Time for bond to branch out?

I just came across this rather interesting Guardian article speculating about the possible future of the Bond franchise. If you ask me, it’s fine as it is – EON should just keep churning them our as they have done for the last fifty-odd years. But might it be time for Bond to diversify? Could there be room, this article asks, for a cinematic universe. On the face of it, the possibilities seem endless: after all, there are presumably many other double-O agents to tell stories about; and how about a film about Q branch? Yet, while I have nothing against spin-offs (after all, I’ve always preferred Picard to Kirk), the Bond films are about Bond; they focus on one central character and his adventures. Unlike, say, Star Trek, they are set in the real, contemporary world; there are few specialised conventions or words – ‘warp drive’, ‘transporter beam’ etc – which other narratives could use to enter into Bond’s world. A bond film without Bond would just be a film, albeit one with the odd reference to things like Q-branch. It would have to set up it’s own characters completely afresh – what would be the point? On the other hand, the article also suggests the creation of a secondary series of bond films, based more faithfully on Fleming’s novels and set in the era in which they were written. Personally I find that idea much more intriguing.

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