Earlier this week my friend and colleague, Tim Roth, wrote an editorial about his feelings about the way Eon is handling (or they way Eon is not handling the rumours, as Tim might say) the latest news and rumours surrounding the aptly titled Bond 21. Little did Tim know that his editorial would cause such a stir amongst the online fan community. In an effort to fan the flames—and because I wanted to write about my views on the matter—I present a rebuttal of sorts.
With the exception of a few rumours around the time of Die Another Day, Eon always seems to neglect commenting on media speculation. Eon isn’t being run much differently from the days of Cubby and Dana. There is nothing new going on here, except this time around the rumour involves the man playing the main character in their franchise—Pierce Brosnan. Even this news isn’t that shocking. Ever since Tomorrow Never Dies there has been talk of who the next James Bond will be. Towards the middle of Roger Moore’s tenure it was never really clear if he would be back for another. Yet, sure enough there was Roger Moore back for “just one more.”
Several hardcore fans are claiming that all this speculation with no official comment is hurting Eon Productions as well as the future of James Bond, but there is a saying in Hollywood, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” In the media, right now everyone is talking about James Bond. Sure, the news may not be great news, but it’s getting a lot of people interested—especially those that are just casual James Bond fans or those that aren’t even fans at all. I can’t see anything wrong with people showing an interest in James Bond. Certainly by the time Eon gets around to releasing Bond 21 there will be more than just the dedicated and casual fans there. There will be film fans who might have never gone to see a James Bond film. Why will they be there? Because they want to find out what all this jiggery pokery has been all about.
Who cares if all fans are talking about is speculation? We, the fans, aren’t in any unfamiliar territory here. Remember when it was reported that Judi Dench wouldn’t be back as “M” following The World Is Not Enough? Not to mention the whole re-appearance of past Bond Girls rumour that has been making the rounds every time a new film is even mentioned. We are in the exact same situation this time as we have been in every other time a James Bond film has been in pre-production. Media agencies around the world report speculative stories and the entire fan community goes wild. Some believe the rumours and some don’t and naturally fan speculation runs rampant. Part of the fun in being a fan is reading and speculating on the latest rumours. Some fans, though, seem to want to spear Eon through the heart for not telling everyone everything they’re doing at every moment. I say calm down, sit back and enjoy the ride. Real news will be making the rounds soon enough.
Cubby would be ashamed? No, he’d be proud. He’d be proud of his daughter and step-son for keeping his franchise alive—and extremely successful.