The James Bond Movie That Proves The Codename Fan Theory

Are all the James Bonds just M's brainwashed slaves?

James Bond gun barrel sequence
Bond. James Bond. 007's gun barrel sequence. Image MGM/Eon

If you’re a movie fan, chances are you know of the James Bond codename fan theory.

The idea goes that the name and double-0 title is handed over to different MI6 agents – hence the changing faces of the franchise’s lead actor, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Daniel Craig et al.

George Lazenby’s off-the-cuff quip of “this never happened to the other fella” in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service strengthened the idea, but things like the death of Lazenby’s 007 wife – and a subsequent graveside visit by Roger Moore – seem to quickly rule it out.

Skyfall, which saw Daniel Craig’s Bond visit his childhood home, cut the codename fan theory down completely. Or did it?

According to DF Lovett at What Would Bale Do, Skyfall Lodge is in fact a countryside mansion in Scotland where all prospective ‘James Bonds’ are taken and brainwashed into believing they are 007 – same parents, same personal backstory, the whole nine yards.

“James Bond is a codename, but James Bond doesn’t know that it’s a codename. Why? Because the man who knows himself as James Bond has been brainwashed,” Lovett explained.

Daniel Craig as James Bond
007 Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall. Image Picture MGM/Sony

“The suggestions of this reality are all there, with one standing above all the others: the relationship between Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem’s character), M (Judi Dench), and James Bond.

“Silva is a former MI6 agent who worked under M, before taking up the occupation of cyber-terrorist. Throughout the film, he repeatedly attempts to bond with 007, including referring to both himself and Bond as rats, held and tortured by M.”

Lovett added that Bardem’s Silva is the only remaining 007 still alive and hellbent on exacting revenge on M for the psychological torture she put him through.

This puts a Jason Bourne-esque mind control spin on the long-running spy franchise and revives the James Bond codename fan theory once more.

Bond and M’s relationship in the Daniel Craig and Judi Dench era was always complicated – this ramps thinks up a notch.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn