Let me start by saying this: I loved Skyfall. I thought it was a brilliant film, and certainly one of the finest Bond films of all time. That was due in no small part to the phenomenal job Sam Mendes did directing it. So, that being said, I have absolutely no problem with Mendes as the director, but I don’t think he’ll be back for Bond 24.
Since John Glenn in the 80s, no director has done back-to-back Bond films. Martin Campbell has done two (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) but there were obviously quite a few films between those. I’m not saying it can’t happen, just that more than likely Mendes won’t be directing the next 007 film.
Mendes said that he was influenced by Christopher Nolan and The Dark Knight films when making Skyfall, and that influence wasn’t a subtle one. At times during Skyfall I was momentarily confused as to whether I was watching a Bond film or a Batman one. If Mendes was so keen on making Bond like Nolan’s Batman, then why not let Nolan take on a Bond film himself?
Well, I don’t have any reasons why not, but I do have a list of reasons why he should, and why Nolan at the helm of a Bond film, specifically the next one, would lead to the most epic Bond film ever.
Continue reading on the next page to see why we think putting Nolan at the helm of a Bond film would be an excellent choice…Next
It’d Be Financially Brilliant
There are few people in the world who aren’t either a Bond fan or a Nolan fan. Granted, the majority of those fans likely overlap into both camps, but who wouldn’t rush to theaters to see those two powerhouses merge?
Traditionally, Bond films have avoided bringing in the highest profile, and therefore highest paid, directors. Right now Nolan is as high profile as them come, but that is part of why it would be so smart for the Bond franchise to bring the director on board. It isn’t as if these movies have ever had a lack of fans or a lack of profits, so why not pay top dollar for a top notch director like Nolan? He is certainly going to make it worth your money and more in the dividends of people seeing the film just for his name alone. The producers have already said they think it would be a dream to bring on Nolan, so it isn’t as if they’re running from his high-profile status.
Skyfall has been a giant success at the box office, proving that the market is as hot for Bond films as ever. Nolan has had 2 films break the $1 billion mark, and Inception wasn’t far off. Putting those two together would more than justify the top dollar that Nolan would likely command.
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He Wants 007
The rule for movies in the post-Dark Knight age should be if Christopher Nolan wants to do a film, you let him do it.
Nolan has voiced his fandom for the Bond franchise, and even told BBC when marketing Inception that the film was influenced by the Bond movies of his childhood.
“The Bond influence on the film was very intentional because, for me, growing up with the Bond films – they’ve always stood for grand-scale action…
In dealing with the human mind and dreams, my mind naturally gravitates towards the Bond films as that sort of expression of cinematic potential.
(Bond films have always) stood for the promise of being taken to some place bigger than you could have imagined.”
That isn’t the only interview where Nolan talked about 007 though, he told Empire that’d he’d be interested in doing a Bond film, but “It would have to be the right situation and the right time in their cycle of things.”
Now that it’s known it wouldn’t take any elaborate wooing to get Nolan to begrudgingly agree to suffer through a Bond film, I see little reason why it shouldn’t happen. Nolan wants to do it, so let him take on 007.
While Nolan has gotten most of his hype from the Dark Knight films and Inception, just as outstanding was the work on Memento, the film famed for being an out-of-order story, but in reality was much deeper than just that.
Memento deals with a man whose tattered soul is partially because of his lack of memory of the real events surrounding his wife’s death, but also because of the way he handles it. He’s able to completely remove any empathetic feelings he previously had for the humans who he murders in order to get his revenge, and he doesn’t care who he hurts in order to achieve the justice he believes his wife deserves.
This mindset of disposable humans and the willingness to kill for revenge is essential to the character of Bond, and although his re-hardening due to Vesper’s death wasn’t brought up in Skyfall, it’s an essential part of the Daniel Craig Bond, very much in the way Leonard Shelby has closed himself off because of his wife’s death.
Plus, if Craig doesn’t continue with Bond, Guy Pearce would be an excellent choice to fill the role.
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Something many fans may not know is that Christopher Nolan is actually an English literature graduate of University College London. Nolan has said his studies have largely influenced his film-making.
“One thing I did get from it, while I was making films at the same time with the college film society, was that I started thinking about the narrative freedoms that authors had enjoyed for centuries and it seemed to me that filmmakers should enjoy those freedoms as well,” said Nolan.
The director has shown the willingness to take narrative freedoms before, most notably in the aforementioned Memento, but more important to me than the influence his studies had on his past movies is the fact he was studying literature of the English speaking world while in London. That bodes very well to him have picked up a Fleming novel or two at some point.
Ian Fleming is a phenomenal writer. Any fan of the Bond films who hasn’t read Fleming is desperately missing out. His novels are almost impossible to put down once started. The man once spread 18 holes of golf over 50 pages and made it absolutely thrilling (Goldfinger).
All directors are in the business of storytelling, just as authors are, but some definitely have more of an appreciation for the written word than others. Nolan seems to be in the camp that greatly values novels, as we saw with The Dark Knight Rises and the heavy influence Dickens’ A Tale Of Two Cities had throughout the film. Using that love and appreciation of literature, Nolan would surely be able to translate his background into a masterful 007 tale.
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Scarecrow, Joker, and Bane
Essential to all the Bond films are the Bond villains, and who has proven to be more capable of directing villains than Nolan? Heath Ledger’s Joker is already carved in stone as one of the most iconic villains of all time, and although much of the performance can be attributed to Ledger’s total immersion into his role, he was still directed by Nolan and it was Nolan’s vision that led to the mysterious and violent character we saw.
Barely less impressive was Bane. Again, Tom Hardy is a phenomenal actor, and surely could have thrived under any director, but it was Nolan who made Bane more than a costumed wrestler. He turned Bane into a visionary, trained by the best, who had as fervent a following as any villain we’ve ever seen. The devotion Bane’s henchmen showed could translate so well to the devotion of those working for the next Bond villain.
But more fitting for Bond than either of the major villains Nolan has done would be his portrayal of Scarecrow. Cillian Murphy is someone I think is sinister enough to play a Bond villain. Bane and Joker were terrifying, Scarecrow was creepy, and that was what made him so fun to watch.
He is slightly psychotic, his excitement that is mixed with his fear when Batman is first in Arkham really chills me, yet he still has the intelligence of a doctor. He is a smart villain, and although nothing of a physical match for Batman, he is a worthy mental foe with a plan. When not wearing the mask he is completely composed.
One of my favorite scenes is the one where Rachel comes to see Falcone in the asylum, and Crane hisses, “As you can see, there’s nothing convenient about his symptoms.” The delivery of that line combined with when he takes her down to the basement, reveals where they are dumping the medicine into the water before gassing her just oozes the sinister slime we expect from a Bond villain.
I don’t think it would be any stretch of the imagination to picture Nolan translating Cillian Murphy’s performance into that of a phenomenal Bond villain, and that would make for an exceptional 24th Bond film.
Although it may still be a bit until any decisions regarding Bond 24 are finalized, the success of Skyfall has fans eager for 007′s next appearance, so it’s likely rumors will be circulating more and more rapidly as time goes on.
A decision about the director will surely be one of the first made, and it would be in both the fans’ and the franchise’s best interest if Christopher Nolan was selected.
Am I right in saying Nolan is the best choice, or is there someone you’d rather see? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.Previous