To mark the 50th Anniversary of one of the most successful movie franchises of all time and with James Bond’s 23rd official outing in Skyfall due for release in just a few months time, I have been tasked with taking a retrospective look at the films that turned author Ian Fleming’s creation into one of the most recognised and iconic characters in film history.
After just two films in the lead role, Pierce Brosnan had well and truly made his mark on the Bond series. Both GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies had proven to be phenomenally successful and had shown that even as the 20th Century was drawing to a close, there was still a place for Bond in the modern world. Wisely, the Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson quickly started work on the next instalment aiming for a release date just months away from the beginning of the new millennium. The nineteenth James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, was hotly anticipated and expectations were at an all time high.
Elektra King: I could have given you the world.
James Bond: The world is not enough.
Elektra King: Foolish sentiment.
James Bond: Family motto.
Taking the title from the translation of the Latin motto, Orbis non sufficit, first mentioned when George Lazenby is seen researching Bond’s coat of arms in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, it was initially rumoured that the film would feature a number of references looking back on the series including cameos from previous Bond girls, however this proved not to be the case. Self confessed Bond fans Neil Purvis and Robert Wade were handed the opportunity to provide the screenplay for the film while British director Michael Apted, most well known for his long running documentary series Seven Up, was chosen to direct beating off competition from Peter Jackson and Joe Dante among others.
Pierce Brosnan returns for his third Bond film brimming with the confidence that helped him to establish his claim on the role over such a short period of time. The catchphrases roll off his tongue and he has a twinkle in his eye throughout much like Sean Connery in his earlier Bond films. Despite his lighter touch he still makes room for the tougher side of Bond and he is no less convincing when the film requires a more ruthless, unforgiving character.
The film also gives Brosnan the chance to show a deeper side to the character through his involvement with Elektra King. There is a real sense that he has found something in her that he has not had for a long time. The relationship develops in much the same was as Bond’s infatuation with Tracey in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which led to him getting married. The impression is given that Bond has fallen for Elektra in a big way making the revelation that she is in fact the film’s main villain all the more earth shattering.
We are currently seeking James Bond contributors on WhatCulture. To find out more about the perks of being a James Bond contributor, click here.