21. November 2012 11:56
This weeks Entertainment Weekly contains an interview with Sam Mendes which hints at the possibility that he may be interested in directing Bond 24. This would not be the first time a director has returned. John Glen directed five in a row (For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill), Martin Campbell directed two - Goldeneye in 1995 and Casino Royale in 2006, Lewis Gilbert directed You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979), Guy Hamilton directed Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live And Let Die (1973) and The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) and Terence Young directed Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965). Certainly then, the idea of a director returning to the Bond series is not new, and I would really like to see Sam Mendes return for Bond 24.
Every new director wants to put his own spin on a James Bond film and I think that the Brosnan era is very uneven because of this. Each of Brosnan's films had a different director, all of whom were new to directing James Bond films. If you look at the tone and style of the Brosnan years it is all over the place, especially when compared to the Connery and Moore years which were all produced under the leadership of just three different directors each. Of course, it is disappointing to learn the the director of Goldfinger is also responsible for The Man With The Golden Gun, but with only one year between pictures it is clear that they didn't take as much time on that picture as they could have. They had just established Moore as the new James Bond and wanted to make sure the public knew he was not another George Lazenby, so they fast tracked production of the next film. Casino Royale brought back Martin Campbell and was fantastic, but then Quantum of Solace had a new director (and other problems like a writers strike) and wasn't so good. Skyfall was really, really good and clearly steered Bond onto a path it could follow for the next few missions without needing to deviate too much, so please bring Sam Mendes back for Bond 24.
Sam Mendes opens up about the film’s record-setting weekend — and his future with the franchise
BY CHRIS NASHAWATY.
AFTER A LONG four-year absence from theaters, Daniel Craig’s James Bond is finally back. For die-hard fans—and a jittery movie industry—it isn’t a moment too soon, either. Skyfall, the 23rd installment in the spy saga, was not only one of the best-reviewed entries in the 50-year-old franchise’s history, it had the biggest double-0 opening weekend ever, raking in S88.4 million domestically (adding to the $428.6 million i t ’s already earned overseas). Needless to say, it was also the biggest commercial success ever for director Sam Mendes. We spoke with the art-house auteur (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) about his career-redefining weekend.
I see you're calling from a phone number that ends In 007. Coincidence?
No, the phone is owned by the Bond production company. All of their numbers end in - surprise, surprise—007.
Well, congratulations on having the biggest Bond opening ever. I'm guessing you had a pretty good weekend?
We’re absolutely thrilled. I don’t follow the figures slavishly, but the thing that really landed for me is that it’s just overtaken Casino Royale internationally. For me, that’s very meaningful because Casino Royale was the reason I got
interested in Bond again.
Why do you think Skyfall Is connecting with audiences?
That’s really for you to say. But one thing I’m proud of is that when people talk to me about it, they want to talk as much about a six-minute dialogue scene between Javier Bardem and Daniel as they do the action sequences.
So how did you spend the weekend? Drinking martinis and driving around L.A. In a limo checking out the theater lines?
No, I spent the weekend doing Q&A’s with the Academy and the writers’, actors’, and producers’ guilds with Daniel. But there were emails with lots of exclamation marks. We’d just look at each other and smile. It’s rare to promote a film where you’re riding a wave instead of trying to create it.
What was the first Bond film you ever saw, and what was your goal with this one?
My first one was Live And Let Die, so I always had a soft spot for Roger Moore. I must have been 10, and it made a huge impact on me. Making this movie, I was trying to get back in touch with my inner 10-year-old and channel him. I really wanted to reintroduce some of the fun that had gone
before with Q, and the whole world of MI6, and bring back some of the humor, which Daniel was also keen to do.
When did you start working on this?
At the end of 2009. And because of the MGM bankruptcy situation, I worked for a year uncredited and unpaid because we didn’t know if the movie was going to ever happen.
Javier Bardem Is one of the best 007 villains In ages. What's the key to a great baddle?
First of all, I wanted to have a great actor play him. I wanted to return to some of the more flamboyant , theatrical Bond villains of the first four or five movies—the Dr. Nos, the Goldfingers, the Rosa Klebbs. I wanted someone who wasn’t afraid to make a big entrance. And Javier makes three!
Longtime Bond fans really dig the little nods to the classic 007 films In Skyfall, like the Aston Martin and the Monty Norman theme.
Why was that Important to you?
You want to embrace the Bondness of Bond. You don’t take a movie on like this and tiy to fashion it into something else. That’s the joy of doing a Bond film. You’re playing with people’s lifetime relationship with characters and ideas that have been around since they first started going to the movies. What other franchise can do that?
You've introduced some new faces to the franchise who look like they will return. How much thinking goes into setting the table for what comes next?
I took very seriously that the last scene is a springboard into the next movie. One of the things that pleases me the most is people saying at the end that they can’t wait to see the next one. To me, after 50 years of Bond, and after they just sat through a two and-a-half-hour movie, that is a big achievement.
Will you be directing the next one? I asked you before Skyfall came out and you said, "Ask me after It opens." Well...?
Now I’m going to say, “Ask me in six months.” Honestly, I haven’t drawn a breath. I put everything I ever wanted to put into a Bond movie in this one, and if I felt I could do that again, then of course I would consider it.
So what Is next for you?
I’m going back to the theater to direct a new musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London. But before that, I’m having a big nap.
Source: Entertainment Weekly #1234 November 23rd 2012