Pierce Brosnan’s Career Reboot – Back in Action

When Pierce Brosnan was replaced by Daniel Craig as James Bond in October 2005 there was no turning back and the deal was officially sealed when Casino Royale entered production three months later. Brosnan was done with the role just as I feared and that wasn’t his choice as he had wanted do a fifth Bond and make it darker and down-to-earth in a similar vein to For Your Eyes Only. Many James Bond fans (now divided) had wanted to see a more serious Brosnan Bond film but that was never going to happen now. There were whispers of another unofficial rival Bond movie - hopefully to star Pierce as the superspy - but since all the Bond rights now belonged to EON the whispers came to nothing. Without a serious or more down to earth Bond movie under his belt, Pierce has since become the subject of criticism from those fickle Pro-Craigers for being too light-hearted (in a same way Roger Moore played the role) and not tough and gritty enough. As the old saying goes, there’s always the alternative.

Shortly after Craig’s casting, I thought why not a regular action movie for Pierce if not a fifth Bond to showcase his tougher side that we could and should have seen in his Bonds? I imagined Pierce would take the lead in a big action movie that would hopefully trump Casino Royale and all the future Bonds starring Craig critically and financially (although he did star in the musical Mamma Mia which surpassed the worldwide gross of both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace). Unfortunately, Pierce’s singing efforts did not get a very good reception but I will discuss this matter later. For whatever reason, he was absent not only from spy films but also action films in general for almost a decade after his unfair dismissal from the Bond role. After all these years, Pierce Brosnan is finally back in action and the spy business also.
Before discussing his return to the action genre, let’s look back to Brosnan’s career after being replaced by Craig. Since leaving James Bond, I was hoping that he would do not only regular action roles but also movies that might win Oscars or at least get nominated. His post-Bond movies are either dramas or comedies and most of them are independent films. I thought this was good since most of these movies tend to get attention from the Oscars, especially the major categories. Seraphim Falls and Married Life are two of these movies. The bad news was that they got mixed reviews and none of them received Oscar nods. In 2007 something unusual was announced when Pierce joined cast of the Mamma Mia film adaptation - which was to be released in July 18, 2008 (same day as The Dark Knight, resulting in a solid second place for the weekend in US). When I heard this announcement, I was excited and thought it would be great career move for him since we had never seen him in a musical before.
A few days before release, the reviews came in and were mixed with critics slamming Pierce’s singing - which was compared to "a water buffalo" (New York Magazine), "a donkey braying" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and "a wounded raccoon" (The Miami Herald). As a result, Pierce himself eventually got a Razzie nomination. I hoped that he wouldn’t win, but unfortunately, he did. Regardless, the musical made $609,841,637, ending up in 2008’s top 10 grossing films as well as Pierce’s highest grossing film of career, but it did not get nominated by the Oscars.
Then in 2009, it was announced that Brosnan had joined the cast of Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (set for a February 2010 release), based on first book of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series written by Rick Riordan. The series was said to be the next Harry Potter. Like Mamma Mia, I thought the first Percy Jackson movie would be a great move for him since it was something Pierce had not done before. Because of the popularity of the series, I had hoped The Lightning Thief would clean up his act in Mamma Mia but unfortunately it got mixed reviews, opened #2 at the box office and grossed under $100 million in the US. Pierce did not return for the sequel Sea of Monsters (released in August 2013) - which was said to be better than The Lightning Thief but still got mixed reviews. I think it was all for the best since Pierce can do better than reprise his role in a Percy Jackson sequel.
In addition to Percy Jackson, Pierce did the political thriller The Ghost Writer (with a limited release on March 2010) directed by Roman Polanski. Now this is something that would possibly attract Oscars, judging from Polanski’s work history. With a movie like this, it could lead Pierce to a third career, something Mamma Mia and Percy Jackson had failed to do, and that would all depend on whether it would get noticed by the Oscars or not. Based on the excellent reviews, it was said that the movie deserved Oscar nominations, especially Brosnan. Then 2011 came along, the Oscar nominees were announced. No nominations for Pierce or anyone involved in Polanski’s thriller, not even the tech people. I guess Polanski’s past may have been the factor.
