News that the latest James Bond video game might not be released until 2025 is sure to frustrate fans of the iconic spy franchise. Much like the new era of Bond that fans are now waiting to watch unfold, the game will also be creating its own new universe and will not rely on past Bond movies or characters.
Bond fans are accustomed to considerable changes within the franchise, as the arrival of each new Bond actor is always a big deal. But there are also aspects of the franchise that could have been handled differently and Redditors have not forgotten about these. With insight on everything from which Bond should have stayed longer to which villain could’ve been handled better, these are some of the Bond franchise’s biggest missteps (according to Redditors).
No Bi-Yearly Bond
The Bond franchise only ever released a film annually with its first four entries, but Redditor Arkeolith thinks that not continuing this work ethic was a mistake: “The iron was nuclear red-hot to start putting out bi-yearly – Bond 24 in 2014, Bond 25 in 2016, Bond 26 in 2018.”
What Arkeolith doesn’t seem to consider, however, is just how much incredible work goes into making a single modern-era Bond film. The early years of the franchise were far less complex than what producers and filmmakers face today. Films could be shot and released within a year during this time. Today that sort of turnaround just isn’t rational.
Spectre Didn’t Cut It
Spectre remains a solid though not majorly successful Bond installment. Hardly a bomb, the film just didn’t seem to completely connect with many Bond fans. One now-deleted Redditor is one such fan, saying, “I feel like Spectre has beautiful scenes and cinematography, but the plot was lacking.”
Given the fact that Spectre was the follow-up to Skyfall, aka the highest-grossing Bond film of all time, it needed to be spectacular. It’s arguable that the pressure of following up Skyfall with something comparable or better made it a nearly impossible task. That being said, it’s a common belief that Spectre should have provided fans with much more.
As one of the greatest fictional villains of all time, Bond nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld has had a lot to do with the entire franchise. Despite being such a great bad guy, however, the character has consistently been undersold over the years. Redditor Stenka-Razin recognizes this misstep with “Not giving Christoph Waltz a good plotline to play Blofeld in.”
Waltz played Blofeld in two Bond films – 2015’s Spectre and 2021’s No Time to Die. Given how outlandish and sinister Blofeld was in the early Bond films, it’s understandable why fans would feel that a brilliant actor like Waltz could have done so much more with the character. As it was, the character simply doesn’t make the impact that he did in the earlier films.
Not Enough Brosnan
The final Bond era before Daniel Craig took over and provided the franchise with a facelift was Pierce Brosnan. To date many Bond fans are relieved that the Brosnan era didn’t last longer than it did, but Redditor JCD_007 feels that Brosnan’s firing was the wrong decision to make, saying, “Not bringing Brosnan back for a fifth movie.”
Regardless of fans’ opinions as to whether Brosnan was an acceptable Bond or not, by his account, the manner in which he was dismissed from the role wasn’t exactly fair. It’s impossible to determine how a fifth Bond film would have fared with Brosnan as 007, but it’s at least arguable to consider that it could’ve had a positive impact on the series.
OHMSS Deserved More
Released in 1969, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service has remained popular over the years. A strong follow-up failed to materialize, however, as Redditor Mandalore1138 points out, “The part that is really a missed opportunity is the lack of a good follow up to OHMSS. DAF isn’t a satisfying conclusion at all.”
By the time 1967’s Diamonds Are Forever was meant to go into production, Sean Connery was well into his retirement from the role. He was brought back unexpectedly – though even he couldn’t manage to save the film from itself. Poorly constructed and unfaithful to its source material, Mandalore1138 has a valid point about Diamonds Are Forever.
Never Ending Devotion
The idea that Sean Connery delivered the ultimate portrayal of James Bond is as old as the franchise itself. And although On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is one of the most beloved Bond films, Redditor blackjack1146 cites Connery not being a part of it as a major franchise blunder, with “Connery not being in OHMSS.”
George Lazenby, the actor who was hired to play Bond after Connery’s retirement, only played 007 once before quitting. There was a certain charisma within Lazenby’s Bond portrayal, the likes of which helped to make On Her Majesty’s Secret Service the film that it is. Connery could have been great, but Lazenby still feels necessary to many.
The Wrong Direction
A director can make or break a film and while the Bond franchise has had some great directors over the years, “Not hiring Steven Spielberg or John McTiernan in the 80s or 90s.” was a mistake that the franchise shouldn’t have made, says Redditor meseeks009.
The idea that Spielberg or McTiernan would automatically have made Bond’s universe even better is optimistic, to say the least. Not that either of these filmmakers couldn’t have done an excellent job, but the list of variables beyond the right director is extensive. Because of this, it’s not completely fair to call this a missed opportunity on the franchise’s part.
After the success of 2006’s Casino Royale, 2008’s Quantum Of Solace was a disappointment to many. The film moves along at a sluggish pace, the likes of which Redditor FridayNightFreedom attributes to “Allowing Marc Forster to direct Quantum of Solace.”
Although the success or failure of a Bond film can’t entirely be attributed to its director, Forster still seems like an unusual choice. A quick glance at his track record prior to Quantum Of Solace reveals a director who hadn’t previously delivered a single action film. Bond films aren’t exclusively action films, but experience in the genre could’ve helped.
After Goldeneye’s 1995 release it was easy to see that Bond had made an excellent return to form. The Martin Campbell film was the highest grossing 007 feature since 1979’s Moonraker, leading Redditor meseeks009 to ask, “Why did they not bring back Campbell after Goldeneye?”
The truth of the matter is that Campbell did indeed return to the franchise, with Casino Royale. It seems that the filmmaker is particularly skilled at injecting new life into the series, and for this reason, it makes sense why fans would want him to return – particularly right now when the series is very much in need of a new direction.
Crazenby For Lazenby
For a one-time-only Bond, George Lazenby arguably proved that he had what it takes to portray the famed super spy. This isn’t to say that the actor didn’t have his share of detractors, but as Redditor execpro222 says, “Lazenby not staying on as bond in subsequent films” was a significant lost opportunity.
Lazenby reportedly gave up on the franchise after his agent convinced him that James Bond would seem archaic in the savvy 1970s – a laughable claim considering the direction Roger Moore took the series in. For fans of Lazenby and OHMSS, it would definitely have been interesting to see what Lazenby could have done with his seven Bond film contract.