Due to their cultural longevity, James Bond films provide fertile ground for examinations of continuity and change. One of the crucial mechanisms through which Bond films have maintained a certain continuity whilst incorporating change is by replacing the actor in the role of Bond. Yet, despite the fact that many studies take each new central actor as a fresh starting point, or a break with days of old, continuities with the past provide an important organising role within the Bond film series. In order to fully understand the inauguration of each new actor in the role of Bond, we must understand both the novelty of the new alongside continuities with the past. Drawing on close formal analysis and a reception study of film reviews within the Fleet Street press, this paper diachronically examines each opening scene of a Bond film that introduces a new actor in the role to the audience. It argues that the interplay between film language and the star persona of a new Bond actor works to manage the expectations that circulate around Bond, modifying those expectations to point in a new direction fit for a new era at the same time as acknowledging the conventions of the past.
Keywords: James Bond films; James Bond actors; reception studies; introduction scenes.
How to Cite:
Jones, S. (2017). ‘Mr Bond, I’ve been expecting you’: The Cinematic Inaugurations of a New James Bond. International Journal of James Bond Studies, 1(1), 4. DOI: http://doi.org/10.24877/jbs.6