Who killed James Bond ?

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rodneyfaile

Sr Member
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Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The Craig Bond's are the only ones of much interest to me. The Spy Who Loved Me was great when I was 12, tho.
 

Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Actually, Live And Let Die and You Only Live Twice were pretty great. And On Her Majesty's Secret Service I recall to be pretty good, but haven't seen it for about 20 years
 

SSgt Burton

Sr Member
On Her Majesty's Secret Service I recall to be pretty good, but haven't seen it for about 20 years

Watch it again. ;)

I watched it from start to finish for the first time in over 30 years recently...

I think I would prefer to watch all the Halle Berry Die Another Day scenes back to back for 24 hrs straight than subject myself to OHMSS again!

George Lazenby is no actor (was a model from Australia) and it shows. He definitely has the rugged looks of James Bond, but that is where it ends. He was like a birthday cake made out of cardboard. Dalton did a better job to me.

The film itself is too long, and too convoluted; so much so I fell asleep after the first hour and had to pick up the rest the following night. I also had to spoon feed myself as to what was going on by looking up the plot on Wiki.

The fisticuffs fights scenes suffer from an undercranked camera to make it appear everyone is throwing punches at normal (fast) speed- it doesn't work; it blatantly looks sped up on purpose. The fights also have a bit of frenetic editing that I thought was a flaw that only occurred in modern films.

Not to mention there is a distinctive 60s vibe to the film that isn't as prevalent to me in the previous installments. The clothing, the sets and especially the misogyny- seeing Bond slap Diana Rigg across the face simply because she wasn't obeying him is a bit shocking to watch these days.

Really the whole film felt like an Austin Powers movie trying to take itself seriously.

The only decent scene occurs after Bond has "nearly" escaped after the ski chase, and has to hide out from the henchmen at the skating rink. He looks defeated pulling his collar up around his cheeks in a last ditch attempt to hide his face and hope he isn't spotted (he actually looks scared)- only to be rescued by Rigg. Telly Savalas does make an intimidating Blofeld though. The bobsled chase was good... however (like most of the film for me) it just went on too long!

The epilogue with Rigg's death... I remember this scene much differently when seeing it as a child on television in the late 70s (as the Sunday afternoon movie). I remember it being good.

It was painful to watch today. Bond's line "She's just having a rest." instantly made me think of Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" skit which destroyed it all for me. Lazenby doesn't overact... or underact... he's just no actor at all. Not to mention he's supposed to be delivering these lines to a motorcycle cop who has stopped to see what the trouble is about (with a car riddled with bullets from a drive-by); the cop says nothing the entire time.


Lazenby is my least favourite Bond if I haven't made it clear yet. :lol

I enjoy the Moore films, however they are defiitely the lighthearted Bond movies. I've come to grips with the fact that while entertaining, Bond films really got into a rut after Goldfinger. Especially the typical clmactic battle with the good guys storming the secret underground lair. Pacing comes as a shock rewatching these films- they do run a little too slow between the action bits.

Spy Who Loved Me certainly was the best of the Moore Bonds; although I do have a soft spot for Man with the Golden Gun:
1- no giant battle at the end, just Bond and his wits against Scaramaga.
2- Christopher freakin' Lee!
3- Herve Villechaize!

For me the best "Storming the Evil Base" sequence was in "You Only Live Twice"- freaking Ninjas repelling into the base! Love it! Everything else just falls a little short.

But yeah... by then the formula was set and had become tired film after film. The Evil Villain, the secret lair (complete with live animals to devour henchmen), the Super Destructo Device, and the gadgets...

Ah the gadgets! Sometimes they are used to great effect (Goldfinger's DB5)... but mostly they became Bond's "Get out of Jail Free Card."

It can be a good thing when a gadget is used by Bond to help himself out of a jam, by using it in a way NOT as it was originally intended for (in other words Bond is improvising)...

However the gadgets are best when they are not used at all! Picture Bond going for his gadget... and it hopelessly falls down an elevator shaft! Now Bond must rely on his wits and determination alone to succeed! This is how you create drama and tension- not by having a device to free Bond. One of Bond's best "escapes" was talking Goldfinger into sparing his life (and manhood). The glorious DB5 certainly couldn't help him out of that one!

