The Conversation: Does it Matter if James Bond Enjoys a Heineken Instead of a Martini?

The Conversation: Does it Matter if James Bond Enjoys a Heineken Instead of a Martini?

Apr 03, 2012

The countdown to the next James Bond movie, Skyfall, is on (well, not totally on until it gets a countdown column), what with first look production stills and clips and Bond girl video blogs and such. There's still a lot under wraps for now, but two things are newly known this week: 007 (as played by Daniel Craig) will personally launch the 2012 Summer Olympics this July in a short film called "The Arrival," which also involves Queen Elizabeth; and in both advertisements and the film itself, Bond will enjoy and shill for Heineken as part of a pricey product placement.  

Before you go crazy, let it be clarified that the iconic agent will only pass up his signature martini for the beer brand in one scene. Also, as pointed out by our own Peter Martin, it's not that strange for Bond to drink beer anyway. I can understand the frustration people have with the product placement element, but the idea of Bond with bottle in hand (see Movieline's rendering) actually fits the tough guy version of the character as embodied by Craig.

Your opinion of Heineken as the specific brand may be another matter, however. Perhaps you'd like something more reflexive, like James Bond's 007 Special Blend ("a subtle blend of premium lager and malt liquor"). Yet Heineken has actually been associated with the movies for some time. Recall the announcement of a similar tie-in for Casino Royale (oh, but that was just Vesper Lynd enjoying the brand). Or go back further and watch this old commercial starring more James Bonds than the old, spoofy Casino Royale:

What are people saying about James Bond's beer choice? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:

I can't believe Bond will choose a Heineken over a Martini in Skyfall. Isn't anything sacred anymore? - Michelle Bryant, @IMDbMichelle

James Bond sells out. - Roger Ebert, @ebertchicago

A movie era ends - Jacqui Ripley, @jacquiripley

That's just double-O wrong. - Groovyshelly, @groovyshelly

This is so cant replace a Bond martini with beer. - Jennifer Horn, @JenniferHorn

Wait, what?! What's next? Superman won't fly in 'Man of Steel'? - CrAiGeR,‏ @CraigKoban

Ian Fleming's James Bond drank different beers on different occasions. (So chill out.) - Peter A. Martin, @peteramartin

I'm less angry about product placement meaning that Bond drinks beer in SKYFALL than about the fact it's Heineken. - Jesse Trussell, @jrtrussell

I don’t have a problem with Bond drinking beer per se — even a man of habits wants to sample a new drink after decades of the same old, I’d imagine — but as a bit of a beer snob I wish he’d pick something a little less boring. - Angie Han, /Film

James Bond likes his beer the way he likes his women - cheap, bitter, preferably Dutch. - Garth Franklin, Dark Horizons

Please tell me James Bond orders it as a "Heinie." Then he downs a bucket of wings and enters a wet bespoke-shirt contest. - Bob Schooley, @Rschooley

The Daniel Craig version of Bond doesn't really strike me as a martini kind of guy, anyway. This iteration of the secret agent is more blunt and gritty than the classic Connery/Moore version. He almost seems like the kind of guy who would leave the casino after wasting some villains and crack open a cold one while holding the rest of the case against his bruises. - Alex Maidy,

The new slightly-more-Bourne-like era of action where Daniel Craig has taken the reigns has done more to change the character than a simple sip will. Now, if they start having him introduce himself first name first, that would be a real travesty. - Cole Abaius, Film School Rejects

Our beloved British spy has been mixing up his drink orders for more than four decades now. While James Bond has enjoyed his fair share of generically branded champagne, wine, rum, sake, bourbon, and even a mojito over the years, even Sean Connery’s 007 voiced a specific preference early on in the film franchise: In 1962’s Dr. No, the agent reveals that his favorite champagne is Dom Perignon ’53 while slumming it with Dom Perignon ’55 at dinner with the titular villain. According to a Web site dedicated to Bond’s beverage orders over the years, 007 requested a five-star Hennessey in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Stolichnaya vodka with his caviar in 1985’s A View to a Kill, and a Mount Gay rum with soda in 2006’s Casino Royale. - Julie Miller, The Hollywood Blog (Vanity Fair)

At least James Bond won't have to worry whether it comes shaken or stirred. - Ben Child, The Guardian Shortcuts Blog

Let’s hope it doesn’t arrive shaken. - Hillary Busis, Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

We're shaken, stirred - - Business, @msnbc_business

It is somewhat amusing that MGM is counting on this kind of “major integration” to produce some extra coin while Austin Powers, the film franchise that of course mocks the Bond films, already incorporated Heineken as part of the jokes years ago. Or maybe this just means Mike Myers is psychic. But that can’t be, because he would have known The Love Guru was a flaming pillow case filled with diapers. - Burnsy, Film Drunk


Conversation Twitter Poll: Does it bother you that James Bond will be drinking Heineken instead of a martini for a sponsored part of Skyfall?

Yes. - MargeGunderson, @SongWarmonger

No. Anyone who does is wasting their breath and forgetting that Casino Royale toys playfully with Bond's drink of choice. I sincerely hope that the worst thing about Skyfall is that James Bond drinks a Heineken. We all should hope for that. - Josh Spiegel, @mousterpiece

That depends, will the Heineken be shaken? Or stirred? - Alex Spivey, @alexspivey

Doesn't bother me that Bond is drinking beer. Does bother me that he's drinking Heineken. Bond should, you know, have taste. - Jacob Hall, @JacobSHall

Just as long as Jaan Penechaan Ho doesn't play while he is drinking it, I am comfortable with it and his Aston Martin driving - Nick Guzman, @PlotDevices

The last four movies have been two hour advertisements. he may as well be wearing a Polo shirt in a casino. - Variance Films, @variancefilms

He can drink whatever he wants. - Adrian Charlie, @PatrickTussie

He should only drink Red Lobster whalebones. - Garrett Martin, @grmartin

Does he drink NO martinis at all in the film? What happened to the creative days of Bond careening through Perrier in a tank? - Dominic, @Count3D

Worked for Mac & Me. - Scott E. Weinberg, @ScottEWeinberg

Very little worked for Mac & Me. - stayfrostymw, @stayfrostymw


Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.

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