Where could the James Bond films go next?

Where could the James Bond films go next?

James Bond has been on screen for six decades (Picture: Warner Bros/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

James Bond is an icon of British cinema and culture with the suave secret agent gracing film screens since 1962.

Speculation over who will step into Daniel Craig’s shoes has been rife of late, as it has been two years since the 56-year-old actor waved goodbye in No Time To Die.

Sir Sean Connery was the first of seven actors — soon to be eight — who took on the now iconic role, kicking off a cinematic legacy in Dr. No.

Before he brought Bond to the screen, fans were introduced to the MI6 agent in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale novel originally published in 1953.

Over the years, 007 has driven cars off bridges, dodged hundreds of bullets, and of course, seduced numerous women who crossed his path.

However, 25 films and six decades later, what plots from Fleming’s books are left for Bond to explore?

Daniel Craig announced he would not be returning as 007 (Picture: Col Pics/Everett/REX/Shutterstock)

Are there any James Bond books not adapted?

Ian Fleming wrote a total of 14 books for the Bond franchise, spanning 11 novels and collections of short stories.

The author, who also wrote Chitty-chitty-bang-bang, died in 1964 aged 56 but Bond continued to be written and adapted.

In 1965, The Man with the Golden Gun was published posthumously then a year later Octopussy and The Living Daylights were released as collections.

There are now almost 40 written works by seven different authors in the franchise, including comics and spin-off books.

The films are based on Ian Fleming’s novels and short stories (Picture: Danjaq/Eon/Ua/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Timothy Dalton’s The Living Daylights was the last Fleming adaptation before Casino Royale (Picture: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Author Anthony Horowitz wrote the latest Bond novel, With a Mind to Kill, published in 2022 which sees 007 accused of M’s murder.

Casino Royale, despite being the first published, was the last Fleming novel to be adapted into a film — Craig’s 2006 debut.

The Fleming books (Casino Royale aside) actually ran out in the 80s during Timothy Dalton’s tenure as the martini-drinking agent.

Licence to Kill (1989) was the first film to step away from the book titles and bring plots from other novels.

While some adaptations are more faithful than others, unless another novel by Fleming is published posthumously there are no more original Bond novels left.

What James Bond plots are left from the books to use?

Given the blurred nature of the adaptations, it’s difficult to pinpoint specific plots that have not yet been used with gaps and gems hidden throughout the novels.

Much of The Spy That Loved Me’s original book plot was abandoned as the first third doesn’t even feature Bond until he waltzes into a motel and saves a woman from two murderous men.

This incredibly gritty plot might not be the best way to launch your brand-new 007 but could give way to a more horror-heavy, realistic Bond.

Often plot points have been taken from various novels (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

In another less clean-cut plot, the beloved agent aids in disposing of the body of the murdered Mr Krest — who happens to be the nasty husband of his (rare) platonic female friend.

The Hildebrand Rarity first cropped up in a 1960 issue of Playboy and is a fan favourite, it could help rebrand Bond in the face of sexism claims.

Diamonds Are Forever features a scene at the Saratoga Racetrack with Bond bringing down crooked horse racing, which could be built into a larger plot.

If we’re looking at all the non-Fleming content there are plenty of plots for producers to dive into for the new, yet-to-be-announced, Bond.

There even could be snippets of the original author’s work still in the archives to be used in future works.

In 2018, Horowitz actually weaved unpublished Fleming material into his novel Forever and a Day, the Casino Royale prequel.

The Bond franchise has over 40 novels in total (Picture: Moviestore/Shutterstock)

The next 007 could pull from non-Fleming works (Picture: United Artist/Getty Images)

The novel sees Bond investigating the death of the previous 007, which could be a good way to kick off for whichever actor takes on the challenge.

Most post-Fleming novels are not likely to see a full adaptation but plot points and characters could be used if 007 wants to continue on the silver screen.

There’s a whole series of Young James Bond novels which could be brought in for a traumatic childhood backstory, although it may contradict 2012’s Skyfall.

At this point, the films don’t necessarily need to pull from the books anyway since the movies are so iconic, fans are unlikely to complain too much if it means they get even more Bond.

Who is the next James Bond?

Producers have kept quiet about who they hope will replace Craig, who was the longest-serving 007.

Rumours flew that Aaron Taylor-Johnson could be the next in line for the martinis but it’s anyone’s for the taking still.

Producers are yet to announce who the next 007 will be (Picture: Gareth Cattermole/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI)

Jonathan Bailey is bookies favourite to take the role (Picture: ANDREA RENAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

From Luther star Idris Elba to Oscar-winning Irish actor Cillian Murphy and Witcher star Henry Cavill, no eligible lead male star has been left untouched by speculation.

Bookies are favouring Bridgerton heart-throb Jonathan Bailey, 36, with Coral Betting telling Metro.co.uk, the star has entered the race and seen his odds slashed from 10/1 to just 4/1.

Other British names in the mix are James Norton, Taron Egerton and new favourite Leo Woodall, as well as long-time candidate Theo James.

Also floating in the top 10 contenders are Gladiator 2 lead actor Paul Mescal and Bailey’s former Bridgerton co-star Regé-Jean Page.

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