Will Bond, as we know him, survive today's culture?

He is slightly under the radar at the moment but what happens to NTTD and the older films & novels once he is back in the spotlight with the latest release?
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  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,196
    I'm hopeful the pendulum swings back to an understanding of history and reason in general.

    But regardless we have what we have.

  • Do you think Bond will be “canceled”? I think that’s pretty silly. The novels will continue to be in print, the older films will be readily watchable, and NTTD will be fine because the character is adapted to the times as he has always been.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,196
    It's surprisingly possible. There is Dr. Seuss as the example in the past week, as what will be in print.

    Yes I expect it's not a problem for No Tie To Die. Then again, these assaults are wholesale without perspective or reason.
  • The Dr. Seuss titles were marketed towards children and likely didn’t have strong sales in the first place given the publishers made the call themselves. I also don’t think they were popular titles at all. Bond books are still quite popular, for adults, and are well known to have content reflective of their times so I can’t see a problem there. I don’t think any popular fictional thing will be “canceled” if such a thing is real in the first place.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 8,196
    I'm not seeing that kind of restraint or objective thought applied to these efforts.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 30,109
    The Dr. Seuss titles were marketed towards children and likely didn’t have strong sales in the first place given the publishers made the call themselves. I also don’t think they were popular titles at all. Bond books are still quite popular, for adults, and are well known to have content reflective of their times so I can’t see a problem there. I don’t think any popular fictional thing will be “canceled” if such a thing is real in the first place.

    Great post.
  • Posts: 1,063
    Cuomo's latest accuser says "he kissed her hand and called her sweetheart". Lucky she never encounter James during one of his visits to Shrublands.
  • BennyBenny ...OctobennyModerator
    Posts: 11,227
    I find the 'cancel culture' movement to be more than a little annoying. I'm sure eventually James Bond will be under their spotlight. Be it Bonds interactions with Quarrel in DN, his slapping of Tania in FRWL, the slap in Dink's bottom in GF, or the line about keeping Sadruddin in curry in OP.The problem I have is that these are a sign of the times in which these films came out. They're either a passing line with no emphasis on the story, or they're a small part of keeping the story moving. I don't think anyone would condone these actions, or act them out in real life. Those that would be offended by such actions would be in the minority. So why should a majority of people be imposed the cutting of such lines or scenes.
    You can't cancel history or the past. But you can learn from past mistakes and stop them happening again. Erasing things, doesn't make it better.
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,096
    Benny wrote: »
    I find the 'cancel culture' movement to be more than a little annoying. I'm sure eventually James Bond will be under their spotlight. Be it Bonds interactions with Quarrel in DN, his slapping of Tania in FRWL, the slap in Dink's bottom in GF, or the line about keeping Sadruddin in curry in OP.The problem I have is that these are a sign of the times in which these films came out. They're either a passing line with no emphasis on the story, or they're a small part of keeping the story moving. I don't think anyone would condone these actions, or act them out in real life. Those that would be offended by such actions would be in the minority. So why should a majority of people be imposed the cutting of such lines or scenes.
    You can't cancel history or the past. But you can learn from past mistakes and stop them happening again. Erasing things, doesn't make it better.

    Unfortunately I dont think cancel culture cares about that. Theyve just renamed Mr Potato Head. What's next, Mr Bean?
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 10,773
    Remember, a vocal minority ripped into the Connery films only a year or two back, for misogyny, rape etc.