It's funny how these movies used to truly entertain me, however they haven't aged that well.

Of the Craig films I've watched Casino Royale and Skyfall. Casino was okay, but I much prefer Skyfall. And it definitely took me a while to accept Craig as Bond. He's more like The Terminator to me- a bull in a China shop.

Frankly I liked Dalton's take on Bond as well and think Living Daylights is a fine installment in the Bond saga- it definitely beats over half the Moore films, and a couple of the Connery films.

And since we are rating the Bonds...

1- Connery
2- Craig
3- (tie) Brosnan, Dalton and Moore with any one topping the other two depending on my mood
4- David Niven
5- Bob Simmons
6- Woody Allen

-that Lazenby guy.


Kevin
 

Alan Castillo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
However you confirm my suspicion that nostalgia is the only reason people like Moore. The Bond franchise you like is a caricature of the true origin tailored for campy 70s and 80s audiences. :p

Actually, I would say that my Bond preferences are Brosnan, Moore and Connery in that order. I just like Moore as an actor, and the way he does Bond. De gustibus non est disputandum :lol, especially with those who also love Marmite and Avatar :lol

Secondly :lol, maths please. 25/30ish years (1977-2002 being from TSWLM to DAD, and the 30 being from 1977-2006 if I include the 4 year period from '02 to '06 where my Bond was still alive :lol), actually spans 4 decades, not 2. 70's, 80's, 90's & 00's.

If all the Bonds of those 25/30 years were caricatures, well, someone, somewhere screwed up really badly .... and it wasn't me :lol. I just watched them and loved them.

Game, set, and match. :D

Geeeerof my freshly mowed lawn and go play some hockey :darnkids . Tennis is for the refined and sophisticated .... like Moore.

:lol
 

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robn1

Master Member
Connery rules all.

OHMSS was a good film, but Lazenby was a weak actor. I'd love to see this one with Connery.

I like Moore, but he's a weak Bond. Though I must admit I kinda like TMWTGG, except for Villechaize. That little dude always weirded me out :lol Christopher Lee, hells yeah! I love when he's demonstrating the Solex gun and says "This is the part I really like" :cool

Dalton was good in the part. I liked TLD, but LTK just didn't feel like a Bond film. It was just an action/revenge story with some dude named Bond :lol

Brosnan was a light weight. He was Remington Steele for cryin' out loud, I liked the show but that's what he was meant for. His Bond entries sucked.

I haven't seen the Craig films, I just can't get into most films today. He looks like an ape :lol

Connery rules all.
 

Michael Bergeron

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Secondly :lol, maths please. 25/30ish years (1977-2002 being from TSWLM to DAD, and the 30 being from 1977-2006 if I include the 4 year period from '02 to '06 where my Bond was still alive :lol), actually spans 4 decades, not 2. 70's, 80's, 90's & 00's.

Actually, comprehension is what we need to work on here. ;)

I said that Bond was tailored to audiences of those decades (ie: that's when that Bond was "created") and it influenced what came afterwards. So tailored to the 70's and 80's with a bad after taste through the 90's and early 00's.

If all the Bonds of those 25/30 years were caricatures, well, someone, somewhere screwed up really badly .... and it wasn't me :lol. I just watched them and loved them.

Moore certainly was a caricature post TSWLM through to AVTAK. Dalton wasn't. Brosnan wasn't at first but got there real quick.

Tennis is for the refined and sophisticated .... like Moore.

:lol

Sophisticated in a Benny Hill kinda way! :lol
 

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Solo4114

Master Member
I don't know who killed your Bond but I cheered him on and then put a few bullets in the corpse to make sure he was dead. :lol

Sent from my SGH-I317M using Tapatalk 2

I suppose the Moore era Bond "had his six." (Or seven, I suppose...)

Watch it again. ;)

I watched it from start to finish for the first time in over 30 years recently...

I think I would prefer to watch all the Halle Berry Die Another Day scenes back to back for 24 hrs straight than subject myself to OHMSS again!

Be fair. NOBODY wants to watch Die Another Day again.

