Bond Fans At War! 

Despite my best efforts I find myself completely at odds with the casting of Daniel Craig. I struggle to muster any enthusiasm whatsoever for Casino Royale. As a Bond fan it is not a situation I ever expected to find myself in. It is also the reason why I don't post on Bond forums.
The back and forth on forums has died down gradually over the months. This has more to do with a mass exodus of Craigosceptics than any overwhelming acceptance of his casting. As far as I can see there have always been two distinct positions on Craig which form the rift between Bond fans. These can be described, broadly, as the following:
Position 1       
I'm glad they cast against type. Craig is a proper actor who will bring something new to the part.
Position 2      
I can't believe they cast Craig. He looks like the man who came round to unblock my drain last Tuesday.
That may be an over-simplification, but it is close to the truth. If your reaction to the Craig as Bond rumours when they first surfaced last year was: "Daniel Craig? Are they having a laugh?", then I doubt that you ever recovered from this initial reaction. If you've always felt that Bond should be less of a hero type or handsome dandy and more like an ordinary person then it was probably great news. One group think that Craig is the problem and the other think Craig is the solution. No wonder these fans have found little to agree on since October.
Like a lot of Craigosceptics, I don't post on Bond forums. If someone is looking forward to the film that is fine by me. I'm not going to post a sequence of choleric posts about the miscasting of Craig. No wonder the Daniel Craig lobby now and again say things like "Well,most people (left) on this forum like the casting". It may be true but it can't disguise the divisive nature of Craig's casting or the fact that a lot of posters have buggered off or stopped posting. Was a new direction completely dependent on getting Craig? I honestly don't think it was. To me the first rule of casting is finding someone who looks the part. If this unwritten rule rule didn't exist Christopher Reeve would never have played Superman. They might have cast Gene Hackman in the lead role on the grounds that he is a cool actor who would bring more depth to the part.
There are a lot of unhappy Bond fans out there right now. So what? you might ask. The success of this film will be dictated by the general public not the Bond fanbase. Barbara Broccoli could probably care less that a section of Bond nerds don't like her latest decision. They, I would respectfully suggest, should probably remember that Bond fans are the people who could be relied on to see the  latest film more than once in the cinema and buy the DVD and book tie-ins. If they are happy to p**s off a section of their own fanbase then good luck to them finding new fans in the future. Is there a more aloof bunch of people in the business? No website or fan interaction for them. Don't expect that to change while Craig is around.
Back to Bond forums. I don't post. If someone wants to do forty-seven posts at all hours of the day comparing Craig to Steve Mcqueen then good luck to him and his smouldering keyboard. The bumping up of Craig's acting resume and appeal since October has been laughable in my opinion but I have no desire to argue that point everyday on a forum. Some people do  - and good for them because it is important for all viewpoints to be placed out there, pro or anti. Personally I'd rather get a few things off my chest on a site like this. You may agree or disagree; but it's the honest view of a longstanding Bond nerd. I mean fan.
- Greg Haugen

c 2006 Alternative 007