In 2011, Pierce not only had two movies in theaters with the comedies Salvation Boulevard and I Don’t Know How She Does It (Sarah Jessica Parker is the main lead), but he was back in TV, returning to his on-screen roots. Salvation Boulevard looked like it had Oscar potential since it was an independent film with elements of comedy. But during January of 2011 and with no release date, the movie got bad reviews, meaning no Oscar nominations. Yes, there are bad movies that got Oscar nominations/wins in the past. Anyway, not only did it get mostly bad reviews but it was also released in a very small number of theaters. Completely under radar if you ask me. When bringing up the subject of Pierce’s 2011 films getting Oscar recognition on Pierce Brosnan Files forum, the admin of the forum said: “And considering it's supposed light farcical comedic tone and the very early negative reviews in Variety & HR there will be no awards possibility to worry about. There's won't be any for the chick lit film he's making now either. Unless maybe it gets in for costumes - but since it's not a period piece - forget it.”
As we entered 2011, there was an article “Our Irish fortune teller predictions for 2011” from IrishCentral, saying that “Pierce Brosnan will star in a major surprise hit in 2011 and renew his career”, and I would assume it had to be I Don’t Know How She Does It, considering that Salvation Blvd had bad reviews. Fast forward to September 2011, Pierce had hit his all-time low as I Don’t Know How She Does It not only failed to reach the #1 status at the US box office but also became one of his worst rated films, but at least it is nothing like Mamma Mia for him. I guess the admin of Pierce Brosnan Files forum was right about this chick flick (which should have been retitled I Don’t Know Why Pierce Was Cast In This Movie) having zero chance of getting Oscar nominations. Because of I Don’t Know Why Pierce Was Cast In This Movie’s bad reviews, this is where I started to see that these light-hearted roles have gone too far in Pierce’s post-Bond career.
I have been following every movie from Brosnan (though I haven’t seen all of them) after enjoying his James Bond films as well as being a fan. Even though some of his movies are part of genres I am not a fan of, I would watch them because Pierce was in it. For example, I never really got into Mrs. Doubtfire when I first got exposed to it. Whenever the movie pops on, I turned to a different channel. Not to say that the movie was bad, I just don't have the motivation to watch it since I was not a fan of that kind of story. Being a fan of his James Bond I thought to myself that if I love his Bond films, I would love his non-Bond films also. A few months after I saw Die Another Day in theatres, Mrs Doubtfire appeared on TV, and this time I decided to watch it. And guess what? I enjoyed it, and it bacame one of my favourite movies. Since then, I followed every movie Pierce was in no matter what kind of genre he did. When the trailer for Laws of Attraction (a rom-com) was shown for the first time, I expressed total enthusiasm. Was I a fan of rom-coms? No but Pierce is in it so I’ll watch it no matter what. Furthermore, I couldn’t wait for Mamma Mia to come out when its release date approached. I was never into musicals, but Pierce was in it so I was excited no matter what. And yes, musicals are not the place he should be in, but then again, at least he does something new for a change.
When all the post-Bond films either got no-so-great reviews or went under the radar, I had hoped that Pierce’s return to TV with Stephen King’s Bag of Bones would take him back to the top. A film career is going nowhere after Bond so why not going back to your roots? But like everything he did after GoldenEye, his TV return was no different as his TV show received poor reviews. I started to wonder why is he keep on getting projects that end up getting bad reviews and thought when is he going to get anything would be able to match the greatness that his debut Bond had. But at least Bag of Bones is nothing like I Don’t Know Why Pierce Was Cast In This Movie. He may have really great ones along the way, such as The Thomas Crown Affair, The Tailor of Panama, Evelyn, The Matador and The Ghost Writer. However, they don’t get the much notice from the public. The Thomas Crown Affair came close in reaching to a wider audience, but that didn’t say much as it only attracted mature audiences.
