Some 007 notes from the Toronto film festival

Eon co-boss Barbara Broccoli and current 007 star Daniel Craig

Some 007-related tidbits have come out during the start of the Toronto Film Festival.

Barbara Broccoli: The boss of Eon Productions and producer of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool made a few comments.

“I have a few other lower-budget films in mind and a couple of theatre pieces, too,” Broccoli said, according to THE SCREEN DAILY WEBSITE.

“There are a lot of women working on this production [Film Stars] which pleases me very much,” Broccoli said, according to the website. “It’s incredibly important to support change in front of and behind the camera. I love working with women. It’s a different vibe.”

Daniel Craig: Kings, in which Craig stars with Halle Berry, is being shown at the festival.

Craig mostly has been talking about Kings but had a few comments about Bond 25, according to Toronto’s Globe & Mail:

“The Internet is like a noisy pub on a Saturday night,” Craig is quoted by the newspaper. “Ninety per cent of what’s being said is rubbish. There’s a perception that I’m ungrateful, and that’s so far from the truth it’s laughable. I don’t talk to the press a lot. I say things occasionally that I shouldn’t say, which is stupid of me.

“But the timing was right. I’d done [the stage production] Othello, and Steven Soderbergh’s movie [Logan Lucky, where he plays a bleached-blond safecracker named Joe Bang], and Deniz’s movie [Deniz Gamze Erguven, director of Kings], and I was incredibly creatively satisfied. The question of Bond came round, and I said, ‘Let’s have another go, and see if we can produce something wonderful.”

A bit of a reality check: Craig previously said he and director Marc Forster did most of the writing for Quantum of Solace, even though writer Joshua Zetumer was on set to do rewrites. Craig, in a joint interview with Barbara Broccoli in 2012 (search the word “liars”), denied Ben Whishaw had been hired to play Q in Skyfall.

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Barbara Broccoli busy on non-007 projects, NY Post says

Barbara Broccoli

Eon Productions boss Barbara Broccoli remains busy on non-James Bond projects and friends say “she’s not sure when the next 007 film will shoot,” the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column said.

The gossip column quoted unidentified sources as saying the producer “is not waiting around” for actor for actor Daniel Craig to “get off his arse.”

Page Six didn’t specify Broccoli’s movie projects. The movie Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is scheduled to be released later this year. Variety reported in February Broccoli is involved with another drama titled Nancy. The MI6 James Bond website said in March that Eon also is working on a historical war movie.

The gossip column also referenced how Broccoli is producing a play based on the life of movie producer and executive Robert Evans.

Appropriate caveat: Page Six and the Post are known for their gossipy, tabloid tone. The Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns the U.K. tabloid The Sun.

If Page Six is to be believed, Bond 25 still is in its earliest stages and Craig’s return as Bond hasn’t been nailed down. Page Six said in April that Craig was likely to return as Bond.

The Daily Mail reported in March that scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade were hired to work on Bond 25’s story.

IndieWire says ‘Liverpool’ director may helm Bond 25

Barbara Broccoli

File this one under Caveat Emptor.

The IndieWire entertainment news website, citing rumors, is making the case that the director of a Barbara Broccoli “indie” style production may direct Bond 25.

That would be Paul McGuigan, director of  Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. The movie, scheduled to be released later this year, concerns actress a love affair involving actress Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening).

The story says “rumors are swirling” that Eon Productions boss Broccoli “is leaning indie” with Bond 25 director choices.

Here’s an except from the IndieWire story:

Word is, the producers are so pleased with ”Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” directed by Scotsman Paul McGuigan (“Sherlock,” “Lucky Number Slevin,” “Victor Frankenstein”), that he too is under consideration.
(snip)

Broccoli has long preferred to hire directors with arthouse cred over mainstream action specialists, from Oscar-winning “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes (“Spectre” and “Skyfall”) to “Monster’s Ball” director Marc Forster (“Quantum of Solace”). Based on his tenure with the BBC One “Sherlock” series, and his handling of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson, McGuigan would be a prime choice for a quirkier yet still compelling spin on Bond.

Previous reports about the early-in-development Bond 25, even those from tabloids, say the information comes from “insiders” (or similar language) who supposedly have some information.

The IndieWire story doesn’t even do that. It just says there are rumors and repeats one. Caveat Emptor.

Eon starts filming another non-007 movie

Barbara Broccoli

Barbara Broccoli

Eon Productions is involved in another non-007 film, Variety reported.

The film is titled Nancy and is a “psychological drama” starring Andrea Riseborough, according to the entertainment website.

