Die already, James Bond

Story highlights

  • Lewis Beale: New Bond film "Spectre," and unending stream of film sequels, makes you ask: Why can't Hollywood do something new?
  • Beale: Not when global market so far outstrips U.S. Overseas appetite is for familiar American franchises. Get used to more of same

Lewis Beale writes about culture and film for the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and other publications. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)If there's a feeling of déjà vu surrounding "Spectre," the new James Bond film, that's because it's treading on familiar ground:

007 goes after a bad guy heading up some sort of conspiracy that's international in scope; he beds some hotties along the way, tangles with his superiors -- M in particular -- and manages to travel to exotic locations, engage in at least one major fistfight, a car chase, maybe fall out of an airplane, and blow up a few buildings along the way.
Lewis Beale
Yawn. How many times have we seen this before?
    Listen, it's not that sticking to formula is anything new in Hollywood these days. Just think of all those "Spiderman," "X-Men," "Batman," "Superman," "Fast and Furious," "Hunger Games," etc., etc., films. And let's not forget the new "Star Wars" flick, "The Force Awakens," opening December 18, which is not only the seventh film in the franchise, but also so eagerly awaited that some pundits are predicting it will gross over $600 million globally on its opening weekend.
    This just in: the "Star Wars" film will feature Imperial stormtroopers, light sabers, droids, references to the Force, desert planets and fighter jets.
    Here's where you ask: "Have the studios given up on original content? And if they have, why?"