How To Introduce The Next Bond

Since we’re in a holding pattern of news I thought now would be a good time to bring up some of my random musings starting with; how would you introduce the next Bond when the time comes?

Casino Royale was all about the slow reintroduction of the Bond iconography. So my suggestion would be to the exact opposite. I’d construct a pre-title sequence that would function as a microcosm of cinematic Bond. Open with Bond deploying gadgets, fighting an eccentric villain and getting the girl. Essentially get you Bond checklist out the way in the first 5-10 minutes so the rest of the film can still explore new territory.

For an example of this sort of thing done well look to Mask of Zorro. They do everything you’d expect from Zorro in the opening scene and were still able to tell a compelling story that took the character in new directions.


The idea of CASINO ROYALE to show a ‘Bond Begins’ story was refreshing enough - though I think there wasn’t so much development of Bond himself over the film. He gets to look at himself in a made-to-measure dinner jacket but I’m sure his own choice wouldn’t have been that bad either. And the betrayed lover element is strong - but in the end nothing many people haven’t had to deal with already by college. I could have lived with it if the last frames of CASINO ROYALE had been really the end of it, much like the ‘Bond. James Bond.’ line indicated.

The next Bond will likely be introduced in the more traditional way Eon handled things in 1969 and after: you get to see little glimpses of his world, expensive ways to die and horrible ways to spend money. And then the face of ‘Bomb. James Bomb.’ - this line introducing the action scene that will establish the guy in the role.

We can safely assume it will be a reboot since Craig seems to get his deserved closing. So I’d say the ‘home team’ will also change. Does Bond even need them? Does Bond even need M? Do we even need to know what is Bond’s assignment, or who is the villain?

I seriously hope we’ll not see another grow-into-Bond’s-shoes storyline. But I wouldn’t be averse to changes. Maybe Bond reports back after a successful mission to his boss - at the headquarters of GRU. And we only learn in the next film how he ended up there. And for what purpose…


Totally agreed.

I actually never really got any benefit from any backstory-explaining for already well established and known characters. Even CASINO ROYAYLE only maintained it would give us “the Bond we know and love” only after this origin story because the moment you know someone plays James Bond he is James Bond. In the PTS of CR Bond already answered in a sly sarcastic tone, fought to win, dared to do stunts nobody in his right mind or only Tom Cruise would perform in real life.

Bond is no Darth Vader, for example, one of the very few characters one could be interested in seeing the origin story of. But heroes in popular fiction? Just show me Sherlock Holmes and I know everything I need to know. Batman? Overexplained already. Superman - the first movie explained everything perfectly. Maybe you need origins of heroes that have not become already part of our collective memory.

The PTS of GOLDFINGER was a perfect introduction of the character for those who never heard about him before. This is, I agree, the way to go with the next Bond.


Agreed , start as if nothings happened just cut to great sequence showcasing the best of the character. No explanation or exposition needed


CR is a great Bond film, a great film.

But with over a decade of hindsight, I think the “Bond Begins” angle was overblown - by the media, the production, us, whoever. Like the novel, it’s not so much an origin story, more the “first” story.

Looking back, it does little to really delve into who Bond is and how he became that way - either his professional arc or personal growth. We don’t learn why it was “too early to promote you” in that the character behaved in a way that he pretty much always does.

As Dustin points out, he’s pretty much established at the start of the film, rather than the end. But it’s a great introduction and (unfair comparison I know) a better start than DN. That said, on the spot poll - SC in the casino, or DC in black and white?!


DC in black and white. TBH the Bond begins angle seemed more for a marketing reason to say “please don’t think about Die Another Day, judge Craig on his own merit, not in comparison to his processor”


DC´s introduction as Bond was great, and it gave more information on his 00-status than DR.NO´s casino introduction.

However, DR.NO gives us more insight into Bond´s worldview and behavior, and it manages this with the absolute minimum. CR mainly shows us a man turning into a killer.

I prefer DR.NO´s introduction.


Great point. DN shows us who Bond is; CR shows us what Bond does.

