[Update: Call it deja vu, but MGM has cried foul over the copyright of James Bond and YouTube has now pulled the short from its site. But unlike the Power/Rangers short, Shankar says he will refrain from posting this James Bond parody online again “out of respect” for MGM and the character.]
As described by producer Adi Shankar, “James Bond today is kind of like the overpaid CEO.” Back in the day there might have been a need for a super suave martini-drinking spy with a license to kill, but is someone with Bond’s skill set still viable in a world where hackers can acquire the same information using just a computer? That’s what James Bond: In Service of Nothing is all about. Shankar’s latest Bootleg Universe short film offers an animated look at what happens when 007 grows old, his services are no longer required and he’s forced to retire. Shankar further teased:
“In a lot of ways this is a cautionary tale for what we do as a society constantly, over and over again, which is empower people then take it away and then act shocked when it blows up in our faces. We’re empowering and weaponizing a trigger-happy alcoholic with mommy issues.”
I’m not really feeling the previsualization-style animation in James Bond: In Service of Nothing, but regardless, Shankar’s delivered yet another entertaining short film that puts a unique spin on an iconic character by exploring what happens to him after everything that made him special is deemed unnecessary. Similar to Power/Rangers, there’s absolutely no way a studio would take such a grim approach to the material, so I appreciate Shankar unofficially taking the initiative to go to the extreme and tap into something very different.
You can check out James Bond: In Service of Nothing and Shankar’s “Why Bootleg James Bond?” video below.