    Bond isn't going anywhere. The climate of the time will continue to guide the character and direction of the films.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Wattenscheid
    edited March 7 Posts: 392
    I think Bond has the weird and counterintuitive advantage that he has in a certain way been canceled for around 40 years by now. It is hard to get into the heads of people who go really rabid about this sort of thing, but can you imagine someone writing an "Actually, James Bond is sexist" Twitter thread and that turns into a shitstorm? Yeah, thanks for the amazing insight. Who could have thought? They only put that into an actual Bond film 27 years ago and by then it was already a cliché. Most Bond fans, even if they might not consider them problematic, could give you a list of 10 instances where Bond wasn't exactly a feminist icon, without having to look it up. There are bookcases full of academic writing about Gender and Bond and Racism and Bond and all of it. I don't think it has the makings of a big controversy. That would lead to say Goldfinger not being shown again. Everybody is aware what the problem with the barn scene is and we've moved on from that ages ago.
    Now when it comes to future films, it all depends on what you mean by Bond, as we know him. We will never go back to the Connery days. Bond will never slap a woman again (apart from clear fight scenes with a capable female fighter) and he will never force himself on a woman to screw her straight again. That is over and done. But it has been for decades. Now I could see people being more vocal about things like the shower scene in Skyfall in the future and that could become a thing, but a) that scene only needed like 2 lines of dialogue to make all the criticism go away, so the problems aren't inherent in Bond but a function of the specific execution of the scene and b) as long as they don't make a MAJOR blunder, if the rest of the film is good enough, I think the Bond brand is strong enough to return a respectable box office even if there is a controversy around one of the films.

    Now, what I as a centre-left minded person don't want is for Eon to steer the franchise into some weird alt-right direction and trying to appeal to people who actively root for Bond being misogynistic and racist and specifically enjoy that. But I think the chances of that are even lower than Bond getting canceled.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited March 7 Posts: 6,140
    Bond has already changed several times over the years (Dalton/TLD is a big fan favourite despite his womanising being nearly entirely missing from the film) - he stopped smoking decades ago. So it’s nothing new and nothing to be afraid of. He didn’t survive the culture of the 70s intact, never mind today’s culture! :)

    I think the films could happily take some better roles for women; maybe NTTD has done that, the signs are positive.
  • Posts: 1,461
    Like the reminder at the end of each film's credits, James Bond will return. Bond is a survivor and although I could see the character going away for a while amid this culture, he won't stay away for long. For one, the property makes money and someone will push to revive it if there's money to be made.

    A character combing fantasy and reality is why Bond works. Nobody has a licence to kill and an expense account and all that, but that's where the character appeals. There are fewer exotic places to go, but that's where the creative team needs to step up to make it more so.

    And we'll always need heroes. They don't have to wear capes or have powers to be appealing and that's what many of us enjoy about Bond. He can get it done without that along with reminding us he's still human.
  • Posts: 577
    BT3366 wrote: »
    Like the reminder at the end of each film's credits, James Bond will return. Bond is a survivor and although I could see the character going away for a while amid this culture, he won't stay away for long. For one, the property makes money and someone will push to revive it if there's money to be made.

    A character combing fantasy and reality is why Bond works. Nobody has a licence to kill and an expense account and all that, but that's where the character appeals. There are fewer exotic places to go, but that's where the creative team needs to step up to make it more so.

    And we'll always need heroes. They don't have to wear capes or have powers to be appealing and that's what many of us enjoy about Bond. He can get it done without that along with reminding us he's still human.

    Russia's SVR will disagree with that point ;)

    And everyone knows Bond has to do nasty things as part of his missions, all for queen and country. The tricky job of the creative team is also not to glamorize those nasty parts too much or associate Bond too closely with the bleak ugliness of the real-life intelligence community around the world. We have shows like Homeland for that. Bond has to stay true to his escapist roots.
  • ThrasosThrasos California
    edited April 1 Posts: 1,210
    I agree with most if not all of you. I don't know how people will respond to Bond in NTTD. But I highly suspect, not knowing too much about the plot, that the film will be a big hit, and that the older films and novels will keep their present level of popularity. Yes, in society here in the U.S., there has been more of a push lately to emphasize the feminine, to cancel undesirable elements of the past as has been mentioned here, to protect trans people from injustice, and yes to demonize white people as racists and white supremacists--in some cases all whites, which is totally wrong and laughable.

