James Bond expert reveals what we can expect from Skyfall

Posted by pt91 at Oct 04, 2012 03:33 PM |
University of Leicester’s Professor James Chapman says 23rd 007 will need to marry the old with the new

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 4 October 2012

‘Global James Bond Day’ is Friday 5 October

Photograph of Professor James Chapman available from pt91@le.ac.uk

Skyfall will need to bridge the gap between the original James Bond movies and the latest instalments, according to an expert on the franchise.

Skyfall, the 23rd in the series and the third to star actor Daniel Craig, is set to open in UK cinemas on October 26 – 50 years after Sean Connery first took to the screens as Bond in Dr. No.

Professor James Chapman, Professor of Film Studies at the University of Leicester’s Department of the History of Art and Film and a lifelong Bond fan, talked about his expectations for the new film in a feature for the University’s website.

Professor Chapman is the author of Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films. He has also written numerous articles and essays on the franchise, including chapters for James Bond in World and Popular Culture: The Films Are Not Enough and Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007.

He expects the latest instalment will follow the more serious trajectory set by previous movies Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, which saw Bond move away from the fantastical and arguably hackneyed elements of the older films.

Professor Chapman said: “[The film makers] could emphasise the new direction and try and cut links to previous films, but it will be the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise, and they obviously want to link in with the Bond heritage.

“With Casino Royale, they decided they were going to make it tougher by stripping away the one liners and joke elements. I think this was the Bond films responding to audience taste. They are now competing with the xXx films and the Jason Bourne films.

“On the one hand, Casino Royale is taking the series in a new direction; on the other hand it is going back to the start of Bond’s career. There is a contradiction there.”

In the feature, Professor Chapman also speculates about what kind of a villain we will see played by Javier Bardem, the depiction of women, how director Sam Mendes might handle the narrative, and which elements of world politics could be reflected in the storyline.

“Bond films have always been a good index of geopolitics,” added Professor Chapman. “Responding to the post 9/11 environment was always going to be tricky. If you look at the major issues of the last few years, the main threat has been rogue states or dissident groups getting their hands on nuclear weapons – which they played with in The World Is Not Enough.”

You can read the full interview here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/media-centre/online-features/2012/bourne-again-bond

Ends

Notes:

Professor James Chapman is available to interview. Please contact him at jrc28@le.ac.uk or via the University of Leicester Press Office on 0116 252 2415.

About Professor James Chapman:

James Chapman took his BA (History) and MA (Film Studies) at the University of East Anglia and then undertook his doctoral research at Lancaster University, writing his PhD thesis on the role of official film propaganda in Britain during the Second World War.

In 1996 he joined The Open University, where he taught a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and was principal contributing author to the university’s first dedicated course on Film and Television History. He joined the University of Leicester as its founding Professor of Film Studies in January 2006.

He is a Council member of the International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST) and in 2010 became editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. When Professor Chapman is not lecturing his students on why we should take James Bond seriously or decoding the semiotics of Diana Rigg, he can usually be found following Test Match Special.

He has written many books on film and television, including Licence To Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films (1999; 2nd edn 2007), Inside the Tardis: The Worlds of ‘Doctor Who’ – A Cultural History (2006) and Saints and Avengers: British Adventure Series of the 1960s.

More information can be found here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/arthistory/people/jrc28

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