When you look at Brosnan’s face it is considered to be popular and iconic like Sean’s was to the public because that’s what James Bond supposed to look like, what did you expect? Did you expect and hope that his Bond films would get better and better, eventually becoming classics like Sean’s Bonds? I’m sure Bond fans would say yes, but sadly, this wasn’t the case thanks to EON, who wasted his image with hackneyed and banal scripts and storyline (with the exception of GoldenEye). During the summer of 2002, I looked at the reviews of Tomorrow Never Dies, and some of them are not very good. Many said that GoldenEye and the old classics with Sean and Roger are better. Then I looked at the reviews of The World Is Not Enough, and they’re not any different from those of its predecessor.
Because of this, I hoped that when Die Another Day arrived in theaters, it would beat GoldenEye to be Pierce’s best Bond film ever or even the best of the James Bond series, and Pierce himself deserved this since he was in my opinion the best since Sean. When Die Another Day finally came out in theaters, the reviews came in great, and many said it was the Pierce’s best or one of the best (if not the best) of the series. I even talked to a friend of mine who saw the movie, and I asked him if it’s better than GoldenEye. His response was “much better”. I was relieved by that comment. I thought it must be because of the 3 year gap, which gives the writers more time to make best out of it. That was then. A few years later, Die Another Day slowly got a bad rap with many people considering it as the worst of Pierce’s or even the series as a whole. I thought “I guess the 3 year gap didn’t really work out after all.” Now this all comes down to Bond 21, which would hopefully end Pierce’s Bond tenure at a high note to become his best, or even better, the best of the series. But again, this never came through the light of day as Pierce was horribly dismissed by EON through a phone call and replaced by Daniel Craig a year later.
GoldenEye may forever be Pierce’s best James Bond movie, but it has no right to remain as his best action movie (or even his best movie of his career). And why is that? This does not look good on a resume belonging to a brand name actor as his success would be considered an illusion based on the fact that he is defined to the world by just his Bond career where his first Bond movie, again, is the only good one he has. Furthermore, those Pro-Craig minions think that he’s just a pretty boy and can’t act, and that his pretty face is the only factor that contributes to the success of his Bonds. But the truth is that there’s more to Pierce than his good looks. According to him in describing his looks, “I don't see myself as the ‘Hunk of the Month’.” When he took over from Tim as James Bond in 1994, his intention with the role is to explore its inner character and the traits of what makes him a killer while still honoring Sean’s Bond, but his requests were denied by EON.
Thanks to them, we got the public and those minions saying Pierce played Bond the same way that Roger Moore played the role in terms of lightheartedness. Does it bother you to hear or see these comments? It does me. I’m not saying Roger was a terrible Bond. He does a great job in the role. It’s just that I don’t like hearing those comments that Pierce’s Bond is similar to Roger’s maybe because I see Pierce as having the ability and potential to play a tougher hero. Although Pierce admired what Roger had brought to Bond, he acknowledges the character to be tough and gritty as envisioned by Ian Fleming. The way I see how Pierce plays Bond is similar to what Sean played except that he’s more human, and it was EON’s decision that made the Brosnan era (Die Another Day in particular) more like the Moore era to the public. Since he never had the chance to showcase his darker and gritty side as James Bond, he can still do that in another action role and it does not matter if it’s a spy character. All it matters is that he shows his true grit in the action genre to a wider audience.
Because of those Pro-Craig minions deeming Pierce as lighthearted, I’m starting to feel that he is slowly typecast into that image due to the light-hearted roles he did after Bond. Despite this, I would watch them no matter what, but that all changed when I Don’t Know Why Pierce Was Cast In This Movie came out. It was the first movie from Pierce that I had no intention in watching because of how bad it is. The thing is that rom-coms/chick flicks are clichéd and not very funny anymore, and plus, they do not attract the majority of the moviegoers. What brings in more people to the theaters? The answer is simple: action movies. Yeah, action movies nowadays are clichéd too as are most of the Hollywood films in every genre today. Why Pierce should return to the action genre? The reason is this: Pro-Craig minions. If you look at James Bond forums and other general movie forums from sites like IMDB, you see a lot of minions giving bad comments on Pierce for his Bonds going downhill after GE and/or for being too light-hearted like Moore and not being tough enough. This is why these light-hearted films he did after Bond are becoming very tiresome. Although the comedies (Love Is All You Need and The Love Punch) he did got not-so-good reviews, I would still watch them since I am a Pierce loyalist after all, and at least they are not as bad as that Sarah Jessica Parker’s click flick. But really though, he needs an action movie….a REALLY GOOD action movie….a serious one like what he wanted in his Bonds....and one that would put GoldenEye to shame. Does he need it? No. But does he deserve it? Yes.
