The Casino Royale trailer is out, and has been for a short while.
I have to say that I like the look of this. No invisible cars, no metal satellite dishes blowing up despite there being no flammable objects in sight. From this small clip it looks close to Fleming, something I've wanted for a while. We've never really seen a 'hard bastard' Fleming Bond on screen (Dalton and Connery were probably closest, with Brosnan not far off), for people who are only familiar with the High Tech Bond, this resetting of the genre may prove unsettling. For me? Great - Bond should be about the man, not the Deus ex machina gadget.
For me, it's hard to pick my favourite Bond, they all have something which I liked.
Connery is the quintessential Bond, against which all others are judged. Certainly there are parts of Casino Royale which are set up specifically to invite comparisons to Connery (remember the scene in Dr. No when Bond is seen in a pair of blue trunks, well that's in the film).
I quite liked Lazenby, though he didn't get the best film to start I felt he could've been a good Bond if they'd stuck with him for a bit. Lazenby had three big problems, firstly he was the first Bond who was not Connery, and that handicap is huge, secondly he wore that kilt thing with a frilly shirt... why? Thirdly, Bond showed vulnerability, he got married. The audience wasn't ready for that, it all added up to too much of a change at once.
In my opinion the worst Bond is easy, that's Moore. The one-liners were nice, but became overused, and Bond was played for comic effect. Yes, he lasted for a long time, and there were lots of good bits, but whenever I think of a Roger Moore playing Bond, there's always something that simply seems tacky (I mean, the UK flag on a parachute?)
Tim Dalton: now, lots of people didn't like Tim. I suspect it's that he was the first new Bond after a generation had grown up with Moore. Certainly I had never known another Bond. To me, Roger Moore was Bond (shudder!). Dalton's bond was harder edged - a counterpoint to Moore. Dalton has become eclipsed somewhat by Brosnan, and people seem to have filed him along with Lazenby for memorability.
Pierce Brosnan: A whole new generation have grown up for whom Brosnan is Bond, after all, Dalton hasn't been Bond since the 1980s (I feel old!), so for twentysomethings this will be their first new Bond in practice (although admittedly many of them will have seen earlier Bonds on TV). Brosnan himself was an excellent Bond, he really was - he had almost the right about of 'bastard' in him, but Brosnan's films were spoiled (at least for me) by the overuse of gadgetry - a hangover from the days of Roger Moore.
Of course, there's also Barry Nelson (the first ever Bond) and Bob Holness, the less said about David Niven's Bond the better...
Casino Royale is the last unfilmed original Bond story (yes, there was a spoof called Casino Royale, but I'm ignoring that). If this goes well, then I would hope that they look at the rest of the books, in order, with the same ethic.