The public idea of Bond isn’t even what the films are, general assumption seems to be The Simpson’s episode “You Only Move Twice” or Austin Powers.
But what you are reading on the page or me or anyone else will look completely different - so that is never gonna satisfy you or anyone else. That’s why the so-called faithful adaptations never actually can accomplish that. It´s just a matter of whether the filmmakers accidentally match one´s expectations.
But is that a James Bond a sizable audience would be interested in?
I doubt it. James Bond has become the James Bond of the movies. For a reason, IMO. The James Bond of the books would not be of any interest for a mass audience, not even for a substantial tv audience.
Slightly off subject, but have you seen the new trailer that released today for Samuel L Jackson’s SHAFT? There’s a dialogue in there that’s humorous: “He thinks he’s a black James Bond.” Shaft responds: “If that dude was real, he’d think he was me.”
My original point was that it be based upon the fascinating military report Stromberg posted above. So it’s really a prequel, all set before Bond ever became 007. But lots of fun could be had foreshadowing his future number and license.
Aside from messing with the brand, the other problem was continually raising the large budget of a period WW2 set proto-Bond. Corners would inevitably be cut.
But having read that report its contemporary setting makes it a whole lot more doable and tbh a bit of a no-brainer imho!
Poor Goldfinger…had the mis-fortune of being a more loyal adaptation…
You want the two people who purposely mondernised Sherlock Holmes to do a period drama…Gatiss would be game for it, Moffat…less so
I know, once had a chat with Gatiss, was at an audition where I ran into him - did I ask one of the most acclaimed writers/actors in Britain for advice? No, we talked Moore’s Bond being an unloved gem for 20 minutes.
Was a glib remark on the Aston being in the book…just an older model.
But actually I agree with you, ludicrously loyal adaptations would go well on a format like Netflix.
I think faithful tv adaptations that run concurrently with contemporary ‘big screen-Bond’ would be a mistake. They’d tread on one another’s toes, cause confusion etc. It’s too radically different a Bond to big screen bond. Perhaps they’d get away with a mini-series that airs between movies, but nothing ongoing.
But something based upon Stromberg’s report could compliment the movies as a prequel (everything up to the start of CR being fair game). That format has legs as long as there’s story ideas. And to succeed where the Indy Jones series failed it should have a strong single story that runs across a whole season, as is now the norm on tv. With strong stories covering a season I think the need for movie scale set pieces wouldn’t be as high. The risk may well end up being the series becoming more popular than the movies.
The problem is in making a series aimed at the adult market, 30 - 60; mature writing and characterisation. This is where the great tv has been getting produced. But with a central character who needs to be in his 20s (or else it steps upon big screen bond’s toes) there’s danger it ends up playing to the 20s demographic; light on plot and character - heavy on machismo, banter and cliche.
Netflix’s Daredevil made a great stab at this, but was more machismo than depth and tended to drag. I’d prefer to see the likes of HBO, or Showtime handle this with the nuance and talent of, say Ray Donovan, or True Detective S1.
Now, all that being said, if we’re talking period Bond, then a run of big screen bond movies that are faithful Fleming adaptations is a different matter - one I could whole heartedly get behind.
If rehearsals are due to start next week, it does beg the question, with whom are these rehearsals being carried out?
Incredible silence still. Quite amazing really.
As this little piece of Bond history apparently is food for thought, it might be best to post it here in its entirety before it is lost in the abysses of the interweb. There you go…
Bond’s Dossier from the Casino Royale movie Website
- Military Record
- Intelligence Service
- Psychological Report
Commander James Bond is a Senior Operational Officer stationed at MI6 HQ, London. Per request, the following is a summation of James Bond’s history to date:
Born: Glencoe, Scotland
Father: Andrew Bond (deceased)
Born: West Berlin, Germany, 13 April, 1968
Education: Fettes, London School of Economics
Rutherfords, Ltd.-Junior Clerk - 1 year
Carmichaels & Curry, Ltd.-Investment Agent - 3 years
Vickers Defence Systems (now BAE Systems Land & Armaments Group)-various positions. Senior Accounts Manager for five years previous to death.
Mother: Monique Delacroix Bond (deceased)
Born: Yverdonm Canton de Vaud, Switzerland
Education: Mon Fertile, Morges, Switzerland
Both parents died in a climbing tragedy while attempting to scale north-east ridge of the Aiguille de la Persévérance.
