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I’ll be honest, this isn’t automatically great news. Adele, the oscar-winning, golden globe-winning, Brit-winning singer and co-writer of the most recent Bond theme – Skyfall, of course – is reported to be first choice to record the song for the next Bond movie.
The Sun has the story, and quotes from a source, claiming “producers are thrilled by how well the song has been received and hope Adele’s presence on the next film will replicate that success.”
They even boldly state that the Bond producers “want her to become as synonymous with Bond as Dame Shirley [Bassey].”
Which could even mean she does another Bond theme after this next one, given that Dame Shirley also did three: “Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Moonraker.”
Now, if it’s true, the thing with Adele doing a theme song sequel is this: the producers of the James Bond franchise aren’t always the best judges of what to do to follow up a hit. When Daniel Craig first took on the role of the shag-happy superspy, there was a concerted effort to throw right back to those early Sean Connery movies, where Bond was a very mid-20th century sort of man’s man, drinking cocktails, growling and gambling at casinos as if he was born there.
As a result, Casino Royale felt like a rebirth, and a triumph, and Craig’s Bond was hailed as being the equal of anyone else’s, given that he even took the time to hug his love interest in a shower, after a particularly scary gunfight.
Then, with expectations through the roof, came Quantum of Solace, which was widely considered to be something of a mess from the title on down. And even people who liked it had to concede that it was not the hoped-for consolidation of all the excitement and goodwill that Casino Royale had created towards the franchise.
Skyfall – directed by Sam Mendes – is that film. And its theme song (for all that it goes weird in the third line of the chorus) is perfect for that film.
So, what next? Can this perfect synergy be rolled on into the next Bond venture, or will we once again face diminishing (and often confusing) returns? And what exactly can Adele do with the next Bond theme that she hasn’t already done? Win another oscar? Sweep the board at the Brits, hoovering up all the gongs including best international male?
And even if the song is astonishing, what if the film can’t match it? Or vice versa?
I’m not saying she shouldn’t do it, but given that she’s at the top of this particular tree and the rest of the forest is shorter, I’d think twice about leaping.