It’s clear EON will go for another ‘this time it’s personal’ story. It’s Craig’s last Bond film, so it will be very personal. It’s also clear that Spectre was supposed to be the last film, and now they’re in a position in which they’ll probably have to retcon some things that happened in that movie. That’s never a good thing.
If they’re going for a QoS revenge story, I hope they at least embrace it, acknowledge the similarities and show us a Bond that has matured and takes different decisions this time around. But still, I can’t see this ending on a high note if it’s another simple revenge story. What’s Bond going to do when he finally gets his hands on Blofeld? Not kill him… again? Like the Batman-Joker relationship? Or just kill him this time, proving he made the wrong decision on Westminster Bridge? And then what? Quit his job, remarry and settle down… again? Neither approach seems very satisfying.
If I’m honest, I hope Bond dies. Or even better, commits suicide. It would be the only thing that could really set this movie apart and make it a classic. If the Logan rumours are true, EON’s probably thinking the same thing. To me, it would make perfect sense for Craig’s Bond. He realises he’s trapped in a vicious cycle of revenge. Blofeld takes revenge for losing the love of his father, Vesper dies and Bond takes revenge on Dominic Greene, in Bond 25 it’s Irma who takes revenge for the capturing of Blofeld by killing Swann. The only way Bond can get real peace is by shutting this cycle down and kill himself after he kills Blofeld and gets his final revenge.
Maybe we get a little Camille cameo, showing us she never got a quantum of solace, and is now leading a violent life as an assassin for hire, proving to Bond that revenge only leads to more revenge. The whole suicide concept can easily be introduced in Japan if they go the YOLT route. And they don’t have to actually show us the suicide, they could just heavily imply it, so that people who don’t like the idea of Bond dying can still deny it. A bit like the spinning top in Inception. Show his character arriving at a place of happiness, and let the viewer decide if it’s the real world or heaven.
Or don’t make it a literal suicide. Let Bond take on a different identity. It would make perfect sense, he already destroyed his past/childhood home in SF, now he can destroy his name, job, nationality, … As 007 he can’t find peace, but maybe he can as Taro Todoroki or someone else. The only problem I have with a different identity is that it sounds too much like the Bourne franchise, even if the YOLT novel did it first. Especially if they use memory loss to explain everything. And pretending to be dead, is also exactly what Bruce Wayne did in TDKR. But then again, it’s not like those movies invented those story elements. If they execute it well, the viewer won’t mind or notice.
I’m not a big fan of the Shatterhand concept, because by now everybody knows it’s a cover for Blofeld. That’s a twist that’s going to be very hard to pull of, unless they re-cast Blofeld and explain his different appearance with plastic surgery (we all know it’s one of Blofeld’s hobbies). That way it could be a subtle way of foreshadowing Bond’s own transformation/metaforical suicide.