Here’s an excerpt:

Riseborough plays a serial imposter, who becomes perilously close to losing her entire identity — and the only person who’s ever truly loved her — when her elaborate lies inevitably unravel.

Principal photography has started in upstate New York with a crew comprised of all-female department heads. The film will be produced by Amy Lo, Michelle Cameron, and Riseborough. “Nancy” is a Mental Pictures, Mother Sucker, and Eon Productions movie, in association with Gamechanger Films.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson of Eon Productions will be among the executive producers, according to Variety.

Eon’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is in post-production. Barbara Broccoli is among that movie’s producers.

The production company’s most recent 007 film entry was 2015’s SPECTRE. No production details have been announced for Bond 25.

Broccoli’s latest project: The Kid Stays in the Picture

Barbara Broccoli

Barbara Broccoli

Barbara Broccoli has another non-Bond project lined up, a stage production of The Kid Stays in the Picture about movie executive and producer Robert Evans.

Broccoli, along with half-brother Michael G. Wilson, Patrick Milling Smith and Brian Carmody, are the producers of the play. Broccoli and Wilson are the co-bosses of Eon Productions, which make James Bond films.

Evans, 86, started as an actor before working behind the camera. One of his early roles was in 1957’s Man of a Thousand Faces, a James Cagney movie about Lon Chaney. Evans played film producer Irving Thalberg. He later became a movie mogul in real life as an executive at Paramount. He shifted to being a producer of movies such as Chinatown and Marathon Man.

Along the way, Evans led a colorful life, including marrying actresses Camilla Sparv and Ali McGraw as well as pleading guilty to cocaine trafficking. The title of the play comes from his 1994 autobiography, which was turned into a 2002 documentary.

The play adaptation will run March 7 to April 8 at the Royal Court Theatre in London’s West End.

For producer Broccoli, this is her second recent project dealing with the life of a Hollywood figure. She’s also a producer of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, in which Annette Bening plays actress Gloria Grahame. That film is in post-production. Wilson isn’t involved in the movie.

Two 007 facts amid the speculation

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

Image for the official James Bond feed on Twitter

What follows are two 007-related facts. They don’t necessarily connect to one another.

On the other hand, you see so much on social media, we thought we’d mention them, for what they’re worth.

–It’s Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s choice, not Eon Productions’, what studio will distribute Bond 25.

That’s not this blog talking. It’s Michael G. Wilson, Eon’s co-boss. He gave an interview late last year portions of which are on YouTube.

“It’s not primarily our decision,” Wilson said. “MGM will…it’s their responsibility.” Wilson said, at the time. He also said that Eon had met with studios (he didn’t specify which ones) which were interested in releasing Bond 25 for MGM.

Sony Pictures has released the last four 007 films but its most recent two-picture deal expired with SPECTRE.

–Barbara Broccoli’s current non-Bond film has a relatively short filming schedule. 

According to the Screen Daily website, the Eon co-boss’ drama, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, is scheduled to wrap filming on Aug. 8. Principal photography began in late June and is based at stages that are part of an expansion at Pinewood Studios.

A producer’s job, of course, doesn’t end with filming. A producer oversees various post-production tasks — editing, sound work, music, etc.

Meanwhile, Screen Daily also refers to the movie as a “passion project” of Broccoli’s. The movie is based upon the memoirs of British actor Peter Turner, who had a relationship with American actress Gloria Grahame. Broccoli acquired the film rights more than 20 years ago, according to Screen Daily.

At the same time, Eon has various other pending non-007 projects. So, there’s no telling how many will take up Broccoli’s time before she turns her attention to Bond 25.

 

Broccoli non-007 film first to shoot at Pinewood expansion

Pinewood Group PLC logo

Pinewood Group PLC logo

A Barbara Broccoli non-007 movie is the first film being made at a Pinewood Studios expansion, the company said in a press release today announcing financial results.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is “the first production to utilize the new facilities,” according to the Pinewood statement. The studio is the traditional home base for the Bond film franchise, supervised by Broccoli.

The Pinewood expansion added five stages, workshops and offices totaling more than 300,000 square feet. It became operational on June 30.

The studio also said it “already signed a contract for an additional major film production which will fully utilize these new facilities from August 2016.” No additional details were provided.

Pinewood, meanwhile, said little about its largest pending issue — whether it will be sold or not.

The company said in February it was conducting a “strategic review,” which could include a sale.

That review “is ongoing,” the company said in today’s statement. The company said only it will “update shareholders on its progress when there is further information to share.”

A few, large shareholders control 79 percent of Pinewood shares. The company has wanted to move to the main market of the London Stock Exchange. That requires at least 25 percent of a company’s shares be traded publicly. The review is intended to assess other ways to finance future expansion plans.