George Lazenby is no actor (was a model from Australia) and it shows. He definitely has the rugged looks of James Bond, but that is where it ends. He was like a birthday cake made out of cardboard. Dalton did a better job to me.

The film itself is too long, and too convoluted; so much so I fell asleep after the first hour and had to pick up the rest the following night. I also had to spoon feed myself as to what was going on by looking up the plot on Wiki.

The fisticuffs fights scenes suffer from an undercranked camera to make it appear everyone is throwing punches at normal (fast) speed- it doesn't work; it blatantly looks sped up on purpose. The fights also have a bit of frenetic editing that I thought was a flaw that only occurred in modern films.

Not to mention there is a distinctive 60s vibe to the film that isn't as prevalent to me in the previous installments. The clothing, the sets and especially the misogyny- seeing Bond slap Diana Rigg across the face simply because she wasn't obeying him is a bit shocking to watch these days.

Really the whole film felt like an Austin Powers movie trying to take itself seriously.

I think some of your criticisms are fair, but I think their impact on the viewer really depends on the viewer.

It's true that Lazenby isn't a great actor. However, I thought he was serviceable and might have improved over time. I absolutely agree that the undercranked fight sequences hurt the picture, and I gather the filmmakers did too, since I think they only really used it sparingly in one or two more films. I'm hoping that the Bourne-esque nano-cuts approach to editing in QoS ends up becoming a similar filmmaking relic that's used, then hastily abandoned.

That said, I didn't find the film to be convoluted. It's long, certainly, but it's fairly straightforward in its plot. Blofeld wants to poison the world's agricultural supplies and is using hypnotized "sleeper" agents to do it. Bond must stop him. Tracy gets involved because Bond stumbles upon her, and her father makes him a very attractive offer, then later assists him in his assault on Blofeld in the obligatory commando raid at the end of most Bond films from Thunderball up through For Your Eyes Only. >shrug< I can see, however, where the pace of the film might bother you.

As for the 60s vibe, I think that the film doesn't just have a 60s vibe, but rather a LATE 60s vibe, what with the heavily ruffled tuxedo shirts, the wallpaper and other set design, etc. It is, however, the zenith (or nadir, if you view it that way) of a particular style that had run through the Bond films beginning around, oh, Goldfinger or Thunderball. It's most noticeable in the '67-'71 films, which fits.

The only decent scene occurs after Bond has "nearly" escaped after the ski chase, and has to hide out from the henchmen at the skating rink. He looks defeated pulling his collar up around his cheeks in a last ditch attempt to hide his face and hope he isn't spotted (he actually looks scared)- only to be rescued by Rigg. Telly Savalas does make an intimidating Blofeld though. The bobsled chase was good... however (like most of the film for me) it just went on too long!

The epilogue with Rigg's death... I remember this scene much differently when seeing it as a child on television in the late 70s (as the Sunday afternoon movie). I remember it being good.

It was painful to watch today. Bond's line "She's just having a rest." instantly made me think of Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" skit which destroyed it all for me. Lazenby doesn't overact... or underact... he's just no actor at all. Not to mention he's supposed to be delivering these lines to a motorcycle cop who has stopped to see what the trouble is about (with a car riddled with bullets from a drive-by); the cop says nothing the entire time.

I think what people like about the scene isn't Lazenby's acting (which I find to be...strained), but rather the pathos of the moment itself, and particularly the irony of his "We have all the time in the world" line, given the film's main song.

What I appreciate about OHMSS is how different it feels from the later Connery romps and the Moore era, and its sense of Bond as fallible and vulnerable. Really, I think the story itself is the winning aspect of OHMSS, in spite of its other failings.


Spy Who Loved Me certainly was the best of the Moore Bonds; although I do have a soft spot for Man with the Golden Gun:
1- no giant battle at the end, just Bond and his wits against Scaramaga.
2- Christopher freakin' Lee!
3- Herve Villechaize!

You may want to reevaluate For Your Eyes Only, which is, to me, a more "Cold War" era Moore film, and is one of the few films in which he exhibits anything that might qualify as ruthlessness or gravitas. It also has relatively subdued humor for the Moore era.

Ah the gadgets! Sometimes they are used to great effect (Goldfinger's DB5)... but mostly they became Bond's "Get out of Jail Free Card."

