Hang onto your martinis, it’s time for a James Bond rumor courtesy of the British tabloids.
This time around, the Daily Mail is quoting an unnamed MGM executive that the studio has asked Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner to take over the James Bond franchise after next month’s release of Spectre and take the franchise back to its 1960s-era roots.
An MGM executive told the Express: ‘This won’t be a retro one-off. We’re taking him right back to his roots.
‘We’ll go forwards by taking 007 back to the era in which we believe he fits most comfortably.’
The article goes on to state that allegedly the studio wants Weiner to replicate the same 1960s feel he created on Mad Men and that it might be possible that some of the Mad Men cast could show up in the resultant film.
First of all, let’s remember that this is a British tabloid that is reporting this, so take the news with an appropriately large grain of salt. Besides, when the state in one photo caption that Goldfinger was the “first ever Bond movie,” I think we get a good idea as to their level of understanding and connection to the franchise. That said, this does just seem to be a variation on the story from a few years back when Quentin Tarantino expressed a desire to direct a 1960s-set adaption of Casino Royale.
Although half of the original James Bond books by writer Ian Flemming were published in the 1950s, thanks in large part to the initial installments of the film franchise, the super spy character is very much thought of as a 1960s icon. And keeping James Bond relevant over the past five decades has been something that both filmmakers and Flemming’s literary successors have struggled with to varying degrees of success. So the possibility of moving the James Bond franchise back to the 1960s and making it a period piece doesn’t seem too far fetched. Providing, of course, you forget that this past summer’s 1960s-set spy film The Man From U.N.C.L.E. didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, so studio execs may hesitate at trying something so similar so soon.
But the most recent round of Bond films, starting with the franchise’s reboot in 2006’s Casino Royale, have done a great job at deconstruction the character and rebuilding him into a hero for the 21st century. And whether or not current James Bond Daniel Craig decides to continue in the role, I think that franchise’s best move will be to continue going forward. And I dare say that the folks behind the franchise probably think the same thing.