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If 'James Bond' was a codename, well, every idiot named James Bond would be a potential target by foreign secret services, who would have cracked this codename decades ago.
Utterly disastrous thinking!
Even if I did have to change my real name to avoid a German gold dealer, a shell of a criminal organization in Vegas, a New York gangsta who also happened to be a Caribbean dictator, a spaceship CEO, a microchip magnate, a Central American drug lord and a banker of a criminal organization, it's still totally ridiculous.
Nah, this theory is crap.
According to it, Bond 2 (Lazenby) had replaced Bond 1 in OHMSS. All well and good, except for one thing: when Bond 2 clears his office after presenting his resignation, why does he pick up mementoes from Bond 1's missions, and more importantly, why does he reminisce about them? The answer is because he lived them, that's why. After all, i doubt very much that Bond 1 would have mentioned which song Honey Ryder sung when he met her.
Bond 3 replacing Bond 1 and 2? I could accept it,except for two things: a) Anya Amasova mentions Bond's trragic marriage, and Bond reacts rather bluntly, in TSWLM, a reaction he wouldn't have if that tragedy hadn't happend to him. Furthermore, in FYEO, we see him visiting his wife's grave. So, Bond 3 is Bond 2, who we've established is Bond 1.
As for Bond 4, I could believe he would have replaced Bond 3, except for one little detail: if we admit that Bond is a code name, we have to admit also that Leiter is a codename as well. Then, why would Leiter 5 invite Bond 4 to be his best man in LTK, when the only Bond he would have met is Bond 3? Furthermore, another mention of Bond's wedding is made, in a nice bit of foreshadowing. So, Bond 4 is Bond 2 and 3.
Bond 5? Let's see: when we first meet him, he's in a mission in the Soviet Union. That means a mission that must have taken place when the USSR was still alive, which means when Bond 3 and 4 were active. Furthermore, in DAD, he shows a good knowledge of gadgets used by Bond 1 (the rocket pack, and more importantly the rebreather used in TB). Which is a clue that he is in fact Bond 1, 3 and 4.
Which means that James Bond is the same James Bond during the first 20 movies of the series. QED.
Well Lynch in the A-team movie seemed to be a codename passed onto CIA agent to CIA agent. So if that works for them in that movie, then James Bond could work as a codename for these movies as well I believe.
Really, it's the two female Ms that are problematic.
luds said it the best,
This is perhaps my favourite explanation of Bond being played by different actors.
Bond is afictional character played by many different actors. It's really not very complicated.