It can be a good thing when a gadget is used by Bond to help himself out of a jam, by using it in a way NOT as it was originally intended for (in other words Bond is improvising)...

However the gadgets are best when they are not used at all! Picture Bond going for his gadget... and it hopelessly falls down an elevator shaft! Now Bond must rely on his wits and determination alone to succeed! This is how you create drama and tension- not by having a device to free Bond. One of Bond's best "escapes" was talking Goldfinger into sparing his life (and manhood). The glorious DB5 certainly couldn't help him out of that one!

I agree with this last bit, and it's one of the reasons I actually enjoy OHMSS -- very little gadgetry. The gadgets were fun here and there, but they became a centerpiece of the show and yet another part of the formula. ("Oh, here's the sequence with Q and 'Pay attention, 007.'")

It's funny how these movies used to truly entertain me, however they haven't aged that well.

Of the Craig films I've watched Casino Royale and Skyfall. Casino was okay, but I much prefer Skyfall. And it definitely took me a while to accept Craig as Bond. He's more like The Terminator to me- a bull in a China shop.

I suppose it depends on what you mean by "aged well." I think you can still appreciate them as products of their time, but I do agree that times have changed and tastes and moviemaking styles have changed with them. I do still think that many of the early 60s Bond films are good movies, though. They are, however, FAR slower-paced than what we see these days. Editing, camera angles, and music play a HUGE role in that.

As for Craig, I think they want him to appear a bull in a china shop, and that's by design -- and far more in keeping with the literary version of Bond (which I like).

Frankly I liked Dalton's take on Bond as well and think Living Daylights is a fine installment in the Bond saga- it definitely beats over half the Moore films, and a couple of the Connery films.

Agreed. Dalton was good, but I think the end of the Cold War really threw the franchise into confusion. And Living Daylights is one of my all-time favorite Bond films.
 

SSgt Burton

Sr Member
Be fair. NOBODY wants to watch Die Another Day again.

Well I'll say this... :)

As bad as that film was, for me the opening with Bond's torture (sans opening titles and theme song) and "escape" ending up in a Hong Kong 5 star hotel looking like Tom Hanks in Cast Away was fun to watch. I think John Cleese made a fitting successor for Desmond Llewelyn (and the Q-Branch sequence that poked fun at itself). The film degenerates until the car chase showdown on the ice lake (I have a soft spot for that sequence). Won't mention the rest of the film. I actually "do" own the film as I love a good car chase- but I can watch all the best parts of that film in about 20-30 minutes. :lol


I think some of your criticisms are fair, but I think their impact on the viewer really depends on the viewer.

I can appreciate that. Just appreciate that I'm not spouting my rants as "facts", but just my take on how this film rated for me. :)


That said, I didn't find the film to be convoluted. It's long, certainly, but it's fairly straightforward in its plot.

I got the sleeper agent part- however the bit with Blofeld attempting to pass himself off as a nationality (?) he is not with the earlobe thing threw me off. I was ready to tune out by that point anyway. To be fair to the film... it "was" late at the time and it did put me to sleep. Ironically I tried to watch the film again the other night (before reading your reply Dan) and I still couldn't get into it. I think the biggest obstacle for me is that I very much "wanted" to like this film, and it was a letdown.


As for the 60s vibe, I think that the film doesn't just have a 60s vibe, but rather a LATE 60s vibe

Yeah that's exactly what I meant- very "psychedelic" vibe. Expected "The Monkees" to pop out and play a tune half way through. ;)


What I appreciate about OHMSS is how different it feels from the later Connery romps and the Moore era, and its sense of Bond as fallible and vulnerable. Really, I think the story itself is the winning aspect of OHMSS, in spite of its other failings.

I get that too (goes to my point of Bond looking scared at the ice rink), just for me it could have been executed much better than it was. That ending had TONS of potential but fell way short for me.


You may want to reevaluate For Your Eyes Only, which is, to me, a more "Cold War" era Moore film, and is one of the few films in which he exhibits anything that might qualify as ruthlessness or gravitas. It also has relatively subdued humor for the Moore era.

