How fantastical should Bond 26 be?

It's something of a given with Bond films that the latest one - particularly if a new actor is taking up the role - will be different to the previous outing in both tone and story. We've had the 'back down to earth' approach whenever the franchise has gotten too over the top and large budgeted (FYEO after MR, CR after DAD etc.) Whatever your thoughts are about NTTD, the film was clearly quite fantastical in places (the whole idea of the weaponised nanobots, the idea of a scarred villain with a God complex wanting revenge living on a Japanese island etc) and certainly had a rather high budget with many action sequences.

That said, despite my mixed feelings of NTTD, this sense of fantasy was actually one of the things I really liked about the film. The nanobots, while a bit absurd and the subject of much over-exposition, felt like it could have been plausible within that universe, and at times even felt like a real threat. Safin, despite my problems with his motivations and writing, had the potential to be a great Bond villain for me as well. Much like Fleming's Dr. No (where, of course, Bond famously wrestles with a giant squid) it sounds silly on paper but the darker tone and way it's presented kind of sells it at various points.

Again, I don't think NTTD is perfect, but I'd say that I'd rather have these more prominent elements of the fantastical in Bond 26 rather than a more lighthearted but 'down to earth' adventure like FYEO (which I feel is full of uninspired villains and is a waste of good Fleming material), or even a dark 'gritty' Bond film such as LTK (which I like, but is not a film for everyone). I suspect Bond 26 will have a lower budget/be more stripped back, but I'd personally like to see something more akin to Dr. No - Bond functioning as a sort of 'detective', stumbling into this elaborate scenario where an otherworldly villain is about to do something awful (doesn't need to be world domination or nanobots).

What are people's thoughts on this? Should Bond 26 be more grounded with a very plausible villain/scenario or should it retain some of the absurdism of the Craig era?
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Comments

  • ThunderballThunderball playing Chemin de Fer in a casino, downing Vespers
    edited March 25 Posts: 754
    I kinda get the feeling that Bond 26 will be to NTTD as GE was to LTK - not a back down to earth soft (or hard, time will tell) reboot, but a ramp up back to some of the more fantastical elements of some entries that had been mostly left by the wayside in the previous era. Or hell, I could be fooling myself, because I share the wish of many here to get back to that style of Bond film and veering away from the serial storytelling and personal aspect of 007's missions (even though I loved Craig and hold his tenure very high). But maybe just maybe the ending of NTTD is hinting at just that, putting a tidy bow on Craig's Bond era (well, not that tidy, according to some detractors) and rethinking the whole thing. I don't know but I have hopes.
  • edited March 25 Posts: 862
    I kinda get the feeling that Bond 26 will be to NTTD as GE was to LTK - not a back down to earth soft (or hard, time will tell) reboot, but a ramp up back to some of the more fantastical elements of some entries that had been mostly left by the wayside in the previous era. Or hell, I could be fooling myself, because I share the wish of many here to get back to that style of Bond film and veering away from the serial storytelling and personal aspect of 007's missions (even though I loved Craig and hold his tenure very high). But maybe just maybe the ending of NTTD is hinting at just that, putting a tidy bow on Craig's Bond era (well, not that tidy, according to some detractors) and rethinking the whole thing. I don't know but I have hopes.

