Love it or loathe it – or even if your feelings linger somewhere in between – there’s no question that the recently-released Spectre represents a defining turning point for the James Bond franchise. Not only does the film bring closure to much of the story strands raised during Daniel Craig’s tenure with the license to kill, but there’s also the small matter of the distribution rights, with all signs currently pointing to MGM seeking a new studio in lieu of Sony. But what of Sam Mendes?
It’s no secret that the Oscar-winning director danced around the idea of directing Spectre, committing to the Skyfall follow-up before abruptly changing his mind. Alas, Mendes did indeed return to the director’s chair, but at least for now, it appears the filmmaker won’t be pulling a similar stunt when it comes to Bond 25. Stop us if you’ve heard this before.
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During a recent interview with Deadline, Mendes was understandably apprehensive about committing to Bond 25 so soon after the release of Spectre – itself a grand and complex shoot. But perhaps more important than that is, at least in the director’s eyes, the latest entry into the spy series represents the end of a journey, though will it signal Mendes’ swan song?
Without giving too much away, the difference here for me is, this movie draws together all four of Daniel’s movies into one final story, and he completes a journey. That wasn’t the case last time. There is a sense of completeness that wasn’t there at the end of ‘Skyfall,’ and that’s what makes this feel different. It feels like there’s a rightness to it, that I have finished a journey.
On the other hand, Daniel Craig, ever the one to keep us on our toes with sarcastic comments and headline-ready quips, appears to be on the verge of returning for at least one more James Bond film. That’s according to producer Michael G. Wilson, who revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the studio is confident of securing Craig for the inevitable Bond 25.
At the age of 47, however, the British acting veteran unfortunately isn’t getting any younger, and given the intensity of the franchise, it’s hardly surprising to learn of the actor’s arduous shoot. You may recall that Craig suffered a leg injury while filming Spectre, which threatened to push back production. He managed to battle through, and here’s what Mendes had to offer about the actor’s commitment to his craft.
We were in Mexico City, when Daniel said, “I can’t run. I can barely walk.” And he had only run about one day at that point, and I thought, “We’ve got four months to go. If you can’t run now, how are we going to do this?” He was very distressed because he was in pain, A, and B, because he thought he was letting us down. All we could say was, “Go rest. Do what you have to do to your knee and we’ll go down for a week or two and reorganize and reschedule, so that you can come back with some strength.” So there were two days there where I thought we’re never going to do this. We’re never going to make this, and we were absolutely got to the point where he could easily have called up and said, “I still can’t walk. We have to stop and we’ll pick it up again after the year, and release it the following year.” Weirdly, that created a turning point, where the opposite happened.
Spectre is in theaters across the globe now, and to get the jump on Daniel Craig’s latest and possibly final – only time will tell if he’ll reprise his part for Bond 25 – outing as the 00 agent, check out our review.