Hollywood history is full of what-ifs. What if Tom Selleck had played Indiana Jones? What if Edgar Wright got to direct Ant-Man (that one still stings)? What if Steven Soderbergh directed a James Bond film? That last one comes to us courtesy of a Q&A at Nitehawk Cinema, following a screening of Haywire, when Soderbergh revealed that he had been approached to direct a James Bond movie more than once, but it never got off the ground.
Here’s what the director had to say:
Over the years, I’ve been in conversations…I’ve been approached twice about doing a Bond film. And it never quite got anywhere. And [‘Haywire’] in some ways, was my opportunity to do what I would do with a Bond movie.
The little tidbit was dropped in the midst of a discussion about Haywire and Soderbergh’s attempts to get a sequel (and even a TV show) made, all to no avail. Certainly Haywire proves that the director could make a pretty good Bond film, if he never took up the opportunity.
While we might bemoan the loss of a Soderbergh Bond film, I’m not convinced it’s such a bad thing. Although Soderbergh has always flirted with big budget studio films – this is the man behind Ocean’s Eleven, after all – he always seems more comfortable doing his own thing on his own time, with more control over the finished product than most major franchises would give him. Joss Whedon suffered under the needs of a franchise with his two Avengers films, and even directors like J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg tend to get burnt out on franchises eventually.
Meanwhile, Soderbergh continues to work on a director’s cut of Kafka, a film that initially came out in 1991 that stars Jeremy Irons as the titular author. Soderbergh admits that he was never really happy with the movie – which few people saw on its initial release – and has been working on the director’s cut for 14 years. So, I guess we have that to look forward to, should he ever manage to complete it.