We did warn you that the inter-Bond years tend to be “silly season” on the rumors. Actors, plotlines, and titles are all thrown around, most of these are repeats of previous rumors, re-heated by tabloid hacks desperate for column inches and knowing you can always rely on a Bond story. We are about due for a story to hit showbiz pages, breathlessly declaring that an “insider” has confirmed that the title of this movie is Beyond The Ice.
This would be the fourth time that rumor has been around, having first started in the days before Pierce Brosnan.
The latest story to sweep across the internet and the newspapers is that All of Us Strangers, Aftersun, and upcoming Gladiator 2 star Paul Mescal is now top of the list to play the role. That’s the story that British tabloid The Sun is reporting this week, having picked up the rumor from a couple of online sources.
The big news, they are reporting, is that there will be a pair of actors taking on the role to play older and younger versions of the spy. 27-year-old Mescal is the one being sought to play the younger Bond, becoming the youngest actor to take on the role since 29-year-old George Lazenby.
All very exciting… and very likely completely wrong. If you are a Bond Scholar, like so many Outposters are, then you already know this story. Why? Because it is an old one.
This rumor contains elements from previous rumors, mixed with some sketchy facts that are known about previously un-made Bond movies. Early in the development of Dalton’s third movie there was an idea to tell a story where an early mission from Bond’s past comes back to haunt him in present day, and the early mission was to be told in flashback with the story set over both time periods, over a decade apart.
This melded together an earlier idea to tell Bond’s origin story which was on the table in the early days post-Roger Moore. This would eventually morph into 2006s Casino Royale. The idea to have something from Bond’s past intrude on his present then became a more fleshed-out script to feature Bond’s past mentor as a potential villain. Sir Anthony Hopkins was discussed for this role.
Then Dalton exited the role of Bond after the MGM legal issues rumbled on and he only wanted to commit to a single, third movie and Cubby Brocolli wanted another three from him.
The mentor character was changed into 006 as more of Bond’s equal, and that script evolved into GoldenEye. The early drafts of the time-jumping, dual Bond adventure is frequently, and wrongly, referred to online as A Reunion With Death, however that was actually a completely different early script treatment for a Dalton adventure post-Licence To Kill.
So, as with all of these rumors, it is a reheated rumor from the past, layered with a thin veneer of half-truth, most likely started online by the mischievous, and picked up by the galactically lazy tabloid showbiz reporters who simply copy and paste everyone else’s work off the internet these days.
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