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    Peter Bart: James Bond Is Stirring Box Offices Again, But Franchise Might Have Lost Best Shot At Female Lead Decades Ago

    After nearly 60 years of heroism, James Bond Today seems to be more revered than dear. His latest iteration, no time to die, Have given A welcome blow to exhibitors around the world, although for some filmmakers (and critics), the film is more like Daniel CraigLong goodbye

    Craig bows gracefully, however, unlike some of the previous bonds (there have been seven) which went public about their poor relationship with their owners. “An actor is just a gadget in Bond material,” as Sean Connery once said. “He’s a servant of the brand.”

    The “brand”, to be sure, has remained unchanged – well, not at all; More on that below. John Gavin once told me, “Missing my Bond film was one of the luckiest accidents of my career.” He was hired (and was well compensated) to replace Connery until the star, having glimpsed the cost of his latest divorce, suddenly changed his mind. So, Gavin eased into his new role as US ambassador to Mexico, while Connery was faithfully 007 again.

    Daniel Craig in ‘No Time to Die’
    Nicola Dove / MGM / Danjak / Courtesy Everett Collection

    In its first weekend, the latest Bond $56 million collected From the U.S. and Canada and $257 million overseas — but the aging franchise still has more milestones to achieve. Only one Bond film, 2012 sky fallHas surpassed the $1 billion mark achieved by nine Marvel movies. Overall, the bond franchise ranks fifth in the stratosphere.

    Though still having muscle and iron will at 53, Craig plays a brooding Bond. there’s no time, even referring to himself as “an old wreck”. He did not radiate the sensuality of young Connery or the sensuality of Roger Moore (one critic called him “Bondeville’s excellent friend”). Cary Grant, who turned down the role, might have been even more chivalrous.

    Hero Nation Podcast: Rami Malek on ‘No Time to Die’ Daniel Craig’s Final Bond, Hosting ‘SNL’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Bounty

    While the Star lineup has been changing, the Bond franchise as a whole has been a symbol of stability during the turbulent decades. Barbara Broccoli, and his half-brother, Michael G. Wilson to Albert R. Broccoli inherited the franchise and maintained its autocratic rule over creative decision-making.

    This requires some clever dialogue: Witness that no time to die MGM Plus is distributed by a foreign partner, Universal, all under the lenient terms of Amazon, which MGM merged for $8.5 billion this year.

    Kim Basinger and Sean Connery in ‘Never Say Never Again’ in 1983

    The magnitude of that purchase was in stark contrast to Bond’s delicate moments in the early 1980s, when the 007 empire seemed to falter. for your Eyes Only was a disappointment. A Rival James Bond Film, 1983’s never say never again, produced in defiance of the broccoli elite, was showing box office promise (it starred the suddenly flawed Connery).

    In addition, United Artists – which then owned the distribution rights to the Bond films – suddenly collapsed amid the ruins of the disastrous Western, Heaven’s door With UA now a ghost, the volatile Bond franchise urgently needed a start date for its next picture; MGM, faltering in itself, seemed like a potential ally.

    ‘No Time to Die’: MGM and Eon Line Up $150M Promo Campaign That Shakes Up

    I had just been appointed MGM’s top executive and, during my second week, a team of “suits” from business affairs in my office found a pile of documents. “If you sign the top three documents, it will give the green light to the next bond project,” he declared.

    “On what right?” I asked.

    Desmond Llewellyn and Roger Moore in ‘Octopussy’, 1983
    Everett Collection

    “You are now president of United Artists.”

    “News for me. Since I’m flagging off his film, what’s the story of it?” I asked.

    “Brocollis whatever they want. They still have creative control.”

    I decided to be stubborn. “Tell Broccolis I’ll only sign documents if Bond is played by a woman, not a fake Connery.”

    The “suit” seemed painful. “Maybe no female cast will work for the next Bond project because it’s titled octopussy.

    I signed the documents. The franchise is still awaiting a female Bond.

    ‘No Time to Die’ final trailer: A look-back at Daniel Craig’s time 007

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