Education: Until age 11, J. Bond was educated in Switzerland and Germany, where his father was stationed as a Vickers executive. After the death of his parents, he was privately tutored by his aunt and guardian, Miss Charmain Bond (deceased) of Pett Bottom, Kent.
12-13: Eton (expelled, as the record notes, -for repeated curfew violations and ‘trouble’ with one of the maids.-)
13-17: Fettes: Won numerous athletic competitions. Twice boxed for the school as a light weight. Formed the first intermural judo league for the public school circuit.
17-31: Royal Navy
Marriages / relationships: Bond has never been married. He has had many liaisons with members of the opposite sex, but none of particular closeness or length.
Hobbies: J. Bond has excelled in solitary sports. He is an avid climber, diver, swimmer, and an excellent runner. During his teens, he spent time studying both climbing and skiing with local Austrian instructor Hannes Oberhauser during term breaks at Fettes. J. Bond does not race cars, but he does enjoy driving very expensive vehicles very fast. Cdr. Bond has gambled at many European casinos, although never to ruin. He drinks, but not to excess.
Admiral Griffin Reports:
Attached are summaries of Commander Bond’s military service. They are viewable by section:
BRITANNIA ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE
Commander Bond excelled in all areas of training. He seemed to come into his own upon his entrance into the service. Cdr. Bond matriculated from his coursework at BRNC with passable marks. He excelled. However, whilst excelling at athletic competitions, strategic operations,and counter-intelligence courses, but his unconventional approach to his education, his diffident attitude to certain of his superiors, and a lack of respect for curfew drew him many demerits. On more than one occasion, a fellow candidate was strongly suspected of lying to protect Cdr. Bond from punishment.
Cdr. Bond conducted his year of Sea Service with high recommendations from his Chief Petty Officers and Warrant Officers. He applied for and was uniformly recommended for work in Naval Intelligence.
Bond served as an intelligence officer on HMS Exeter both before and during Operation Granby, and later was able to transfer to submarine service, touring on the HMS Turbulent. His natural abilities, mental quickness and confidence impressed his commanding officers. Within the year of being assigned to HMS Turbulent, it became apparent that Bond was not being sufficiently challenged with his duties. Cdr. Bond volunteered for Special Boat Service.
SPECIAL FORCES TRAINING
Cdr. Bond excelled at SC3 and Underwater and Aquatic Warfare training. He constantly equaled or bested his superior officers and instructors in all areas after nominal experience. Cdr. Bond earned the distinction of being the only candidate to entirely escape detection during the night limpet placement operation at Plymouth. There was some doubt as to whether Bond had actually accomplished the mission per the assignment until he demonstrated his rather ingenious method of eluding the underwater infra-red cameras and sonar systems in-place. His techniques were rapidly included in future training.
Upon completion of UAW training, Cdr. Bond commenced Advanced Commando Parachute training at Brize Norton. Attached is a report from his instructor (name omitted):
Lieutenant Bond participated in the first group freefall exercise today, where the following incident occurred: At 900m 3rd jumper Lt. Cameron’s ripcord pin shearedpins jammed causing the main shoot to malfunction, and he panicked… 4th jumper Lt. Bond spotted Cameron, and at great personal risk, repositioned himself to aerially intercept Lt. Cameron at approx. 450m, and deploy Lt. Cameron’s chute… Lt. Bond deployed at 250m. Lt. Cameron shattered his hip upon landing, although Lt. Bond escaped without serious injury.
Bond’s record with training earned him placement with the 030 Special Forces Unit, rather than deployment as a swimmer-canoeist with the standard SBS Units in Poole.During further training with 030 SFU, Cmd. Bond earned certifications for the operation of assault helicopters, Harrier-class jets, fixed wing aircraft, hovercrafts, marine assault vessels, armored vehicles, and other crafts.
030 SPECIAL FORCES UNIT
Cdr. Bond served with distinction in the 030 Special Forces Unit. He proved adept at training other candidates, initiating athletic competitions, and fostering a creative environment. During his three-year tenure with the 030 SFU, Cmd. Bond rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He saw covert service in Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Libya, and active service in Bosnia. Upon completion of his duties in Bosnia’where Bond was credited with saving the lives of nearly 100 men from a Serbian militia in one village’Bond was recruited by the RNR Defence Intelligence Group and awarded the rank of Commander.
