Why Sony Pulling The Plug On 007 Is The Humane Thing To Do
Hey, fans of James Bond. Thanks for coming by on such short notice. It's just that we got the test results back, and I figured that you'd want to be here to hear them. Because after hearing them I was both shaken and stirred. Eh? I'm so sorry about that. That was insensitive. However, most of these medical cabinets are indeed filled with vodka, so there's that.
Look, let me first say that I know how much you love James Bond. I love him too. He's always been there for me, from rainy days at questionable movie theaters watching Die Another Day to sitting through his entire '70s output whenever AMC plays them around Thanksgiving. Remember For Your Eyes Only? What fun we had! The laughs, and the thrills, and oh, the weirdly uncomfortable relationships with female ice skating champions 30 years his junior. Whenever we needed a pick-me-up or a reminder of what it was like when Sean Connery and Adam West were the biggest stars in the universe, James had our backs. We won't forget what he did. Except On Her Majesty's Secret Service. We'll probably forget that one numerous times.
And that's the last time we'll speak of that.
Look at this chart, though. The tissues are in a box on the table, behind the vodka. Sony reported a loss of $719 million last year. That's a 50 percent reduction. In layman's terms, we need to start considering whether it's worth keeping James around as a series anymore.
See, Sony co-financed ... Please don't cry. If you cry, I'll cry. Sony has marketed and distributed the Bond series since Casino Royale, and co-financed Skyfall and Spectre. And while Skyfall was so successful that it was praised as the "Dark Knight of the franchise," with Spectre, things took a turn for the worse. If you look a little bit down the sheet, you'll see terms like "over-budget" and "behind the scenes problems," but you don't need the technical jargon. The point is that I want you to know that this advice is coming with the best of intentions.
I think we need to pull the plug on James Bond.
I've been a doctor since diamonds were forever, and I've seen how these things go. We've resuscitated Bond before, with Connery and Moore and Dalton and Brosnan and Craig. Good lord, we've put a lot of effort in with Craig. Remember how Spectre was about a guy that we've never heard of having secretly controlled all of Bond's past villains? That's an indignity no franchise should be subjected to!
I'm sorry, I don't mean to lose my cool. But the octopus thing? Really?
To be fair, sometimes it's worked. When we brought out the defibrillator and made GoldenEye, and later Casino Royale, we were so optimistic that maybe this would be Bond's time again -- a return to the heyday of punching bald men with facial scars and sleeping with anything that had more breasts than lines of dialogue. But look a little farther down, and compare Bond's results to normal results in his finance bracket. Look at how the Fast & Furious series is doing. Look at how excited the people are about the Kingsman sequel. Let's watch the trailer together. I watched it this morning, but man, Channing's in this one.
Both of those franchises have a lot of the elements that James once possessed -- spy shit, cars, supposedly important side characters whose names you can't quite remember. No, it's okay. Sometimes James just does that in his sleep, rolls around for a second and offers Daniel Craig even more money to star in another one. There's no brain activity behind that, though. Our boy's running on instinct, doing the only thing he knows how to do: make copious sequels.
Of course you can get a second opinion. They might tell you what you want to hear, that "Tom Hiddleston should play Bond." And I suppose that procedure might work, but for how long? At this point, we'd just be postponing the inevitable, and it could ruin Bond's overall quality of series. Bringing in a new Bond is always a complex surgery. At one point, we considered inserting Mel Gibson into his chest. Just goes to show how much WE know. I'm drunk.
We all go a little drunk sometimes.
Also, have you seen the current trend in adventure movies? These are shared-universe, continuity-heavy deals. It seems unlikely now, but anytime you open up a franchise, there's the possibility of a Remingston Steele or Transporter crossover. I don't think that'll happen, but we should prepare for the worst. Would Bond really want to find himself stuck in a bed, making vague references to what's going to happen two movies down the line for the rest of his life? It's about quality. And speaking of quality, I saw a James Bond Blu-Ray box set urn at Best Buy the other day that had been marked down to $99. That's a steal. You wouldn't even have to worry about a funeral. Just put his ashes in there and set him between the 80th Anniversary Edition of The Wizard Of Oz and House Season 3.
Goodbyes are tough. As a movie doctor, I say a lot of them. I've said them to two straight Sony-produced Spider-Man series. A Charlie's Angels reboot franchise. Hell, Men In Black is in the next room, struggling to breathe. DON'T YOU KNOW HOW HARD THIS IS FOR ME? I HURT, TOO.
Sony needs to focus on what's best for James. And I don't think it's trying to find a way to create a proper continuation after Spectre. Pushing a Bond actor for too many movies can end in disaster. Remember A View To A Kill, in which a 57-year-old Roger Moore fought a genetically enhanced Nazi played by Christopher Walken? Remember On Her Majesty's Secret Service, when Bond's greatest villain got caught in a tree branch?
I lied. It's just so forgettable, though. You have to understand.
What we can do is remember Bond as he was: punching Eastern European triathletes and luge racing to stop villains trying to use the sun to help North Korea. That's what he would want.
It's okay. You can hold his hand. YOUR FAMILY IS HERE, JAMES. DO. YOU. UNDERSTAND. WHAT. WE. ARE. SAYING? BLINK. IF. YOU. DO. See, he blinked. He gets us. He knows that we'll watch The Spy Who Loved Me on countless lazy Sundays, and that we'll sit through the first half of Tomorrow Never Dies on at least one lonely evening. He knows we love him. So say your goodbyes.
Thanks for coming by. No, thank you. Are they gone yet? Okay, look James. Hold on, let me fluff this pillow for you.
Shhhh. Don't struggle.
The proliferation of beer pong and craft beer may have you think that we're living in one of the peak times to get drunk, but humans have been getting famously hammered for millennia. Like a frat house's lawn after a kegger, history is littered with world changing events that were secretly powered by booze. The inaugural games of the Roman Coliseum, the drafting of the US Constitution and the Russian Revolution were all capped off by major parties that most attendees probably regretted in the morning.
Join Jack O'Brien and Cracked staffers Carmen Angelica, Alex Schmidt, Michael Swaim, plus comedian Blake Wexler for a retelling of history's biggest moments you didn't realize everyone was drunk for.
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