Time Out recently sat down for an interview with actor Daniel Craig, star of the upcoming The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the new James Bond film, Skyfall, during which he comes clean about the previous Bond installment and how it was not what it should have been.
Upon discussing how it was the screenplay for Casino Royale that attracted him to the role originally, he reminisced about making that film’s sequel, Quantum of Solace.
“On Quantum, we were fucked. We had the bare bones of a script and then there was a writers’ strike and there was nothing we could do. We couldn’t employ a writer to finish it. I say to myself, ‘Never again’, but who knows? There was me trying to rewrite scenes – and a writer I am not.”
The fact that he and director Marc Forster rewrote some scenes themselves is probably news to most people. Seeing as how Craig has no writing experience and Forster had very little, that must’ve been rough on both of them to try and hammer out changes. This goes a long way towards explaining how the film turned out.
“It was never meant to be as much of a sequel as it was; it just ended up being one, starting where the last one finished. For me personally, on a level of feeling satisfied, I would want to do better next time. That’s really important to me.”
Now he’s looking forward to an excellent return to the series with Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes at the helm:
“I really think this one is better even than Casino Royale”, Craig enthuses. “Sam Mendes has lived with Bond all his life, and he grew up with Bond in the same way I did. We have exactly the same reference points, we both like the same Bond movies, and we both like the same bits in the same Bond movies we like. We sat down and we just rabbited for hours about Live And Let Die or From Russia With Love, and talked about little scenes that we knew from them. That’s how we started talking about it. That’s what we tried to instill in the script. He’s been working his arse off to tie all these things together so they make sense… in a Bond way!”
Better than Casino Royale? That’s a bold statement to make. I consider Casino Royale to be one of the best Bond films made due to its realism and concentration on the character as opposed to gadgets and a Bond who never seems to show much emotion. Quantum isn’t quite as bad as it’s made out to be, I even gave it a slight recommendation when it was released, but upon a second viewing, the flaws became more apparent.
Its main problems were having a weak villain that just about anyone could take on and beat and some really bad editing that turned the big action sequences into confusing blurs. With a great director running things and a script from some very talented screenwriters, including John Logan, Neal Purvis, and Robert Wade, it seems like Skyfall is on track to be a return to greatness for the Bond franchise.
Skyfall opens in theaters on November 9, 2012.