Two years after Daniel Craig’s debut as Bond, I was starting to wonder when Pierce will do another action blockbuster. I brought this subject up to my fellow Anti-Craig rebels, and most of them suggested the Thomas Crown sequel. Even if it was 10 years after the Thomas Crown remake, they still suggest the sequel to be Pierce’s return to the action genre. I asked one of them what about a movie with Quentin Tarantino? His response was let him direct the Thomas Crown sequel. Also, when I told him that he deserves an action blockbuster that will destroy GoldenEye in terms of reviews and box office returns, his response was “GE was a good film. If it is better, that would be fine.” Ok, what kind of a talk is that? He should realize that Pierce’s debut Bond film has to be bested by something better sooner or later. Hell, I even ask a Pierce loyalist from Facebook about when he will do another action blockbuster, and his response is that if it really helps, Pierce has the Thomas Crown sequel in the pipeline and that’s the closest thing to an action movie he will be doing at a moment. Really? This is Pierce Brosnan we are talking about here, and he’s way too good for that. It seems to me that these folks gave me the impression that he’s too old for action roles and they do not put enough faith in him. Let’s not forget that there are plenty of actors around his age or older still doing action roles. Liam Neeson, Kevin Costner, John Travolta, Denzel Washington, you name them. Plus, Sean did action films up to his early 70s and Michael Caine last did an action movie with Harry Brown in 2008 so why should Pierce be any different?
When I think of Pierce returning to action films, I imagine him doing something like The Rock, a movie from Tarantino, or anything (as long as it’s an original idea) would showcase his tough and gritty side that we could have seen in his Bonds. The Thomas Crown Affair is a crime-drama romance movie, not an action movie; therefore, the sequel would be the part of the same genre as the first movie. Let’s not forget that sequels made ten years after the first movie do not do very well. Take Basic Instinct 2 and Son of the Mask, for example. Yes, there are some exceptions like Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Tron: Legacy. The reason why these movies worked is either two things: the movie was made by the big name director who directed the first movie or it is from Disney. Furthermore, if Pierce is to return to action films, he needs something new. As far as his post-Bond career is concerned, he had a really great comedy and a really great drama with The Matador and The Ghost Writer, respectively. Both of them are new and fresh, not to mention a non-sequel. Now what is to be added to his post-Bond work is a really great action film.
The thing about Pierce is that he is not just a modern day Bond who represented the younger audience after the Cold War ended in way that Sean being the old school Bond represented the older generation (the baby boom generation for the most part). He is a brand name versatile actor who is capable of going into diverse roles, especially in the action genre. When I think of Pierce, I do not think of him as just James Bond. I think of him in same boat as any other A-list actor since they are bankable stars (though big name stars are not factors in bringing people to theaters much anymore) and someone who can be versatile in every genre. Whether he is still Bond or not, I think he is still worth multi-millions of dollars if he is given the right script and the right director.
What people need to realize is that Pierce has been underrated ever since after GoldenEye and his talents have been underused with his work not getting the recognition it deserves: even the highly rated work mentioned earlier. His first Bond movie was the highest peak of his career in a winning combination of both great reviews and box office returns, and it is not only his best Bond movie but also his best action film (or even his best film in general). For 19 years it has held that title, and 19 years is way overdue. Is this normal for the best and most popular Bond since Sean? No, it’s not normal, and it’s a serious crime just to leave it like that if you ask me. If you’re a Pierce fan and think it is normal, then what kind of fan you are? Like I said, another of Pierce’s work (from an action realm in particular) is going to have to take the throne as his best film sooner or later. A non-reboot Casino Royale or a different story for Bond 21 could have been that movie, but we all know this never happened like we wanted. Again, there is always another way - which is regular action movies. If you are still suggesting Thomas Crown 2, then you are only giving a death wish to Pierce’s career as no one is going to be interested in watching a sequel to a more than a 10 year old remake even if the reviews would be great.
