Skyfall hit theaters in November so it should be safe to finally talk about a popular (but strange) fan theory regarding James Bond. (If you still haven’t seen the latest—and best-reviewed and highest-grossing—Bond movie ever, there’s spoilers ahead.)
Theory: There is no one real James Bond. “James Bond” and “007” are just code names used by multiple spies over the years. One spy uses the alias for a while before it’s handed off to a successor (sort of like “the Dalai Llama” or “the Pope”). Fans have tossed this theory around for years on the Internet and fan conventions, citing “evidence” from more than 20 of the different James Bond movies.
Details: Going all the way back to Sean Connery’s portrayal of Bond in the ‘60s, this explains how we can have a virtually ageless Agent 007 for 50 years. Further, events in the movies explain why one actor left and another came in. For example, why did Geoge Lazenby only play Bond for one film? Because he quit the spy life at the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service when his wife died. Lazenby’s predecessor, Sean Connery, returned for one more film before handing “James Bond” over to Roger Moore. And why did Timothy Dalton’s tenure end with 1987’s License to Kill? In that movie, Bond becomes a rogue agent…and gets fired.
Lending more credence: in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Lazenby’s Bond may or may not make a reference to “the other fellow”:
But wait: It’s as if the filmmakers behind the James Bond movies were aware of this bizarre theory, so much so that in Skyfall, they seemingly address the rumors…and completely refute them. Toward the end of the movie, Bond (Daniel Craig) and M (Judi Dench) seek refuge at the Bond family’s crumbling mansion in Scotland. There’s even a shot of Bond’s parents’ gravestones.
This proves that James Bond is “real” and one of a kind. He just never ages because of movie magic.