bond-on-set

Gun: model’s own. Silencer and bald man holding flag sold seperately.

You can already hear the gears start grinding on the new James Bond film. Not because they’ve already announced the product tie-ins that will see Bond travel the world flogging luxury goods like a lethal Apprentice candidate (or genuine candidate Christopher Farrell), or from the procession of Euro lovelies who are pored over to assess their worth of being violated by 007 before being shuffled off by a villain with a surplus appendage. No, the real reason you know a Bond film is coming is because of the inevitable controversy surrounding its name.

Bond names are strange; I can’t think of one other film series that has such a diverse collection of titles yet are all distinctively part of the same set. Well, aside from Steven Seagal’s oeuvre, but they’re all fairly plodding and workmanlike: Under Siege, Marked For Death, Out For Lunch etc. Bond titles are slightly more aspirational and elegant. You wouldn’t find a Bond film called ‘The Spy Wot Has Sex’, or ‘The Psycho With 3 Tits’. Which makes the rumoured title of ‘Skyfall’ a little baffling. Now I understand by even entertaining the notion that this is the genuine title I’m part of the problem, but I just accepted some sponsorship to add a footer to my Danny Dyer article and I’m in the process of burying my shame with words. Hey, you’re lucky, this article could quite easily have been about my recent trip to see The Lion King in 3D.

While the confidence placed in Bond’s recent change of direction is laudable – at least before they revealed they were copying the Bourne films – their stab at names is a little less rewarding. Sure, Casino Royale is an obvious winner but only because its name was typed by Ian Fleming’s sexist nubs. But much like the film itself, ‘Quantum of Solace’ is something of a jumbled mess, offering the illusion of style without any substance to make it more meaningful. Basically, it’s like someone using long words to mask the fact they’re talking absolute balls. In contrast ‘Skyfall’ is a little more welcome; it’s snappier and doesn’t try too hard to impress – unless it’s throwing jabs at the Murdoch empire. But I miss the showboating of the old Bond film titles. Think of ‘Goldfinger’, or ‘From Russia With Love’, they revelled in their largesse while perfectly capturing the tone of their adventures.

Anyway, I’ve decided to attempt a few Bond film titles to see if it can really be that hard to sum up the legacy and heritage of the world’s most famous spy, whilst bringing him into a world where it costs over £20 for two adults and a child to watch a film about singing lions in 3D. I think I’ve been fairly successful, even if I say so my damn self.

Ladyfingers

Not just the name of the world’s most prestigious sponge-based biscuit. ‘Ladyfingers’ gets and added frisson from the fact that Bond often squires ladies. The fact that said Ladies often have fingers is fairly incidental (then again, so were ‘The’ and ‘With’ in The Man With The Golden Gun). It’s a provocative and posh title and would add an extra frisson if the action were set in a French bakery, or involved trifle in some way.

The Universe Will Probably Do

Over ambition is a recurring theme with Bond villains. In fact, most of them would probably do just fine if they were content to downsize their ambitions somewhat. For example, why ask for the world’s gold when you could probably obtain a private island with a fixer-upper volcano base for a far smaller sum – especially in this age of economic austerity? Bond film titles should reflect the age in which they were made, and The Universe Will Probably Do does exactly that. However, it also suggests that the villain is still a tad over-ambitious, so will probably still get fed to his pet ocelots.

On Her Majesty

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this one, save to say I’d quite like to see a self-contained action film, starring the world’s most famous spy, taking place entirely on HRH. It would be like Die Hard on a Queen.

A Taste of Swan

For many, Bond films are a gateway into another realm of existence – a bit like shopping at Waitrose, or eating unprocessed meat. Perhaps the most exotic of Bond’s activities is his proclivity for eating stuff you’ve never heard of – let alone had wedged into a Gregg’s pasty. Obviously the most exotic, yet resolutely British, foodstuff is swan. Few, save for David Cameron and the Windsors, know what this elegant beast tastes like. In fairness, it’s probably like posh chicken but suspension of disbelief is all-important with James Bond so let’s say it also tastes like wealth and excitement.

OK, I’m now spent – feel free to submit your own suggestions while we wait for the real title.

Post comment