I don’t know about you, but looking at the big picture, I think the general public (the younger generation in particular) still see Pierce as just James Bond and nothing more, especially when it comes to the action genre. What’s more insulting, again, is that GoldenEye is his most memorable movie of his career. I’m not saying being memorable as Bond is a bad thing, but my point is that he can’t stay memorable as just Bond all the time. According to Pierce himself, "once you're a Bond, you're a Bond for life", and this is why he should do what Sean did in his post-Bond career (with movies like The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Rock, etc.) and take it to the next level. Furthermore, look at Patrick Stewart. He can’t stay memorable as just Captain Jean-Luc Picard all the time. Thanks to X-Men, the general audience now sees him beyond his Star Trek image. Due to the fact that he is a popular Bond like Sean, Pierce should not limit himself to be known as the British superspy, especially when it comes to the action genre. He may be doing very well in his post-Bond career compared to his predecessors after Sean (though Tim is getting there thanks to Toy Story and Penny Dreadful), but then again, he’s not getting the recognition he deserves.
Pierce may be moving on from the Bond franchise, but there is a lot more room to what he can do with the action realm, and he can still use his iconic face in other action films just to continue where he left off from Die Another Day, not as 007 but as a different action hero. But the thing is that he has spent way too much time in those rom-coms and chick flicks along with other light-hearted roles, and he is wasting the image that was made him popular since the early 1980s when his detective series Remington Steele sealed his fate to become the public majority’s hot favorite contender to take over from Roger Moore as the next James Bond (though Timothy Dalton got it instead due to Pierce’s commitment to the said TV series). It’s not just his face that is his own brand but his name also. I’m glad that he stays busy as always after Bond, but I think he is wasting not only his own brand but also his inspiration (on what made him want to be an actor in the first place) on movies that nobody cares about. I have said before, and I will say it again: action films get more attention than movies of other genre. Even a film class will tell you that. Let’s not forget that Pierce is inspired by Goldfinger (an action movie) and its lead star Sean Connery (who plays an action hero James Bond) to get into acting. What’s so significant about this blockbuster for him is that it not only the first movie he ever saw but also his first exposure to the media world as he had no TV while living in his native Ireland before moving to London. Just imagine being destined and inspired to play an icon right from day one when being exposed to a form of media for the first time as a kid from a place where there was no TV available. But it’s a shame Pierce didn’t finish role he was destined and inspired to play since he was a kid in a high note. Then again, there are always better things out there.
Speaking better things out there, it was not until May 2010 when it was announced that Pierce will star in St. Vincent, an action-thriller directed by Walter Hill that was set to film two months later. Then July came and there was no word coming out it being filmed according to IMDB. Pierce said on his own Facebook and even his own official website that he was heading back east to do the actioner, but there is still no word on it being in production. That movie would have marked his first return to action films for a long time. As 2011 approached, there was still no word on it, and as a result, a Facebook fanpage of St. Vincent was created for support in hope for the movie to be filmed. I showed it to my fellow Anti-Craig rebels, and some of them still want to see Thomas Crown 2 being made. Really? Come on! St. Vincent is original and a lot more interesting than Thomas Crown 2 is. Anyway, 2011 came and after many months without any word, Pierce’s name was removed from St. Vincent’s cast in IMDB. I was concerned that he backed out from the movie that would bring him back to action we haven’t seen him in for so many years, but shortly after, Billy Bob Thorton’s name was removed from the list and the same goes to Maria Bello’s. Because St. Vincent went quiet and was not put into production for whatever reason, my concerns for Pierce ruling out returning to action films increased. If Pierce ruled them out, then his unfair dismissal from the Bond role by EON would be in vain, and he would have wasted his dream since his first viewing of Goldfinger.

