Times have changed since James Bond made the jump to the big screen in 1962 with Dr. No. 007's movie franchise has grown into a pop culture mainstay, with Daniel Craig as the latest actor to play the British spy, and the tone of these adventures have changed over the years. Unfortunately for Craig, his James Bond movies apparently hasn't been well received by Russian audiences, as some consider them to be too serious.
Ralph Fiennes, who plays Gareth Mallory, a.k.a. the franchise's current M, recounted in an interview with Telegraph how he was meeting with a friend in St. Petersburg after finishing the Spectre promotional tour, and this friend immediately said that he "hated" it. Here's how Fiennes put it, in the middle of which he went into a Russian accent:
Now one person's opinion only goes so far, but when Ralph Fiennes later met another friend in Moscow, and when he asked what they thought of Spectre, that individual simply shrugged and said that James Bond is supposed to be "a show." Contrary to the stereotypical media representation of Russians being overly stoic, evidently some Russian fans prefer their 007 adventures to be more lighthearted and humorous, like how they were in the Roger Moore era. Conversely, Fiennes mentioned the British fans seem to feel the opposite, preferring the "undertone of gravitas."
To be fair, Daniel Craig's James Bond movies, starting with 2006's Casino Royale, was a reboot of the series, intended to give the spy a fresh start and place him in a more realistic world. That doesn't mean that these new movies entirely ignored the franchise's past, they just tackled them in different ways. For instance, Q and Moneypenny weren't introduced until 2012's Skyfall. However, Ralph Fiennes believes that the still-untitled 25th James Bond movie will probably take a lighter approach, although he stressed that he hasn't heard anything official yet. He said:
The James Bond movie series is over five decades old, so it's obviously had to adapt as the years have passed to stay relevant. As far as the Daniel Craig movies go, they've earned mixed to positive reception from the masses. We'll have to wait and see whether the next installment will retain the more serious feel or go for something more optimistic, but if it's the latter, undoubtedly many Russian fans will be pleased.
Stay tuned to Cinema Blend for all the relevant updates surrounding the next James Bond movie, including what kind of tone it will have.