Both scenes are terrific “two-handers” and without knowing if it was P&W or Haggis that wrote the latter, I’d say they definitely “knew” their cinematic material when they put the Bond and Drydon scene together. Both scripts (at least what survived the edit) allow the lead to do a lot with relatively little, unlike the more classic villain introduction which over the years seems to work in longer monologues to establish their character.

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I’m with secretagentfan on this one, less is more. All the great characters in cinema history have, I believe, a certain power that’s fueled by mystery. We don’t need to know how that John Wayne or Steve McQueen character got to be cool, it’s enough that he is. Will we really enjoy an Errol Flynn swordfight more if we see him take fencing lessons first?

These things are better doled out in small servings: Quint is just an abrasive misanthrope until we get him drunk and extract his tale of the Indianapolis. Then we “get” him.

Batman worked great for decades with a two-page origin before someone decided we needed to see every place he went and every skill he learned between pre-adolescent and Dark Knight. It made him less interesting, not more. Hints dropped about Wolverine’s past made him a fascinating character. Years of detailed explanation have made him a bore. Darth Vader exploded onto the screen as one of the greatest, scariest villains of all time. Three prequels neutered him as a petulant crybaby a-hole.

One of the cool things about movie Bond is that he was cooler than we could be. He wasn’t “grounded,” he wasnt one of us and he surely didn’t have a lousier life than most of us. I’d like to see that Bond again. I don’t care how he " got to be Bond, " it’s enough that he is.


Bond was very much at the forefront of the ‘give-everything-an-origin-story’ trend and mercifully that meant that CR came out before it had gotten tedious. In many ways I think we should be thankful they showed us 007’s first mission, a few years later and I’m sure the whole film would have been about Bond earning his double-oh status.
I can see how origin stories can be appealing for writers, directors and actors as they can dig more into the character. But audiences don’t always want that. CR’s origin was the right move for the time but 15+ years later a different approach is needed.
Now the origin story has gotten so tedious it even feels tired when applied to characters we’ve never seen before. For me it was Doctor Strange than made me think we’d seen one too many origin stories and hoped to not see another for a good long time. And don’t get me started on the endlessly rebooted Spider-Man…
As for Bond, like I said I think we’ve seen all the origin we need on the character. No need to show recruitment or training. Just open with Bond doing what we expect Bond to do.


Interesting topic - I pondered this for a while. The character is the character, and there isn’t really any way around that. I think it’s more about acceptance on M’s part. Anyone else who behaved like Bond would be sacked on the spot, but M has a fondness for the man and promoted him for a reason. It’s like what the Oracle says in The Matrix: “Because you didn’t come here to make the choice. You already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it.” His methods tested her faith the most in QoS where he’s described as running wild, and in need of being put down. But once she says “he’s my agent” their partnership is rock solid. Her dying words in Skyfall say a lot.

I don’t know that M does like Bond, but she understands his worth. Other agents may have to be trained or motivated to kill; Craig’s Bond is a killer by nature and only needs to be pointed in the direction you want. Having an attack dog who’s totally loyal to you is a valuable asset.

M is a master manipulator, which is one element that does tie to Fleming even with the gender change. She knows how to play on whatever motivation works with Bond, be it patriotism, vengeance, personal loyalty or what have you, but if she can find a way to point that living, breathing, loaded weapon that is Bond, she’s sure to destroy her target.

The catch is that once he’s wound up, he tends to go off in his own direction and keep destroying stuff you didn’t intend him to. You have to keep him focused on killing who you want dead or he may kill someone you dont.

Maybe this is why Craig’s Bond is kept on such a short leash, with an earpiece in so someone can keep him on track.


Good points here, and I agree with the gist of it. Dench M was cold hearted. Her falsification of the medical report would be a good example to debate. Is she sabotaging Bond just as a tool at her disposal, or does she have extreme faith in his ability to rise to the occasion? It was mostly a professional relationship, but I think it did become something more. Leaving him the bulldog and secret video message would suggest Bond was someone special.

Mallory tells M “you’re sentimental about him”, and I also take that as the film itself telling the audience the nature of their relationship. Mallory won’t necessarily have the same esteem for Bond.

