James Bond is a Codename
The Gist of It
Not all fiction has to exist in the same continuity. James Bond has been a 30-something year old spy in the cold war-era, fighting Russians, and a 30-something year old spy in modern times, protecting the world from post-9/11 terrorism. However, this theory states that there is a canon timeline where most of the James Bond films exist in, and that "James Bond - 007" is simply not just a name, but a codename given to special agents each generation.
There are currently six James Bond canons: Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig. One can argue that some of the actors are playing the same canon character, but, besides physical appearance, there are some clear differences in personality and events between the six canons.
Craig's Bond is a reboot of the franchise. However, "M" is played by Judi Dench, who played the same role during the previous Brosnan-era. In the Brosnan films, "M" refers to as James Bond as a Cold War relic and chasitses him for it, whereas Craig-era "M" says how she misses the Cold War. Going by that this "M" is the same person, it explains how James Bond can remain ageless. Going from Brosnan-era to Craig-era, Craig is eleven years younger, whereas "M" maintains a constant growth.
This theory is notorious for being hated by many fans of the James Bond crowd. They feel like it resulted from people digging too deep, and giving James Bond a meaning that's clearly not there. The people that tried to prove this theory did not manage to try and rebute evidence against it. Different Bonds have links to each other.
- Lazenby still has Connery-era gadgets, such as the watch.
- Moore visits the grave site of Lazenby Bond's wife, Tracy Bond.
- Dalton's Bond is known by Felix Leiter to have an abrupt marriage.
- Brosnas's Bond references the death of his wife in The World is Not Enough.
- If "James Bond" is a codename, why does Tracy have a last name "Bond" on her gravestone?
- Moore was recognized by a friend from his Cambridge days (set way before Dr. No).
- Dalton was still called "James Bond" after he went rogue and they've never set a replacement "James Bond" for him.
Some will argue that Judi Dench was cast as "M" for retaining the novelty of the character and is supposed to be a completely new charcter from the Brosnan-era.
However, Craig is the only Bond that is explicitly new, and if Dench's "M" is confirmed to be the same character in both eras, then the theory could be right, with there being at least two Bonds.