The James Bond film world is pretty quiet at the moment.
The dust has settled on No Time To Die. Fans have discussed, debated and are slowly recovering from the dramatic finale of Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond. There’s been a year-long victory lap and remembrance of Craig’s portrayal as 007. He’s now moved on and is more focused on doing his Cajun accent playing Benoit Blanc than sipping vodka martini’s and driving Aston Martins. His time as Bond for him is now in the rearview mirror.
Meanwhile, the Bond series will continue….eventually with Bond 26. It will be a new Bond actor, a new chapter for 007 and a brand new reset of the series. When will that happen? Well, we have no idea.
Fans might be ready to move on from The Craig Era and get cracking for the next incarnation of 007, but Eon Films, headed by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, haven’t showed any signs of work progressing or any closer to announcing any news about Bond 26 yet. It’s been virtually silent at Eon.
I’m sure behind closed doors there have been discussions about the script, ideas are being bounced around and a list of potential actors that could be the next 007 have been jotted down. BUT they’re not sharing any of that with the fans just yet.
So the Bond fandom is kind of at a standstill. Left with the smoldering ending of No Time To Die two years ago and still no official Bond 26 news on the horizon, fans are left poring over unconfirmed rumors, speculation and clickbait headlines just to fill the time before some official word comes from Eon regarding the next Bond film and who will be the new 007.
Heck, some Bond fans have had nothing better to do than taking it upon themselves to make their own imaginary Teaser Trailer for Bond 26. Imagine that! <guilty>
Bond 26 will happen at some point. When an update is officially announced, it will be like a dam breaking. There will be extensive coverage on news outlets and the web, it will light up social media and Bond fans all around the world will chime in with their thoughts. Then the slow buildup for the new movie will begin. There will be articles and interviews, curiosity and excitement will increase, until fans finally get to see Bond 26.
But until any of that starts, James Bond and fans are in something of a holding pattern.
Fortunately, there are James Bond fans out there who keep the Bond flame burning no matter the current status of the Bond series.
There are A LOT of great James Bond content creators out in that big digital world. Whether you like the movies, the books, the clothing, the travel, the lifestyle, the cars – there’s a Bond content creator for you.
I think most James Bond fans know Joe Darlington of Being James Bond and David Zaritsky of The Bond Experience. They’ve been two of the most prolific Bond content creators out there. With their podcasts, YouTube videos, books and social media content, they’ve entertained and informed Bond fans worldwide for years.
Even during lulls in the Bond series, these two guys maintain the momentum of 007 and continue to keep the Bond fanbase energized. They’re real James Bond fans!
They’re also the ones who planned and organized ‘Gatherall 4’, a gathering of James Bond fans.
Held at The Clubhouse in Fairfield, NJ on August 19, 2023, ‘Gatherall 4’ was the fourth and biggest one yet. David has done three previous ‘Gatheralls’, which have been smaller functions for a limited number of content creators, fans and friends to meet up at.
This time David and Joe teamed up to plan and create a larger event for ‘Number 4’. They found a bigger location to host it at and this time they offered an open invite to any Bond fan to join in. And a lot did!
Fortunately, I know both Joe and David and was eager to attend. Living in New Jersey made going to this Gatherall quite convenient for my girlfriend and myself. But many traveled quite some distances to be there. We’re talking flights, hotels, the whole thing! Not surprisingly, some Bond fans made a whole weekend out Gatherall 4.
From afternoon to midnight, a collection of Bond fans, content creators, podcasters, influencers, YouTubers, artists, writers, you name it, got to gather together, meet and share some drinks. There was some live music (Bond songs of course), televisions playing a loop of Bond movie trailers, some Bond decor adorning the rooms and a Bond-themed drink list to order from. I enjoyed a ‘Mojito Another Day’. My lady went with the classic 007 dry martini.
It was a very fun, relaxed atmosphere. Everyone was friendly and upbeat. You were sure to recognize faces from the Bond social media landscape. I had trouble attaching names to channels. Like I would recognize someone, but wasn’t sure what YouTube channel or Instagram page they were from. “Wait, I know you! But I don’t know where you’re from!”
I think my girlfriend was taken a little aback by the number of Bond fans who showed up and the enthusiasm they showed for anything and everything James Bond related. I simply told her, “Hey, everyone has their thing. This is ours.” She ended up having fun as well. I’ll have to get her to watch some more Bond movies at some point.
While all the chatting, mingling and drinking was going on, David and Joe hosted some ‘Bond Panels’, where groups would discuss different aspects of the Bond World. The films, the fashion, the future. There were also trivia contests where contestants had the chance to win some Bond loot. Along with some free posters that were being given out, some Bond merch that was available, including books and original art that fans could buy. I’m sure videos of the event will show up on David’s or someone’s YouTube channel or social media at some point.
I won’t attempt to list some of the individuals from the Bond fandom I met (I’d feel bad if I forgot to mention someone), but needless to say it was great seeing some fellow Bond fans again and meeting new ones. If there had been more time there were plenty of more people in attendance I didn’t get a chance to meet.
I can’t imagine how much time and effort went into organizing this for Joe and David. I mean, it felt like a very laid back and casual atmopshere, but it must’ve taken them a good amount of time and preparation to pull it all together. So, thanks to both of them for that!
While everyone was enjoying the evening’s frivolities, it did make me consider how Eon doesn’t sponsor any kind of Bond conventions or gatherings. I’m sure there’s much more Bond activity that happens in England, Bond’s home turf. I’ve heard of Bond fans overseas who organize their own trips, gatherings and events. In the States there’s not much Bond activity going on. Granted, New Jersey isn’t really James Bond Headquarters.
There have been Bond events, special screenings, autograph shows, museum exhibits, like Bond In Motion, which I got to see in Saratoga, New York – which was awesome!
I’ve been to comic book conventions, Star Wars conventions, horror conventions. Why couldn’t there be any official James Bond conventions? Bond has fans all around the world, everyone knows the films, fans of Bond span generations. Maybe the number of them wouldn’t equal the Star Trek fanbase, but still they’re out there.
Plus, the attention of conventions could help draw in younger fans to the series. Today there aren’t really Bond toys anymore that kids play with. The old secret spy suitcases and corgi cars are things of the past. The GoldenEye video game helped hook a whole generation into becoming Bond fans. Maybe it’s time Eon does something like that to ignite interest from younger moviegoers. It would be a shame if Bond stops attracting a new hardcore younger fanbase.
I don’t know, maybe some sort of official James Bond conventions would be worthwhile to do. But whether or not that ever happens, Joe and David proved they could pull off a successful Bond fan gathering all by themselves.
As the weekend came to a close, everyone said their good-byes, departed and put Gatherall 4 into the history books. Meanwhile, there was still no official news about Bond 26 that came over the wire. But that’s fine.
All the Bond fans returned home and went back to talking to each other about Bond in the digital space. The fans out there will keep the Bond buzz going until Eon is ready to go with Bond 26.
We’ll wait for you guys. We just hope it won’t be for too long.
Thanks Joe and David for the fun gathering!