What Directors Should Helm A Bond Film?

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  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,852
    Thanks, OO7Hally, good to get the insight into these things. With the SP emails, it was Sony and MGM people who were raising all those issues and demanding all those changes. I'm sure that EON had similar input, but only a few of their emails got leaked, which could've skewed it and given the impression that the studio were driving it. I guess the working relationship with Amazon is completely untested, so there's no knowing what level of direct input they'll want/expect to have. Given Nolan's reputation for creative control, all of this made me wonder to what extent/if he'd be willing to compromise in order to direct a Bond film. Interesting times!
  • edited November 2022 Posts: 1,268
    Venutius wrote: »
    Thanks, OO7Hally, good to get the insight into these things. With the SP emails, it was Sony and MGM people who were raising all those issues and demanding all those changes. I'm sure that EON had similar input, but only a few of their emails got leaked, which could've skewed it and given the impression that the studio were driving it. I guess the working relationship with Amazon is completely untested, so there's no knowing what level of direct input they'll want/expect to have. Given Nolan's reputation for creative control, all of this made me wonder to what extent/if he'd be willing to compromise in order to direct a Bond film. Interesting times!

    The email leaks are an interesting little insight into what is essentially the producer's side of a major film. From what I remember about them Sony and MGM executives were increasingly worried about the budget (at one point it was well over £300 Million, which is insane) and the quality of the script, presumably worrying they weren't going to make much money off this film, so this probably spurred on a lot of the interventions and need for rewrites. It's a particular situation and the tighter deadline/problems behind the scenes didn't help, but executives and producers can have a major impact on story and script with these films. Rightly or wrongly.

    It'd be difficult for a director like Nolan probably. Mendes himself has recently gone on record about his frustrations working on his two Bond films, which is understandable. Of course the Danny Boyle situation seems to stem from the fact that he didn't want another scriptwriter to be brought on (while I understand there's always going to be sides taken with these things - the producers stifling the creative director loyal to his writer being one - it's not always a bad idea bringing in a fresh writer on these types of films when needed, and from what I can tell Boyle's Bond 25 needed this). Like I said, half the battle is actually being able to work with the producers and get to grips with what they want creatively. Always has been the case with Bond films.
    Stark wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    Stark wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    As tempting as Nolan or Villeneuve sound, I really think the producers are at risk of another Danny Boyle situation if they decide to go with either of them. From what I can tell both of these directors have had a lot of creative control and more or less free reign on all of their later films. Making a Bond film seems much more collaborative from the director's perspective, and often the key story decisions have to be mulled over by the producers and the various screenwriters before the director even has their say. If the director doesn't gel with these other parties and they can't work together then they'll simply be dropped.

    That aside, I'm not sure if either would be the right fit for Bond. Villeneuve is a bit too cerebral (I'd argue boring), and Nolan has a tendency to get wrapped up in his ideas (which again can be boring). There are many more interesting, but lesser known directors who I think could be better for the franchise.

    The producers weren't traumatized by the Boyle experience and are still looking for bold directors, otherwise they wouldn't have hired a guy like Fukunaga after Boyle.

    It's not about simply being a bold director. It's about a) how well the director's ideas are developing in the time frame required, b) how well the director is able to collaborate with the producers and screenwriters/gel with what they want from this particular Bond film and c) whether they can deliver all this in what is broadly a solid film.

    I agree with your "b" and that's why Nolan has little chance... but Villeneuve has the perfect profile I think, he always delegates the script of his films to many people and has already worked with demanding producers (notably Ridley Scott on Blade Runner 2049).

    Villeneuve is a more likely candidate than Nolan in my opinion, but I'm still not sure he's quite right. Like I said he's a very cerebral director, and his films - well made as they are - aren't quite what we expect from a Bond film in both pace and tone. The lack of humour criticism might also be applicable, and I'm just not sure we'd get something exciting from him. Maybe something well thought out and beautifully shot, but not exciting. His films also don't tend to make large amounts of money at the box office, so I think that would be a worry for executives in the sense his Bond film might not have a broad appeal.

    Like I said, I think the way to go isn't to get some sort of 'visionary' director on board per say, but prioritise directors who have experience working on smaller, well received genre films (ideally horror or thriller) who are able to bring fresh ideas to the table and work with the producers. Ideally the budget for the next film will be stripped back a bit too to give some sort of parameters to work within (so maybe a £200 Million budget as opposed to a £302 Million one).
  • LucknFateLucknFate Arkhangelsk
    edited November 2022 Posts: 550
    Yann Demange just got hired for the troubled BLADE reboot. Does that mean he'd be busy for B26? Or improve his odds?
  • Posts: 1,268
    I'm actually really surprised Demange got hired for that. That said knowing who the previous director was I'm even more surprised he was their first choice... oh well...

