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James Bonded.

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"...this would be his biggest, populist role."It’s official: on Friday, Daniel Craig was plopped in a boat (apparently they have yet to secure a sponsor for the agent’s kickin’ ride yet) and steered up the Thames for a press conference on his being cast as the next James Bond (David Sillito at the BBC has details from that). Of course, this announcement had been scooped by the Daily Mail several days ago, not to mention by Craig’s mother, who, as Hugh Davies at the Telegraph reports, cheerfully trilled on Thursday (press embargo be damned!): "Obviously we are thrilled to bits. It has come at a very good time in his career. He has worked extremely hard all his life – and this would be his biggest, populist role. I think he could bring something very interesting to the part. It will be life changing."

Craig will be either the sixth or seventh James Bond (depending on whether you count Sean Connery twice, a la Grover Cleveland) (and assuming you don’t count David Niven, Woody Allen or anyone else in the 1967 "Casino Royale" spoof) — the Boston Globe has a slide show of the Bonds we’ve known, if you need to refresh your memory, while the LA Times has a more entertainingly captioned picture sidebar beside Mary McNamara‘s deconstruction of what, exactly, we want in an international super-spy:

[Ian] Fleming wanted his man to be a cipher — an avid bird watcher, he named 007 (the 00 indicates a license to kill) after the author of "Birds of the West Indies." The closest thing to an actual description of the man who has come to be a symbol of sleek, suave masculinity is actually found in "Casino Royale." In it, Vesper Lynd (Bond’s love interest du jour) remarks that Bond "reminds rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless."

"The image of James Bond conjures charisma," said Seattle-based illustrator Mike Grell, who has drawn Bond for two graphic novels. "But [the casting of Craig] follows with what Fleming wrote. Bond was not unattractive, but there was a cruelty about his mouth and he was more real than Hollywood has portrayed him."

We’ve always found it odd that Fleming imagined his international man of mystery as a meaner Cricket, but whatever. Sharon Waxman at the New York Times take the business angle, offering a smattering of explanations as to why it took so very long to choose Craig, who was apparently always the first choice for Barbara Broccoli, who’s long controlled the rights to the franchise.

Both Peter Howell at the Toronto Star and Karl Heitmueller at MTV offer ways to fix the franchise (Heitmueller being a bit more serious that Howell, who suggests that the new "Casino Royale" start off with Pierce Brosnan back in place as Bond, only to kill him off so that Craig can arise and assume his name and agent number). Director Martin Campbell has been promising a new, stripped-down, darker and hipper Bond all over the place (the dreaded "reinvention"), and Chris Hastings, Nina Goswami and David Fickling at the Telegraph bring us word of some of the changes already being put in place (beyond Craig’s blondness). Co-producer Michael G. Wilson shares that "Neither Miss Moneypenny nor Q will appear. Neither of them are in the book. The film will update the novel but stick very closely to the storyline. In the story, Bond is just joining the service."

We’re at best barely interested in this whole affair, despite our fondness for Mr. Craig. Mostly we’re thrilled by this recent spate of franchise reimagining — everything bleaker, darker, grittier, yes! We’d like "The Smurfs" as a grim futuristic fable about genetic engineering and conformity, please…or maybe "Alice in Wonderland" with Alice as a gun-toting, unstable waif, or a London pubgoer on a Saturday night, or a comatose girl dreaming about Marilyn Manson? Oh, right, right, right.

+ Latest Bond ‘not shaken’ by media (BBC)
+ My son is Bond, James Bond (Telegraph)
+ My name is Bond, James Bond… (Boston Globe)
+ Bond gets roughed up (LA Times)
+ Bond Franchise Is Shaken and Stirred (NY Times)
+ Speculating on the Bond market (Toronto Star)
+ Saving Agent Bond (MTV)
+ Ah, Miss Moneypenny. I’m afraid we will not require your services (Telegraph)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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