Lisa Giblin replies to Gary Giblin's column on the casting of Daniel Craig as James Bond in "Not Worth the Gamble"...

Opinion - Not Worth the Gamble - A Response to 'Gambling on Bond'
11th June 2006


Read Gary Giblin's Gambling on Bond column.

When I watch a James Bond movie I have certain expectations. First and foremost, I expect to see a good-looking guy whom any heterosexual woman would be bound to fall for.

In Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and, to a certain degree, some of the other Bond actors, I saw that. In Daniel Craig I do not. He is a good actor, but that’s not enough. Anthony Hopkins is a good actor but I don’t expect to see him as 007. Craig looks like he just wandered in off the football field and not necessarily after a win. Plus, if he is supposed to be the young Bond, before he got his license to kill, why he is almost 40, and why does he look even older?

If the producers really wanted to take us back to the beginning they should have cast an actor in his twenties. And I can’t begin to imagine why Judi Dench is again playing M. Apparently, the producers have decided that none of the previous films exist. If that’s the case, why stop with a pre-007 Bond? Why not cast an actor of African descent, or a woman? “The name is Bond, Jane Bond.”

I also expect gadgets and lots of them. Yes, I have read Fleming and no his Bond doesn’t rely on them very much. But we are talking about the film Bond here, a character that has been around for over forty years.

Above: The sixth actor to play Eon's James Bond - Daniel Craig

Dr. No and From Russia With Love may be closer to the books, but they are pretty removed from what most people think of when they think of a James Bond movie. So why disappoint audiences by trying to recapture a style that is over forty years old? I’ve read some of the producers’ disparaging comments about the invisible car in Die Another Day, yet both times I saw the movie in theaters audiences “oohed” and “aahed” at its appearance. Is it farfetched? Yes, but it was also the ultimate wish fulfillment. Why deny us that kind of vicarious thrill?


I’ve also read the producers’ comments that they want to explore the dark side of Bond’s character and the tragedy and loss that he has experienced. I have one word, or rather one title: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

A new Bond, following in the footsteps of an enormously popular actor, went back to the basics, scrapped the gadgets, and experienced tragedy and loss. And audiences stayed away in droves. The producers may want to make a more personal film for themselves, but it’s the audiences who ultimately decide whether James Bond will return.

On one point I agree with what I’ve heard about Casino Royale: we do not need any more CGI. Even when it’s well-done it still looks like a cartoon. So by all means jettison the junky effects, but don’t throw the Bond out with the bathwater.

Left: The second actor to play James Bond - George Lazenby.

About The Author
LISA GIBLIN is the wife of GARY GIBLIN, author of “James Bond's London" and "Alfred Hitchcock's London".

The views of this columnist and those expressed in this article are not necessarily those of or its owners.

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