By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
Shared universes are all the rage in Hollywood these days. Off the top of my head, I can name several: the Marvel Cinematic Universe (obviously), the DC Extended Universe, Dark Universe (unless The Mummy’s dismal box office derails it), Transformers, and there’s even a Robert Ludlum shared universe (Bourne) in the works.
Seems that there is more on the way. The Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider tweeted a rumor that the producers of the James Bond franchise are exploring the option of a shared universe. Here’s what Sneider tweeted:
I’ve heard the Broccolis have caught Universe Fever and would love to explore other corners of the Bond franchise… simultaneously.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) June 23, 2017
This isn’t the first time that plans were put in motion for a 007 spinoff film. Pierce Brosnan’s final Bond film, Die Another Day, featured Halle Berry playing Jinx, and producers were planning to spin the character off into her own movie. While the 2002 James Bond movie was successful at the box office, it was panned by critics and audiences alike, and may have directly led to the eventual reboot with Daniel Craig. And that was the end of the Jinx spinoff film.
The timing of this shared universe rumor is a bit interesting, however. We do know that Skyfall and Spectre screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade are returning to pen the currently untitled Bond 25 film. If the rumor is true, then the question becomes how long have producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli been thinking of creating a shared Bond universe? Will it kick off with that movie?
My hunch is that even if the shared universe idea is true, we won’t see it in the next installment. So far, most of these shared universes start off with a writers’ room, and up until now there really hasn’t been any difference in how they’ve approached Bond 25 from the previous movies of Skyfall and Spectre.
What I hope is that the 25th official film of the franchise will once again star Daniel Craig as James Bond, and give us something that no other Bond film has: An ending. The Craig era of these films have been very serialized, and I would love to see something to really capstone his films rather than simply have James Bond recast.
It also makes you consider that if the producers are thinking of a James Bond shared universe, it gives you an idea of how they plan to once again reboot the series. Instead of continuing on with a new actor as Bond in a business-as-usual way, they can lay the groundwork for a rich tapestry of movies. I can think of two possible spinoffs with an American-set Felix Leiter movie (starring Jeffrey Wright), and maybe even a MacGyver-like Q movie with Ben Whishaw. It’s an interesting idea to refresh the series once again when Craig officially passes on the mantle.