The Other Fellow (2022)

Can you say identity crisis?

Many don’t know this fun fact, but the creator of James Bond, author Ian Fleming, really wanted a dull name for his hero.  He didn’t want it to be glamorous at all, which is why, thumbing his way through Birds of the West Indies, he chose the name of an ornithologist by the name of Bond -  a certain James Bond.

"a fascinating and fun documentary"

Simple enough, right?  WRONG.  Seventy some years later, EVERYONE KNOWS THIS SPY’S NAME.  Hell, there was even a theme song stating that very fact when Daniel Craig took over the role in Casino Royale.  But what about the other dudes - you know, the living ones - with the same name.  How do they live their lives when everyone knows their name? 

Well, that’s the premise behind The Other Fellow, a fascinating and fun documentary releasing Friday, February 17th in select theaters and digital platforms from October Coast.  Borrowing a classic line from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (“this never happened to the other fellow.” wink, wink, nudge, nudge), The Other Fellow is all about the men - straight, gay, bi, fluid, etc - blessed or cursed by that recognizable name.

From Sweden to New York, to Jamaica and beyond, director Matthew Bauer takes audiences on an unbelievable journey hopping from continent to continent in search of those individuals who share the titular hero’s namesake . . . or have other connections to 007.  This is an eye opening documentary in that it explores what most see as a harmless coincidence and tackles some surprisingly weighty issues along the way to the next would-be Commander Bond.

We meet Gunnar Schafer, a 007 superfan with his own museum dedicated to all things Bond, and his journey toward seeing James Bond as a replacement father figure is documented with heartbreaking reasons to boot.  In New York, there’s theater director James Bond, who has little in common with the spy.  Hint: he’s gay.  Yet, his name relation causes all sorts of worry thanks to ad agencies, concierges and casting directors who will not accept his polite refusal as an answer to their queries. image.png

Hell, we even tackle racism as one man’s name is marred by officers who don’t believe his license as he sits in an Indiana State Prison awaiting trial for murder and, in the same town, there's a media frenzy over a white dude with the same name: James Bond!  What the what?!

From identity changes to abusive ex-husbands, the similarities in names these people share are challenged by differing experiences, sexual orientation, and race.  It’s quite an unexpectedly profound statement to be made by this film, which quickly earns it high marks and a license to kill, as we traverse the world in search of the real faces of James Bond.

Somewhere down the line, The Other Fellow becomes a fascinating study of cultures and customs as contradictions become common and absurdities normalized.  And it is all because of Fleming’s choice of a “quiet name”, but what about that poor ornithologist whom Fleming swiped the name from?  What was his experience amid the height of Bond mania during the 1960s?

Well, even that’s included as The Other Fellow steamrolls right back to Jamaica, creating a memorable footprint of cinema’s most famous spy.  The documentary, proving to be both fascinating and frequently astounding, reveals itself to the world on February 17th. 

Prepare to have both your heart and your eyes opened.

4/5 stars

Film Details

The Other Fellow (2022)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
80 mins
: Matthew Bauer
Matthew Bauer; Rene van Pannevis
Gunnar James Bond Schäfer; James Alexander Bond; James Bond Jr.
: Documentary | Thriller
What if you shared a name with the most famous man in the world?
Memorable Movie Quote: "I do know that Daniel Craig is blond because everybody wants to tell me that!"
Gravitas Ventures
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 17, 2023
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: An energetic exploration of male identity via the lives, personalities, and adventures of a diverse band of men, real men across the globe all sharing the same name - James Bond.


The Other Fellow (2022)