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Yes I Would

9th August 2021

GoldenEye and Casino Royale director on a potential return for Bond 26

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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Martin Campbell, who directed James Bond debuts for Pierce Brosnan in 'GoldenEye' and Daniel Craig in 'Casino Royale' hosted an Ask-Me-Anything session today and treated the audience to some refreshing honesty and hope for Bond 26.

Were there any other films that you drew inspiration from when directing GoldenEye and Casino Royale?
Yes, I drew my inspiration from every other Bond film that came before. Truthfully! I looked at every Bond film, both with Connery and Roger Moore, and subsequently took a lot of inspiration from those films.

What movie or movies inspired you to be a filmmaker?
The Manchurian Candidate, The Wild Bunch, Lawrence of Arabia, and Bridge on the River Kwai.

What were the most important things you learned from Goldeneye with regards to establishing Brosnan's presence as the new Bond (and/or differentiating him from those who came before)? Did they inform your approach to Casino Royale with Craig?
I think Goldeneye is a more serious movie than the Roger Moore movies and Pierce Brosnan himself brought a much more grounded Bond than Roger Moore. Also, his relationship with M was very different from the past and of course, the bad guys turned out to be the Russians, who were the bad guys du jour in the 90s. But each actor brings a very different characterization of Bond. The difference between Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig could not be more extreme.

Is it true that Barbara Broccoli pushed for Daniel Craig and your favoured candidate was either Goran Visnjic or Henry Cavill?
No, we tested Henry Cavill and Goran, but Daniel Craig was the best.

Is it true there was a substantial amount of footage involving Bond/Vesper that never made the final cut of Casino Royale?
No, just about all the footage with Vesper was included in the film. There was probably one or two tiny scenes that were not included, but probably about 97% of her involvement made the final cut.

You've directed some of the most famous action sequences from films of the last 30 years. how precisely do you and the second unit storyboard these things? or is there a certain amount of improvisation in the finished product?
All the action scenes are planned very carefully. In the case of Casino Royale, all the action scenes were storyboarded and the second unit director was Alex Witt, who is one of the best second unit directors in the world. I give him the storyboards, we sit with them, talk them through, and then he goes away and shoots them. I tell him if you can shoot it in a different way, come up with something better, other ideas - shoot what you like, as long as you shoot my storyboard.

What is the most important thing when directing an action sequence?
The most important thing is relating that action sequence to the characters involved, not just action for action's sake. And make sure the action is imaginative, clear, and concise. The problem nowadays is that action sequences are cut too fast and you never know what the hell is going on.

You mentioned in the DVD commentary for GoldenEye that in that film you included homages to other films such as The Wild Bunch and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Did you include any homages to other films in The Protégé?
'GoldenEye' is homaged - Michael Keaton detects a hidden H&K gun by the sound of its cocking, as Zukovsky does with Bond's PPK ;)

Did you have any input into the legendary video game GoldenEye?
Sadly, none whatsoever. I could've done with the money!

In your past experience with Bond films, what was the secret to attracting both longtime fans and people who have never seen (and may not have been interested in) past Bond films?
Just making it better than any of the previous Bonds. After all, Bond has everything: women love him, men want to be him, and the films are a mixture of sex, violence, terrific action, adventure, and locations all over the world.

If Pierce Brosnan would have declined Goldeneye who would have been your second choice?
There was no second choice. We never considered anyone else but Pierce Brosnan. Don't forget, he tested for the role earlier, but because of a TV contract, he couldn't do it, so the part went to Timothy Dalton.

Will we ever get a Green Lantern 2?
Over my dead body.

What's a genre you haven’t really worked in that you'd love to take a shot at?
I'd love to work in comedy! I think I'd do a good job. Marvel? Forget it. I fucked it up once, never again.

Outside your own two films, what's your favorite Bond movie?
From Russia with Love

GoldenEye and Casino Royale are two of the greatest Bond movies ever! Would you ever consider doing another one?
Yes, I would. I love the franchise, and it would be with a new Bond, which is always interesting, especially given my two Bond movies had different Bonds.

Martin Campbell's new movie,  The Protégé, stars Maggie Q, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Keaton and opens in cinemas on August 20th, 2021.

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