The James Bond franchise is clearly dealing with a mid-life crisis of epic proportions. It's been more than 40 years since Sean Connery starred in Dr. No, under the direction of Terence Young, who is widely credited as the inspiration for Bond. He took Connery to his Saville Row tailor, taught him how to drink and how to smoke, and presumably how to play baccarat, which I am still trying to figure out.
Fast forward four decades through the good times (Goldfinger) and bad (Living Daylights) and Bond fans are wondering: Where have you gone Terence Young, when your country needs you most?
Among the indignities we have suffered just in the last year: the selection of Daniel Craig (who is BLOND, by the way) to replace Mr. Cool (though Mr. Old
, lately) Pierce Brosnan. I can't believe we went from a guy named Pierce to some guy with two first names.
And now, we learn that the producers of the new Bond movie "Casino Royale" can't even find a female lead
. The latest rumor centers around Rachel McAdams. But don't think of her as Bond's second choice, because Angelina, Charlize and Sienna have all turned the role down. Bond have never struck out so much.
Did the Austin Powers series -- with its deft picking apart of every farcical Bond plot device -- deal the franchise a death blow? Perhaps, but only if Bond refuses to change.
Instead of soldiering on with the same sanctimony, Bond needs a greater dose of irreverence than he's ever had before. Put another way: If you can't beat Austin Powers, join him.
Might Casino Royale be the right starting place for such a change? Maybe moreso than you think -- it was the original Bond spoof
, with Peter Sellers as Bond in 1967.