Sam Mendes in discussions to direct 'James Bond 23,' but when will they make it?
Daniel Craig is James Bond.
And by that, I mean we finally have the right guy for the job, a guy who should be making a James Bond movie every four months, a guy who wears the role like a tailored tuxedo.
And yet so far, we've got one great movie, one movie that felt like a coda to that movie, and then a whoooooole lot of development angst. And that's all.
I love the notion of Peter Morgan as the first-chair screenwriter on a new Bond film. Action is something that can always be tweaked and finessed later, but watching a James Bond film that had an actual great plot and compelling characters would be a welcome surprise. Morgan has proven himself to be a keen observer of the dynamics of power, and that's important in the world of Bond. "Casino Royale" and "Quantum Of Solace" set up a great organization of shadowy bad guys and a wonderful ally in the form of Felix Leiter, and I hope that whatever Morgan did built from that foundation. I know Purvis and Wade will be the guys who actually polish the script and work on it during production, but that's actually not a bad thing... they can build a stunt sequence, and they're experts at dealing with the demands of Broccoli and Wilson at this point. As long as Morgan wrote something really strong to start with, I think it's all looking good.
The problem right now is that MGM is for sale.
And until that sale is finalized, MGM is in no position to pull the trigger on production on a Bond film. So when HitFix confirmed through independent sources today that Sam Mendes is indeed having discussions with the studio about directing "Bond 23," it feels a little bit like the cart's in front of the horse.
I can tell you this... he's not signed. There's no guarantee he'll be the guy in the chair. I would guess that the longer this process with MGM drags on, the less likely it is he'll just wait around. Mendes is fairly in-demand, and he could easily decide to move on to some other project.
Although I'm not sold on him as the right choice for Bond, he does have a solid history with Daniel Craig, whose work in "Road To Perdition" first brought him to my attention in a serious way. Craig is absolutely part of picking the directors on these films (which is why you shouldn't hold your breath for Martin Campbell to end up back in charge any time soon), and so his relationship with Mendes could well be part of the reason he's in the mix right now.
One thing's for sure, and it's the same thing the closing credits always tell us, with a John Barry sting to seal the deal: James Bond will return.
The question right now is simply "when?"
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