Is No Time To Die’s Smartphone Technology Out Of Time?
No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s swansong as 007, originally slated for an April 2020 release date, has subsequently been pushed back three times. It’s bad news for all parties involved. The longer this expensive film sits on the shelve, the more interest the loans required to make it in the first place accrue. And it’s not just the waiting game that’s costing the makers of 007’s latest adventure millions, it’s also the product placement. The James Bond franchise has long relied on product placement to meet its budget requirements. This is not to imply that the franchise is nothing without its slew of advertisers; in fact, it would be a fair to say that the relationship between the film makers and the companies that showcase their latest products is one of mutual symbiosis. Both the 007 brand and those it promotes command power and status – they want to be in bed with each other. It’s unlikely that Aston Martin is going to saddle up with Tyler Perry’s Madea franchise. However, for the first time in its history, the 007 brand is facing a crisis it’s never had to before – outdated product placement – namely in the form of its smartphones.
A franchise that’s been shaken and stirred
The James Bond franchise has always been a centre piece for various high profile companies looking to further their commercial reach, and while the brands themselves have changed over the years – Aston Martin, then Lotus, then BMW, then Aston Martin again – everything with the exception of the timeless Vodka Martini has always been the very latest. This has been the status quo up until now. In the past, the franchise has faced various challenges; Harry Satlzman and Cubby Broccoli notoriously fell out with each other and it showed in The Man With The Golden Gun while Australia’s George Lazenby made the fatal career error of making only one film in the franchise – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Like the franchise itself, Bond has faced insurmountable odds, but now both have been done in by the pandemic and even though the latest date for the release of No Time To Die is October 2021, there are simply no guarantees. Last year Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan rolled the dice and released Tenet. Its profit was $163 million, practically a failure by today’s superhero-blockbuster-induced-high-standard requirements. In an ideal world, the makers of No Time To Die are expecting the coveted billion dollar mark to be surpassed for a number of reasons – but mainly because it is Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007.
Nokia and Bond are on the line
Nokia as a company offers a really interesting if not original case study. The old saying, ‘oh how the mighty hath fallen’ might be applicable. The force with which Nokia dominated the mobile phone market in the early 90’s and early 2000’s was such, that if you were in the market for a mobile phone, you simply looked no further. Apple’s launch of the iPhone triggered the era of the smartphone and in the process derailed Nokia completely. It’s only in the last few years that the company has managed to start resembling its former self, so much so that anyone involved in online trading might want to look to Nokia and using CFD when investing in mobile industry stocks. By locking in a deal with the James Bond franchise, Nokia had secured itself a spot on one of the best vehicles for advertising. In what can only be described as taking full advantage, the company has attempted a triple whammy by bringing back its famous 3310 and bundling it with it’s 2019 Nokia 7.2, and its showrunner, the Nokia 8.3 5G – meant to be handled by Mr. Bond himself. While the 3310 is likely there for kicks and nostalgia, the other two, especially the last one, are there to boost sales. The problem is that all this was done with the intention of the original release date of April 2020, by which time the 7.2 would only have been 6 months old. The show-stopper, the Nokia 8.3 5G, would see a subsequent release in September of the same year. If the October 2021 release date is adhered to, the 7.2 will be two years old and the 8.3 will be just over a year old. In essence Bond will be exhibiting dated technology, which will be an ironic first for the super spy who has in the past always had the latest stuff. The dilemma and thus question is quite clear: do the film-makers re-shoot the smartphone sequences or not?
There is no clear answer
There is no clear answer to this question. Re-shoots are costly, even if it means re-inserting the phone through some fancy CGI. Also, is it a case of ego? Does Bond’s macho image stand to be tainted if he’s hawking a phone that’s over a year old? Not necessarily; in the past 007 has used his classic Aston Martin way after the fact. Of course the key word here is ‘classic’ and while this might be somewhat applicable to the Nokia 3310, it’s not to 8.3 5G. Only time will tell what the eventual fate of both the latest Bond adventure and what was the latest Nokia phone will be.