Where does Bond go after Craig?

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  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited September 25 Posts: 11,648
    Denbigh wrote: »
    As @mtm says, it's clear what path they went down, and to me, adapting Octopussy and having the villain of the film be the son of Hannes Oberhauser is not a bad idea at all. The thing that ruined it for Spectre was also making him Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the leader of SPECTRE, because then the writers had to try and find a way to tie those two together, with the only answer being family drama and jealousy seemingly caused by Bond from Blofeld's perspective.

    The problems there are obvious and were ripe throughout the script, it suggests one "wronged" boy went on to set up an entire evil organisation to get back at someone from their childhood who just so happens to be an agent for MI6, which is already convoluted in itself. Then, to add the unnecessary attempt at tying up loose ends by having him be the "author" behind Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall, which completely undermines everything those films achieved on their own, whether you liked them or not.

    And not to mention the fact that this is all so easily fixed. Firstly, don't bother with tying up loose ends. Skyfall certainly didn't need it and by 2012, no-one besides some fans really needed Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace to be built upon. Have Hannes Oberhauser's son be the villain, but make him an independant villain who turned down a path of terrorism and crime after murdering his father who has no interest in Bond whatsoever. Don't even have Bond adopted by Hannes, just have it be what it was in the novel, someone who for a brief time taught him mountaineering during his summer breaks, and then if you want SPECTRE involved because you've now got the rights. Have them possibly be an organisation that recruited Oberhauser's son just to tease their appearance and then build upon them in Bond 25. Simple. It didn't need to be as convoluted as it was, but considering the script leaks and possibly the fact that Mendes' heart wasn't completely in it, it comes at no surprise I guess.

    I think you could perhaps have Spectre finding out about Franz Oberhauser (who is a different person to Blofeld) having killed Hannes and them recruiting him to kind of torture Bond in some way, or even just lure him in so they can get access to him. But then I guess you end up with three baddies rather than two, and it kind of makes sense to streamline him into Blofeld. And although it maybe is a bit trite, it gives Blofeld the motivation of hating James since he was a boy.

    It's so weird, every time I try to think of a better way of doing it I end up seeing exactly why they did what they did because the threads do tie up pretty well, and yet it never really works because you always end up with this big stumbling block of Bond and Blofeld essentially being brothers and it's just a bit too silly.
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    :)

    It’s not the worst, but I do feel it’s very overrated, the same way I feel QoS is underrated. I exaggerate accordingly.

    I don’t hate the idea of an another dark, realistic or dramatic bond in a similar vein. I just think it can be written better.

    I probably agree to a lesser extent maybe. Like I said before I think Skyfall is a bit boring, and I love Quantum more and more each time I watch it.

    They really are the art house films of the series, I think. In terms of themes and color ideas.

    Watching last night I was struck by how beautiful Skyfall is. I honestly don't think there's a better-shot Bond film, and it has some good competition.
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 3,833
    Great discussion both ways on here. Thanks for the respectful discourse. Interesting points raised by the emotional and personal folks.

    Upon reflecting I think my personal issue with the DC arc of films isn't so much with where they went, it's how they got there.

    CR---great film. Bond learning the ropes and making mistakes was refreshing to see. The little touches to making him Bond were well done. I buy the romance between Vesper and him. The ending is tragic and then redeeming with the utterance of the line.

    QOS---a straight on revenge movie. What we were clamouring for since OHMSS and DAF. Bond is on a mission to find and kill those responsible for Vesper's death. Ending is brilliant.

    SF---a great start with the "death of 007". The film is well constructed, doesn't hold up to some logic, especially Silva's escape thru the tube. No mention of Vesper. The narrative threads are left dangling. We see Bond struggling in the tests to re-gain 007 status. Then he's out in the field and has no struggles at all. Other than a shaky gun with Severine. Ending feels like a new beginning.

    SP---suddenly the rails come off. Blofeld becomes a jealous family friend. He's the one that masterminded all the previous films, and everything is retconned. Why? Not sure I think there were many other ways to make this personal besides have Blofeld and Bond be childhood friends. Vesper is brought up again, why? Bond falls very quickly for Madeline with no real explanation for it. He drives off into the sunset. A fitting end?

    NTTD---now we are full on into Vesper and she drives the action at the start of the film. Bond wants Blofeld dead, after having a chance to do it on the bridge in SP. Why the change of heart? Don't know and not really explained. Now Bond has to deal with a past love, current love and a child. Yes, a child, but the child doesn't really drive any of the plot forward. To add to the ham-fisted way of her being introduced, Madeline lies to Bond and says the child isn't his. This robs of us of any depth of emotion or Bond grappling with being a Dad.