Because of EON’s ways, he never had a chance to do tough and gritty Bond, and it would be ridiculous if his darker and gritty side is not being showcased in a different action movie. But my worries were lessened in May 2012 when it was announced Pierce will star in not only one but two action films - November Man and The Coup. And that’s not all as his roles are government operatives, not unlike Bond. However, I was still worried that either he would back out or the movies would end up being canceled. But my worries put to rest when November Man (based on the novel There Are No Spies by Bill Granger) started filming in May 2013 right after his big 6-0 birthday, and now it’s completed and ready to be released by Relativity in the US on August 27, 2014. So there you have it. He’s back in action, not to mention the spy business. This down-to-earth spy thriller surfaced in the news sometime after Craig took over the Bond role. The project, however, was cancelled a year later for whatever reason. Gladly, it came to realization 5 years later. Because he grew up loving James Bond, I can imagine Pierce wanting to do this kind of movie (if not James Bond himself) since he first saw Goldfinger.
Unlike Bond, his new action roles will be a lot darker, tougher and grittier. Adding to more good news, there was news before the filming of November Man that he is to star in another action movie Last Man Out with his son Sean playing the younger version of his character, a hitman, and so far there hasn’t been news on it yet. Hopefully, it’s not cancelled. Also, The Coup was put into filming 5 months after November Man started production, and it’s currently in post-production. Furthermore, Pierce has another actioner, Survivor, under his belt that will release in 2015. Like his recent action roles, he will be a government operative, but this time he will be a villain, something we do not see very often. Still talking about action films here, The Moon and the Sun is now in post-production, and there he is King Louis XIV. Unlike his other recent actioners, it is part of the fantasy realm, which I will get into later. Anyway, if that’s not enough, Pierce has recently accepted Avi Lerner’s invitation to join the Expendables’ team in its fourth adventure due for the possible 2016 release. I guess that his return to action films (which have potential success) may have been one of the factors. Adding to that, Lerner is one of the producers of Survivor so kudos to that.

Now that November Man is set for release, the only thing to worry about is getting as many people to see the movie. The chances of beating any of Craig’s Bond films’ box office grosses (Skyfall in particular) are zero. However, what matters most is Pierce getting a really great action movie for the general public. If it meets huge success (both critically and financially), there will be not only more books from the November Man series to be adapted on-screen but also a proof that Pierce can handle tough and gritty Bond as well as a third career (or better to say a three times the charm career) for him. And speaking of critical success, we can hope that it will put GoldenEye to shame, becoming his best film. If there’s anything that will dethrone his first Bond movie and take its best film of Pierce’s career title, November Man is the answer hopefully. Every glory has an end as they all have to retire eventually, no matter how sacred, as there’s always something better to come along. For example, 1989’s Batman was considered to be the best Batfilm ever until Batman Begins resurrected the Batfranchise. That being said, GoldenEye is no different.
Maybe Pierce’s upcoming spy thriller won’t be his most memorable and beat his best Bond ever in every department, but we can only hope that it will become the Batman Begins of his career, meaning grossing less than the latter while still rated extremely as his best by the public and the audience. Adding to further to the Batman example, Batman Begins is not as memorable as 1989’s Bat, not to mention grossing lower (but successful) at the box office, yet is still considered to be best of the Batfranchise by moviegoers and critics until its follow-up, which broke multiple records critically and financially. This is what we need for Pierce’s career, and it’s up to you to make this happen. If you’re a James Bond fan who despises the Craig era and want the traditional classic tall and dark-haired Bond actor to return, forget it. He’s not coming back, and it’s better that he doesn’t due to EON’s way of ruling the James Bond franchise. Instead, focus on November Man, and that’s the closest thing to a classic Bond returning except that it’s not Bond but features a classic Bond actor who has returned to genre that we haven’t seen him in almost a decade. Pierce and his fellow cast and crew have done their part and now it’s our turn.

