EARLY BUZZ: CASINO ROYALE, NEW BOND ARE A TRAIN WRECK
I am not encouraged by what I keep hearing about Casino Royale. As you know I'm a James Bond fan and I worry when I hear the stories I hear about this movie.
The latest news is that fans are still upset over Daniel Craig being cast as Bond. A group of concerned citizens have put up a web site called www.CraigNotBond.com in order to stop Craig from playing the role of James Bond. They claim he's too short, and they hate his blond hair! They want Pierce Brosnan reinstated and are threatening to boycott the movie when it comes out! Boy oh boy, is this ever not good news for this franchise. Guys like Roger Moore are now being paraded in front of the press to tell the fans to give Craig a chance. It's a debacle.
To top it all off Craig got his two front teeth knocked out in a fight scene in the movie, so apparently things are really not going well for him at all on or off the set.
NEW BOND GIRL NEEDS CLOTHES TO WEAR
They also had a lot of trouble casting a leading lady in this movie. They approached everyone from Charlize Theron to Angelina Jolie and all these A-listers turned them down. Frankly, I think the producers had the right idea going after Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie! They'd be great in a Bond film, but maybe they know something about this one that we don't. Instead the role goes to the little-known but very hot French actress Eva Green, whose previous motion picture experience includes a steamy role in the film The Dreamers, in which she appears -- well, let's put it this way. Far from having a wardrobe malfunction in her movies, her entire wardrobe has gone MISSING. Completely.
Needless to say a lot of male fans are quite thrilled to hear this. But of course, this revelation has a lot of people in the United States upset because, well, they're pretty uptight about things like this compared to those liberated Europeans. I don't see what the controversy is all about, but then again, I'm a Canadian. I think it's just Americans being their usual selves, being nuts about this stuff. There's actually quite a long history of Bond girls having wardrobe malfunctions in movies--- Ursula Andress in particular was notorious for this sort of thing, and actresses like Maryam D'Abo appeared in PLAYBOY. But they kept their clothes on in the actual Bond movies.
In fact, I saw Maryam D'Abo on Citytv this week, on some story about Bond girls. She's written a book about it and basically is an expert on Bond leading ladies these days. I have to say D'Abo has to rank up there as one of the great Bond girls of all time because her role was so groundbreaking- this was in that movie with Timothy Dalton where Bond was trying to be a one-woman man and so on.
Anyway, this controversy about Eva Green is good news as far as I'm concerned, it'll get people talking about how hot the Bond girl is in this movie, which will more than make up for the fact that she's a B-lister. So this Bond role is bound to make her famous. Unfortunately, that is the only good news about the movie so far.
THE BOND FRANCHISE: COULD GO THE WAY OF THE PINK PANTHER
I keep reading the folks at Ain't It Cool News and they keep trashing the Bond franchise and how it has gone downhill in recent years, and they're all worried that this movie will either launch Bond into a new era or kill the whole franchise for the next 20 years. They're saying the initial script for this movie is garbage!!! I sure hope they're wrong. But I'm very worried this next movie is going to be a flop and break the series. You know, there used to be a very successful Pink Panther movie series for a long time, and it died out because Peter Sellers passed away and they couldn't replace him. Last week, they finally rolled out the revival starring Steve Martin and it has been trashed in print as not living up to the original. They're saying Steve Martin is no Peter Sellers! Well, the worry is Daniel Craig is no Pierce Brosnan, let along Sean Connery or Roger Moore.
I'm worried this James Bond series will bite the dust the way the Pink Panther did, and that we won't see another Bond movie again for 20 years, and when we do it'll be some revival of Dr. No. The sense is this next movie is truly make or break given the recent history of supposed mediocre Bond movies. The problem with Bond is that they aren't keeping with the times; they can't find a suitable villain now that the Cold War is over. If they wanted to be realistic they could have Bond fighting these al-Qaeda types or something, but probably that would be too politically incorrect and might offend people. Just as Bond's constant running around with women all the time was offending people.
I dunno, it just seems this series is on the brink to me. This series looks like it is in big trouble.