After nearly 70 years of 007, audiences wonder: Where is Bond headed?


Selah Tennberg

Nearly 70 years later, Westmont students reflect on Bond’s legacy.

Raymond Vasquez, Staff Writer

He’s got a license to kill and likes his martinis shaken, not stirred. He’s James Bond, the suave gentleman spy who saves the day while looking cool along the way. 

Let’s take a look at how 007 has evolved over the decades, from his on-screen debut in 1962 up until “No Time to Die,” which was released Oct. 8, 2021.       

British author Ian Fleming introduced James Bond in his 1953 novel “Casino Royale.” Inspired by his service as a naval intelligence officer during World War II, Fleming went on to write a total of 12 novels and two short stories about the British spy. 

Though Fleming first conceived Bond, the actors who have played him bring Bond to life.

Many believe Sean Connery was the first Bond, but 007 was originally portrayed by American actor Barry Nelson in “Climax!” — a 1954 CBS interpretation of “Casino Royale.” 

Next came Sean Connery, whom many regard as the quintessential Bond. After Connery’s first appearance as Bond in 1962’s “Dr. No,” Fleming was so impressed that he incorporated Connery’s personality and background into subsequent Bond novels. 

After Connery came David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and, most recently, Daniel Craig.

To date, Craig has embodied 007 in “Casino Royale” (2006), “Quantum of Solace” (2008),“Skyfall” (2012), “Spectre” (2018), and “No Time to Die” (2021), making him the longest-acting Bond.

“No Time to Die” pits Bond against Lyutsifer Safin, played by Rami Malek. Safin’s evil plan is to unleash a weapon called Project Heracles, which MI5 developed to target and destroy certain genetic codes using nanobots. 

As some speculate that “No Time to Die” will be the last of the Bond movies, Westmont students reflect on the legacy of the cultural figure and franchise. 

“I love the idea of the suave, English spy,” said student Simon Janzen. Daniel Craig “never really breaks into a smile, but he has a smirk that shows how in control he is,” Janzen continued. “With those piercing blue eyes, [Craig] creates an atmosphere of intensity balanced with his morals, no matter where he is. Out of all of the Bonds, Daniel Craig is my favorite.”

Senior Alyssa McConkey said, “When I see James Bond, I want to see a guy that is suave, intelligent, clever and knows how to get the work done. My iconic Bond always has to be Sean Connery.”

“No Time to Die” is Craig’s last performance as Bond, leaving many fans wondering who will replace him. While the future of the franchise is uncertain, the gentleman spy’s impact on popular culture is enduring. So, until 007 appears again, remember that it’s Bond. James Bond, to you.

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