Bond’s Immortality: Martin Campbell Shrugs Off 007’s Latest Demise
James Bond is dead. That’s right – in a turn of events that shocked fans across the world, the beloved secret agent met his apparent demise in the last installment of the series.
But as history tells us, Bond is no stranger to reinvention. From the sultry charm of Sean Connery to the raw, visceral portrayal by Daniel Craig, Bond has adapted, evolved, and yes, even “resurrected” in a sense, with each new actor.
Director Martin Campbell, the man behind the lens for the Bond debuts of both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, isn’t fazed. “To be honest, it was fine for me,” remarked Campbell. “He gets killed off, which is fine because when they do the next Bond, they’ll completely ignore the fact that he was killed off and Bond will keep going.”
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A Timeless Legacy
The appeal of 007 extends beyond the man himself, journeying into the realm of fast cars, exotic locales, beguiling allies, and formidable foes. With a cocktail of these elements, the franchise doesn’t hinge on a continuous narrative thread. Instead, it thrives on its capacity to reimagine and repurpose its iconic lead for each generation.
“It’s so simple,” Campbell continues, “There’s no explanation required is there? Daniel Craig was Bond and now the next guy is alive. They’re not going to have a problem with that.”
And he’s spot on. We didn’t question the transition from Roger Moore‘s eyebrow-raising antics to Timothy Dalton‘s brooding determination, or even going back to Connery after George Lazenby‘s solo outing. So why should this be any different?
Bond in a Modern World
As the world continues to evolve, so too does our expectation for representation in cinema. James Bond, a figurehead of British cinema, and who’ll play him next is at the forefront of this discussion.
While it’s almost taken for granted that Bond will continue to be a man, and so he should be, the definition of who Bond is can be far more fluid. Can Bond be from another part of the Commonwealth? Or perhaps British, but of a different ethnic background?
Disney films have tried this approach, which hasn’t gone down well. Is it better to preserve the classics as they are and simply introduce diverse characters in new stories? The discussion is ongoing, and only time will reveal the path the franchise decides to take.
Still, with the weight of legacy and the pressure of modern expectation, it’s a thrilling time to be a Bond fan as news of Bond 26 inches closer. Whatever choice is made, if Martin Campbell’s words ring true, it won’t be the death, but the life of the next Bond that will captivate audiences. And as Campbell says, “They’re not going to have a problem with that.”