First things first, we all know that in the past that many people (Pierce fans in particular) would do anything just to bring him back as James Bond. There was an Anti-Craig cause that dedicated to this movement as well as the boycott of James Bond films starring Daniel Craig and the endorsement of non-Bond films. I didn’t join the Anti-Craig cause in hopes of bringing Pierce back (as I know there are always regular action movies for him), but I joined in to make sure that the Craig era will crash and burn and that more non-Bond franchises and other great non-Bond films will be supported as part of a protest against Craig’s Bonds. Speaking of non-Bond endorsements, Happy Feet was the cause’s top blockbuster ally as it released on the same day as Casino Royale on November the 17th of 2006. By the end of the weekend, Happy Feet became the victor at the US box office. I don’t know if it’s the cause’s campaign that really paid off or that family films bring in more audiences than a spy movie for adults. But either way, Happy Feet ruled the US box office, and that’s all it matters.
Since Craig’s Bond debut was beaten by family film at the US box office during its opening weekend, I had hoped this victory would be repeated when Quantum of Solace was released in theaters. With Quantum of Solace on the verge of release, I decided to continue the cause by uniting all Pierce fans against the Craig’s sophomore Bond outing as the person in charge of the Anti-Craig cause went AWOL and was never heard again for unknown reasons. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be interested, not even those who worked closely with the person in charge of the cause. Fast forward to Solace’s release, Craig’s second outing took #1 spot in the US box office (thanks to the delay of the 6th Harry Potter installment, resulting the 22nd Bond movie to be pushed back a week to avoid competition with Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) while it suffered mixed reviews and failed to be beat its predecessor’s worldwide gross, but anyway, that’s another story.
It seems that after realizing there’s no point of wanting Pierce back as Bond, these Pierce fans don’t seem to be interested in joining anything, not even preserving Pierce’s image as a response to the actor’s bashings from minions. They are either afraid of defending Pierce, or again, admitting defeat. Speaking of Pierce fans admitting defeat, there’s one person who is worst example I’ve ever encountered. I had a discussion with this Pierce fan, and she said she had no interest in seeing Pierce returning to action films as he’s too old and would rather prefer to see him in drama and comedies (rom-coms in particular) but in a supporting role. She even had no interest in seeing him in western films or thrillers like The American or Syriana. Furthermore, she thinks that TV is best place for him but only in supporting roles. However, she said that she’s ok with him being a wheel chaired Blofeld-type villain but only at a one time basis. Now this kind of talk is coming from someone who doesn’t deserve to be called a fan as she wanted Pierce only in light-hearted roles. Need do I remind you that Pierce has been on and off in the lighthearted realm since Remington Steele, and the majority of the public have not seen much of him in darker roles, especially as an action hero.
Now I have a question for you. If you are a fan of Pierce, wouldn’t you want nothing but the best for him? If you want the best for him in just doing just rom-coms or light-hearted roles in general, that’s fine with me, but what good would that do? Believe me, I love comedies too, and I prefer them over dramas, but this is Pierce we’re talking here. Being a fan of him for many years, the way I see him is that he is a serious actor who takes his work very seriously, and I prefer him in dramas and serious roles (especially in the action realm). That being said, he desires to go on a darker and grittier route for his post-Bond career. Like I said, he has done that in drama and comedy already. What’s left is action, which he finally accomplished in May 2013 when November Man entered production. Why does Pierce need a darker and grittier actioner? First, he's a versatile actor. Second, by doing November Man and other recent gritty actioners he did, not only will he prove that he can handle a tough and gritty Bond, he will also be expanding his acting reputation (especially as an action hero). Otherwise, he will still be defined by his James Bond career to the world (especially in the US) and nothing more (especially when it comes to actioners), and this will all depend on the performance of his upcoming spy actioner.
