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Saving the world is serious business, and so is finding the right balance of James Bond badassery and insouciance. As such, the confirmation that Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been hired onto the upcoming “Bond 25” to help polish the script bodes well for the franchise. Ever since the 1960s when “Dr. No” became the first big-screen adaptation of Ian Fleming’s 007 novels, Bond has continued to stay relevant by continuing to update and reinvent itself for every generation.
Enter Waller-Bridge, who’s made a name for herself by creating BBC America’s spy thriller “Killing Eve” and the dramedy “Fleabag” on Amazon. The British actress, writer, playwright, and director may not seem like the most obvious choice to tweak the most masculine of franchises, but her voice and sensibilities actually make her uniquely qualified to give it the punch up it needs. Here’s a look at her qualifications:
Bond - Film - Action - Films - Sense
A Bond film is never boring; there’s too much action for that. But it’s also important that the films maintain a sense of humor — to balance the weighty international plots 007 must foil but also to give him that extra bit of suave cleverness. Otherwise, the franchise could have another “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” on its hands. Although the 1963 adaptation is a solid action flick, George Lazenby’s take on Bond lacked the panache that was expected of the role. Retrospective reviews have been far kinder to the film than the original ones, but it still doesn’t feel like Bond tonally.
Waller-Bridge has shown a mastery of comedic voice that ranges from dry and raunchy to irreverent and ironic. Her way of thinking is just a couple ticks off from center, which gives her jokes zing and freshness. And yet she’s able to land the joke each time because she’s perceptive about the human experience. The...
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