    Despite all these things, the basic nature of men, of a man, is unchanged, and I believe will remain unchanged. His raw, wild nature. At heart, like Bond, a blunt instrument. Yes, society has made advancements since Fleming first wrote about the character, and we know how to "fit in" and relate with others in civilized and enlightened ways, and we can be sophisticated in ways, as Bond has been. But stripped bare, a man's energy, the spirit he embodies, is pure, undiluted and can be lethal. We see how people (I think particularly of Republicans in the U.S.) are fighting back against cancel culture and socialist and non-binary ideologies. I'm not necessarily criticizing these things or people at all (I respect all people), though I agree with Benny saying you can't cancel history or the past, but you can learn from it. However, I strongly suspect that as long as men have the spirit to fight against evil and have the ingenuity to find ways to do that (Jungian analysts would call them the Warrior and Magician archetypal energies, accessible by all), men and women will still respond favorably--and root for--Bond. The question is, how will the producers and the next Bond actor allow him to be portrayed. I'm not concerned about that, because I know that Bond is popular because people identify with him and share traits with him.
  • Posts: 488
    The Bond character has always shifted with trends in wider society. I love early 1970s Bond as much as the next man, but I’m also happy that it’s not the early 1970s any more, and that today’s Bond is different.

    If the character of movie Bond had stayed stuck in any particular societal frame then the series would not have lasted 25 films.

    So I don’t really see this as a problem.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited April 1 Posts: 6,140
    The Bond character has always shifted with trends in wider society. I love early 1970s Bond as much as the next man, but I’m also happy that it’s not the early 1970s any more, and that today’s Bond is different.

    If the character of movie Bond had stayed stuck in any particular societal frame then the series would not have lasted 25 films.

    So I don’t really see this as a problem.

    Yes, agreed entirely. The Bond of the books was really a hangover from the war, and Connery embodied a more modern man than that. He's never stayed quite the same, right from that first movie version.
  • Posts: 1,250
    Im watching Married with Children sitcom , that show is so un-pc these days , lol
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 6,140
    I caught a bit of The Silencers the other day, the Dean Martin 007 cash-in movie, and not only is pretty boring for a lot of the time (and really shows why the Bond movies were just so good) the Matt Helm character in it is a really tiresome letch, always making really low moves on dumb beautiful girls like plying them with booze so he can make a move on them or just insisting they get out of those wet things. He makes Bond look extremely progressive! :)
  • Posts: 1,063
    The Matt Helm of the films was a travesty, especially when compared to the character in the novels.
  • DeathToSpies84DeathToSpies84 Haydock, England
    edited April 6 Posts: 158
    Benny wrote: »
    I find the 'cancel culture' movement to be more than a little annoying. I'm sure eventually James Bond will be under their spotlight. Be it Bonds interactions with Quarrel in DN, his slapping of Tania in FRWL, the slap in Dink's bottom in GF, or the line about keeping Sadruddin in curry in OP.The problem I have is that these are a sign of the times in which these films came out. They're either a passing line with no emphasis on the story, or they're a small part of keeping the story moving. I don't think anyone would condone these actions, or act them out in real life. Those that would be offended by such actions would be in the minority. So why should a majority of people be imposed the cutting of such lines or scenes.
    You can't cancel history or the past. But you can learn from past mistakes and stop them happening again. Erasing things, doesn't make it better.

    Sadly, the cancel culture mob don’t want to learn from the past. They want to erase it and pretend it never happened. As a 36 year old white heterosexual male, i’m glad I grew up in a time where people weren’t getting outraged or seeing racism in everything day in and day out. But these days? It’s absolutely frightening. Nobody is civil anymore. As for James Bond, the franchise will continue to endure and adapt to the ever changing landscape. But part of me can’t help but think that when NTTD is finally released, the past films with Connery and Moore will be under the spotlight and the obligatory cute little hashtags and perpetual outrage will follow,
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    edited April 6 Posts: 5,065
    mtm wrote: »
    Bond has already changed several times over the years (Dalton/TLD is a big fan favourite despite his womanising being nearly entirely missing from the film) - he stopped smoking decades ago. So it’s nothing new and nothing to be afraid of. He didn’t survive the culture of the 70s intact, never mind today’s culture! :)

    I think the films could happily take some better roles for women; maybe NTTD has done that, the signs are positive.

