1. Cubby Would Be Ashamed

    By Tim Roth on 2004-04-10

    Back in February, when CBn first reported and later verified that Brosnan was out, the fan community didn’t believe us. Pierce Brosnan himself nearly confirmed our story at the beginning of March when he said (and since then several times repeated) that his future as 007 is “opaque” and that a “certain paralysis” regarding producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson has set in. Fellow actors Michael Madsen, Dame Judi Dench and Samantha Bond have also given their opinion, and yet the only one who hasn’t commented yet is – Eon Productions, the company that produces the Bond films for 42 years.

    Eon spokeswoman Catherine McCormack commented in February on the rumours surrounding Pierce Brosnan, only admitting, “Pierce doesn’t have a contract yet.” Since then, silence.

    And with this continued silence, Eon is disgracing itself. How should one interpret their stubborn silence? Is it true what Pierce Brosnan has said several times before, that they don’t know where to go with the franchise? Is it true that they are considering a twenty-five-year-old to replace Pierce Brosnan? Is it true that after the IFP’s announcement of a Harry Potter-esque literary Bond series, that the film series should go into the same direction?

    All these rumours and questions only harm the franchise. The fans are indeed in a very “opaque land.” What else other than speculating can they do? Most trust in Pierce Brosnan, because there isn’t any official statement one can rely on. But, Brosnan has said that he has no clue what is going on, so the fans actually don’t have any idea of who to believe.

    Because of these circumstances the whole Internet fan community tends to believe in every single piece of news they get these days. When back in 2001 Quentin Tarantino said for first time that he’d be very interested in directing a Bond movie, nobody really took him seriously. People in fan forums discussed the idea, but after a week or so the topic died a heroic death.

    As of April 2004, however, Tarantino has renewed his ambitions. “Wow,” Bond fans think, “This could save the franchise! Eon, give Tarantino the job! You have already spoilt it enough!” However, one has to retain a realistic view and warn everyone away from premature conclusions.

    First: Although Eon is losing credibility these days, they haven’t spoilt anything (except “Die Another Day,” but that’s another topic ;-)). I’m pretty sure they have agreed with Brosnan or Jackman or a reindeer or whoever to play James Bond in the next flick. Purvis & Wade have confirmed that they are working on the script for the next one, so there is actually something in pre-production! Never forget that when you start talking about “another 6 year gap,” folks.

    Secondly: Quentin Tarantino would spoil the franchise. Sure, one can adore him and claim that his movies are masterpieces as quickly as one can say that his movies are absolute trash. No doubt, he has his very own style of making movies. And that’s what I fear would spoil a possible “Casino Royale”-Tarantino-Bond. Maybe he would take the franchise back to his roots as far as atmosphere concerned, but what about character (one really cannot say Tarantino is a master of character development) and a story? I don’t want to see 120 minutes in a casino in typical Tarantino slow motion. Just think of the torture scenes in Fleming’s novel. I’m pretty sure Tarantino would use them in full length. I really don’t need to see “The Passion of the Bond”. There’s nothing Bondian to it.

    Besides, I think that this bit of news is only another attempt by Pierce Brosnan to keep the pressure on the producers.

    To come back to the initial point, how can we get out of this “opaque land” and return to serious discussible news? Not that I don’t love speculation, but sometimes its just taking over. So Eon, come on! Give us our well-deserved statement. You know what? I don’t matter about its content! But please give us some kind of sign, so that we fans know that you are still alive! Otherwise one really has to become afraid.

    And furthermore, if this no-comment policy was supposed to show Pierce Brosnan that he can’t blackmail Eon, Brosnan actually has won, as fans think Eon is out of its depth.

    I beg all involved parties: Stop it! Stop it now! Don’t ruin a forty-two-year-old franchise within three months. Cubby would be ashamed.

    Feel free to discuss this editorial in this thread in CBn’s Bond 21 forums! Many thanks to Barbara K. Emanuele for her help.