I agree, but to give the Brosnan era it’s due, Sean Bean and Toby Stephens do show that the series was making baby steps in that direction.
I’m most definitely not knocking their performances, and to your point, what they did with what they were given (most especially Stephens who I think played a bad hand very well) were responsible for laying the ground.
The likes of Bean and Stephens doing what they did I think helped challenge EON/the writers/directors to ensure that the material was worthy. Which too often wasn’t the case - Pryce does an incredible job with a lazily written part - Carlyle (or any actor) unable to save the bare bones of Renard in a film that required the “faux villain” plot-twist to be plotted and scripted to the highest degree to make it work.
I’d actually go back further - Dalton and Davi (with credit to Maibaum and Wilson despite strike) really showed what great actors could do with a crackling script.
I get you, Craig’s era has scripts that try to entice that level of actor, rather than leaving it to Lindy Hemming and the Bond name to do it.
Not having Felix wouldn’t be a deal breaker, but I think he would give the Craig era a sense of completeness. The character’s South America stint should be over by now – it’s a decade since 2008. In my scenario they’d meet up at a casino again. The trend for a long time has been a casino sequence every second film, so we’re due for another one. “I’m not bailing you out again, brother”.
Just an interesting tidbit: “Purity”, the Jonathan Frantzen-adaptation Daniel Craig was supposed to be starring in for Showtime, has been put on ice. In a New York Times feature on Frantzen there is even a phone call mentioned by Daniel Craig to Frantzen during which DC explains that he was summoned to do the next Bond film and therefore was very sorry he had to pull out.
Why are A-listers now interested in starring in pulpy movies, comic book adaptations etc.?
Not because they think the material is so worthy now.
The real reason is this: the “serious” movies just rarely get made anymore by the major studios. Sure, you can star in an independent film that deals with serious themes and issues. But that means you have to accept much, much less money for your work, and too often those films get lost in the shuffle - even awards only bring very temporary attention these days.
So, as an A-lister, you either go for a continuing role in the Marvel universe (and hope your character will not be killed off) or you surf from one blockbuster to the other. Then you also have to try to get a role on a tv show, preferably on a streaming service for major exposure. That is the reason why A-listers suddenly deem TV acceptable and even attractive when in previous times they would stick to movies in order to protect their status.
Does any A-lister really want to do a film like Bond? Doubtful. Heck, even the actor portraying Bond had to be dragged and coerced (financially) to do it.
Does any A-lister play a role better than a lesser known or lucky actor? Doubtful, too. A good actor is a good actor and can deliver. However, as every artist, he/she needs good luck to get the necessary project to rise to the A-list. There are tons of fantastic actors you have never heard of.
To say that now the scripts or movies are so much better and therefore attract better talent is plain wrong and succumbing to the hype.
Actors in previous Bond eras were just as good or bad as actors today. The acting style has changed, of course, so if some consider the acting in previous eras stiff or theatrical I just recommend to wait a few decades and then look at the Craig era. I’m sure you will find lots of faults with the acting here, too.
The Craig films, though, aren’t necessarily attracting the kinds of actors that are “surfing from one blockbuster to another”. Let’s start with the Bond girls of the Craig era. They haven’t exactly been lighting it up at the box office outside of Bond. Eva Green’s top grossing film is CASINO ROYALE and she’s only starred in one other film that crossed $100 million at the box office: 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. She’s also done her four least financially productive films post-CR: THE SALVATION, WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, CRACKS, and PERFECT SENSE, the most successful of which made roughly $44 million in the US.
Olga Kurylenko’s top grossing film remains QUANTUM OF SOLACE, with only OBLIVION coming after QOS as a film that could even be reasonably considered a potential blockbuster (and it only made $89 million). Gemma Arterton is the only one that could reasonably be considered to have been chasing blockbusters, having done CLASH OF THE TITANS and PRINCE OF PERSIA (both of which crossed $100 million) in the immediate aftermath of QoS, but she’s also had easily the most interesting and creatively productive career post-Bond, with terrific low-profile films like BYZANTIUM on her resume.
Naomie Harris was already starring in blockbusters before SKYFALL with the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films. After those two films, SKYFALL and SPECTRE are her #3 and #4 grossing films. She did the Dwayne Johnson vehicle RAMPAGE this year, but it failed to crack $100 million in the US. Nobody has seen or heard anything from Berenice Marlohe since SKYFALL.
Lea Seydoux, who did MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 4 prior to SPECTRE, hasn’t done anything else particularly high profile. Belucci has been fairly judicious with the films she’s starred in, with SPECTRE having been the last film she’s credited for on Box Office Mojo, but she’s done some blockbusters (THE MATRIX RELOADED), but even her highest grossing film, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, could hardly be considered a blockbuster in the traditional sense that we think of the word today.
Looking at the other actors in these new films, easily the highest profile ones are Javier Bardem and Christoph Waltz. In the case of Bardem, however, he’s not really been one to chase blockbusters, with only the most recent PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film being his other $100 million-plus film. Aside from that, it’s been very much the typical kind of low-budget indie route with films like VICKY CHRSTINA BARCELONA, mother!, THE COUNSELOR, and so on. Christoph Waltz is the one that could most easily be argued as chasing blockbusters, having his two Tarantino films under his belt as well as THE GREEN HORNET and THE LEGEND OF TARZAN to his credit as well.
