND
Does every movie please every Bond fan, not a chance. But they will continue to pay money to see the character and see what tone the film takes.
For instance, I’m a big fan of independent European cinema. I love to endulge myself in languages and different cultures, local cuisine, music and habits. Just love to do that kind of stuff! Things that Fleming’s Bond also loved to do by the way.
Anyway, I certainly have problems with the attitude of looking at the world only from your own culture’s perspective. Nevertheless, when it comes to certain cultural phenomenons it’s a shame to take its identity away. James Bond should always remain how he was written by Fleming. If you want to create someone similar with a different identity, by all means, be my guest. I think, for instance, Atomic Blonde worked very well. But please don’t change the icons that are already there.
I am all for creating different ideas in the same context, but I’m not into changing the identity of an icon just for the sake of making a point. I don’t think my tastes are conservative in the slightest just for having that opinion.
In the case of this female 007, I will give it a chance, watch the film and then evaluate it. As long as James stays Bond and they handle the abovementioned idea well, it might work.
So yes, the traditionally fanbase are rather conservative, but with the ever changing world in which we live in, opinions are shifting and we're all gonna have to 'adapt or die'.
I resemble these remarks...
Good points about Fleming being iconoclastic himself (good example, I remember some criticism on here of Bond being a known celebrity in some of the 60s/70s films, but is that any different to the cheeky fourth wall breaks in M’s obituary/the TSWLM intro?). I don’t think Fleming took his novels all that seriously, and he always wanted Bond to move with the times (didn’t he shoot down the idea of setting the early films in the 50s?).
Didn’t mean conservative in the political sense, but yeah I’m in the same boat as you two. Strange really, given how conservative the character is. Maybe it’s because even the most realistic Bond books and films are the stuff of pure fantasy? Or maybe it’s just the enduring appeal of the series. That sexy, dangerous world being so alluring that people of all sorts of persuasions can’t help but love peeping into it.
I dress moderately/conservatively, however -- and don't have any tattoos or piercings.
I'll second BeatlesSansEarmuffs above... In the conservative American sense, James Bond is practically a degenerate when it comes to his behavior. (He isn't religious and never goes to church, etc.)
In the USA, at least, personal morality and politics are often very intertwined -- regardless of the rampant hypocrisy. (Even if you're for low taxation, eliminating regulations on business, opposed to immigration, etc., you're not a "real" conservative unless you're a Bible-thumper.)
Then again, I live in a region of the US in which local conservative politicians declared that building bike lanes into new public roads was "Marxist."
No offense but that's kind of a stupid question.
That's like saying
"Are football fans with conservative tastes? Like, they don't like the idea of football players scoring with their hands, and they don't think that a midfielder scoring with his weaker foot outside of the goalkeeper's area should count for 3 points. And they don't think that scoring 5 goals should equal 1 Yinzer, and 3 Yinzers should guarantee one point. Get three points and you get 5 points!"
Football is a game with rules.
Movies have rules.
Characters have rules.
You can't put Danny DeVitto in a wig, put lipstick on him, tell him to speak Albanian for the entire movie and then say "Hey, this is James Bond. If you don't like him... I guess you have conservative views on the character and the franchise! BUT HEY, YOU DO YOU, IT'S ALRIGHT IF YOU HAVE CONSERVATIVE VIEWS ON THE FRANCHISE!"
There's no such a thing as "liberal or conservative" views on stories and characters.
There are rules that exist.
You can talk about "Oh, what if there's a movie where 007 is captured by the villain?" and "What if there's a movie where 007 forgives the villain???", and "Oh, what if there's a movie where 007 murders the villain'
Or talk about female villains, personally related villains, American villains, internet villains, Russian villains, Group of villains, female villain, young villain, old villain, handicapped villain...
So no, I don't think that Bond fans have a problem if the villain is a woman or if he's young or if he's old. They don't have a problem if the new villain group is a rip-off of SPECTRE called Quantum. I don't think that Bond fans have problem if the villain is loosely related with Bond's past. They don't have a problem if Bond falls in love with 3 different women in one movie, or if he doesn't fall in love with any woman in the movie.
No, the Bond fans are not with conservative taste, they are open to the franchise doing different things.
Take a look at the first few movies in the franchise, they have a bit of everything! Bond alone, Bond with a friend, female villain, eccentric villain, more methodical villain, different henchmen, different countries, different plots... no one had problem.
But yeah, I do think Bond fans would have a problem if in the next movie it's revealed that James Bond actually has cancer, dies after 20 minutes into the movie and then the credits roll.
If wanting a James Bond movie to be an actual movie and not a 20 minute short film where Bond dies of cancer ... then yeah, Bond fans are "conservative". If wanting James Bond not to be played by Kathy Griffin... yeah, Bond fans are "conservative'. If wanting the next James Bond movie not to be a PG adventure where Bond is animated and he talks with pigs, chickens and horses while trying to learn the power of friendship..then yeah, Bond fans are "conservative"
(Sorry if this comes off strong, I do not many any offense to you OP, just I didn't quite get the thread, please don't take this the wrong way, it's more of my general thoughts, and it has nothing to do with you or your question, I gotta specify cause it's internet, and I know the tone of the message can't always be well presented in written form)
Personally I'd say you're applying the idea that films and characters have "rules" quite liberally, actually.
