James Bond needs no introduction: for over 50 years, the famous MI6 agent has appeared in 25 films portrayed by seven different actors. Each of which has taken Bond around the world with a core group of recurring characters. Now it seems one of those characters may be getting a spin-off of their own.
At least, that’s the hope of actress Naomie Harris, who portrays Moneypenny in the Daniel Craig led 007 films. Naomie has portrayed Moneypenny as a spy in Skyfall before reverting to the role typically associated with Moneypenny in Spectre. But you already knew that.
More interestingly, according to comingsoon.net, Naomie has been approached by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins to star in her own film. Naomie even set Barry up with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli to discuss the possibility.
“I got him together with Barbara, and they had a little discussion, but nothing’s happened so far, but you never know.”
If the films tackled Ms Moneypenny in a spin-off it would be great to see her as a 00 agent, rather than a secretary. We’d much prefer to see her travel the world and shooting at the bad guys. Hopefully, her aim has gotten better since Skyfall.
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Bond fans are notoriously against the character becoming a female, so maybe a Moneypenny spin-off is the best way to introduce a female spy without changing the core character (even though it would undoubtedly be controversial). But is she the best spinoff direction for 007? There are many other characters from Bond’s past also worthy of a stand-alone franchise.
M has been beside 007 since the beginning, yet it was only with Dame Judi Dench in Skyfall that we really got to learn more about her. Dame Judi was the first M to survive a bond recasting, but her story has been completed. If a spin-off takes off it should focus on the new M as played by Ralph Fiennes. The Shakespearean actor has only appeared in two Bond films (with his third in the yet-to-be-released No Time To Die). But how did his character get to be M? Surely he was a spy beforehand and a spin-off could act as prequel for the character. Hollywood has the technology to de-age the fifty-seven-year-old actor and he’s no stranger to prequels with a starring role in the Kingsman prequel, The King’s Man.
Despite disappearing from the more recent films, Q has appeared in 21 (soon to be 22) of the Bond films. The Quartermaster was played by Desmond Llewelyn until the actor’s death in 1999. Since then he has been played by John Cleese and more recently Ben Winshaw. Given how young the current actor Ben is, a spin-off could focus on Q creating an AI that turns on MI6 and only he can stop it. Or do the typical “analysts becomes a spy even though they never signed up for it” type gig. It could be a refreshing take on the genre and given how dark and moody Daniel Craig’s Bond is it could be nice to have a more light-heartened spinoff.
Slightly more obscure is Felix Leiter, James Bond’s CIA counterpart. Most recently played by American actor Jeffrey Wright, Felix has often played more of a back-up role to Bond. He frequently provides the British spy with expertise, equipment and in the case of Casino Royale, money. It has been noted by Bond scholars – yes that’s a real thing – that Leiter was written as a “nonentity as a piece of characterization … he, the American, takes orders from Bond, the Britisher, and that Bond is constantly doing better than he.” Still, if given his own movie, it could be a chance to create a more comedic (American) take on James Bond. Leiter is set to appear in No Time To Die so it may be the right time to give him a spin-off.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Villian movies are all the rage (just look at The Joker). Blofeld is the head of the criminal organisation SPECTRE and is considered to be Bond’s archnemesis. The last film, Spectre, revealed him to be *spoiler alert* the man behind every villain that Craig’s Bond had faced. He is in prison by the end of the film but a spin-off could easily see him break out or even do a prequel of his rise to be number one of a worldwide criminal organisation. Christoph Waltz is a terrific villain as he has proved time and time again. No doubt he alone would make watching this spin-off worth it.
With Daniel Craig’s tenure set to end next year with the release of No Time To Die maybe now is the perfect time to look into the back catalogue and find a spin-off opportunity.