Skyfall has evidently breathed new life into the James Bond franchise, achieving a rare combination for a serial actioner of both critical and financial success, and has thusly opened the door to a seemingly limitless future for the franchise. The question naturally arises: what next? There will, after all, be more Bond films to come now, perhaps many more, and one must wonder what direction the series ought to take with the character. Now, it's true Hollywood's screenwriters are at no end of tropes-- be they 'hit' or 'miss'-- to throw into movies, and the Bond saga might well have some new arrangements thrown at it from that direction. But I've got a far more radical proposal. The next James Bond film ought to be: Dr No!! And, in fact, the series ought to carry on by remaking the classics for modern times.

Imagine current Bond star Daniel Craig taking on a modernly imagined Dr No (one actually played by an Asian actor, as depicted in the novel). Consider the possibilities for a new Honey Ryder, from that installment, or for a contemporary take on Goldfinger with a reenvisioned Pussy Galore -- one who is a bit more politically correct, defying Ian Fleming's backwards stereotyping in the novel itself by staying true to her lesbianism despite the charms of Mr. Bond. Indeed, most of the early Bond canon could do with a Twenty-First Century look: From Russia With Love (relevant once again in the age of Vladimir Putin, and with immense possibilities for the part of Rosa Klebb); You Only Live Twice; Diamonds Are Forever; Live And Let Die; even The Man With The Golden Gun (the latter two sans the manufactured comic relief character of 'Sheriff J.W. Pepper,' and the final one without the Hervé Villechaize evil dwarf accomplice character -- but let's keep that corkscrew car jump stunt). The filmmakers could even opt to put out these films in the actual order of Fleming's original novels, in which event, Live and Let Die would be next, followed by Moonraker (for which Fleming's plot bears no resemblance whatsoever to the film). Following such a trajectory, the series would then continue with Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love before reaching Dr No.

Some, I am sure, will suggest that the Bond franchise ought to continue coming up with original plots, and not revisit the past. But face facts, folks: the vast majority of the James Bond canon is derivative of other parts of the James Bond canon (and, occasionally, of elements of other successful film series in and out of the genre). And remember as well that even Casino Royale which introduced us to this new era of Bond, was a remake of sorts (though the original film by that title was a non-canon farce parodying the genre). So in fact revisiting and reinventing the past efforts in the series would not only be the obvious thing to do, it would be the most honest thing to do. So let us hope that in our next James Bond film to come, we may begin by having another go at Dr No.



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