For the Bond genre to survive, Spectre would have to be portrayed, overtly, as the global oligarchy, ripping off the world. Bond would be tasked by MI6 to kill and maim members of the hedge-fund industry, the fracking bosses and the global CEOs extorting financial rent from the rest of us.
He – or she – might start by having a quiet word with the man who tried to hike the price of HIV drugs from $13.50 to $750, and then move on to the Saudi millionaires who have bankrolled violent jihadism. The Panama Papers would leave such a reincarnated Bond with no shortage of targets; ditto the list of failed war-crimes prosecutions by the International Criminal Court.
When the Bond films, beginning with Thunderball, altered the hero’s focus from anti-Soviet espionage to a fight against a global network of greed-inspired madmen, it was read as a cop-out. The Soviet threat had been real; supervillains such as Blofeld were not.
But palaces and mansions of the world are now replete with cat-stroking sadists who would plunge us into war and climate chaos as long as it furnishes a batch of new Italian suits each year, and a different Breguet for every day of the week.
The next Bond – and the next director – must have a go at the real enemy. Or he must die trying. That would be a great finale.
The next Bond villain should be Trump apparently. Because developing tacky hotels is such a threat to a just world order.