Ibrahim Moustafa’s James Bond comic special Solstice came out a few weeks ago, but one thing or another kept me from my local shop, who was holding a copy for me. (Shout out to Brave New Worlds in Philly!) I finally got to dig in this week, and it's just spectacular. Though I’m intimately familiar with Moustafa’s art, I had no idea what to expect of him as a writer. What he delivered is a Bond fan’s Bond: Fleming’s creation is here, in moments like the one in which M tips his hand by calling 007 “James” before asking for a personal favor. That's a great little touch that echoes the author’s Moonraker and For Your Eyes Only (and sidesteps the whole “going rogue” trope that's kind of played out these days). The cinematic Bond is referenced, via an amusing exchange with Q over a malfunctioning wristwatch, and Bond's use of “Sterling” as an alias. And it’s set at Christmas! But it’s no mere collection of callbacks; Moustafa delivers a solid 007 adventure, with the right mix of humor and pathos, that legitimately satisfies the way Fleming’s own short stories did. I highly recommend it.
Talked to someone today who works in the film industry and has offices at Pinewood. Says #Bond25 team starting work there in March 2018. Production delayed a little by ‘Han Solo’ Movie reshoots.#Bond #007— Ringo Mountbaten MBE (@RingoMountbaten) December 5, 2017
Take this with the recommended dosage of salt, but an interesting possible wrinkle from the Star Wars world spilling into our Bond timetable. Ron Howard, so help me if you delay my Bond 25...On the other hand, when you announce a release date that’s over two years away, is this the kind of speed bump that’s been folded into the rather luxurious schedule, or does it create a snowball effect? Time will tell.
Paloma Faith wants to do the Bond 25 theme! I don’t know who that is! But sure, why not? She’s a little in Adele’s wheelhouse, but also a little in Shirley Bassey’s wheelshouse. Get David Arnold on that voice and go to town.
It occurs to me that as of Mission: Impossible 6, Tom Cruise will have played Ethan Hunt for 22 years - that’s longer than the span from Dr. No to Never Say Never Again, and a year shy of the span between Dr. No and A View To A Kill. Bear in mind Sean Connery made six Bond films in nine years (and quit in between the last two) while Cruise has taken 22 years to do that many, but I guess Connery wasn’t hanging out of planes and climbing skyscrapers and shit, so. Excited to see what Cruise has planned for us this time out, but I’d be lying if I said Henry Cavill’s troublesome mustache isn’t the real draw here.
This week is the 20th anniversary of Tomorrow Never Dies. Though I've warmed considerably to the Pierce Brosnan era, this is still an entry that does next to nothing for me. (Believe it or not, I think Die Another Day is ripening into the most fun/watchable of Brosnan's run. At least you never confuse it with the others.) That said, earlier this year I covered the one scene I positively love from Tomorrow Never Dies. Dig into that here, if you're so inclined.