Cmd. Bond’s work with the Defence Intelligence Group at Defence Intelligence and Security Centre, Chicksands, proved highly satisfactory, although his fellow officers noted Bond’s rather casual attitude toward command structure and protocol. Cmd. Bond’s work provided vital intelligence during key moments with Libya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Indonesia, China (during the Hong Kong handover) and North Korea. In Libya, Bond was able to secure detailed assessments of the status of the Libyan government’s reputed financial ties to numerous terrorist organizations, as well as crucial information related to the settlement of issues related to the Pan Am 103 case. In Iraq, Cmd. Bond was able to monitor Iraqi counter-moves to the UNSCOM (now UNMOVIC) inspections process during one key period. Cmd. Bond undertook a particularly hazardous mission into Afghanistan to rescue a researcher deemed important to Her Majesty’s government who was being imprisoned by the Taliban government. During the S-300 missile crisis in Cyprus, Cmd. Bond helped undermine the Republic of Cyprus government’s confidence, and, it is felt, helped bring a peaceful resolution to the matter. During his tenure at the DI Group RNR, Bond attended specialized courses at Cambridge (where he achieved a first in Oriental Languages), Oxford and other institutions. Bond left the DI Group RNR after recruitment by the MI6.
Commander Bond’s service with the MI6 has been marked by moments of exemplary but risky bravado. While performing his duties with great zeal, Cmd. Bond has often taken it upon himself to expand upon his orders, and, on more than one occasion, to violate them outright. Despite the fact that these occasions have been seen by some as successes, this lack of discipline has been noted within the Black Ops section. That said, I personally would much rather have him as a part of the MI6 than not.
Commander Bond completed all orientation and MI6 Covert Operations training in eight weeks. He received exceptionally high marks for physical endurance, logic, and Psychological Ops exercises.
British Embassy staff, Kingston, Jamaica:
Duties included: translations of Haitian, French and Dutch West Indies communiqués, interdiction efforts with gun and drug smuggling between Kingston and London (resulting in a letter of commendation from his superior, Charles DaSilva ), and four days Black Ops recce into Cuba, penetrating military compounds.
British Embassy, Senior Advisor, Rome:
Bond was promoted to Ops Specialist simultaneous with this posting. Although based nominally in Rome, his duties took him to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, France, Spain, China and the United States. He worked back-channel sources to aid in solving a minor crisis between the U.S. and China. Bond worked with his former Special Forces Unit to penetrate and gain intelligence on Iraqi military and suspected unconventional weapons instillations in late-2002 and early-2003. As per orders of the Foreign Office, all copies of his report have been destroyed.
MI6 HQ, London
Bond continued to work as a Mission Specialist (re:within Black Ops) in such locations as Cuba, the United States, Austria, Spain, Russia, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan, the Sudan, and the UAE.
Cmd. Bond has been evaluated on 12 occasions since joining the MI6. The first six evaluations previous to Cmd. Bond’s current assignment to HQ are no longer available in digital form, and I suspect you did not have the opportunity to personally review them. Although no operational details are included in these evaluations, I feel they should be examined in light of Cmd. Bond’s consideration for the 00 Branch.
FROM: Major Darjalwi
RE: Training Evaluation
Cmd. Bond has completed all MI6 Covert Ops training. He has proved himself an exceptionally skilled and disciplined student of MI6 methods. He is one of the finest physical specimens I have had the pleasure of training, achieving surprisingly high on the Burns-Krause endurance test, requiring both physical and mental discipline. Bond was able to manipulate polygraph testing with ease, achieve a score of over .850 on the MI6 marksmanship course after being awake for over 72 hours.
While Bond is skilled with languages, and speaks fluently without accent in Italian, French and German, and speaks, reads and writes a passable Greek, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese, he is far too essentially Anglophilic to pass as a non-Commonwealth citizen. Bond has a tendency to come across as arrogant and overly-confident in some situations. While confidence is a strength, arrogance is not. It is an important aspect of which to be aware.
Additionally, Bond often appeared visibly bored and restless during more mundane aspects of training. He obviously enjoys risks, enjoys calculating the odds of success, and playing those risks to the edge of failure.
