This week’s Entertainment Weekly ponders if the Bond franchise is dead.
The cruel irony is that this is not due to the under-performance of the franchise. Both Casino Royal and the Quantum of Solace were solid performers. And while Casino fared better than Quantum (both critically and audience-wise-though, while I felt it was inferior to Casino Royal, I still enjoyed it), the 22nd Bond film still was successful enough to bring back Craig for Bond’s 23rd outing. Bond 23 was in pre-production, with a script in process and a possible director (American Beauty’s Sam Mendes).
No, it is MGM. The studio is in dire straights. This is rather shocking, since one would think having Bond in your pocket should be enough to not be in such trouble. They also hold the rights to the Hobbit-another obvious money maker. The problem is, outside of a couple surprise hits (like Hot Tub Time Machine), there is little happening for MGM. Robocop is apparently dead. Things have not been looking good for Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods, though the studio has a planned release for early 2011. Right now, their hopes are pinned on the remake of Red Dawn (Due out in November).
It stuns me that MGM has been up for sale for a number of months, and no one seems to be chomping at having the Hobbit and Bond in their arsenal.
Apparently, Christopher Nolan has expressed interest in doing a James Bond film, though, to this point, that kind of spectacle has been problematic for him. He showed improvement between Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. And maybe Inception has shown him ready (I have not seen it yet). But it might be worth a try if they get this game back off the ground. But then, that may be getting ahead of ourselves. Afterall, if the delay is to long-and according to Bond’s people the delay is indefinite- we will likely lose the very strong presence of Daniel Craig. And while I am certain there are great actors that can fill the Bond tux more than capably, I had hoped to see Craig perform as Bond for more films than were managed by the rather maligned Timothy Dalton.