Rewatching all of the Bond films in the run-up to the release of NO TIME TO DIE has been fascinating, and since the film has been delayed, I’ve been looking at Bond Movie Artwork.
My reviews for the Daniel Craig Bonds are linked in the headings below.
As you will probably be aware, modern marketing campaigns produce a huge range of poster designs for different countries, and with different uses. To keep these in line with previous poster analyses, I’ve used the most frequently seen posters which are landscape format.
The Daniel Craig posters are a little spartan, and samey.
CASINO ROYALE (2006)
Designers: Terry O’Neill, Keith Hamshere and George Whitear
The background of a cool grey, allows the darker foreground images to pop. The design is reminiscent of the earlier posters, with a cluster of characters and action. Interestingly Bond is striding powerfully towards us. But he looks off to the side. This Bond isn’t gazing smugly at us. He’s on a mission.
The gun in his hand hints at potential violence and his bow tie hanging loose links to the tux look of previous Bonds, but this guy is less formal, less polished – befitting this rebooted, new 00-agent James Bond.
The silhouette of a mysterious woman, similar to those in many Bond opening titles provides a negative space where we see the casino and the cool car. While we don’t see villains or explosions, some key Bond tropes are there, and boy does Daniel Craig look great.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008)
Art Director: Randi Braun
Now the decluttering of the Bond posters continues. The warm champagne background serves to highlight Bond in the tux, staring directly at us, brandishing a ridiculously huge gun in his hand.
Beyond that, and the rocky ground (which at least is something from the film) we have nothing else to chew on.
The one image depicted isn’t even in the film, only the trailer. It’s like the marketing team had created this design as a placeholder until the action-packed poster comes along. That poster didn’t come along.
The Quantum font and gold 007 logo look very smart though.
The minimalism is complete. Bond. White background. That’s it.
Sure, the pose is fantastic and action packed and dusty but if you like posters that give you any clue about the film, you will be disappointed.
Even the separate individual character posters (and the photo shopped group shot) shows the figure(s) on a plain background). Stylish. Cool. But maybe, just maybe a little… dull?
Designer: Diane Reynolds-Nash
The poster for Spectre embraces the white background again, with Bond and Swann in fashionable poses.
The 007 logo is used well to reveal glimpses of colour and Bond wearing his Day of the Dead mask, but again, they seem unwilling to give us anything more. The individual poster shows Bond in a white tux, casually holding a gun.
Where did the edgy, risky Bond pictured in the Casino Royale poster go? Sure Bond is older now, but he looks smug and not threatening in any way.
Given that the film contains a record-breaking explosion, you’d think that the poster would utilise that, at least. But that’s obviously not the style EON are after these days.
NO TIME TO DIE (2020)
Designer: Empire Designs.
It’s a relief that the spartan white background has gone, and the warm copper tones look great with the teal, but again the figure of Bond is pretty tame. Of course he carries a gun, but it’s not a threat. And I can’t take my eyes off the fact that his cuff is pushed up to allow the appropriate amount of product placement for the watch. Sheesh.
At least he’s in some tactical/military gear. But he’s just going for a walk. No action, no villain, no clues. The character posters maintain the look and feel – smart, classy, but a little underwhelming.
The alternative poster with the close up of the battered Bond and Swann in the car at least gives an indicator of some edge in the film.
Interestingly, the design on the soon-to-be-released official 007 calendar, is the most “Bondian” of the Craig Bond posters. There are glimpses of action, and the placement of characters is strong. Sadly, the character images are repurposed from the separate character posters, but it’s a start.
Source @007 on Twitter
The NO TIME TO DIE poster is at least different in composition, colour and tone, perhaps appropriate for the last film in Craig’s tenure.
Perhaps the new Bond we’ll meet in a few years time will encourage a new design, which will embrace the new, yet-to-be-seen-poster tropes of the 2020s. Or perhaps they might call back to the classic painted posters which promise spectacle and excitement – for what else do we want in a Bond movie?
Footnote. If you are interested in more “classic style” designs, check out Sean Longmore’s 1960s-inspired designs for the Bond films. His Twitter is @ThatTallGinger and his current prints can be found here.
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