007 questions about Bond 24

The past month has seen a blitz of stories on entertainment Web sites, U.K. newspapers and other outlets about Skyfall. The stories spurred us to think ahead about where the 007 film series goes from here.

“Questions about Bond 24? We’re still filming this one!”


001. Is Sam Mendes coming back to direct Bond 24? You could rephrase the question, “Is (NAME HERE) coming back to direct Bond (XX)?” The series hasn’t had a director do consecutive movies since John Glen did five in a row in the 1980s. Since Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli assumed control, only Martin Campbell has directed two and they were separated by more than a decade (GoldenEye and Casino Royale). The others were all one and done.

002. If not Mendes, then who? Most likely a “prestige” director. Here’s a quote from Barbara Broccoli IN AN INTERVIEW IN COMINGSOON.NET

We’ve always wanted a director that would put a stamp on the movie, so we’ve never been one to hire directors for hire.

It wasn’t always that way with the Bond series. Terence Young, who helmed three of the first four 007 films, and Guy Hamilton (four in total) were directors for hire. Peter Hunt was a rookie director as was John Glen, both promoted from being second unit directors. But that was Albert R. Broccoli’s Eon, not the current version.

003. Come on. Isn’t this an upgrade in quality? Check back with us after Skyfall. Marc Forster was a prestige hire. In our view that hire didn’t work out so well. (To read an opposing view, CLICK HERE to read an essay by Paul Rowlands.) “Directors for hire” turned out Bond movies such as From Russia With Love, Goldfinger and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Pedigree doesn’t guarantee a great movie.

004. Is Daniel Craig coming back? Michael G. Wilson has talked about trying to get Craig to do eight movies eventually. If someone were dealing tarot cards, we’d guess they’d indicate Craig would be back for at least one more film. Whether Craig makes it to eight depends in part on another question….

005. Will Bond 24 really come out in 2014? Sony (which is releasing Skyfall and Bond 24 in a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) says yes. MGM is counting on an every-other-year for Bond movies. Eon hasn’t been heard from and Sony and MGM need Eon to actually produce the movies. Plus, there are some scenarios we see where Bond 24 would come out later than 2014.

006. Such as? Hypothetical situation: Sam Mendes does come back as director. The Collider Web site ran a transcript of a group interview Mendes gave about Skyfall. Here’s a quote that caught our eye:

But, it’s fair to say that there’s no screenplay that wouldn’t be improved by having a year more to work on it. There’s always trying to find ways, different interesting ways of telling a story.

That doesn’t sound like a guy who’d rush things to meet an every-other-year schedule. Plus, one of the most consistent talking points from Skyfall principals is how the four-year gap between Quantum of Solace and Skyfall turned out well because there was more time to work on the script. Two years sounds like a lot of time until you consider principal photography alone takes six months or more.

007. Do you like playing spoil sport? No, and that’s not the purpose here. We’re just pointing out there’s a lot of uncertainty despite public announcements (i.e. Sony saying Bond 24 will be out in two years). And we’d rather have this type of uncertainty compared with 2010 when MGM was having financial troubles and going into bankruptcy court.

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