There's something wrong with a world where we've gone nearly three decades without a Charlie Chan film but the James Bond franchise has yet to be put out of its senescent, post-Cold-War, post-sexual-revolution, post-9/11 misery. But for 007 fans (you know who you are), the latest news is that one Daniel Graig is the frontrunner to replace Pierce Brosnan as Britain's most famous spy who wasn't a Soviet mole.
Maybe it's just the Kilbeggan's talkin', but I thought Brosnan was an excellent 007, even if the Brosnan-era movies were generally pretty weak. Sadly for Brosnan, Bond-film legacy producer Barbara Broccoli is said to be looking for fresh blood, as the new version of Casino Royale is supposed to take the tired superspy back to his origins.
The choice of Craig has not yet been officially announced, and as with the year's other big job announcement, I'm holding out hope that Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger might get a surprise nod. Call me a Bond maverick, but I like Moore better than Connery (Darby O'Gill and the Little People remains Connery's greatest picture), and I'm pissed that they never even considered the actor who could have taken the franchise back to the cheesetastic heights it reached in the late seventies: A few months with Body By Jake Carpet-Humping Guy* and Hugh Grant would be the greatest Bond of them all.
Isn't it time for a woman to take over the role of 007? Get the Monica Vitti version of Modesty Blaise and the Quentin Tarantino-presented My Name Is Modesty at a special Amazon price. When Helen Fielding tried out her own female James Bond, the idea flopped like the mutant offspring of George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton. After 90 years of cinematic pride, MGM, which still has some custody of the Bond franchise, died with an ignominious whimper this spring, but not before winning a Supreme Court ruling against Grokster. (As Nick Gillespie said at the time: "Fuckin' Dred Scott had more standing to sue in an American court than MGM!")
* Thanks to reader B.P. for the promotional suggestion.