I've been on a Bond kick for the last couple of months rewatching almost all of the films (even *gasp* Moonraker and Never Say Never Again), however I haven't watched For Your Eyes Only yet- I'll give it a shot! :thumbsup


I suppose it depends on what you mean by "aged well."

I guess more to the point would be that "I've" changed as a viewer and these films just haven't kept up. Like I said, pacing came as a shock rewatching them as to how slow they can be at times (and I don't consider myself one with a short attention span, needing lightspeed editing ;) ).


As for Craig, I think they want him to appear a bull in a china shop, and that's by design -- and far more in keeping with the literary version of Bond (which I like).

Everyone I discuss this with says this about Craig being closest to literary Bond (with the exception of my Mother, who read all the books, and says early Connery captured him best)... Unfortunately I've never read the books. So while I might be leaning in the same camp as Alan, I still don't believe "Bond" is dead to me, he just evolved with the times. I'm ready for Quantum of Solace which I haven't watched yet (although my expectations aren't "too" high as I've heard it's the weakest of the Craig movies). I "do" like Craig as Bond and look forward to him in Bond 24. :)


Touching on Lazenby- I got to meet him at Dragon Con in 2003 (might have been '04). Anyway I heard a story about how becoming Bond was the worst decision he made:

His agent told him NOT to make anymore Bond films as he would be typecast and not receive any other roles... However the studios believed he was going to continue as Bond and didn't offer him any other roles anyway. (I'm sure his wooden acting didn't help either, but that could potentially have been worked on.)


Kevin
 
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IMIM2

Sr Member
To me, things that I am looking forward in Bond movies:
1. Opening scene
2. Opening credit
3. Visiting Q branch with the gadgets
4. Bond's sleeping patner(s)
5. Cool cars
6. Villain that wanted to rule the world
7. When the villains finally dies
8. Scenery and skinery
9. Amazing stunts with some help of gadgetery

Now, how many do we see from Connery to Craig's era?
I think those list are the one that makes Bond movies different that ant other action movies.
Without it, Bond just slowing being "killed"

Ssgt. Burton,
I agree that DAD just went anti-climaxing. I just saw it once, which makes me wanted to see it again.
 

AJK001

Master Member
Everyone I discuss this with says this about Craig being closest to literary Bond (with the exception of my Mother, who read all the books, and says early Connery captured him best)... Unfortunately I've never read the books. So while I might be leaning in the same camp as Alan, I still don't believe "Bond" is dead to me, he just evolved with the times. I'm ready for Quantum of Solace which I haven't watched yet (although my expectations aren't "too" high as I've heard it's the weakest of the Craig movies). I "do" like Craig as Bond and look forward to him in Bond 24. :)

I have read all of the books and agree with your mother. I think the biggest reason the early Connery movies captured the book Bond the best was because Ian Fleming was still alive and had some say in how the character was portrayed. He also met with Connery and this would only have helped Connery's take on what Bond should be like. You can actually see when the movies started to change after Fleming died in 1964 even though it was a slow change at first.
 

Solo4114

Master Member
I have read all of the books and agree with your mother. I think the biggest reason the early Connery movies captured the book Bond the best was because Ian Fleming was still alive and had some say in how the character was portrayed. He also met with Connery and this would only have helped Connery's take on what Bond should be like. You can actually see when the movies started to change after Fleming died in 1964 even though it was a slow change at first.

Yeah, Dr. No and From Russia With Love are basically Bond novels on the screen. It's with Goldfinger that you start seeing the "gadget-creep" and the formula begins to take over. The films there stayed mostly in keeping with the books, but Bond became less and less nuanced as a character, and more and more just a part of the formula.

I enjoy the formula when it's done well but it's also been done to death, resurrected, and done to death again. That's why I enjoy the Craig films and the films from other Bonds that deviate from the formula.
 

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batguy

Sr Member
IMO the Bond franchise has been forced to evolve by about 3 big things:


1. Austin Powers made lots of classic Bond stuff look ridiculous.
Don't brush this one off - most younger people have probably seen more of AP than classic Bond. And they probably saw AP first.



2. Jason Bourne showed a realistic take on Bond.
Yes, Bond's niche is lighter & more fun than Bourne. But still, the influence of Bourne is tough to un-learn.



