Cinematic universes are all the rage in Hollywood right now, so it's somewhat surprising when one of the longest running franchises in cinematic history still hasn't considered taking this route. With a track record of 24 films over a period of 53 years, James Bond has managed to engage multiple generations without an ongoing cinematic universe, but now producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are reportedly considering a James Bond cinematic universe.
The rumor started when The Tracking Board's Jeff Sneider recently tweeted about the franchise's future, mentioning that the producers could be looking to create a shared universe.
After Pierce Brosnan ended his run with Die Another Day, Daniel Craig took on the mantle amidst unrest from die-hard fans. However, as soon as Casino Royale hit the theaters and Craig fired a bullet in the audience's general direction, we knew the actor would become one of the best Bonds to date. However, after completing Spectre, Craig still hasn't confirmed his return for another MI-6 outing. That being said, his run as Bond has given rise to many diverse characters that could be fleshed out to provide a greater understanding of Ian Fleming's world.
This will not only give the producers some time to strike a proper deal with Craig, but would also provide an opportunity to search for an adequate replacement.
What Can 007 Learn From Current Cinematic Universes?
However, Bond's shared universe faces an uphill task because the film industry is already filled with cinematic universes, and it's only natural for fans to compare the success of these efforts. So, here are 10 cinematic universes that Bond can learn from if Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli do decide to expand the James Bond universe.
10. The Potterverse: J.K. Rowling's magical universe is not only revered in the world of literature, but also has a huge fan-following due to its cinematic counterpart. Although the scar had not pained #HarryPotter for 19 years, Rowling has decided to visit other stories through the tales of Newt Scamander. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be followed by four more movies, with the next one chronicling the feud between Grindelwald and Dumbledore. Given that both Bond and Harry Potter were originally popular novels, the former's producers will surely be looking to learn from 'the boy who lived'.
9. The Conjuring's shared universe: After James Wan's The Conjuring, Warner Bros. had banked on its success to make The Conjuring 2 and a prequel centered on Annabelle. The sequel to Annabelle is already slated to release in August 2017 along with a spin-off based on Valak, the demon Nun. This is one of the most surprising cinematic universe success stories, and Bond can hope to exceed this universe's financial expectations due to the Spy series's previously established characters.
8. The Dark Universe: Although Dracula Untold was supposed to kick-start Universal's shared universe, which features classic monsters such as Frankenstein, The Werewolf and The Invisible Man, the Dark Universe didn't take its first step until 2017's The Mummy.
Despite the inclusion of Tom Cruise, Universal's venture has had a turbulent start. However, it looks like the stellar cast of Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem might be able to save it from being completely shut down.
The Bond franchise has always been celebrated for its casting choices, and even has the ability to shoot up-and-coming actors to stardom. In fact, a shared universe could further this franchise's ability to elevate unknown talents onto the A-list.
7. The Lego Universe: The Lego Movie was certainly enjoyable due to the memorable voice-acting of Chris Pratt, Morgan Freeman and Elizabeth Banks. However, it was ultimately Will Arnett's egotistical Batman that led to the first Lego Batman spin-off. The #Lego Universe is now being expanded with the help of the Lego Ninjago movie with an impressive cast consisting of Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Olivia Munn, Michael Pena and many more.
6. The Monsterverse: Godzilla and King Kong have been part of a shared universe since the '60s, and after Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island, Legendary Entertainment has decided to begin the #Monsterverse.
Apart from the fan-favorite Kaijus, this shared universe will also feature Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah. Michael Dougherty has begun filming King of Monsters and Adam Wingard is being eyed to direct Godzilla Vs. Kong. Due to the inclusion of such epic monsters, there will always be a pressure to push the film's cinematic limits. This is also true for Bond too, but is something that the franchise has always been seemingly comfortable with.
5. The Transformers spin-offs: If you haven't heard the term Bayhem, it's time to brush up on your Transformers knowledge. After a five-movie run, Michael Bay might be stepping away from the director's chair but a planned Bumblebee spin-off proves that nothing can stop the intergalactic robots from rolling out.
Although a crossover between Transformers and G.I. Joe hasn't been confirmed yet, Michael Bay announced that he has plans to expand this universe over the course of 14 films. The Last Knight recently finished at a franchise-low at the box office, but there's surely a lot that the 007 producers can learn from this franchise, which went from being an unlikely Hasbro adaptation to one of the industry's biggest properties.
4. The X-Men Universe: Under the jurisdiction of 20th Century Fox, Marvel's X-Men has been through significant ups and downs. With critically accepted entries like X-Men, X2, First Class, Days of Future Past, Deadpool and Logan, the franchise has garnered a strong fan-base.
The #XMen franchise looks to move forward with titles such as New Mutants, Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix. As this franchise has started to explore the X-Men's roots, the Bond franchise could use this as a template for how to provide satisfying origins for lesser-known characters, depending on Fox's success.
3. DC Extended Universe: DC's cinematic universe can be a great learning curve for the creative minds responsible for the James Bond franchise. Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were unable to please critics, but all were considerably successful at the box-office. However, with Wonder Woman slicing her way through multiple records, the #DCEU might beat the odds and live up to their comic-book reputation. As well as being a fantastic lesson in course correction, DC have also emphasized the importance of their rogue's gallery - something that Bond is often celebrated for.
2. Star Wars: Ever since A New Hope hit theaters in 1977, Star Wars has fascinated fans throughout the franchise's intergalactic travels and wide variety of characters. After The Force Awakens and Rogue One successfully revived the cinematic franchise, #StarWars is now on a roll with a solid roster of movies, including The Last Jedi, the untitled Han Solo spin-off and Episode IX.
The current run of the franchise has faced two major hiccups, the latest being the departure of Han Solo directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Now that they have steadied the ship with the help of Ron Howard, the Bond franchise must observe the outcome of the untitled Han Solo movie and take notes on how to avoid similar mishaps.
1. MCU: After the credits began to roll and a bald guy with an eye-patch announced the Avenger's initiative to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone from strength to strength. The most important lesson that the MCU can teach Mr. Bond is the art of meticulous planning. Just like the mega-franchise has invested in smaller stories and tent-pole films, the Bond franchise can look to do the same.
Despite the fact that this humongous list of cinematic universes, James Bond can bank on the success of its previous legacy. While all these franchises look to increase the scale, Bond's universe might succeed by keeping its world grounded in reality, perhaps even providing individual stories for Ralph Fiennes's M, Jeffrey Wright's Felix Leiter and Naomie Harris's Moneypenny.
Are you up for a James Bond cinematic universe? Let me know in the comment section below!
(Source: Dark Horizons)