    Where do the sins of this arc rest? I think SP undoes a lot of the good achieved by the first three films. NTTD seems to double down on SP and tries to fix the problem, but to me only exasperates it. It's like they felt they had to throw everything into this film. Are we to believe that Bond meets Vesper in 2006 and has unresolved issues from this relationship in 2021? Or 2020? Really? That was the one who left such a huge imprint on his heart?

    How is this for an arc for the next Bond. Have him be the cocky and confident guy. Put him into a FRWL type of situation where his confidence is almost his un-doing. Have him battle back and find his way again. I could see this being quite well done. Or go another direction, have him be a jaded agent who almost has a death wish. Bring back the smoking, the drinking to excess and play up that this Bond is almost hoping for death. Have him find someone who he wants to live for. Then he loses her and has to re-build himself and clean himself up.

    Those to me would balance story and "personal angle". Let's leave kids, family and villains who are family friends of Bond.
  • Posts: 9,297
    It’s amazing how a fan trailer can warm me to an actor I am now 100% in Norton camp

  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,544
    mtm wrote: »
    .

    It's so weird, every time I try to think of a better way of doing it I end up seeing exactly why they did what they did because the threads do tie up pretty well, and yet it never really works because you always end up with this big stumbling block of Bond and Blofeld essentially being brothers and it's just a bit too silly.

    I love this comment!

    Obviously I love Spectre just the way it is, but I guess they might have been thinking non-fans are barely going to know or care what Blofeld is, and perhaps they thought the nerdier fans would be along for the reboot era to the extent that they could accept that this guy knew James Bond as a kid. After all, as you point out, there's no real reason why it doesn't work, and for me personally, on the third viewing or so, when I reminded myself it's not Donald or Telly or Charles, it was fine.

    The moaning about Skyfall's anachronistic shenanigans with the DB5 was pretty muted too, so maybe they assumed fans were more willing to just enjoy the movie than they actually are ...!
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited September 25 Posts: 11,648
    I think Denbeigh's point about the way they were under the same roof as kids and just both happen to have grown up to be diametric opposites in the game of international terrorism is something which does make it feel a bit silly. It is a Bond film though so sillier things have happened in that world, and yet... it is a hard one to swallow.
    Bond falling in love with Mr White's daughter is almost equally overly interpersonal, and yet way less tricky to swallow because it all unfolds in front of us and they specifically meet because of their involvement in the two sides of international terrorism. Bond and Blofeld on the other hand knew each other before they worked for MI6/Spectre... and that seems a bit unlikely.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited September 25 Posts: 5,201
    mtm wrote: »
    I think Denbeigh's point about the way they were under the same roof as kids and just both happen to have grown up to be diametric opposites in the game of international terrorism is something which does make it feel a bit silly. It is a Bond film though so sillier things have happened in that world, and yet... it is a hard one to swallow.
    Bond falling in love with Mr White's daughter is almost equally overly interpersonal, and yet way less tricky to swallow because it all unfolds in front of us and they specifically meet because of their involvement in the two sides of international terrorism. Bond and Blofeld on the other hand knew each other before they worked for MI6/Spectre... and that seems a bit unlikely.
    Yeah, Madeleine does make way more sense, although her being Mr. White's daughter leans more into the concept of tying up loose ends which I also think hurt Spectre's script greatly. They just needed to pick a lane and stick to it.

    For a while I was working on my own version of Bond 24, keeping the inclusion Hannes Oberhauser, but making the villain more akin to Dexter Smythe from the novel, and having Oberhauser's offspring actually be Madeleine Swann as opposed to her being the daughter of Mr. White. To me, that would have gotten rid of all the baggage that weighed Spectre down.
  • Risico007 wrote: »
    It’s amazing how a fan trailer can warm me to an actor I am now 100% in Norton camp


    That fantrailer was better than most real trailers!
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,544
    mtm wrote: »
    I think Denbeigh's point about the way they were under the same roof as kids and just both happen to have grown up to be diametric opposites in the game of international terrorism is something which does make it feel a bit silly. It is a Bond film though so sillier things have happened in that world, and yet... it is a hard one to swallow.
    Bond falling in love with Mr White's daughter is almost equally overly interpersonal, and yet way less tricky to swallow because it all unfolds in front of us and they specifically meet because of their involvement in the two sides of international terrorism. Bond and Blofeld on the other hand knew each other before they worked for MI6/Spectre... and that seems a bit unlikely.

