The Young James Bond Prequel That Wasn’t
Tom Holland recently revealed he once pitched a James Bond origin story to Sony
Speaking to Total Film earlier this week, the Spider-Man: Far From Home star revealed that he once pitched a young James Bond origin story to Sony, which it seems was not particularly well-received.
“It was the origin story of James Bond. It didn’t really make sense. It didn’t work. It was the dream of a young kid, and I don’t think the Bond estate were particularly interested,” Holland explained.
While Holland’s stab at a Bond prequel may indeed have been ill-conceived, I am kind of surprised that — in our current era of ubiquitous, often ill-advised prequels and reboots — Sony didn’t bite. And while I admittedly don’t spend a ton of time thinking about James Bond (unless it involves Timothy Dalton) I’m even more surprised no one else has already done a young Bond film.
Perhaps part of the reason a baby Bond prequel has yet eluded us is the floating timeline of the Bond universe. The Bond films have always occupied a continuous present; while the setting and technology of each film have evolved with the passing decades, Bond himself doesn’t age, remaining ambiguously in his 30s to 40s. Trying to position a young Bond somewhere within this continuous present might disrupt the suspension of disbelief a floating timeline (especially one of this length) demands.
Moreover, devoted Bond fans might argue a “young Bond” is something of a contradiction that violates the integrity of the beloved character. While Bond’s age is rarely stated in the films, it’s suggested that he is somewhere between his late 30s and 40s (even when the actors who play him begin to age noticeably beyond that range). He’s not an old man, but he’s not a young one either, and the maturity and swagger that is integral to the character is certainly not that of a young man. Seeing Bond as a hapless 20-something might spoil the illusion of effortless sophistication the character has always exuded.
Still, in a world where we’re getting a hot baby Willy Wonka (whether we want one or not) I can’t imagine a baby Bond is far behind.
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