    This I agree with, and I think it also worth mentioning that since 1995, Bond has gradually adapted remarkably well to our more attuned society. I think it’s no exaggeration that Dame Judi’s “sexist misogynist dinosaur” spiel marked a distinct change to a new era, and I think Eon have done marvellously well with this balancing act of letting Bond do what Bond does and (rightly) do some things differently to be more accommodating of social-political changes outside the film itself.

    Conversely, future releases could risk going too far down the route of change for change’s sake, but I have full confidence in Babs and Michael to keep the ship steady for what is increasingly becoming treacherous waters (and I think we all should, too).
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited April 6 Posts: 6,140
    Benny wrote: »
    I find the 'cancel culture' movement to be more than a little annoying. I'm sure eventually James Bond will be under their spotlight. Be it Bonds interactions with Quarrel in DN, his slapping of Tania in FRWL, the slap in Dink's bottom in GF, or the line about keeping Sadruddin in curry in OP.The problem I have is that these are a sign of the times in which these films came out. They're either a passing line with no emphasis on the story, or they're a small part of keeping the story moving. I don't think anyone would condone these actions, or act them out in real life. Those that would be offended by such actions would be in the minority. So why should a majority of people be imposed the cutting of such lines or scenes.
    You can't cancel history or the past. But you can learn from past mistakes and stop them happening again. Erasing things, doesn't make it better.

    Sadly, the cancel culture mob don’t want to learn from the past. They want to erase it and pretend it never happened. As a 36 year old white heterosexual male, i’m glad I grew up in a time where people weren’t getting outraged or seeing racism in everything day in and day out. But these days?

    The thing is, as white males we’re really not the ones to pronounce whether something isn’t racist. It doesn’t affect us other than to be the beneficiaries of it in many ways: let’s respect the victims of racism or sexism rather than telling them they’re wrong.

    Actual ‘learning from the past’ means that you have to acknowledge the problems in society and try to move beyond them. Flags and statues aren’t ‘learning from the past’.
    mtm wrote: »
    Bond has already changed several times over the years (Dalton/TLD is a big fan favourite despite his womanising being nearly entirely missing from the film) - he stopped smoking decades ago. So it’s nothing new and nothing to be afraid of. He didn’t survive the culture of the 70s intact, never mind today’s culture! :)

    I think the films could happily take some better roles for women; maybe NTTD has done that, the signs are positive.

    This I agree with, and I think it also worth mentioning that since 1995, Bond has gradually adapted remarkably well to our more attuned society. I think it’s no exaggeration that Dame Judi’s “sexist misogynist dinosaur” spiel marked a distinct change to a new era, and I think Eon have done marvellously well with this balancing act of letting Bond do what Bond does and (rightly) do some things differently to be more accommodating of social-political changes outside the film itself.

    Yes indeed, although I think really he’d been changing in that way since the early 80s. The dinosaur speech was almost to try and convince us he was the out of date guy from the 60s rather than actually show us! :) Brosnan’s was maybe a little more misogynistic in GE than Dalton was -I’m thinking of him hitting on his evaluator in Monaco and Moneypenny: Dalton patronised ‘Penny but never really tried it on!
    Conversely, future releases could risk going too far down the route of change for change’s sake,

    I don’t think there’s any reason to worry about that though. There’s no sign of it.
  • Posts: 759
    The same James Bond who smokes like a chimney, drives drunk, and hits women? I've got news for you, mate - Bond's constantly changed to match "today's culture."

