Two-time James Bond director Martin Campbell doesn’t think that Amazon’s recent acquisition of MGM will mean bad things for the iconic super spy.
James Bond director, Martin Campbell, says that he isn’t concerned over Amazon’s recent acquisition of the legendary 007 super spy franchise. MGM’s sale has prompted fans and at least one Bond insider to express concern over potential changes to the series, particularly in light of the fact that Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, has previously gone on record to state that the multinational tech company plans to re-imagine the IP for the 21st century.
Since his big screen debut in 1962, Ian Fleming’s James Bond character has seen numerous changes. Initially content to revel in the sort of toxic masculinity that left little room for female characters to evolve beyond objects, the passing decades have slowly but surely put the franchise on a different course. This isn’t to say that the films don’t still retain much of what originally made the character such a hit, but the start of the Daniel Craig era in particular, shaped Bond as a more empathetic character, whose acknowledgement of women moved beyond physical conquest. This sort of long overdue approach will likely receive an even greater boost with the upcoming (and long delayed) final Craig outing, No Time to Die, which was co-written by Fleabag phenom, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
However, despite the modernization of Bond now fully underway, the changing of the guard from MGM to Amazon has left many questions regarding the franchise’s future. MGM has always been careful with regards to how it handles the continuous adventures of 007, and with Amazon calling the shots, the re-imagining that Bezos has spoken of could mean many things. Bond fans are a typically reserved lot when it comes to altering the formula that has made Bond what he is, meaning talk of changes initiated by a tech corporation isn’t all that encouraging. But at least one creative within the Bond IP, director Martin Campbell, has stated via Business Insider that he isn’t worried about what’s next for 007. Read what Campbell said below:
No one's going to f--- around with their success. It's Barbara and Michael's franchise no matter who's providing the money. They've been through many changes and regimes and survived them all.
Campbell is known for two defining films in the Bond catalogue – 1995’s GoldenEye and 2006’s Craig debut, Casino Royale. His assertion that the franchise has survived much in order to get it to where it currently is makes sense, but ultimately, Amazon has the sort of money to play with the IP. It’s exactly that type of tinkering which many fans fear. Despite its vast collection of projects under the Amazon Prime banner, the corporation’s entry into film and television is still extremely new when compared to Bond’s legacy. Still, if anyone knows just how strong Broccoli and Wilson’s grasp on the franchise is, it would be someone like Campbell who has previously helped usher in new eras for Bond.
Criticism of Amazon’s acquisition of MGM could indeed be valid and there’s really no reason at all not to believe that Bezo’s fondness for big profits won’t extend to James Bond. Yet at the same time, fans of the franchise know what they do and don’t want to see. Should Amazon take the franchise in the wrong direction, it will be a costly mistake that fans will ensure isn’t repeated. James Bond simply isn’t the sort of franchise that can be spun off into a multitude of different stories as Disney has done with the Star Wars franchise. So if Bezos’ plan to re-imagine the IP for the 21st century involves mimicking that sort of trajectory, it could be a big mistake.