James Bond director Sam Mendes has revealed that pressure to replicate the success of Skyfall but not being given enough time to properly get the script right is what ultimately failed Spectre, the fourth film to star Daniel Craig as 007.
Mendes explained how Spectre could have benefited from a longer screenwriting process in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Skyfall, Craig’s third 007 film and the only James Bond as of this writing to cross $1 billion at the global box office. “These movies are very difficult to write. Those 10 months of downtime [for Skyfall], that’s when the script really turned around, because we had the time to go down blind alleys and try things like the [Bond/Silva team-up]. And that time was not afforded to me when we made Spectre,” said Mendes. “And you can see the difference in the script.”
Mendes also mentioned how he had felt some pressure to stay with the franchise after the critical and commercial success of Skyfall. “[With Spectre], I felt there was some pressure. Certainly Barbara and Michael exerted some pressure on me and Daniel to make the next one, so that makes a big difference. People saying: ‘We want you to do it,’ and passionately wooing me to do it, was a big thing.”
Daniel Craig was the sixth actor to portray 007 in Eon-produced films, with his tenure spanning from 2006’s Casino Royale to 2021’s No Time to Die. Previous actors to portray the iconic spy for Eon include Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan.
Who Will Be Eon’s Next 007?
With Craig’s tenure as 007 over, James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are preparing to begin the hunt for the next actor to take on the iconic role. Broccoli previously stated that before casting can start, they have to sit down and try “to figure out where the Bond series is going to go,” meaning that they won’t seriously consider looking at actors until sometime in 2023. However, the producers have revealed that they are looking for an actor in his mid-thirties for 007, explaining that the character works best when he looks like he’s already had some experience and “isn’t some kid out of high school.”
While the direction Eon will take with the upcoming Bond 26 remains unknown at this time, Broccoli has stated that they always look to the real world when developing the next Bond story. “We always sit down with our writers, and we start by thinking about what is the world afraid of?” she explained. “We start by thinking about, ‘Who’s the Bond villain?’ We try to focus on that as the sort of uber story, and then we want to also look at Bond’s emotional life, and what he’ll be facing personally that he hasn’t had to deal with before. So he has two big issues in the films — one is the geopolitical one and the other is the personal one.”
All 25 James Bond films are available to stream on Prime Video.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter