James Bond Resurrected in Casino Royale
After the muddled Pierce Brosnan years, with all of the utter confusion about how to fit women into the James Bond formula, EON tries a completely new tactic with a brand new Bond. It is easy to figure that the two things are related - the new Bond (Daniel Craig) and the new, more focused treatment of women. Gone are the scantily clad Bond girls and the Amazonian warriors that replaced them. Instead, we now have women such as Berenice Marlohe who... somewhat act like real women. Not always, but at least it's a start in a coherent direction.
James Bond needed a major regrouping. They got it with Daniel Craig, an unassuming actor who turned the British man of action that so many fans dearly wanted to see. No longer do the posters show women standing protectively by James Bond, guns handy to do his dirty work as he looks pretty. Now, in "Casino Royale," we have a man of steel, almost a superhero, who is disheveled but gets the job done. Instead of waiting for women to save him, he manfully walks away from the beautiful Eva Green in order to get things done. It was a brilliant turnabout by the producers, sensing that women want that sort of determination from men as much as men want to do it. It paid off handsomely at the box office by winning back part of the audience that found an effete James Bond just a tad too politically correct.
Instead of women holding the guns, we get manipulative women who tend to meet tragic ends - when we get women at all. The Bond team finally fulfills the promise they made at the start of the Timothy Dalton era to produce a James Bond that is more faithful to the rugged hero of the books - though exactly how rugged the martini-swilling Ian Fleming Bond really was is a matter of debate.
So, for the most part, the focus returns to where it should have been all along - James Bond himself. Gone are the protective females, the bikini Bond Girls, and Bond in the background. Instead, we have James Bond as superhero, with action shots in the posters again and some tasteful romantic implications - not just girls there to ogle - when women do appear in the posters. In the title sequence, there aren't any women shown at all aside from a quick glimpse of Eva Green's face that many people completely missed. It is a completely new strategy for the franchise.
While Pierce Brosnan says he came very close to returning to star in "Casino Royale" - apparently, the producers told him he was coming back, then at the very last minute went with Craig instead - it is pretty clear that the entire series needed to be rebooted. Fortunately for James Bond fans - it worked.
|This poster has it both ways - a hint of old-style Bond girls, and also the new breed of romantic anti-heroine represented by Eva Green.|