The official 007 Instagram page posted this image yesterday:
Pretty self-explanatory, really. That’s Daniel Craig working out for his final outing as James Bond in the 25th entry in the seemingly (and undeservedly) immortal franchise. He’s got a medical boot on as he suffered an ankle injury on set back in May, but he’s clearly not letting that slow down his training in preparation for the final leg (yuk yuk yuk) of shooting at Pinewood Studios in the UK.
This Bond movie—reportedly titled Shatterhand, after one of the aliases of the spy’s arch-nemesis Blofeld—has been wracked with production pains for quite some time now—with one insider source calling it a ‘polished shitshow’. Aside from Craig’s injury there have been director changes (Cary Joji Fukunaga replacing Danny Boyle), delays, and a multitude of script issues—with industry darling Phoebe Waller-Bridge being brought on to help finesse the John Hodge-started-and-Neil-Purvis-and-Robert-Wade-continued-AND-THEN-Scott Z Burns-continued Frankenstein’s Monster with a bit of her trademark life and humour.
Waller-Bridge was brought on specifically at the behest of Daniel Craig himself. Though he has given one of the most highly acclaimed turns of all time as the iconic spy, Craig has not been shy in the past of expressing himself when it comes to the reprehensible character of the spy he plays, saying that we shouldn’t forget ‘that he’s actually a misogynist,’ that there is ‘nothing’ we could learn from the character that we could apply to our day to day lives, and that the only reason that he appears somewhat less gleefully awful in recent entries is ‘because we’ve surrounded him with very strong women who have no problem putting him in his place.’ As for what kind of work Waller-Bridge has specifically contributed to the script, according to the NME:
Speaking about her role in the film in a podcast for The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter, Waller-Bridge revealed that she has worked on making the film’s female characters “feel like real people, which they do in the previous films. I think Daniel’s films have had really fantastic Bond girls and it’s about keeping that up.”
She added: “It’s such an exciting story and it’s just been a thrill to work on” and said she would try to “sneak in” some feminist humour.
Which is all very well and good. But let’s be honest: The movie’s gonna suck anyway. Not to shit on anyone’s work, or to take away from anyone’s enjoyment, but the Bond movies suck. It’s just what they do. It’s baked into their entire being. Even when you get a visionary like Roger Deakins to shoot them the best you get is a gorgeous-looking but still vapid and way-past-its-shelf-life flan like Skyfall. Even when you shake things up and ape a more successful action entity like in Casino Royale you still only get an intermittently exciting bit of work. It’s not just the sexism, it’s not just the throwback colonial mindset, it’s the tired, doddering formula. That iconic name aside, the Bond movies are at best just middle of road generic white dude spy flicks, at worst actively offensive lame ducks with attempts at humour that should’ve been taken out behind the barn and put out of their misery long before making it to the screen. They’re the equivalent of the reactionary dross you briefly glimpse at airport bookshops while comforting yourself that you didn’t head immediately to the bar even though it’s already 10am and damn, you’re at an airport, normal rules don’t apply here. Spruce it up with great talent behind and in front of the camera all you want—as far as I’m concerned I’m putting my money (not really, I’m poor, I’ll bet this lovely bit of lint I found in my pocket earlier instead) on this entry sucking as much as the rest. Just let it die, already. Do Something Else.
Bond 25 is currently set for release on April 8, 2020, and alongside Craig we will also be seeing Rami Malek as a villain, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Billy Magnussen, and Lashana Lynch.
Header Image Source: Instagram