Mads Mikkelsen has done some blockbusters post-CASINO ROYALE, but he waited until a decade after that film in order to make his two most successful films, with his foray into STAR WARS and DOCTOR STRANGE. Both of those films arrived in the same year, but that aside, he’s been pretty judicious with his selections, most notably taking on the Hannibal Lecter part in the critically acclaimed HANNIBAL series from NBC. Mathieu Amalric’s most successful film post-QOS has been THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. Aside from QoS, he’s made nothing that could be considered to approach blockbuster territory.
Now, granted, money is probably a big factor in some, if not all, of these actors taking on Bond, but it’s not as though they’ve been chasing money for the better parts of their careers. Most have been doing the indie, low-budget thing for most of their careers with Bond serving as the pinnacle of their money-making prowess at the box office. Similar success, outside of Christoph Waltz, has been fleeting, at best.
True. But what I was getting at was this: Bond films are not suddenly getting actors of higher profile because the stories are better or more interesting. That’s only the PR aspect of this. (Just like Marvel films getting A-listers not because their scripts are of the same caliber as “award-caliber serious stuff”.)
All these blockbusters these days can cast A-listers because that’s what they want and need to keep up their high profile and their salaries. It´s as simple as that.
Of course, getting that kind of role in a blockbuster is not easy. Not every star can book them - even the blockbusters and tentpoles cannot load up with these stars.
The Daily Mirror was the first to print the Bonham Carter rumor?
Dustin said she’s been mentioned before since about “Sweeney Todd” and subsequently the Harry Potter films but this is the first I recall her name mentioned in connection with Bond. And there’s a part of me that’s inclined to believe it.
The reason is twofold: first, the article also mentions Angelina Jolie as a possibility; if it was just click-bait, I would think that the articles would lead with Jolie as she’s the bigger name. Second, she’s tipped as the villain rather than the love interest, which I think is where the lowest common denominator of reporter would most likely go with this if it were purely made up. Likewise, they fit the stature of actor they’ve cast for villains as of late (Oscar nominees/winners) rather than for female leads.
Side note: the article makes it seem that EON are intent on casting a female villain with an actress who is of a certain stature (aforementioned), of a specific age range (40s to early 50s), and (perhaps coincidentally) is a brunette. All of these also apply to Rachel Weisz, which is why I offhandedly speculated that perhaps this casting call started with someone’s notion to (stunt) cast the star’s wife and then switched gears when she got pregnant. Nothing more than loose conjecture on my part.
I thinks that’s very plausible (suggested it myself a while back).
Without doubt all Craig/Weiss scenarios would’ve been pondered and debated at some point. Perhaps that was Boyles idea for Bond 25! I hope not - I expect more from him than stunt cast casting.
But if Weiss was the plan then there must be a palpable panic at Eon HQ; the very motivation for Boyle having become unavailable.
I can garuntee that Weisz has been on their consideration list LONG before they thought about Craig (no way in hell she wasn’t suggested for Electra) so if theirs is a role that Weisz would be perfect for they should go for it because she is a fantastic actress regardless of her personal relationship with their current lead BUT I doubt highly the Boyle’s Idea was just an obvious piece of casting that they will have already discussed.
I highly doubt it would work to cast Weisz as the female villain - or as the Bond girl/woman/associate/partner.
One would always watch their scenes with their personal relationship in mind. Wasn’t Pitt/Jolie enough?
I agree to a certain degree, but this very couple have demonstrated the audience didn’t mind at all in their previous two collaborations, in fact reviews for Dreamhouse say it was the only thing worth watching in it.
I doubt casting Rachel Weisz would’ve been the extent of Boyle’s idea, but something involving a female villain may have been part of it, and Weisz may have been a possibility but not THE idea.
The female villain seems to have gained enough momentum to be a given element of Bond 25. When it first surfaced and once I gave it some consideration as truly being beyond a femme fatale, my thoughts were immediately of Bellucci as she was vastly under utilized but did have presence in her short amount of screen time. But, as the notion of SPECTRE returning and the rumors and bits of this being a ‘stand alone’ story came about, I shrugged it of. If they are really going with a completion of Craig Bond’s story arc, it’d have some weight though. Ultimately, I feel that SPECTRE/Blofeld et al will be socked away for something Bond #7 will have to confront. HBC is a fine choice but the character and plot have to be structured well enough. Still curious as to what is so appealing about Boyle’s pitch that it swayed Eon from their path.
He must have come up with something for the villain to do that was far more menacing than hanging black-and-white photos of people from Bond’s past around a blown-up building. Tough job, but thankfully someone was able to come up with something with a bit more edge to it.
B/w shots with photoshopped bright red blood?
To go a bit meta for this one, they should use the dripping blood motif from the gunbarrel.
How about a b/w tsunami and Brossa surfing it with bright red cheeks!
I´m wondering: when will we get the next hard news on BOND 25?
With shooting to start in December we probably will get casting news in September at the latest. Locations will have to be chosen by then, too.
So… more detailed rumors in the next two months?