Bond is ready for entry-level assignment as a member of the Black Ops Section.
FROM: Charles DaSilva
Re: agent evaluation: JBond
The Kingston Embassy has been working with James Bond for the past three months. I have found him to be a problem solver, a dedicated worker, and an asset to the embassy staff. Bond’s natural curiosity has quickly helped bring the embassy important information on a variety of subjects, most importantly the efforts of Jamaican gangs to import guns into the UK. Bond has also increased this embassy’s ability to report on activities in neighboring Cuba, Haiti, and surrounding Caribbean nations.
Bond is, I fear, a loner. He works best in broad strokes when given general goals and the freedom to accomplish those goals in the manner he sees fit.
FROM: Charles DaSilva
Re: agent evaluation: JBond
James Bond has continued to exceed expectations during this posting. We will regret re-assignment. Bond’s ability to gather, process and act on information continues to impress his co-workers. As can be seen by recent reports, this embassy’s ability to accurately report on a variety of issues with greater depth has come about largely due to Bond’s energetic efforts to verify the accuracy of the information.
During this posting, Bond has spent time in Haiti and Cuba, brining his unique perspective to those neighboring islands and their political and military status. He has also aggressively negotiated with certain local arms exporters, effectively denying them export permits for some time. Two such exporters have chosen to leave the business entirely and subsequently ended up in the custody of the Jamaican government. No other embassy staff has been present during these tense trade negotiations, although all evidence points to the matter being handled diplomatically and discretely.
Bond spent his spare time exploring the island and surrounding area. He became an avid snorkeler and diver, working on a detailed personal catalogue of area marine life. Bond also led a remarkably active social life with numerous women on the island, although he did not become involved in any messy personal entanglements. The embassy staff felt Bond’s ability to calmly juggle the requirements of work and his personal life were as good a recommendation for sensitive assignments as any.
FROM: Randolph Menton
RE: agent evaluation: JBond
We have been working with Mission Specialist James Bond for the past six months. We have found his working methods to be unorthodox and, at times, frankly trying. MS Bond often ignores paperwork and makes comments that seem to hide a veiled distaste for superiors and co-workers. His personal habits appear more inclined towards adventure and hedonism than the steady, consistent work required in this field.
While Bond has recently been involved in work with the Chinese Embassy considered important by the US, his cavalier attitude to the approvals of the FO before engaging in negotiations have been difficult for some staff.
We feel his re-assignment to London for consultation may be appropriate.
FROM: Edward Danbridge
RE: agent evaluation: JBond
James Bond has acquitted himself with distinction during the past year. His investigations into the financial structures of a certain organization active in the Central Asian and European markets have been a valuable asset to the government during trying times, reducing our trade deficit to areas covered by Section TR. Bond has done much of his work in the field. His reports from Station A and Station P have proved invaluable. Bond also conducted important assessments on liability risks in the New York and DC markets. His ventures into Beruit and Tehran have also helped calm many fears.
While during this period there has been a tendency towards rash and aggressive postures, Bond has always sought to work with the facts, deal directly with key brokers in most negotiations, and to keep his head clear and calm. He has been an asset during this period.
RE: agent evaluation: JBond
During the past 18 mos. I have worked closely with MS Bond on numerous assignments. His work in all areas covered by Section TR has been appropriately aggressive and skillfully accomplished.
With one exception, MS Bond has been a fine example of discipline and results-oriented action.
As noted in earlier operational debriefings, MS Bond ventured into requested manufacturing and inventory assessments in and around Baghdad, per the request of the FO. In this particular case great difficulty was overcome by Bond and his former 030 team to provide what MS Bond deemed valuable, accurate and complete information to the FO prior to more aggressive negotiations. MS Bond openly expressed some bitterness over what he felt was a lack of willingness to fully digest these assessments in London and Washington before undertaking more aggressive negotiations.
Further assignments in the region have been carried out with skill and professionalism. MS Bond has not further mentioned the assessments for quite some time.
PREPARED BY SIR JAMES MOLONEY FROM STAFF INTERVIEWS
MS Bond is a unique individual. He appears to be of sound mind and strong spirit.
