No Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Thrive

Sam Mendes left some pretty big shoes to fill. Skyfall is, if not the best Bond film ever made, then easily the second. It was reverent to the entire series without winking at itself, it was a tight, emotional story, and it was a good movie, even if it hadn't been about Bond. To follow that up with Bond 24 is not an enviable task. So unenviable, that the producers have signed Sam Mendes to follow himself up.

And I'm one of those who, until I see the finished product, will be wary at this. I'm not a fan of creative teams returning to franchise projects. For original projects, it pretty much has to be the same team every time (no one else could have directed the Back to the Future or Indiana Jones sequels then Zemeckis and Spielberg respectively). But for franchises that don't hinge on a specific creative direction, where the goal is fresh interpretation of the characters, repeating the creative teams (and I include writers in that as well as directors) tends only to lead to stagnation. They either try to replicate exactly what made their first attempt successful, resulting in a flaccid copy. Or, they try to one up themselves, leading to something overblown and empty.

We've seen it many times before. Recently, in fact, with J.J. Abrams and Star Trek Into Darkness. Or Jon Favreau on the Iron Man films. Or within the Bond franchise itself, with Lewis Gilbert's the Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, or John Glen with all of the 1980 Bonds. I have been vocal in my applauding of Marvel hiring new creative teams for every one of their films, and why I will be no where near as excited about Avengers 2 as I was Avengers because of Whedon's return to the director chair (I remain optimistic because Whedon himself seems very aware of this principle, and I maintain Whedon is the only writer/director capable of balancing so many characters).

Martin Campbell managed to avoid falling into this trap when he did GoldenEye and Casino Royale, and I put that down to having a decade pass between his involvement, and Craig's Bond being a fundamentally different character then Brosnan's. So, despite the quality of Mendes' work on Skyfall, I feel like is return to this universe should wait for another few films. Of course, he could surprise me; he clearly impressed the Bond producers, who have reportedly also signed him on to Bond 25, making him the first director since Glen to direct three Bond's in a row.

The producers meanwhile, are wasting no time getting ready for the film (no word on if they've even got a script yet), with the rumour appearing that Penelope Cruz has been hired as the Bond Girl. This is in no way confirmed, but Cruz is a whale they've been trying to catch for some time, and a fantastic choice for an exotic beauty to match wits with Craig's Bond, if they have signed her on. She would be joining Craig and the presumptive returning cast of Ralph Finnes, Ben Whishaw, and Naomie Harris. If the movie manages to film next year as expected, the release date could fall anywhere between 2015 and 2016.

Via Collider. Twice.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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