    I mean, Demange is certainly moving up 'the ladder'. I enjoyed '71. I do think directors experienced with genre pieces, who aren't necessarily big name 'auteurs', are the best bet though.
  • MI6HQMI6HQ Living here on Mars with David Bowie
    edited November 2022 Posts: 1,882
    I'm more into art house directors who could bring out the best in Bond.

    I don't need those blockbuster directors (Those directors whose names were really noisy), though both Nolan and Villeneuve are great (if one's idea may look into adapting some (or few) Fleming novels like Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever, or Live and Let Die for example, then they would be my choice as they could do justice to the source material, and adapting them greatly on screen).

    But if original Bond stories, then I would rather have those art house directors, the ones who have real vision for the franchise and not just for more popularity and money.

    The ones who could create great quality of Bond movies.

    I actually think, if back then, I think Francis Ford Coppola would have made a good or if not, a great Bond director, I know he's directing a new movie, Megalopolis despite of his age.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited November 2022 Posts: 5,376
    How would people feel about James Mangold?

    He's the director behind the new Indiana Jones and these other films.



  • Posts: 1,268
    They could do worse than Mangold. I'm personally a big fan of Logan. I can imagine his approach to directing a Bond film being not unlike that of Fukunaga's.
  • Posts: 5,424
    Wes Anderson would probably do an animated version!....and it would be great! 🤣🤣🤣
  • Posts: 1,268
    Personally, while I'm not against 'auteur' directors doing a Bond film, my instinct is there are a few who should never do one. Nicolas Winding-Refn is one (a very empty and superficial filmmaker in my opinion). Tarantino is another (while moments like the pub scene with Fassbender in IG definitely have traces of Bond in there, I'm not sure he'd thrive in the context of EON's collaborative process, tight deadlines etc.) Certainly not Martin McDonagh (love In Bruges, but a film like Three Billboards shows his limitations. It's not the most well thought out film from a script perspective).

    Edgar Wright might give us something interesting. Would love to see Park Chan Wook's hypothetical Bond film but I know that likely won't happen.
  • Posts: 722
    I can't remember if his name was mentioned before, but I thought about English filmmaker Ben Wheatley. Between High-Rise (starring Tom Hiddleston) and his remake of Rebecca, he cemented himself as an atmospheric director leaning towards a classic, sometimes vintage aesthetic, while with a modern touch. He may lack experience directing action scenes though.


  • I haven't seen "The Menu" yet, but maybe Mark Mylod could be an interesting choice?
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 38,239
    Mylod's very talented, with The Menu being another example of that. I wouldn't mind seeing him at the helm.
  • Succession is great!
  • Sapochnik could also be interesting, considering what he did with the battle of bastards.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 38,239
    Sapochnik could also be interesting, considering what he did with the battle of bastards.

    Even with incompetent writing, at least the battle sequences in that still manage to be outstanding and literally suffocating.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 550
    Sapochnik could also be interesting, considering what he did with the battle of bastards.

    Yeah. But his lighting style though.
  • Posts: 722
    Yeah. But his lighting style though.
    I think it would better work on the big screen than on the small one. Granted, the problem will still be the same when the movie won't be in movie theatres anymore. But, when released in cinemas, his lighting style won't necessarily be a problem.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 550
    Yeah. But his lighting style though.
    I think it would better work on the big screen than on the small one. Granted, the problem will still be the same when the movie won't be in movie theatres anymore. But, when released in cinemas, his lighting style won't necessarily be a problem.

    That's the thing though. I do like his directing style. He knows how to build tension and create nice visuals and action scenes. I don't know why he enjoys such lighting techniques though.
  • Posts: 1,268
    I'm not too familiar with this director. What's wrong with his lighting style?
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 550
    007HallY wrote: »
    I'm not too familiar with this director. What's wrong with his lighting style?

    He loves to dim a lot, that the viewer might have to squint to see clearly.
  • Posts: 1,268
    007HallY wrote: »
    I'm not too familiar with this director. What's wrong with his lighting style?

    He loves to dim a lot, that the viewer might have to squint to see clearly.