At the age of 11, Bond suffered the loss of both parents in a climbing accident. This event had a profound impact. In his later teens, Bond lost his one surviving close relative, his aunt Charmain Bond. Like most who lose parents in their youth, Bond has abandonment issues. He rarely makes long-lasting relationships with men or women. He professes to have never fallen in love. He maintains no friendships from before his parents’ death and only the most irregular contact with friends from his late teens.
Bond’s one strong relationship with an adult from his teens and early twenties ’ one Hannes Oberhauser of Kitzbühel, Austria ’ ended when Oberhauser disappeared mysteriously. Bond has referred to Oberhauser as a second father.
Bond professes limited memories of his youth in Europe. He is not nostalgic, but lives firmly in the present. He has only vague notions or thoughts about old age and retirement, which he does not seem to think he will live to see.
Bond does not fear death. Although he convincingly claims never to have contemplated suicide, Bond has a remarkable willingness to take near fatal risks.
Bond is solitary. He does not console himself by surrounding himself with others. His athletic pursuits tend to be solitary: running, skiing, hiking, swimming, diving, and most remarkably, climbing.
During a stint at the University of Geneva under an exchange program with Fettes, Bond led an expedition to the very mountain where his parents had died. Bond climbed it with friends and apparently never told them of his personal and tragic link to the location.
Bond enjoys pushing himself to he limit, both mentally and physically. Like a few other cases that have come to my attention, Bond’s stress levels actually drop when the stakes are higher. He is prone to boredom and mild depression when not challenged. Bond enjoys drinking and gambling, although the former seems to be a way for him to test his personal limits at times rather than a vice. Bond has been known to gamble more than he can afford to lose, although he always gambles with a plan and a clear understanding of the odds.
Bond has strong interpersonal skills. He can act comfortably in many situations, but does not seek out companionship except, most notably, for sexual recreation. Bond’s lone wolf personality-type tends to attract others.
Bond is goal-oriented, but he often seeks these goals in an indirect and secretive way. He has kept many areas of his life meticulously compartmentalized, never allowing the emotional issues from the loss of his family or from relationships to intrude on his professional life. Bond seems to have an emotional and mental need for multiple layers of reality. He thrives when not revealing all of himself, carefully organizing the aspects of his personality he reveals to others. Thus Bond is excellent as burying information he does not wish to reveal, making him a very good security risk if questioned under almost any circumstance.
Bond seeks structure in his life. He is a man of pattern and habit. He has acquired strong tastes. This is a potential security risk. Bond both thrives under structure yet finds subtle ways of rebelling against it. He is not self-destructive, but he can be a challenge to his superiors.
Bond uses humor as a shield and a weapon. He is skilled at making cutting remarks that reveal insecurities of others or mock death, danger and risk.
Most importantly, Bond is deeply loyal to institutions. After his parents’ death, Bond embraced his British and Scottish roots. His concept of his nationality is a large part of his identity. This is reflected in some of his social attitudes, which seem to embrace a British identity of the not too distant past. When pressed, Bond seems to identify with the notion of helping to ‘protect the realm’, of ‘serving the monarch’ and the ideals embodied in the mythic notion of St. George.
While the world is far from black and white to James Bond, he does tend to see it in stark terms of chaos and order, tradition and change. Bond has chosen to identify with order and tradition.
MS Bond is an excellent candidate for sensitive and demanding intelligence work.
It depends on what you call silence. There has been no official casting news, but it’s not a complete media silence. There have been several rumours these last weeks/months: the return of Lea Seydoux and Jeffrey Wright (and even Christoph Waltz), Rami Malek, Emma Stone, Dakota Johnson, and so on.
Thanks for that! Looking forward to a thorough read in the morning.
…rings a bell…
Hope he returns. I do love Arnold’s scores, and they were only getting better.
I suppose this response could be interpreted any number of ways, but I too hope he gets a chance to continue his legacy with Bond.
Being part of the Eon family to some extent, is it safe to assume that he’d know if they already have a composer?
Possibly a clue suggesting, perhaps that CJF has not brought his own choice of composer onboard (a la Mendes/Newman and that it’s up for grabs.
Though personally I think CJF and Newman’s styles would suit one another.
I‘d say it is much too early for that decision. And Fukunaga has no obvious composer who does all his pictures.
Another rumour, posted by our friends over at James Bond Radio…