    Yeah, neither of you is wrong about that, in a sense, but I guess I kind of embraced the (rather trendy) epic hero journey-type stuff in Spectre. It fit the style of the film, if that makes sense, like the cinematography and the pretentious 'The dead are alive' stuff (both of which I know people also hate).

    I pick on Trevelyan a lot, but that guy's story doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense in the sunlight and depends on at least as much contrivance/coincidence/architype hokiness...I wonder if Brofeld would have benefited from a flashback PTS as Alec did?

    (Obviously that would be terrible, but I thought Alec was kind of terrible too)
  • Posts: 9,297
    Risico007 wrote: »
    It’s amazing how a fan trailer can warm me to an actor I am now 100% in Norton camp


    That fantrailer was better than most real trailers!

    I wish I could get a fan poster for my phone
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 11,648
    The ‘author of all your pain’ stuff is a bit contrived and unconvincing, and I wonder why they didn’t have it so that Spectre and Quantum had been at war, with Spectre actually having been invisibly guiding and assisting Bond in taking down Quantum in CR and QoS. Maybe that would have retrospectively damaged his agency in those films, but it would have make more sense of having two big shadowy organisations.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,258
    mtm wrote: »
    The ‘author of all your pain’ stuff is a bit contrived and unconvincing, and I wonder why they didn’t have it so that Spectre and Quantum had been at war, with Spectre actually having been invisibly guiding and assisting Bond in taking down Quantum in CR and QoS. Maybe that would have retrospectively damaged his agency in those films, but it would have make more sense of having two big shadowy organisations.

    That would have been way better. Spectre using Bond to chip away at Quantum. I suppose they just took a gamble that the personal stuff would resonate more with the audience, and it didn’t pay off as much as they’d hoped.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Omaha, NE
    Posts: 6,696
    This whole thing about Quantum and SPECTRE being at war sounds terrible. Truth is that the organization in QOS should have been left unnamed and then Bond would learn they’re called SPECTRE later.

    If you literally cut out the two times they name drop “Quantum” in QOS, it wouldn’t have made any difference. They’re still a global terrorist organization trying to get rich infiltrating and manipulating governments. That’s why I wasn’t really all that bothered by how they were revealed to be the same group in SP because they aren’t all that distinctive from each other.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,258
    I don’t really think it’s that terrible. Either way could have worked.
  • Ideally, yes, Quantum would have been SPECTRE all along. Personally, I think it would have been even better had Mr. White turned out to be Blofeld. Mr. White sounds like a cover name anyways, and there would have been something wonderfully twisted about Blofeld standing over and watching Bond grieve over Vesper in Venice. There's a retcon that would have made 100% sense and that would not have felt forced at all. White was the brains behind everything. It would have been even more twisted and perfect for Bond to fall in love with Blofeld's daughter, an apple that fell far from the rotted tree. Then Blofeld is already in place for Spectre and there's no need to invent the foster brother nonsense. They could still have their twisted family themes by having Bond fall in love with Blofeld's daughter. Keep the Nine Eyes plot, bolster the film with better action sequences, and there you go. Forget Lazenby's revenge film or Brosnan getting a better swan song...White not turning out to be Blofeld will forever be the series' greatest missed opportunity for me.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited September 25 Posts: 7,258
    I still like the idea of Quantum and Spectre at odds. It would have been great if Spectre had identified Bond as this existential threat to their organization, but instead of eliminating him too early, somehow influenced his fight against Quantum, to cripple their rival organization… would have been very espionage and also fit the Betta fish metaphor from back in FRWL. Also could have served to show how powerful Spectre is by performing a hostile takeover of the organization Bond had been struggling against for several films.

    I'm not 100% sure why, but I like Bond falling in love with Mr. White's daughter (Bond very traditionally gets to the villains through a woman in their lives, this isn't too far from that), but I do not like the idea of Blofeld having a daughter that Bond becomes involved with. Maybe there's no logic there.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,258
    In other news, I guess we know where Vesper goes after Craig...

    https://www.polygon.com/reviews/23365454/vesper-review-2022
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,700
    The Brofeld malarkey would've been hokey enough at any point, but after Goldmember it was just...what?! :-O
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,258
    It does make you scratch your head a bit. :))
  • Posts: 1,122
    mtm wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Even by foster brother standards it's pretty thin. Wasn't the whole point that they only spent two years together? Maybe I'm remembering it wrong but it wasn't like they grew up together.