When Bond finally drives an electric car I do not wanna hear from anyone how that’s a “betrayal” of Fleming, because he actually approved of electric cars as that would help the environment.
Of course, he was a notorious smoker too, but contradictions are a very human trait.
Haha, Marx was well known for his position on bike lanes, wasn´t he? ;))
Mind if I ask which state this is?
What I’m wondering is why the view some have of what’s recognisably Bond is so wedded to a particular formula. I don’t know if you’ve seen NTTD, but the character is still very much Bond. But they took some really divisive risks with the story, and I’m wondering why exactly they’ve been so divisive. The easy answer is the source material, but the films have deviated from Fleming in plenty of other ways without getting anywhere near this level of backlash before.
Yeah I should clarify that I meant conservative in the British, economic Tory sense there (e.g. slagging off the Welfare state in YOLT), but even then it doesn’t seem fair to pigeon hole him. I’ll edit the thread title anyway, as I think we’re getting off track a bit.
I am still working on formulating these thoughts, but basically it boils down to one camp having an idea of what f.e. Bond is and isn't and should and shouldn't do and go from their (and that isn't conservative in the sense of "I want this to remain the way it is/was" but rather I want to understand it in my frame of mind and under the ruleset I thought was a given) and others not really having that strong a compass and rather taking what is given to them and then investigating their own reaction to it.
If we take those two positions to their extremes, one leads you to unending tired remakes of the same thing, without any innovation. The other leads you to a total perversion of everything anything ever stood for and no connections and reasonable expectations being possible. Thankfully, extremes are not reality, but they still sometimes seem to be taken as such when discussing on the internet.
I think sometimes people are guilty of thinking any form of subversion is good writing
This is something I don't think the franchise has done ENOUGH of, if anything. Obviously AVTAK kinda betrays his relationship with Stacy in their first and final scenes together, but this time through TWINE it actually bothered me that he sleeps with Christmas (and not just because of THAT line!). That film should have focused on Elektra and had her actions affect him more. I think it would have been far more interesting to invert the ending of the Moonraker novel and had Christmas make a move, but have Bond turn her down.
To be honest, I'd not complain if Bond films were just a fun ride, like TND. There's a certain comfort that Bond is still out there, saving the day and ending up with the girl after he's kicked the villain's arse.
Well said, I agree...definitely prefer my Bond films to be traditional along with the characters too. Don't need any new aged agenda films pushing any narratives at me. I want to go to the movies and see James Bond drive a cool a$$ Aston Martin, spout off a bunch of cheesy one liners while firing some new weapon tech to kick the crap out of the villains, and get the girl in the end or the beginning or the middle.
I have pondered over this myself. I used to be extremely conservative in my Bond taste, but the Craig era really tricked me into growing an open mind. Momentarily, I'm neither traditional nor the opposite; after 25 films and a 60-year legacy replete with changes in tone, narrative structure, main character psychology and more, I have learned that most of what they come up with actually works. Some bits I enjoy, some I don't, but the overall output continues to please this Bond fan. If Bond 26 goes traditional, I'll applaud it. If it goes for something really new and radically different -- well, not too radically different ;-) -- I'll be very curious first, and then superexcited when the results are to my liking.
CR came with the promise of not bringing some familiar elements to the film and in its presentation of Bond, it would do things we hadn't seen before. At first, I was doubtful if I would like any of that "experimental stuff", but the final film blew my mind. Since then, I've let it come to me as is. A good Bond film is a good Bond film, regardless of how innovative or traditional it tries to be.
My favourite Bond film for most of my life has been OHMSS….
But I am a tremendous fan of this “finger-suck”ing James Bond and rate four out of his five films in my top eight, with three of them jockeying for position in my top four.
Fans of Craig are not only the ones who came aboard in ‘06, but lifelong fans as well. I’m
sure I’m not the only one who anecdotally heard from older audience members and their enjoyment of this era— people like my father-in-law for instance, thought NTTD was the best of the series, and his peer group thought it was one of the best (and they’ve been Bond fans from the beginning).
By the time DAD rolled around, it seemed the creative team wanted to shake things up but were fearful of going all the way, and leaned into the outrageous to counter balance the more interesting story of James Bond’s capture and incarceration (so we got the invisible car and surfing tsunamis, ice castles, lasers in space and robo-cop costumes)….
By recasting the lead and getting the rights to CR, they seemed unshackled and could explore other dimensions of the character, without worrying about the previous 44 years (to an extent). After 60 years producing these films, a creative shake-up is necessary and will continue to happen in this now, very crowded tent—pole film-universe.
I've been a Bond fan since the Connery days, and Craig's is my second-favorite incarnation of the character. After DAD, it was past time for a shake up of the franchise. While I didn't enjoy every single moment of Craig's tenure, I appreciated the attempt to bring a fresh take to 007...and I'd say that attempt has largely been successful. I look forward to seeing what EON will do next with the longest running franchise in the film industry. James Bond WILL return...and may it always be so!
Some will like the idea of reinvention more than others, but I think it's fair to say that all of us like the old Bond films or novels, so we want to see new stuff framed with regard to the old pretty much inevitably.