Archive for Moneypenny

No Moneypenny, no Q

Posted in Quantum of Solace with tags , on January 24, 2008 by Deborah Lipp

MI6 has the news, and commenter Peter will be crestfallen.

Producer Michael G. Wilson stated that in order for the characters to have appeared in the new film, moments would have to be carved out for them which would not have felt “organic”.

Boo fucking hoo. You’ve got an Academy Award winning writer, you’ve got a critically acclaimed director. You can make it organic! And a regular cast at MI6 (Bond’s HQ, not the fansite) makes the movie, and the franchise, more organic, whereas some anonymous guy who shows up, sticks a tracer in Bond’s arm, and then leaves, is artificial.

Wilson left the door open for the characters, saying that they may come back in the future, but only if the story demands it.

Don’t toy with me, Mikey.

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Gemma Arterton is “Fields”

Posted in Bond Girls, Quantum of Solace with tags , , on January 5, 2008 by Deborah Lipp

CBn has the news. It has been officially confirmed by Eon that Gemma Arterton will play “Fields” in Bond 22. She is not the female lead, who will be announced in two weeks.

“Fields” sounds totally like an MI6 name, like “Villiers” or “Robinson.” So even though it seems she’s not Moneypenny, I feel like they’re messing with us; like they’re casting a kind-of-Moneypenny but avoiding the name. And I think that’s a foolish decision.

No Villiers for Bond 22

Posted in Quantum of Solace with tags , , , , , , on December 20, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

MI6.co reports that Tobias Menzies will not return to Bond 22 to reprise the role of M’s assistant Villiers.

The news comes directly from Menzies, who says

Sad news for all Villiers fans, he is no more! Casino Royale was his first and last stand. May he rest in peace.

I think this is a shame. I didn’t like or dislike Villiers; it wasn’t much of a role, but establishing the reality of Bond’s life means establishing a cast of characters. MI6 should be a real location with real employees. That’s why fans loved Robinson and Tanner, and why Moneypenny is important. That sort of continuity is much more meaningful than whether a movie directly references or follows a previous movie.

Lois Maxwell, Rest in Peace

Posted in James Bond with tags , , , on September 30, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

I just got back after a three-day road trip to discover the sad news of Lois Maxwell’s death. Maxwell, of course, was the original Miss Moneypenny, and was featured in that role in fourteen James Bond films, playing opposite three different Bonds (Connery, Lazenby, and Moore).

She was a charming, warm presence on-screen, and a lovely, stable balance to Bond’s personality. She kind of gave him a home to return to.

Off screen, she was engaging and informative, and contributed to numerous interviews and documentaries. She was forthcoming with John Cork for his many behind-the-scenes features and I was always charmed by her.

She will be greatly missed.

Variety on Bond 22

Posted in Daniel Craig, Quantum of Solace with tags , , , , , on September 8, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

Commander Bond has the scoop on an extensive Variety interview with the Bond 22 team, including Barbara Broccoli, Paul Haggis, and Marc Foster.

Haggis elaborates, but only slightly: “I can tell you it starts right where ‘Casino’ left off. Yes, Bond will be going after the organization that we hinted at.” So, Bond 22 will be part of an arc, but will the hero now be the fully fledged 007, or will he still be growing into it?

“It will be the same Bond you saw in ‘Casino,’ ” Haggis says, “a very human and flawed assassin, a man who has to navigate a morally complex and often cynical world while attempting to hold onto his deep beliefs of what is right and wrong.”

And Daniel Craig weighs in:

Craig, speaking recently to the Chicago Sun-Times, echoes Haggis: “He also has to deal with revenge because he has lost the girl. Bond is still maybe too headstrong, and he doesn’t make all of the right decisions.”

The interview confirms no Q or Moneypenny.

As with “Casino,” the absence of traditional supporting elements like gadget-master Q and Miss Moneypenny will continue: “Certainly, there may come a point where those beloved characters return, but,” Broccoli says, “at the moment, they’re not in 22.”

There’s more. Read the whole thing.

Should Q and Moneypenny come back?

Posted in James Bond with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2007 by Deborah Lipp

This has been much discussed by fans lately. Many of us were horrified to learn that these two staple characters wouldn’t be in Casino Royale, but when that movie was so wonderful, well, now the discussion is, should they come back? And the tone is sort of fearful, like Oh noes! If stock characters come back so will silly gadgets and double-taking pigeons!

First of all, Eon just made a great movie. Let’s give them credit for not being total idiots. Second, if they wanted to screw up the series without Q and Moneypenny, they certainly could. So let’s set aside the whole “they’ll screw it up” motif and just ask if they belong.

In my mind, absolutely.

James Bond is part of an organization. I think recent movies have made him too Lone Wolf; we haven’t seen him as part of a big, organized battle since TLD. 007 isn’t Jason Bourne, or John McClane, or Rambo; it’s not One Man Against Everyone. So to see other important people in that organization is meaningful. And to have those people be anonymous faces just doesn’t work over time. Oh, sure, it’s fine that we don’t know the name of the guy who gave Bond the trace implant in CR, but if that guy comes back and we still don’t know him, it’s implausible, and if it’s a different anonymous guy, that’s also implausible. Fans are cringing at the thought of a Q because they don’t want Bond to revert to jokey, but those same fans loved Michael Kitchen’s recurring role as Tanner, and Colin Salmon as Charles Robinson. These characters fleshed out MI6 and made Bond appear a part of something.

And here’s another thing. Q and Moneypenny are recurring characters in Fleming’s novels. Q is referred to as Boothroyd or the Quartermaster; nonetheless, his role exists. So if we want to get back to a “Fleming feel” (and we do), then eliminating Fleming’s characters doesn’t work for me.

Finally, these are real-life, authentic characters. The real MI6, like the CIA and the KGB, has gadgets and geeks who make them and provide them to agents. The real-life MI6 has a support staff that interacts with and forms relationships with agents. Again, we get back to the fact that Bond isn’t Bourne; he has people he connects to, who send him on missions. And those people matter.

The more we, the audience, care about the supporting cast, the more fully-fleshed our film experience is. So definitely, let’s start caring about Moneypenny and Q again.