Caveat Emptor Part IV: Another Daniel Craig interview

SPECTRE poster

SPECTRE poster

With SPECTRE about to premiere, various interviews with Daniel Craig are going online. One, BY THE TIME OUT LONDON website had a few things that caught our eye.

Again, let the buyer beware. Based on the text, the interview was conducted only four days after the end of principal photography. He definitely comes across as somebody looking to recharge his batteries.

Also, some fans of the 47-year-old actor say they appreciate how he yanks the chain of the press. So, if you accept that notion, there’s no telling whether he’s actually saying what he thinks.

With that context in mind, some quotes of interest.

On SPECTRE’s writing process: “The writer John Logan came in and gave us the bones of something and then two writers came in and we worked with them and Sam. The way it works is that I’d wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and write it down and send it to Sam and he ignores me or doesn’t ignore me, or talks to me the following morning and we develop it from there.”

On whether he has any more 007 ideas: “‘Every idea I’ve had for a Bond movie, I’ve stuck into this one. It’s gone in. The Bond bank is dry. If you’re asking me what would I do with another Bond movie? I haven’t a clue.”

SPECTRE humor? “But, yes, short answer: we tried to put more humour into this movie!”

Inevitably, there’s the question of Craig’s future (if any) as Bond. Here the strain of more than six months of filming is evident. So take the following quotes for what they’re worth. Also remember that LATER INTERVIEWS emerged where Craig walked back things a bit.

Asked if he could imagine doing another Bond movie, Craig responded: “Now? I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”

He added:

“For at least a year or two, I just don’t want to think about it. I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve no idea. Not because I’m trying to be cagey. Who the fuck knows? At the moment, we’ve done it. I’m not in discussion with anybody about anything. If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for the money.” (Emphasis in original article.)

To read the full interview, CLICK HERE. Among other things, he confirms there was a plan to film two movies back to back but he opposed it. He also comments about why he was keen for Sam Mendes to return as director.

UPDATE: The Time Out London interview has been summarized by a number of entertainment websites. What follows are examples with links and headlines:

IO9: Daniel Craig Is So Done With James Bond

Variety: Daniel Craig Says He’d Rather Kill Himself Than Do Another James Bond Movie

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Daniel Craig on Making Another Bond: ‘I’m Over At The Moment. We’re Done’

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Daniel Craig: If I do another James Bond movie after ‘Spectre,’ ‘it would only be for the money’

Promo about SPECTRE’s London locations released

The VISIT BRITAIN website has put out a promotional video concerning London locations used by SPECTRE.

A number of crew members for the 24th James Bond film appear, including director Sam Mendes and associate producer Gregg Wilson. The short video appears below.

SPECTRE stunt video released

The OFFICIAL 007 WEBSITE released a SPECTRE promotional video highlighting some of the stunt work on the 24th James Bond film.

Among the crew included in the video are director Sam Mendes, special effects man Chris Borbould and second unit director Alexander Witt. Highlights include a combination plane-car chase that has been part of theatrical trailers.

Here’s the video, it runs for 94 seconds.

Why Mendes couldn’t direct a FRWL type film

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes

There’s a new issue of Empire magazine that’s guest edited by Sam Mendes, the director of SPECTRE. The DIGITAL SPY WEBSITE has a post quoting from that issue.

Specifically, the Digital Spy post includes quotes from Mendes whether, in SPECTRE, Christoph Waltz plays SPECTRE mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

The filmmaker also took issue with fans demanding to know if Waltz is Blofeld before seeing the film.

Responding to the criticism over Star Trek Into Darkness’s John Harrison/Khan reveal, Mendes said: “Why was there a backlash? There’s a narrative as well. The naming of a character is part of a story.

The audience cannot and should not be given – and I’m not confirming or denying anything – information that the characters do not have. And preserving tension in the narrative of a story that is a riff or an acknowledgement of the iconography of Bond over the years has been crucial.” (emphasis added)

That’s interesting. Still, while it might not be the best comparison, From Russia With Love, the second James Bond film, may be the exception to what Mendes describes.

In the 1963 movie, the audience is shown most of the conspiracy that James Bond (Sean Connery) will confront. Bond himself doesn’t appear until 18 minutes into the film, although there’s a phony Bond in the pre-titles sequence to hold the interest of the audience.

In Ian Fleming’s 1957 novel, things were even more dramatic. The first 10 chapters show the conspiracy (a Soviet one, while the movie was SPECTRE-driven), and Bond doesn’t show up until Chapter 11. Fleming would attempt something similar in The Spy Who Loved Me novel (where 007 doesn’t put in an appearance until the final third of the story). That novel wasn’t as well received as From Russia With Love.

The point being in the second Bond film, the audience knows a lot that Bond doesn’t know by the time the British agent becomes involved in the case. Still, there was plenty of tension and a number of twists.

Perhaps From Russia With Love is a special case, the exception that proves Mendes’ rule. Still, From Russia With Love was a journeyman director (Terence Young), not the auteurs favored by Eon Productions in the 21st century. Sometimes, there aren’t hard and fast story telling rules.

Here we go again: SPECTRE an origin story, Mendes says

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

It’s deja vu all over again.

Sam Mendes, the director of SPECTRE, is quoted in an ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY STORY as saying the 24th James Bond film is an origin story.

Here’s an excerpt:

“The Bond creation myth never happened,” Mendes says. “I felt there was an opportunity there: What made him? And who were the people who affected him along the way? You’re sort of telling the story backwards of how Bond became Bond.”

Nine years ago, Casino Royale, the 21st 007 film and the first to star Daniel Craig, was marketed as an origin story for Bond.

This continued well after its theatrical release. In the United States, the USA cable channel showed the film. USA’s promos had the tagline, “How James became Bond!”

In the Casino Royale novel, author Ian Fleming’s first, Bond already was a veteran agent. The story took place in 1951 (or so we’re told in Fleming’s Goldfinger novel) and Bond had been active as an operative since World War II.

That was then, this is now. “Spectre provides a kind of culmination to the three previous films while developing a backstory that’s been largely unexplored until now,” according to the Entertainment Weekly story.

The main thing that’s changed since Casino Royale is that Danjaq LLC/Eon Productions (the Broccoli-Wilson family entities that control the Bond film rights and produce the films) reached a settlement with the estate of Kevin McClory.

That settlement, reached in 2013, gives Danjaq/Eon (and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, their partner) control of SPECTRE and the character of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Video blog centers on SPECTRE’s lead actresses

The official 007 website released a new video blog today featuring SPECTRE’s Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci.

The video blog avoids criticism of earlier Bond movies, where actresses talk about how their character is “Bond’s equal,” unlike previous films. Also, in 2012, Eon Productions co-boss Barbara Broccoli said, “Fortunately, the days of Bond girls standing around with a clipboard are over.”

Instead, around the 45-second mark, Bellucci says, “I respect so much all the James Bond girls because I think they’re incredible actresses.” She goes on to compliment Seydoux.

Meanwhile, director Sam Mendes says Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann has a “pivotal relationship” with Daniel Craig’s Bond in the film.

Watch for yourself:


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