The name’s not Bond: where next for 007?

1 year ago 146

It’s been agelong capable present since the merchandise of No Time to Die, the latest blockbuster successful the Bond mega-franchise, to presume that fans of 007 person present seen the film, and that those who haven’t seen it don’t attraction astir knowing the ending. But conscionable successful lawsuit there’s anyone retired determination who’s inactive trying to debar spoilers – halt speechmaking now.

The question connected everyone’s lips aft the usually indomitable cause did, successful fact, find clip to dice astatine the extremity of the movie was: however tin the James Bond bid proceed without Bond himself?

And proceed it volition – the acquainted operation “James Bond Will Return” appeared astatine the extremity of No Time to Die – which galore fans presume volition beryllium a prequel. Others thought caller cause Nomi mightiness go the prima of the adjacent film, but Daniel Craig’s caller assertion that Bond shouldn’t beryllium played by a pistillate has made that mentation look unlikely. “Why should a pistillate play James Bond erstwhile determination should beryllium a portion conscionable arsenic bully arsenic James Bond, but for a woman?” Craig told the Radio Times successful September.

Kim Sherwood
Kim Sherwood. Photograph: Francesco Guidicini

But perhaps, adjacent if a movie centred connected a pistillate 007 isn’t connected the cards, determination is scope for a Bondless Bond. It was announced connected Thursday that British novelist Kim Sherwood volition beryllium penning a trilogy of authoritative Bond sequels successful which 007 is missing (Bond wasn’t ever killed successful the books). Instead of reanimating Ian Fleming’s beloved quality arsenic erstwhile sequels by Kingsley Amis, Sebastian Faulks and Anthony Horowitz person done, Sherwood is going to constitute astir a caller formed of double-O agents that person replaced Bond and his contemporaries.

The 32-year-old writer of Testament, a caller astir the Holocaust, volition beryllium the archetypal pistillate to constitute a Bond sequel authorised by the Ian Fleming estate. “It’s unthinkable to person the accidental to bring the books into the 21st period and make caller heroes for our time,” she says “My double-O agents are a divers ensemble tasked with warring today’s planetary threats, identifying a mole successful MI6 – and the tiny substance of uncovering James Bond, who is missing successful action.”

While Sherwood is simply a instrumentality of the older James Bond films – her grandad, the histrion George Baker had roles successful You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and The Spy Who Loved Me – she doesn’t deliberation Bond should enactment stuck successful the past. “James Bond has remained an evergreen awesome for Britain due to the fact that helium changes with us,” she says.

Acclaimed novelist William Boyd, who wrote Solo, the 2013 Bond continuation novel, disagrees however. While helium wishes Sherwood “all the precise champion of luck with her caller Bond-style continuation novels”, helium has a “vague concern” astir modernising the franchise, due to the fact that helium believes “the real, authentic satellite of Bond” to beryllium “absolutely fundamentally and irrefutably the satellite of the 1950s and aboriginal 60s.”

Anthony Horowitz connected the different hand, who is presently finishing his 3rd Bond novel, “can’t hold to work [Sherwood’s] instrumentality connected the 007 conception and to find retired who the different agents mightiness be”, calling her a “fresh and inspired choice”.

Several fans deliberation these books suggest a program to grow the Bond “universe” to go thing comparable to Marvel oregon DC. Almost 70 years since Fleming archetypal started penning Bond’s debut Casino Royale, and 60 years since the Dr No movie came out, is it clip to broaden retired the franchise?

“The elongated, character-populated worlds of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones have been acquainted fare to younger readers for implicit 2 decades,” points retired Mark O’Connell, writer of Catching Bullets: Memoirs of a Bond Fan. “That Sherwood could make caller 007-minded worlds and personalities is lone a bully happening for Bond arsenic helium moves forwards into the 21st century.”

Jaap Verheul, movie studies lecturer and writer of The Cultural Life of James Bond, agrees that the announcement of these books is simply a savvy determination by Ian Fleming Publications. It “strategically taps into the renewed popularity of the Bond marque successful the aftermath of the merchandise of No Time to Die and the extremity of Daniel Craig’s tenure arsenic 007, portion simultaneously exploiting the spread successful Eon’s accumulation docket for its aboriginal films,” helium says.

Lashana Lynch arsenic  Nomi successful  No Time To Die
Lashana Lynch arsenic Nomi successful No Time to Die. Photograph: Nicola Dove/AP

He besides noted that Amazon’s caller acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, the institution that has distributed each of Eon’s Bond films, offers further accidental to make a benignant of “transmedia storytelling” successful which “the theatrical merchandise of caller Bond films mightiness travel to correspond a flagship merchandise successful an amusement franchise built connected a scope of spin-offs crossed aggregate media platforms.”

Much has been made already astir the prime of Sherwood to constitute these books, arsenic she is truthful antithetic to those who person taken connected Bond before. “To person a modern caller instrumentality connected Bond, written from a woman’s perspective, is hugely breathtaking and volition respire caller fresh beingness into the beloved series,” says Bea Carvalho, Waterstones’s caput of fiction.

But O’Connell doesn’t deliberation that Sherwood being a pistillate is the main happening that sets her isolated from different Bond writers. “When Phoebe Waller-Bridge joined the movie Bond satellite to assistance constitute No Time to Die, the headlines went amok with ‘a pistillate female does Bond!’” helium says. What O’Connell finds much absorbing is that Sherwood is the youngest writer to beryllium invited to constitute an authoritative 007 communicative – and is truthful much apt to pull a younger audience.

But portion helium thinks it’s “safe to presume that the genders, sexualities, identities and authorities of a 2022 satellite volition not get ignored” successful these caller books, O’Connell is speedy to unopen down the thought that this trilogy volition beryllium a “woke-ification” of the Bond world. “Let america retrieve that Sherwood is simply a self-confessed large Fleming and Bond aficionado,” helium says. “Her travel and occurrence penning Testament points to a writer that is mindful of the future’s narration to the past and however wars displacement radical and politics. That is much Fleming than not.”

Thriller writer Jonathan Grimwood agrees that the prime of Sherwood is simply a purposeful determination to instrumentality the Bond franchise successful a caller direction. “I deliberation if you spell for a novelist successful her aboriginal 30s for Bond whose debut looked astatine the interaction of the Holocaust connected 3 generations of a household you’re already making a statement,” helium says.

“I’d personally similar to spot Bond’s representation relegated to indulgent sighs/rolled eyes by the older OO crew, portion the caller intake simply get connected with the occupation and their lives. I’ve nary thought what volition happen, but I anticipation the novels are going to beryllium grabbed by the scruff of their cervix and dragged into the 21st century. Let’s look it, there’s a full tally of OO numbers retired there. The imaginable is endless.”