19th August 2021
James Bond producers are against diluting 007, but they have tried it before
By MI6 Staff
In a recently published interview with Total Film, James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were asked about the future media landscape for 007 with the planned Amazon take-over of MGM and the move to streaming services for many franchises.
"It’s tough to think about the future until this film has its moment," said Broccoli. "I think we just really want to celebrate 'No Time To Die' and celebrate Daniel, and then when the dust settles, then look at the landscape and figure out what the future is. Although I think one thing we’ve certainly learned in the last 18 months is you never know what the future is. So we have to sit down and think about it."
Total Film asks Broccoli straight: would a 007 television outing also constitute another big N-O for you? "You got it," she cries. "We make films. We make films for the cinema. That’s what we do." Adds Wilson: "We’ve resisted that call for 60 years."
Except when they don't.
Back in 1990, in an attempt to keep the franchise alive and attractive to new younger fans whilst the film series was on hiatus due to legal action, Wilson was the brain-child behind the animated spin-off James Bond Jr. Despite a fan consensus that the series was a failure, it was in fact a ratings hit, enjoyed lucrative syndication deals, and the tie-in toys were top sellers. But with the film series getting back on track in 1995 with 'GoldenEye', EON has disowned the James Bond Jr property.
In more recent years, EON greenlit a 'Jinx' spin-off for Halle Berry, commissioned a script (which is said to be excellent), and had a director attached. It would have gone ahead if it were not for MGM. In October 2003, Variety reported that MGM had "completely pulled the plug on this project", to the dismay of Broccoli and Wilson who were reported to be "clearly furious" about the decision.
A year later, EON approved the videogame 'GoldenEye: Rogue Agent' by EA which featured a 007-like agent who failed his MI6 assessment (even killing James Bond in a simulation) and was set to launch a new character for the franchise had it not been for poor sales.
Expanding the IP beyond James Bond himself has always been on EON's radar, despite their recent protestations that it has not. Never say never.