Thanks almost entirely to the success that Marvel Studios has enjoyed with the MCU over the last handful of years, it feels like every movie studio is trying to do something similar. There has been little success outside of the Marvel movie universe so far, but everyone is giving it a shot. There's Universal's Dark Universe, the Transformers cinematic universe, the DCEU and now, if this rumor proves true, a James Bond cinematic universe is also possibly in the works.
Before you start making plans to see a Q spin-off movie, we have to note that is purely in the rumor phase right now. That said, The Tracking Board's Jeff Sneider recently revealed that he's heard that the Broccolis, who are the producers of the James Bond franchise, are mulling over the idea of a James Bond cinematic universe. The statement came during a Twitter exchange about Daniel Craig's possible return and the insane amount of money he may command. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I've heard the Broccolis have caught Universe Fever and would love to explore other corners of the Bond franchise...simultaneously."
So that is a huge deal. Now, even if this is true, it sounds like the folks at Eon Productions are merely considering it at this point. But if this winds up being the case, there are major implications. For one, this would mean other characters from the James Bond movies, possibly Moneypenny, possibly various Bond girls, most likely Felix Leiter, who is 007's CIA confidant, most recently played by Jeffrey Wright (Westworld). Before we dig into what else this would mean or how this might work, Jeff Sneider also mentioned during the exchange that he's heard Daniel Craig is going to come back for at least one more movie, which is important.
"Yeah, but Daniel Craig and his Bond films are way better than Pierce Brosnan. I've heard he's coming back, but I guess we'll see..."
There has been a major game of, "Will he? Won't he?" in regards to Daniel Craig returning to the James Bond franchise ever since Spectre finished filming. However, in recent months, most of what we are hearing points to him coming back. So, if that's the case, the most logical thing would be for characters from his universe (Naomie Harris' Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw's Q) to be these "other corners of the Bond franchise" that could be explored. If Daniel Craig doesn't return, or if they wait to kick off the James Bond cinematic universe after a new actor takes over, they would likely be planting seeds in the first rebooted movie. Though, that seems less likely since it would be a long time before that could even get going. In any case, this could be a massive deal.
For one, James Bond is one of the most enduring franchises in the history of film. But there have always been James Bond movies. Would it be bastardizing the whole thing a bit to give Felix his own movie? Maybe, but there could be money in that. Also, there is currently a bidding war going on between five studios for the rights to distribute future Bond movies. If the idea of a cinematic universe is on the table, that could make the deal much more appealing for whatever studio wins the bid.
All of that said, Eon Productions is probably focused on the next James Bond movie right now. Until someone like Barbara Broccoli or someone involved in these movies says something about a James Bond movie universe, we can't take this too seriously. But hey, Dynamite Comics currently has a successful Felix Leiter comic book running right now. Who's to say movies can't work? You can check out the full Twitter exchange for yourself below.