    Just goes to show how stupid the idea and execution was. Even from a scriptwriting perspective it's very strange. Blofeld's formation of SPECTRE has nothing to do with killing Oberhauser or his dislike of Bond technically, and yet the film emphasises the connection between the two characters (Blofeld even says that Bond in a way sent him down this path). I think people tend to read more into aspects of the film like Blofeld being 'the author of all Bond's pain', as if his hatred of this man was so deep seated that he specifically targeted Bond as early as CR, when in reality all it amounted to was pure coincidence. Again, it's the film's fault - it's hammering this point home so it's natural audiences latch onto the idea. Doesn't help that Blofeld had no believable motivation to kill his father or even dislike Bond, and the best they seem to do is 'he's crazy'.

    Although I don't think it works and I think they should have taken a step back, I can completely see why they did that with Blofeld in Spectre. Basically they decided to adapt Fleming's Octopussy, where Bond goes after the murderer of his childhood mentor Oberhauser. That's the personal angle right there, and it's direct from Fleming's pen. They've then decided to blockbuster-it-up a bit by making that murderer turn out to be Blofeld- and that's no more of a coincidence for this Bond, he's never heard of Blofeld, Blofeld is just some guy to him (the problem is that it does feel like a coincidence for the audience, and I think they lost sight of that a bit). We already have the childhood mentor thing, the coincidence is baked in from Fleming, where we have a plot where the death of a guy Bond knows happens to cross his desk; so why not add to the childhood angle and make Oberhauser's killer be his own son? After all, the baddie needs to be vaguely close to Bond's age for him to be an effective baddie in this movie so he would have been a kid at the time too. Which then takes you to the foster brothers angle, cuckoo etc.
    All of these steps are fairly logical I would say, and you can see how adapting this plotline from the books took them in this direction, and if you're following it though progressively like that it probably doesn't feel that bad. But the problem is that when we're faced with the final concept of Bond and Blofeld knowing each other as kids, it just feels silly.

    I think there's a lot of truth in that. Also, we have to keep in mind SP had a rather quick paced pre-production. I suppose if none of them truly had time to step back, have a think about the 'big picture', and indeed just how silly the whole thing was, then it's understandable that we got this.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,707
    It is a tad silly. The brother angle feels like an idea thrown in an already viscous mix to thicken the plot even more. The return of Blofeld is heavy enough for one film, in my opinion. Add to that the discovery of Spectre, the White family drama, and C and his Nine Eyes, and you've got a big load to carry as it is. To further complicate matters by giving Bond and Blofeld a mutual past, was, perhaps clumsy. Cut away this fat, and the film leans up instantly.

    I love SP. The film is practically taylored to my wishes in terms of tone, visuals, locations and more. But the brother thing hurts, though not so much as to kill the fun entirely. I can easily chew out that little twist while swallowing down the rest, like enjoying a sweet grape and spitting out the seeds.

    Even if they had had more time, I'm generally not a big fan of family twists. It feels too "soapy" in most cases.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited September 26 Posts: 11,648
    Bear in mind that from Bond's point of view Blofeld wasn't returning though, it was him appearing for the first time, which I guess is why they thought it would work (but I agree that it didn't really!).

    It's interesting that the first time they adapted Octopussy they chopped out the personal angle for Bond. Not that it would have worked for the story they were telling, but you'd have thought they could have used it in some way. I don't think it would have been weird for Roger to have talked about his childhood mentor: he was a more human bond than Connery.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 5,157
    I think part of the Connery and Moore portrayals are that they were of the WWII, "keep calm and carry on" generation. Not really dwelling on the past.

    Later Bonds have not been. Sigmund Freud, analyze this.
  • edited September 26 Posts: 613
    What are people afraid of today?

    - Facism/Racism/Bigotry/Fanaticism/Extremism (Peaky Blinders s05-s06, Schindler's List, Inglorious Basterds, Khalifat)
    - Large Scale War (The King's Man, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows)
    - Climate Change/Pollution/Energy Scarcity/Food Security (QoS)
    - Nuclear Winter (Oppenheimer)
    - Inflation/Recession/Economic Instability (Big Short/Marigin Call/Too big to fail)
    - Media/Social Media/Fake News/Free Speech (TND)
    - Techonology/Robots/Automation/Surveillance (Skyfall/SP/iRobot/Matrix)
    - Inequality/Corruption/Billionaires/Poverty/Class Dystopia (Gattaca)
    - Civil Unrest/Populism/Authoritarianism (The Bureau)
    - The continuing trend of dull, censored, uninspired, badly written, pretentious pseudo entertainment.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 11,648
    echo wrote: »
    I think part of the Connery and Moore portrayals are that they were of the WWII, "keep calm and carry on" generation. Not really dwelling on the past.