    Oh, I get you now. To be fair that's happening a lot in film/TV nowadays as a cinematography choice.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 550
    007HallY wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    I'm not too familiar with this director. What's wrong with his lighting style?

    He loves to dim a lot, that the viewer might have to squint to see clearly.

    Oh, I get you now. To be fair that's happening a lot in film/TV nowadays as a cinematography choice.

    True. Reeves' The Batman is an example.
  • edited November 2022 Posts: 1,268
    007HallY wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    I'm not too familiar with this director. What's wrong with his lighting style?

    He loves to dim a lot, that the viewer might have to squint to see clearly.

    Oh, I get you now. To be fair that's happening a lot in film/TV nowadays as a cinematography choice.

    True. Reeves' The Batman is an example.

    Yes, The Batman has some very low key lighting. That said I'd argue that film does have colour to it- ie. you get some warm orange colours towards the end with the sunrise/the city not raining consistently, moments of rather striking red, neon etc. So it's not quite as monochromatic or grey (one could say lifeless) as some of the things with low key lighting one sees in TV/film nowadays. You also have quite a lot of shallow focus on characters (especially Batman) and while I won't go into it technically, there's certainly a 'texture' to that film that gives you that sense of rain-soaked, dirty streets which is much less 'clean' and sharp looking than other examples. So it can be an interesting choice.

    Not that a Bond film will (or should) ever have quite as consistent low key lighting anyway.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 550
    007HallY wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    I'm not too familiar with this director. What's wrong with his lighting style?

    He loves to dim a lot, that the viewer might have to squint to see clearly.

    Oh, I get you now. To be fair that's happening a lot in film/TV nowadays as a cinematography choice.

    True. Reeves' The Batman is an example.

    Yes, The Batman has some very low key lighting. That said I'd argue that film does have colour to it- ie. you get some warm orange colours towards the end with the sunrise/the city not raining consistently, moments of rather striking red, neon etc. So it's not quite as monochromatic or grey (one could say lifeless) as some of the things with low key lighting one sees in TV/film nowadays. You also have quite a lot of shallow focus on characters (especially Batman) and while I won't go into it technically, there's certainly a 'texture' to that film that gives you that sense of rain-soaked, dirty streets which is much less 'clean' and sharp looking than other examples. So it can be an interesting choice.

    Not that a Bond film will (or should) ever have quite as consistent low key lighting anyway.

    Yeah. It could work in other films. But not too sure about a Bond film.
  • edited December 2022 Posts: 706
    I really like action or walking scenes that emulate third person follow cams from video games:







    Perhaps that it should be part of the PTS build up, walking through a casino, gentlemen's club or on a stealth mission. Not showing his face until he sits down at a bridge, baccarat table or faces the villain.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 38,239
    I'm guessing that preference for darker lighting/cinematography helps obscure otherwise rough looking CGI too. It's probably why that one pivotal episode in the final season of GoT is virtually impossible to watch at times.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 550
    I really like action or walking scenes that emulate third person camera views from video games:





    Perhaps that is how the PTS should open, walking through a casino or a gentlemen's club. Not showing his face until until he sits down at a bridge or baccarat table.

    Yeah, that would work. All the Bonds except Moore & Craig had that style. Although, the stylish reveal of Craig's Bond before the car chase in QoS could easily stand as his first Bond film. Maybe Campbell tried that style in CR but didn't go with it? Because he did something similar with Brosnan's Bond. I think it would have been cool to see Craig's Bond hands assembling his gun, with close-up shots of his eyes, as Dryden used the elevator up, then of course...reveal Craig's Bond face immediately he utters his first Bondian words.
  • edited December 2022 Posts: 706
    The one shot opening in Spectre was a bit lacklustre.

    The Cuba one shot even more so.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    edited November 2022 Posts: 38,239
    The one shot opening in Spectre was a bit lacklustre.

    I was so excited to see it after some initial reviews seemed entirely blown away by it, only to feel vastly underwhelmed. It's not even a proper one shot and it's just them heading up to the hotel room - really nothing special. Also, for all the marketing I recall there being around Stephanie Sigman's new Bond girl, I was shocked to see her enter and exit exclusively in this moment.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    edited November 2022 Posts: 7,573
    The one shot opening in Spectre was a bit lacklustre.

    It's the music and Craig's super confident stroll that make it work for me. It's impressive that they managed to shoot it in two different countries and make it seem seamless. But yes, in the grand scheme of things, there are more impressive oners out there.

    Still, I always took it as a promise for a film that wasn't followed through on afterwards.
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