    I sort of get what you mean about Bond 26 potentially being closer to GE in terms of approach. I would note, however, that GE is a very referential film to the previous Bond series (the DB5, the references to the Cold War etc) which to me bears more similarities to how the Craig era constantly used iconography of previous Bond films. I think Bond 26 will be less referential in this sense, so we probably won't get the DB5, the villain's lair bearing resemblance to previous ones in the series, quite as many tongue in cheek references to previous lines/motifs in the Bond series. We'll potentially get more of a fresh start regardless of what story approach they take, while still fulfilling the fundamental Bond formula criteria.
  • GadgetManGadgetMan Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 4,247
    One thing that looks certain is, EON are going to create a massive introductory, stunt-heavy action scene to make us love him instantly.
  • DoctorKaufmannDoctorKaufmann Can shoot you from Stuttgart and still make it look like suicide.
    edited March 26 Posts: 1,206
    Not overly fantastical. I'd prefer they keep the dark edge with some dry humour, not a throwback to Roger Moore/Pierce Brosnan. They tried this with SP, and it did not work.
  • Posts: 328
    The less said about SP the better.
  • GadgetManGadgetMan Lagos, Nigeria
    edited March 26 Posts: 4,247
    Whatever direction they take, I can only imagine how ultra-modern Bond 26 is going to look.
  • As long as we don't get a woke Bond.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    edited March 27 Posts: 12,501
    I'm yearning for a stripped-back detective film like DN or Soviet espionage thriller like FRWL, but the latter might be off the books for now considering recent events.

    Fantastical Bond is fine with me though. It's been ages since we had an underwater scuba scene, so maybe, like Stromberg, the villain could have an underwater lair that he travels to and from in a custom submersible.

    I was writing a fan story back around 2011-12 that saw the villain utilizing a stolen Chinese sub modified with a HAARP-like antenna which would target military aircraft for its cargo/tech and later, hold the world ransom by altering the weather and creating a record tsunami.
  • ByRoyalDecreeByRoyalDecree Stockholm/London
    Posts: 474
    It can be fantastical so long as the story is compelling and not super cringe cheesy family oriented.
  • sandbagger1sandbagger1 Sussex
    Posts: 353
    I think Bond needs a certain glamour and style not found in other spy films, but I don't think that necessarily means it has to feel lightweight or overly fantasy-based. I think by concentrating on the visuals to provide that escapist Bond feel you can get something that is 'better' than the real world without breaking the suspension of belief. Spectre was crap, but the opening visuals of the carnival with Bond dressed as Death were great, imo. You can find, or create, sets and locations that look fantastic that are not ridiculous, that don't rely on fantasy technology to exist, but are still imaginative and visually memorable.

    I'm a big fan of the 60's Manchurian Candidate which didn't have fantastical sets, but managed to integrate striking visuals into the film with just a little inventiveness and strong cinematography:
    RfLF9dD.jpg
    I think you can be more imaginative than, say, the Bourne movies (which I'm not taking a dig at, by the way, they're good) without abandoning any feeling of reality. Bond needs to have a certain style that sets its films apart from the Mission Impossibles and Bournes, but it doesn't have to go full MCU.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 1,563
    I'd love to see it be more grounded, something similar to TLD sniper sequence, intense, dark and dangerous. Although I think they'll want to be a bit more lighthearted with the next Bond
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,482
    All excellent points, Sandbagger - like it.
  • edited March 28 Posts: 862
    I think Bond needs a certain glamour and style not found in other spy films, but I don't think that necessarily means it has to feel lightweight or overly fantasy-based. I think by concentrating on the visuals to provide that escapist Bond feel you can get something that is 'better' than the real world without breaking the suspension of belief. Spectre was crap, but the opening visuals of the carnival with Bond dressed as Death were great, imo. You can find, or create, sets and locations that look fantastic that are not ridiculous, that don't rely on fantasy technology to exist, but are still imaginative and visually memorable.

    I'm a big fan of the 60's Manchurian Candidate which didn't have fantastical sets, but managed to integrate striking visuals into the film with just a little inventiveness and strong cinematography:
    RfLF9dD.jpg
    I think you can be more imaginative than, say, the Bourne movies (which I'm not taking a dig at, by the way, they're good) without abandoning any feeling of reality. Bond needs to have a certain style that sets its films apart from the Mission Impossibles and Bournes, but it doesn't have to go full MCU.

