The hunt for the next James Bond may be far from over (and although we publicly support Idris Elba, perhaps a tiny, secret portion of our hearts does yearn for his compatriot, War and Peace star James Norton).
Okay, be still beating heart, and back to business.
Here's what we know.
The race to be the next 007 cracked wide open when the current bearer of that secret agent title, Daniel Craig, insisted that he was done with the role. After no fewer than four movies — Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre — we could imagine the man was tired of being super secretive and spy-like all the time.
Names tumbled out of the closet like they were long-hidden skeletons uncovered by a particularly inquisitive investigator.
Elba. Norton. Tom Hiddleston.
Then came news that Craig was being offered a hitherto unheard of sum to continue as Bond: About $ 150 million, or Rs 996+ crore. (And why not? After all, even adjusting for inflation, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre, are the top-grossing Bond films in the franchise of all time.)
And so, although the actor had said in no uncertain terms that no, he would not be doing another Bond film, it seemed as though yes, he would be doing another Bond film.
In the meantime, another big change had come to the Bond franchise — but this one was behind the camera. Director Sam Mendes informed the world-at-large that he was stepping down from the helm of the spy adventures and was only too willing to hand over the reins to an able successor.
Enter: Guy Ritchie.
Yes, that sudden trip to Los Angeles he got slammed for because ex-wife Madonna had flown to London at the same time to reconnect with their son Rocco (who lives with Ritchie) was to meet with studio executives. And on the table was an offer to direct Bond.
That's where our sources of information run out.
There's been no confirmation on whether or not Ritchie has chosen to accept the mission.
If he does take it up, he'll have on his hands, a super-successful global franchise that may or may not (depending on the fans you talk to) be of the best cinematic quality.
Could Ritchie be the man to salvage Bond?
His last film was The Man From U.N.C.L.E, an adaptation of the '60s American TV series of the same name, which was presented as the slicker, fun-ner Bond caper. Certainly it had all the hallmarks of a Bond film — the appropriately convoluted plot, international organisations with cool acronyms, suave heroes (Henry Cavill, Arnie Hammer), a spunky heroine (Alicia Vikander), gadgets, action and villains.
Ritchie has also shown that when it comes to taking on an iconic British hero, portrayed in several beloved books and TV shows and films, he's quite capable of breaking the mould. Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes, anyone?
Now critics may argue that Ritchie's best is perhaps behind him — RocknRolla; Snatch; and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. (For academic purposes, and as fans, we're going to forget about a little film called Swept Away.) But The Man From U.N.C.L.E was definitely a step back along the road to redemption for Ritchie, and we do believe that he can go one better with Bond.
We recommend a back-to-basics approach, going back to the books of Ian Fleming and making the world's best known super spy the more human(e) hero of the original stories, rather than the gizmo-wielding guy of some of the movies.
Add to that a heaping of Ritchie's humour, and we'll have a 25h James Bond film we'll be flocking to the theatres to see.