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GoldenEye's life outside James Bond


Whenever someone talks about GOLDENEYE, there are plenty of subjects to touch in relation to the film. You can mention the actors, the story, the New World Order we had in the 1990s and many other things. But an interesting subject that deserves a worthy mention is the fact that the 17th James Bond adventure has a life on its own. A fandom on its own, if you like.


It's been almost 25 years since GOLDENEYE made it to the big screen, and this site has been active since April 2011. That's nine years, curiously the same time-span between the events of the prologue and the main story. And it could be said, roughly, the movie has indeed a micro-fandom. That is: people that love the film without necessarily being James Bond fans. Some of them stopped following the character after Pierce Brosnan left, others few a few of the old films here and there, but in the end, there is a generational attachment to people -mostly 90s and 80s kids- with this film.


Many of them came through the 1997 video game for Nintendo 64 which is considered as one of the best interactive games in history and served as a retroactive promotional stunt for the film, which came two years earlier in 1995. Those who missed it on the big screen or weren't interested got hyped by the game and went back to watch to rent or buy the film on VHS or wait for a TV airing, and they got hooked up.


Yet others seem to have focused on certain characters in the story: there are hundreds of Tumblr accounts dedicated to Xenia Onatopp, namely Accept No Substitute which is managed by Alison Blaire, a well-known devotee to Famke Janssen's character in the film. There is even also a PC mod that replaces every character in the Nintendo 64 game by General Ourumov, named OurumEye 64. Would the late Gottfried John have imagined that a secondary character like his would become so popular?


And this brings us to another subject: GOLDENEYE has a life of its own because nearly all the secondary characters are important and irreplaceable: Boris Grishenko, General Ourumov, Dimitri Mishkin, Valentin Zukovsky... they all have left their mark in the 90s kids turning 30 on this decade. Activision's version of the original game is the perfect evidence that shows why artists like Alan Cumming, Gottfried John, Tcheky Karyo and Robbie Coltrane were the right ones for these roles and were so brilliant in their performances, in contrast with the somewhat overacted voice talent of the 2010 interactive version.


Although many people point out that the film is hyped thanks to Nintendo's video game, the success and cultural impact from the movie shouldn't be overlooked. Had the movie failed to attract audiences, no-one would have liked to invest on the GOLDENEYE brand, be it for a video game or another project, and certainly not carrying on the project for two long years. In the same way, the field would have been divided between those who prefer the game over the film and vice-versa, but it's highly unlikely that someone who has enjoyed the game would end up ignoring the film or consider it uninteresting and dull.


There are people out there showing a lot of love to this film and collect all kind of memorabilia related to it: multiple home video editions, books, toys, posters, lobby cards, production notes and anything they can find, without getting themselves into a full James Bond collection. Also, the level of detail that we can see in the freeware mod GoldenEye: Source or the upcoming GoldenEye 25 shows that these talented modellers or programmers aren't just fans that tried to replicate the playability of the N64 game on your PC but every day they do their best to give you a fully immersive GOLDENEYE experience by paying attention to every inch of the source movie. They do it for free, they expect nothing in return and know what a GOLDENEYE fan would want to see because they tare GOLDENEYE fans themselves.


The film is part of the DNA of a whole generation and it's certainly not ignored by anyone old enough to enjoy the 1990s. While it's better remembered for resurrecting the James Bond franchise and being the entry that reinserted 007 in the modern world, it's also a film that could never be absent on any list of action movies from the decade even outside its association with Bond.


The author has written the book The World of GoldenEye, which is available through the Amazon stores in English and Spanish.

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