    I get what you mean about cinematography. Watched The Batman recently and what was striking about the visuals was that not only was it modern/full of overly dark, low key lighting, but it also had a Hitchcockian element to it (lots of rigging the camera close to Wayne as he rides on his bike/is flying around on his grappling hook, which goes with how insular and isolated his character is, if that makes sense. The deleted scene with Joker is also brilliant in terms of what the camera shows etc). It felt grounded, but not necessarily completely 'realistic' or even stylised. The Bond series could afford to strike a similar balance between modern visuals, which they have done very well from in Craig's era, while paying homage to older Film Noirs and thrillers etc.

    That said I'd also say that The Manchurian Candidate's story is quite fantastical, even absurd, in itself as it's about a sleeper agent etc. So you have to find that right balance between visuals, script and how everything is acted/presented.

  • ByRoyalDecreeByRoyalDecree Stockholm/London
    Posts: 474
    I think vague themes and soliloquys contribute to the fantastical not hitting home. It needs to take itself seriously but not in an overbearing hippie mother kind of way.
  • Posts: 862
    I think vague themes and soliloquys contribute to the fantastical not hitting home. It needs to take itself seriously but not in an overbearing hippie mother kind of way.

    So basically most of Safin's dialogue/scenes in the last third of NTTD?

  • ByRoyalDecreeByRoyalDecree Stockholm/London
    edited March 28 Posts: 474
    007HallY wrote: »
    I think vague themes and soliloquys contribute to the fantastical not hitting home. It needs to take itself seriously but not in an overbearing hippie mother kind of way.

    So basically most of Safin's dialogue/scenes in the last third of NTTD?

    Did you see the secret nazi meeting in last weeks episode of Peaky blinders. Now that's a suspenseful take on villains plotting and revealing their motives. CR and QoS did it well. The last three Bond films were terribly simple. It might have worked in the 60's but writers today are seriously underestimating viewers.
  • Posts: 862
    Did you see the secret nazi meeting in the last episode of Peaky blinders. Now that's suspenseful take on villains plotting and revealing their motives. CR and QoS did it well. The last three Bond films were terribly simple.
    007HallY wrote: »
    I think vague themes and soliloquys contribute to the fantastical not hitting home. It needs to take itself seriously but not in an overbearing hippie mother kind of way.

    So basically most of Safin's dialogue/scenes in the last third of NTTD?

    Need to watch Peaky Blinders... it's a bit like Game of Thrones for me - I've heard a lot about it but never got round to actually watching it.
  • ByRoyalDecreeByRoyalDecree Stockholm/London
    edited March 28 Posts: 474
    007HallY wrote: »

    Need to watch Peaky Blinders... it's a bit like Game of Thrones for me - I've heard a lot about it but never got round to actually watching it.

    Watch Game of Thrones until the end of s4 the rest is horseshyte bar a few episodes here and there.

    First episode of Peaky is solid, I am mostly watching it because everything else literally sucks. I am not a fan of slow brooding hollow scenes, which it has too many of.
  • Not at all, please...there are more than 15 movies in the series to enjoy from this aspect. They did enough with DAD.
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    Posts: 532
    Bond 26 probably won't be grounded. The series has become what I call "too big to fail". Executives at the company realize the potential of the series to sell very well, so they push for it to be as mainstream and accessible to the masses.

    A movie that's true to Fleming or has a niche appeal likely won't happen.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 5,062
    CR is the closest we'll get. I'll bet Bond 26 follows that model.
  • edited May 26 Posts: 862
    M16_Cart wrote: »
    Bond 26 probably won't be grounded. The series has become what I call "too big to fail". Executives at the company realize the potential of the series to sell very well, so they push for it to be as mainstream and accessible to the masses.

    A movie that's true to Fleming or has a niche appeal likely won't happen.

    It's not as black and white as that though. Fleming wasn't always 'grounded' with his novels (Bond fought a giant squid at one point for God's sake) and a Bond film that has fantastical elements in it can still have a relatively grounded plot (ie. Dr. No).

