When Skyfall came out two years ago, many hailed it as the best ever Bond film, an argument supported by its massive box office takings and two Oscars. It was announced that the two films left on Craig’s Bond contract after Skyfall would form a ‘two-parter’, helmed by Sam Mendes to be released in 2014 and 2015. However, after the initial excitement, production got pushed back. Mendes decided he wanted a break from film to return to the stage, and the idea of a back-to-back release was scrapped.
Bond 24 is now expected to be released October 23rd 2015, with John Logan currently working on the script, and Sam Mendes now back on the project as director. On the surface it sounds good; consistency from the last film. Surely the same writer, director and star can put together another great film? But there are cracks. Reports that rewrites to add more gags were actually more extensive than first thought (leading to filming being pushed back) suggest a weak script, and the decision of masterful cinematographer Roger Deakins to leave the franchise might also suggest issues. Would he really leave the project if there was promise of it being as good as Skyfall? There is then also the issue of, as production gets pushed back further and further, Craig slowly getting too old for the role.
It seems likely that, given Craig’s age, his contract won’t be extended beyond these two films meaning they will form the concluding chapters of this current Bond story. There is definitely plenty of interesting ground to cover off of the back of Skyfall, however the same could have been said after the fantastic Casino Royale and yet that was followed by the rather abysmal Quantum of Solace. There is then the issue of the conclusion seeming rushed. Would a conclusion to Bond’s story make sense given we have only JUST met the new Q, M and Moneypenny? Skyfall felt like the beginning of a new chapter, but with Craig’s age, this new chapter might end before it’s even started.