Brand Bond has taken a plunge. In a jaw-dropping break from his suave cult image, double ‘oh’ will be seen, in the latest movie adaptation of Casino Royale, glugging down lager and driving a sedate family saloon. The horror! The horror! The classy espionage icon, as we know him, certainly never attempts to blend in with the masses. And he would be decidedly ill at ease to be doing anything as laddish as swigging beer.
The spy we love has become more of a cult figure because of his personality traits rather than his action stunts. 007 is anything but inconspicuous. Fast cars, state-of-the-art gadgets, perfectly tailored clothes and alluring ladies — James Bond is incomplete without these ingredients. He is suave and self-assured as only a well-off man can be and his tastes are to match — the Sea Island cotton shirts, the suits tailored to hide the Walther PPK automatic, and the specially engineered Aston-Martin. He has, one must remember, a licence to kill, and emotions don’t stay his hand when pulling the trigger.
Commander Bond, as his creator Ian Fleming imagined him to be in such detail, would find himself completely shaken and passionately stirred to be handed a beer bottle across the bar instead of a vodka martini. It’s as unimaginable as to find him one day fighting for gay rights. Remember, this is Bond, James Bond, not some George Smiley standing in the cold.