Now here is a choice for all Pierce fans: either show your support and acknowledge that he is a versatile actor or you're just not a fan to begin with as you're only interested of seeing him in drama and comedy (especially rom-com or the likes of I Don't Know How She Does It aka I Don't Know Why Pierce Was Cast In This Movie). As for those Pro-Craig minions, if they’re interested in November Man, be my guest. If they finally see Pierce’s true grit, welcome to the family. But if they show no interest or if November Man still does not convince them that Pierce can play it tough and gritty, then they would be better off watching 2006’s horribly dubbed Attack Force starring Steven Seagal (or should I say Fat Seagal?). The world mostly knows Pierce as James Bond, but that's going have to change sooner or later. After all, he is continuing to escape the shadows of the Bond role. Hopefully, his upcoming 2014 spy thriller is more than enough to help him do so. Based on the pictures of everyone involved in the movie (especially after production) as well as Olga Kurylenko’s (one of November Man’s cast and former Bond girl in QOS) tweets, they seem to have a very good time. This indicates that the movie will do very well with the critics and at the box office. Pierce and his fellow cast and crew cannot make this happen unless we moviegoers help them to strike the market.

As much as I want Pierce to do action films more often, he should take on movies of genres also as a way to expand his acting reputation as long as the scripts are great. Out of all of the other genres, I would be most interested in seeing him venture into fantasy and sci-fi. I mentioned earlier that one of his upcoming films is The Moon and the Sun, and it will be his second movie from the fantasy realm after Percy Jackson. The thing about the fantasy genre (high fantasy in particular) is that not many movies from this realm outside of Harry Potter, Middle-Earth, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Chronicles of Narnia (in some degree) did very well on the big screen. The first Percy Jackson film (which stars Pierce in a supporting role) did not fare that well critically so let’s hope that The Moon and the Sun does not end up in this path. As for sci-fi, he should be a comic book villain, and because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success, this realm should be a great vehicle for him. Besides, I hope he will be given a great sci-fi script that is original and fresh not unlike Christopher Nolan’s Inception. For horror films, I don’t mind him doing those, but those movies are not scary anymore, at least those made in Hollywood. Foreign horror films, however, should be better for him. Speaking of foreign films in general, it would be interesting to see him do films from Asian cinema (China, Japan and Korea in particular).
Since it must be tough to get out of the Bond image, doing animated works should help a lot. Look at the Timothy Dalton, for example. Because he voiced Mr. Pricklepants in Toy Story 3 and its follow-up shorts, this allows him to be seen in a completely different image from Ian Fleming’s iconic spy. When I saw the latest Toy Story, I did not see any Bond reference in Tim's character, which is good. I guess it's an animated film, and you get to see a different character from Tim more easily. That being said, Pierce should do something like this, and it doesn't have to be Disney. Being a huge fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and especially its sequel The Legend of Korra (which will conclude next year with its fourth season), Pierce should voice a part in the final season of the latter or a possible continuation movie. For anyone who is not familiar with both series, they take place in an Asian/Inuit inspired martial art fantasy world, which is divided into four nations based on the classical elements (Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation and Air Nomads). I call it a Harry Potter/The Lord of the Rings meets Chinese Wushu films but in an animated format. Because Pierce played a title character in Grey Owl who claims to be a Native American, I can imagine him voicing a character from the Water Tribe, which is based on the Inuit culture. We can talk about more of this sometime after Pierce’s upcoming spy thriller hits the theaters this August.

Pierce’s return to action is just around the corner. If November Man strikes the gold at the US box office, not only it will reboot his career (as in his third career) but also (again) reveal his dark and gritty side as an action hero in to the wider audience (in a way either Casino Royale or other alternative Bond 21 story could have done so if he had star in it) as well as to prove that there is market for action films starring the former Bond. This all depends on whether you acknowledge that Pierce is a versatile actor who has the ability to go diverse (especially in the action realm) or you believe that he is best in light-hearted roles (rom-coms and chick flicks in particular) from now on. I did not come here to tell you that Pierce is still a better Bond than Craig (and he is) but rather to tell you how his talents have been underused and/or went unnoticed ever since after GoldenEye, especially during his post-Bond career. The thing is that Pierce didn’t become the best and most popular Bond ever since Sean Connery all for nothing, and he didn’t become an action hero by being just James Bond. Hopefully, November Man’s success will prove this fact correct.
The success of Pierce’s return to the action realm this summer is in your hands. The choice is yours and choose it wisely.
- Dan


c 2014 Alternative 007

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