Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #493: License To Kill...Suspended?

Welcome to the show folks...

MGM's ongoing troubles with money, or to be more specific,
the lack of it, has hurt its biggest franchise. I'm talking about the James Bond 007 franchise, whose 23rd film has been suspended indefinitely.

There is a rumor that EON Productions is shopping around for a new home for the secret agent. I'm not sure how accurate those rumors are, because it would require knowledge of facets of the ownership arrangement they had with MGM that I don't have.

What I can do is bitch and moan about the suspension for a while.





Okay, now that I have that done, let's see what can we do to save the world's fave secret agent.

So let's make a plan.

1. MGM must get its house in order. If that means the creditors trading debt for ownership, so be it. If they have to make some sort of deal with the folks willing to help finance new production, then so be it. They can't sell it for any decent money, and if the company loses Bond, they might as well throw in the towel.

2. Bring Bond's budgets under heel. The Bond movies always set a standard for big scale action adventure. Yet the last one,
A Quantum of Solace, was the most expensive Bond movie ever made, and had the narrowest profit margin. That's not good. I'm not talking about making them on the equivalent scale of some the old Cannon films of the 80s, but there has to be some way to keep up the level of quality that audiences expect without breaking the proverbial bank.

3. Remember what makes Bond, Bond. The most common complaint about
Quantum was that it tried to hard to imitate other movies like the Bourne flicks with it ADHD editing and FX heavy action scenes. Bond films are about sex, violence, and high living in exotic locales, done in a cold, elegant, and above all, clear style. Suspense is key with Bond, and you can't have suspense if your audience can't tell what the hell is going on with editing done as if by an over-caffeinated jackrabbit in rutting season.

4. Take full advantage of the "reboot." Why not go back to the books for new movies. Sure most dealt with Cold War issues, but some clever writers can easily update them for today's world. And if it means making some sort of deal with the estate of Kevin McClory, who owns a piece of uber-villain Blofeld, then do it. They can't do anything constructive with Blofeld without Bond, so some sort of reasonable accommodation is possible, if both sides behave rationally.

Do any of you readers have any suggestions for saving James Bond?


  1. I have 2.

    1. Bring back Q.

    2. Get rid of the female M. If anything, I'd love to see more of an exploration of Bond as a rebel. In a real way, feminism has made Bond a rebel. Why not run with that storyline but make him answerable only to the British Royal Family. Traditional masculinity vs Post modern feminist beaurcrats that pooh pooh the more effective and lethal techniques of Bond.

  2. Get Vic Armstrong to direct it. He did the opening and chase sequences on the best 3 Pierce Brosnan movies. Vic is very keen to do it and says "It will be the best 007 ever". Indeed if Vic was in the frame George Lucas might be interested in MGM's 50%. Although Vic is the highest paid second unit director in the world and the most in-demand after 200 movies, he did direct an episode of 'Young Indiana Jones' for Lucas and came in under budget and several days ahead of schedule. He could do a 007 for $90 million which would blow away Quantum of Solace or a Sam Mendes on $200 million budget.
    Spielberg, Scorsese, Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford all rate Vic the best in the action sequence directing business. Plus he would get a great script with really quotable lines unlike the last twenty-one years of 007 compared with the 60s and 70s. He might even hire The Furious D for dialogue.
    Just wallow in this, especially the last 90 seconds.

    and he even made a very cheap Dutch movie look good !