Eloquent: Hollywood is afraid of China, so James Bond has to choose other opponents

Craig entered the famous film series in 2006, when the world had declared the so-called “war on terrorism.” The villains stopped by this superagent were not difficult to find.

But now the planet is entering a new era of great power competition – the West, especially the United States, is paying particular attention to growing China.

Such a new Cold War seemed to suit J. Bond – after all, the character was just shining in the Soviet era, when most missions and enemies were waiting for him behind the “Iron Curtain”. But Hollywood is afraid of Beijing, which means Bond has a Chinese problem.

Chinese shades are avoided

That Hollywood does not want to anger China has been known for a long time. Only a few American films are shown each year in this world’s largest film market.

And if China is portrayed negatively, there is a risk of banning, not only for individual films, but for all studios. So they themselves block scenes about the Chinese government or even more about spies.

The 2001 film “Spy Game” is a rare example of Beijing being dissatisfied. However, no major Hollywood film has dared to criticize China since its 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet.

Photo by Scanpix / Brad Pitt in Seven Years in Tibet

Therefore, it is not surprising even now that China’s new part of Bondiada does not exist. Instead, there are nanotechnology-based robots and their owner, played by Rami Malek. There are bulletproof Aston Martin cars, sexy women, secret shelters in the islands.

Craig performed his mission successfully – he replaced the tired, sexist agent of the 20th century with harsher motives.

Such stupidity is, of course, the hallmark of Bondiada. But at a time when series producer Barbara Broccoli is looking for Craig’s successor, the fact that Bond can’t be sent to fight Beijing agents should really be a concern for her.

How to stay interesting? Bond must exist in a plot that must be convincing.

Craig performed his mission successfully – he replaced the tired, sexist agent of the 20th century with harsher motives. The character is no longer so omnipotent and sadistic – he is more aggressive and at the same time more vulnerable.

ZUMAPRESS / Scanpix photo / Daniel Craig

ZUMAPRESS / Scanpix photo / Daniel Craig

Bondiada’s latest films have had to deal with another problem: the dissolving influence of the United Kingdom in the world. Is it really real that the whole world is being saved again and again by a British spy?

True, Bond came to the screens in the late 1960s, when British power had already waned. After all, it’s just fiction.

But signals that reality is understood are unavoidable even now – just look at the first shots of Death Wait, which show statues of the crumbling mythical warrior Britain, a symbol of British power.

Hollywood calculations

“And such evidence that Bond can still move forward with time only exacerbates his Chinese problem,” Foreign Policy said.

Especially since the freshest film comes after a period when Bondiada’s incredible scripts even dictated geopolitical fashions. Both Pierce Brosnan and D. Craig have fundamentally changed their role as superagents after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

 Scanpix “nuotr./Pierce Brosnanas

 Scanpix “nuotr./Pierce Brosnanas

But Brosnan J. Bond had previously fought terrorists, who then became a real headache around the world. In other words, at about the turn of the century, the world had to chase Bond, not the other way around.

During the Cold War, tensions between the West and the USSR gave birth to a whole bunch of amazing spy thrillers.

“But now the problem is back in a boomerang as geopolitical realities move away from Bond. Alex Younger, the former head of the British MI6 service, said in March that China was the biggest threat, an assessment that is shared by all Western intelligence services.

During the Cold War, tensions between the West and the USSR gave birth to a whole bunch of amazing spy thrillers. But the chances of something similar to China appearing in Bond’s epic are close to zero, “said Foreign Policy.

China sometimes makes a fuss at Bondiada, but only in context – for example, in the 2012 film Skyfall, Bomnd appears in Shanghai and Macao. Sometimes Agent 007 even collaborates with Chinese spies, as in the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies.

AFP / Scanpix Photo / Death Wait Poster

AFP / Scanpix Photo / Death Wait Poster

But Hollywood’s desire to please China at the moment means that Bond’s “owners” at MGM would certainly not want to portray this superagent in the context of the geopolitical rivalry in Washington and Beijing – let alone the battles with Chinese operatives.

Active and vigilant Beijing

According to Foreign Policy, to some extent, fans of film and Bondiada are really losing a lot – that a new era of geopolitical realism, when Bond is fighting against the dark powers of Russia and China, would probably help revive the legendary film series, which seems a bit exhaled.

“But Bond’s problems in cinema are only part of an even bigger dilemma for the West, which enters the new arena of the world’s big battles, where the film industry is also very important, with astonishment and bowing,” the publication notes.

The contrast with China is really high. Indeed, it is often unavoidable to show American villains in Chinese films.

For example, the 2015 action film “Wolf Warrior” features a former US Marine. The title of the film, by the way, is now being molded to a new generation of aggressive Chinese diplomats.

Twitter Photo / Chinese Wolves Movie

Twitter Photo / Chinese Wolves Movie

Beijing has also taken the initiative to curb the fan culture, which is harmful to society, in order to limit the influence of Hollywood films. Only 13 American films from major studios have been allowed to be shown in China this year, about twice as many as last year.

Bondiada’s latest film will be shown in China from mid-October. The film will undoubtedly earn a lot, and the Chinese will want more and more – which, according to Foreign Policy, means that the geopolitical clutter in which Bond is trapped will not go away.

Yes, the growing aggression between the West and China may, in the long run, lead to a more critical image of China – but it is not intended to do so yet.

“On screen, Agent 007 can, of course, win the Cold War with one hand. However, Bond is currently unable to cope with the main geopolitical challenge, which should be of concern to Western strategists, “Foreign Policy writes.

Source: 15min.lt – suprasti akimirksniu | RSS by www.15min.lt.

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