3. Bond's old gadgets used to be a much easier sell.
They traditionally occupied a tech-gap somewhere between "not yet invented" and "obviously impossible". But that gap has gotten radically smaller than it was 40-50 years ago. The audience has grown up with more real gadgets. And they understand much more about what is possible or not.
 
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Solo4114

Master Member
IMO the Bond franchise has been forced to evolve by about 3 big things:


1. Austin Powers made lots of classic Bond stuff look ridiculous.
Don't brush this one off - most younger people have probably seen more of AP than classic Bond. And they probably saw AP first.



2. Jason Bourne showed a realistic take on Bond.
Yes, Bond's niche is lighter & more fun than Bourne. But still, the influence of Bourne is tough to un-learn.



3. Bond's old gadgets used to be a much easier sell.
They traditionally occupied a tech-gap somewhere between "not yet invented" and "obviously impossible". But that gap has gotten radically smaller than it was 40-50 years ago. The audience has grown up with more real gadgets. And they understand much more about what is possible or not.

Excellent points.

I think the first Austin Powers is a BRILLIANT spoof of the genre. The latter two are pretty disposable. That said, I agree that the first film basically did so much to poke fun at the formula, that kids who remember Austin Powers and saw it first literally cannot take the 60s and 70s Bond films seriously. It's also worth noting that Bond films basically defined the "spy movie" genre for about 30 years or so, even including knockoff Bond films. There's always an evil organization, gadgetry, a "bad seductress," a "good girl" to be rescued, and a debonair agent who knows everything about everything.

With respect to Bourne, I think it's not just the more grounded non-Bond-formula approach, but also the fact that Bourne's world is darker, more serious. That matches our world far more now than the 60s version did. Flip on the nightly news or browse CNN or NPR, and you'll see a world in turmoil, filled with pain and cruelty. Set against that, the Austin Powers films look not too much different from the older Bond formula: a quaint artifact of a bygone era, or a tone-deaf anachronism, and neither is taken very seriously. The Bourne films, I think, recognized this with their depiction of nefarious, all-knowing government agencies that control and kill people, and fights that seem visceral and brutal as opposed to "Judo chop!"

In terms of the gadgetry, I think a big part of the problem was that the last gadget-laden film (Die Another Day) featured a gadget that finally tipped the scales from "plausible but advanced and impractical" to "You have GOT to be ****ing kidding me." It featured an orbital death ray satellite and an INVISIBLE FREAKING CAR. And while the "active camouflage" feature is somewhat plausible in theory, its depiction in the Bond film was simply absurd. It also highlighted how removed Bond the man was from his job (although, yes, the opening torture sequence and the period where Bond goes rogue with naught but his wits to sustain him are terrific), and how Bond had become kind of a cartoon character. The quips didn't help either, since they too seemed decidedly "Austin Powers," right down to the point of dismembering a human being, and then punning about the dismemberment.
 

IMIM2

Sr Member
I just watched DAD again. It was sad, but I would like to think that 70s Bond (RM and PB, perhaps TD) end with DAD. It is a quite nice closure. Bond is useless now because he had been captured, his secret was revealed. He is no use to MI6 any longer. He flew away with Jinx (at movie ending), either settle down or split the diamonds (or at least kept some of it, while returning most of it). Nobody knew that the diamonds exist, anyway.
So. Instead of being killed, this James Bond is retiring from the spy business and live happily ever after.
Then the new JB (DC) kicks in. Unfortunately, he had the same name, and given the same 00 number, as earlier JB. And so the story continues....

Sent from my Lenovo P770 using Tapatalk
 

Solo4114

Master Member
Yeah, but he also has the same Scottish nobility upbringing, and the same tricked-out Aston Martin DB5 as Connery's Bond, which calls into question the previous films and whether they exist in this new DC continuity. Regardless, I don't think this is really a "Dread Pirate Roberts" situation, or at least isn't intended to be (although that's obviously the most plausible explanation).
 

teragon

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
But DC's Bond is some kind of a reboot, it's a bit unclear but it's almost an entirely different timeline, they don't follow Brosnan's Bond. If anything they happen before !
 

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