    Also, who's to say that the next Bond film incorporating elements of Fleming's Bond won't have broad appeal? Especially in terms of Bond as a character. Acknowledging our heroes flaws and addressing them within the narratives are more preferable than ignoring them nowadays I'd argue. Fleming's Bond certainly had his flaws and they were shown for what they were within the novels. I'm not saying everything about the next Bond be completely Fleming-esque (different mediums etc) but what's the harm in going back to the source material for inspiration in order to go forward with the series?
  • mattjoesmattjoes Mitchell
    Posts: 5,774
    I think Bond 26 should be grounded, otherwise it could electrocute itself Capungo style.

    I'll get my coat.

    Wait, I lost it while fighting henchmen in a Norwegian forest.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 10,646
    Yup.
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRSCmRQnTYzOyoPMQ1odmTUQ6aDqqBzGX2h0nOGw7i-VB1lhO7CnRrcWKiX3p2F8RDM1_k&usqp=CAU
  • ByRoyalDecreeByRoyalDecree Stockholm/London
    edited May 26 Posts: 474
    M16_Cart wrote: »
    Bond 26 probably won't be grounded. The series has become what I call "too big to fail". Executives at the company realize the potential of the series to sell very well, so they push for it to be as mainstream and accessible to the masses.

    A movie that's true to Fleming or has a niche appeal likely won't happen.

    Comparing CR and QoS to the latter films, having less star power in the supporting cast aids in suspending disbelief.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ SIS Building, London, United Kingdom
    edited May 26 Posts: 1,293
    007HallY wrote: »
    M16_Cart wrote: »
    Bond 26 probably won't be grounded. The series has become what I call "too big to fail". Executives at the company realize the potential of the series to sell very well, so they push for it to be as mainstream and accessible to the masses.

    A movie that's true to Fleming or has a niche appeal likely won't happen.

    It's not as black and white as that though. Fleming wasn't always 'grounded' with his novels (Bond fought a giant squid at one point for God's sake) and a Bond film that has fantastical elements in it can still have a relatively grounded plot (ie. Dr. No).

    Also, who's to say that the next Bond film incorporating elements of Fleming's Bond won't have broad appeal? Especially in terms of Bond as a character. Acknowledging our heroes flaws and addressing them within the narratives are more preferable than ignoring them nowadays I'd argue. Fleming's Bond certainly had his flaws and they were shown for what they were within the novels. I'm not saying everything about the next Bond be completely Fleming-esque (different mediums etc) but what's the harm in going back to the source material for inspiration in order to go forward with the series?

    Agreed, Bond is not just an average superhero, he has a distinct personality that sets him apart from other characters. Now, he's just copying them, (think of how Craig's Bond copied Bourne and Batman and even John Wick?).
    Fleming's bond felt like a real human being but he got messed up in the world of escapism and fantasy.
  • Posts: 312
    I reckon the best films are those that stay close to Fleming (albeit updated) - thinking CR, OHMSS, DN, FRWL etc.
  • Posts: 12,410
    Personally i want to keep the realism, but add a lot more humour albeit dark humour! >:)
  • edited June 21 Posts: 862
    I agree, there should be some dark humour in the next one!

    My thoughts on this as of late are that what we'll get for Bond 26 might be akin to going from OHMSS to the early 70s Bond films. DAF was silly in places, and LALD was certainly a lot lighter in tone, but both were also much more low key than OHMSS and embraced quite a few fantastical elements (especially in LALD with its voodoo sub-plot). TMWTGG and DAF eschewed gadgets (and even LALD subverted how Bond's magnetic watch was used), Bond was not given a car, in all three films Bond functioned as a detective figure more similar to how he acts in the novels, and there was more of a film-noir feel to the dialogue/plots in those three films that felt refreshing. So yeah, I think the next one will be more stripped back, low key, fun, less reliant on those traditional Bond tropes or will at least subvert them, and will be, for better or worse, more on the fantastical side.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,482
    The best combination of realism and dark humour is QOS, by quite some way. So, yes, I'd be more than happy for a return to that! ;)
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