    Later Bonds have not been. Sigmund Freud, analyze this.

    I'm not sure that's really representative of a decline in society or whatever you're hinting at, as the 'dwelling on the past' angle I'm talking about specifically came from Ian Fleming, years before.
  • Posts: 4,540
    @echo Good point - linked to that, it's from an era where we were always, unquestionably, the good guys. Life (or our perceptions of life) have become more complex. One of the newer themes within Bond has been exactly who is the enemy?
  • edited September 26 Posts: 613
    I would like to see Bond fly solo, dressing up in disguises, stealthing, manipulating, torturing, stealing, bribing, framing, gambling, dealmaking, puzzling his way through the investigation. Proper spy stuff.

    Other 00 or foreign service agents are fine to be stumbled upon.

    If you try to make him too much of a good guy he will become uninteresting very quickly, unless he is unusually attractive and romantic or the world around him is incredibly interesting.
  • 007InAction007InAction Australia
    Posts: 1,865
    Sam Mendes: the next James Bond film should be directed by a woman

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/sep/15/sam-mendes-next-james-bond-film-directed-by-woman
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited September 26 Posts: 496
    slide_99 wrote: »
    Nobody is saying that there shouldn't be any personal angle at all. All the Bonds between TLD and SF had some sort of personal angle. The difference is that those movies didn't hinge on Bond personally, they didn't involve Bond's past, and they actually had stories independent of the personal angles to tell. Not so starting with SF, where Bond himself- his past, his emotions, his wants and desires, etc.- became the story. Maybe that could have worked once with SF, but not three times in a row. By the time NTTD came around, it seemed as if soap opera was all they knew how to do.

    I think you’re misinterpreting the story of Skyfall… Bonds emotions, wants and desires didn’t become the story, Silva’s desire to kill M was the story.

    But given how much you’ve said about NTTD having never seen it, maybe you haven’t seen Skyfall either?

    Silva trying to kill M was only half the story. The other half, and I would argue the more important half, dealt with meta-commentaries on Bond's relevancy and his legacy, and the "exploration" of Bond's past. They even retconned his middle-class origins and gave him a family castle so they could do just that.

    As for Spectre, most of that movie's problems could have been solved by a simple story alternation: make Quantum and SPECTRE rival organizations. Bond teaming up with Mr. White, the man who killed his first love and is now the father of his current love, to defeat Blofeld would have been a much more interesting story. There would have been a ton of opportunities for character growth and conflict there to fullfil the need for a personal angle. No need for Brofeld or any major retconning at all.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 5,157
    mtm wrote: »
    echo wrote: »
    I think part of the Connery and Moore portrayals are that they were of the WWII, "keep calm and carry on" generation. Not really dwelling on the past.

    Later Bonds have not been. Sigmund Freud, analyze this.

    I'm not sure that's really representative of a decline in society or whatever you're hinting at, as the 'dwelling on the past' angle I'm talking about specifically came from Ian Fleming, years before.

    Meaning that Connery and Moore's generation--and their Bonds--generally just got on with their jobs and didn't really think about it/question it. That's not the case by the time you get to Brosnan and Craig.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited September 26 Posts: 11,648
    echo wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    echo wrote: »
    I think part of the Connery and Moore portrayals are that they were of the WWII, "keep calm and carry on" generation. Not really dwelling on the past.

    Later Bonds have not been. Sigmund Freud, analyze this.

    I'm not sure that's really representative of a decline in society or whatever you're hinting at, as the 'dwelling on the past' angle I'm talking about specifically came from Ian Fleming, years before.

    Meaning that Connery and Moore's generation--and their Bonds--generally just got on with their jobs and didn't really think about it/question it. That's not the case by the time you get to Brosnan and Craig.

    I'm not sure you read what I wrote: Fleming wrote Bond in the 1950s, before Roger or Sean played 007, and that character did think about his job and question it. I'm literally talking about an incident from a story written in 1962. It's not a matter of generations but just of differing approaches to the subject matter.
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