    On a side note, good lord I'm tired of the whining about "cancel culture." People are starting to see boogeymen everywhere. As mentioned above, for instance, it was Dr Seuss' own family who decided to pull one or two of his most obscure titles. The Mr Potato Head story has mostly been fabricated (https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mr-potato-head-gender-neutral/) and a handful of anonymous busybodies complaining on Twitter is neither "uproar" nor "outrage."
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited April 6 Posts: 6,140
    octofinger wrote: »
    The same James Bond who smokes like a chimney, drives drunk, and hits women? I've got news for you, mate - Bond's constantly changed to match "today's culture."

    On a side note, good lord I'm tired of the whining about "cancel culture." People are starting to see boogeymen everywhere. As mentioned above, for instance, it was Dr Seuss' own family who decided to pull one or two of his most obscure titles. The Mr Potato Head story has mostly been fabricated (https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mr-potato-head-gender-neutral/) and a handful of anonymous busybodies complaining on Twitter is neither "uproar" nor "outrage."

    Tend to agree: it’s a bit of an automatic reflex of some people now to say “I hate cancel culture!” without considering each case on its own merits, some are understandable and some aren’t. You get a lot of the Daily Mail types saying it (and literally complaining about it in that horrible rag), calling others ‘snowflakes’ and all of that, but they don’t have a long memory back to their own campaigns to ‘cancel’ Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, ‘Jerry Springer the Opera’ etc. because those supposedly offended their sensibilities.
    It definitely is an issue that people make snap decisions to try and remove others’ livelihoods based on not-enough information, but as with most things there are many shades to it.
  • Posts: 449
    I do think the "cancel culture" thing is a problem, but more for individuals who aren't famous. It's very easy to find many examples (at American universities in particular) of regular people losing their careers for nonsensical reasons.

    But in terms of famous people or entertainment properties, I don't think there's actually been a rash of undeserved cancelling. I can think of two rather depressing ones: Woody Allen, who almost certainly did not do what he's accused of, and the forthcoming retheming of Splash Mountain at a couple Disney parks. Beyond that, I've heard rumblings of Pepe Le Pew not being included in a Space Jam sequel? Meh.

    I'm pretty sure Bond will be completely fine, but will continue to evolve as it always has done, and I would argue, slightly ahead of its time for the most part. On the whole, "Bond girls" have had a lot more agency and accomplishments than female characters in similar contemporary films have. I mean, the villains in two of the first four films were killed by the "Bond girl". It's not bad. There may be issues for the crazies who ignore intent or contemporary context, but those movies aren't going anywhere.
  • Posts: 1,063
    I agree with most of the comments here because they are rational but it's the knee jerk reactions of the some of the WOKE section of the populace that I wonder about attacking Bond Culture once NTTD is back in the press. Could Bond go from "Every man wants to be him and every woman wants him" to "this man is reprehensible and should be avoided by everyone" therefore diminishing the appeal of the character to young future Bond fans?
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited April 6 Posts: 6,140
    Is that not a bit of a kneejerk, and against something which hasn't even happened?
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 13,926
    mtm wrote: »
    Is that not a bit of a kneejerk, and against something which hasn't even happened?

    Not just yet perhaps but, make no mistake, there is a very different generation of young people coming up through the ranks. We can't have any way of knowing what negative impact this will have on the future Bond film audience. However, we can hopefully be assured that the Bond film producers will try to stay ahead of the curve as they always have done before. It's all about them attuning their pop cultural barometer and we the fans leaving it in their proven capable hands.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 6,140
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    Is that not a bit of a kneejerk, and against something which hasn't even happened?

    Not just yet perhaps but, make no mistake, there is a very different generation of young people coming up through the ranks.

    I'm just pointing out the slight irony of complaining about a kneejerk reaction when the accuser is themselves leaping to a prejerk reaction :)
    As you say, it's up to the producers to make sure Bond changes enough to suit the times.
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