Re: Dr Strange: this was a character that, in the comics, was largely interesting to me because of his origin. He went from an arrogant narcissist who craved adulation and personal comforts, to a selfless servant of humanity who placed his own needs last and achieved great things with no recognition…indeed who worked hard to keep his achievements secret, preferring to be thought a charlatan rather than let society know just what terrors surround it daily.

The problem is the arrogant ass-turned-hero story got stolen by Iron Man (where it was NOT in the original IM comics) so Strange comes off as a watered down Stark. Plus, as you say, by the time a B- or C-lister like Strange got his own film, we were all tired of drawn-out origin tales. Strange may have worked better if he showed up fully formed and working miracles, maybe even seeming a bit sinister, until we learn in bits and pieces that he’s human, fallible and noble.

Just thought of another great character who shows up fully formed and gets us right into the action with no preamble or tedious explanations: Indiana Jones.


And the intro to THE LAST CRUSADE was merely an amusing sidestep to set up his relationship with his father. Young Indy already was a lot like older Indy.

Which shows how backstory back then was handled: quickly and ironically. While in the 21st century it became long and depressing.

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As well as also incurring a demand amongst many for “everything to fit together,” or the dreaded “continuity” - a discussion we ourselves at CBn have had on many an occasion.

Backstory “after the fact” as it were, is a fine line that is nigh on impossible to pull off (obligatory Plank jab at SP :slight_smile: ). And as franchises morph into universes, I do feel there can become a “jigsaw” element to the story-telling that overrides what makes dramatic sense.

It’s why that Indy prologue works so well - a “tip of the hat” as it were and then on with the show…

I wonder whether backstory actually has ever been a “demand amongst many”.

I assume it was more of a ploy to get new product out while still clinging to familiar concepts which had been played out narratively.

In other words: While I did enjoy “Batman Begins”, I did not need any explanation how Batman began. The film would have worked just fine for me without that.

If CR had begun with an established Bond it would have worked just the same for me, too.

Batman Begins and CR were origin stories, I suspect, for much the same reason - a poorly received predecessor that made business as usual a far tougher sell than it would’ve normally been.

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I think it’s a generational thing. Younger writers seem to have these “brainstorms” where they go, “Hey! Nobody’s ever explained HOW this character got to be the way they are! This is fertile ground! This will be great, I can’t believe it hasn’t been done already!”

But in my opinion, the decision NOT to go into “origins” was a deliberate one on the part of the original storytellers. An earlier generation of writers understood the appeal of a powerful character who debuts already full-blown, fully-formed and excites the imagination. The less we know about them, the more they fascinate us, and the more power the storyteller has to keep us engaged. They throw us morsels and we snatch them up and run with them. Lots of fanfic and articles on Bond, Trek, Star Wars, etc focus on speculation about characters’ early years and formative experiences, and when it’s all spoon-fed to us, that fun is gone.

It’s no coincidence Fleming himself took his time getting around to details of Bond’s early life and even then you could fit them all into a couple of sentences.

That said, I do appreciate CR for making a clean break from the past and making it very clear, from Square One, that this is NOT the James Bond we used to know. He was not in WW2 (obviously), he did not meet Dr No or Goldfinger, he did not know Bernard Lee’s M, and so on. I find this curiously comforting and preferable to the “clever” call-backs in other films that muddy the waters, for instance Brosnan’s Bond in DAD, sorting through Q-branch relics of adventures he couldn’t possibly have had. With CR, I’m free to start afresh, never struggling with “how do I reconcile this guy with what I knew Bond to be?” because the answer is: He ain’t that Bond. That’s one reason it so perturbs me to have that damned DB5 come back, crammed with ordinance from a 1964 mission.

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Writers, regardless of generation, have no say in the story they are telling. Eon hires writers to tell the story Eon wanted to tell. Batman Begins was called Batman Begins before a single person was hired, with directors then being asked to pitch their take on a Batman origin story - Joss Whedon and Darren Aronofsky being two other I know of who submitted pitches. Origin stories, much like cinematic universes, are the love child of producers and studios.

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