You know my name (and how it ends)
Danny’s about to ﬂip
Never mind Snakes on a Plane: the ﬁlm I really want to see this year is Casino Royale. It’s more than just going to a Bond ﬁlm: if you are my age, or younger, this will be one of those rare times when we will see a brand new Bond movie directly based on an Ian Fleming novel. It will likely be the last time this will happen, unless Eon loses its mind and decides to do remakes of the other ﬁlms. (It’s, therefore, a shame the ﬁlm posters, and I presume the movie titles, don’t say ‘Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale’.)
Until 1979’s Moonraker—and with the exception of 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me—all James Bond ﬁlms had their bases in a Fleming novel, even if most of the 1970s Bonds bore little resemblance to their source material. The moviegoing audience in the 1960s went to the Bonds, with many who had read the books already knowing how the story ended. Despite this, the movies still reached a zenith with 1965’s Thunderball, which still holds the records as the James Bond ﬁlm that got the greatest number of bums on cinema seats.
In other words, in November and December, many of us will experience something that our parents did: go to a Bond where we know the conclusion. Even though we know the ending, we’ll still savour the experience.
Then again, is this so novel? We know that any action movie—the Die Hards of this world, for instance—will see the hero prevail. I saw the Richard Chamberlain mini-series The Bourne Identity long before I saw Matt Damon take the role. In fact, if the good guys do not win—such as Terminator 3’s downbeat ending—we leave the cinema feeling low.
It’s not having to guess the ending that draws us to a ﬁlm, but following a story, and seeing the dramas and action unfold. Much rather like life, and much rather like brands.
It’s knowing a legend or a story behind a company that makes the brand unique and compelling. That draws us in to being a customer or any audience member that happily has a connection with the brand. It’s only human for us to be that way. Hence Snakes on a Plane’s life outside of the movie was compelling: it was part of the legend. And the legend, as audiences found out, was far more compelling than the product itself.
And when it comes to Casino Royale, the excitement is not because some of us know that the last page in Casino Royale has the word bitch in it. The excitement is knowing there will be a darned good yarn, based on a fairly decent Fleming book. Experiencing the story is more important than knowing the product. Posted by Jack Yan, 13:01
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