Trade paper Variety today
published a report featuring quotes from producers
Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, Sony co-chairman
and writer Paul Haggis on the topic of the 22nd James Bond film.
Although 'replacing' Pierce
Brosnan and casting
Daniel Craig as 007 in the stripped down
outing "Casino Royale"
was initially controversial, the move paid off with
critics and the box-office alike,
taking in almost
"What we found
is that you can strip away a lot of the bells and whistles,
but it still feels uniquely like a Bond film," notes
Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal.
"Throughout the history
of the franchise, the actors, tone and style of the
films have changed, but the fundamental essence of
what makes Bond endures."
Producer Barbara Broccoli also talked about the impact Craig
had on the reinvigorated franchise. "He is a key factor in
all of this," she said. "We
were very excited that the response to Daniel was so strong.
'Casino Royale' has set a new standard, and it's now a question
meeting those expectations for the
next one and delivering a film that is emotional and dramatic
as well as action-packed."
Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson,
Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal,
and writer Paul Haggis
When quizzed about the story to Bond 22, Broccoli said they "will
continue the path of Bond trying to find out who was behind
the Le Chiffre operation. That's as much as
we're going to say." Writer Paul Haggis has already
expanded on this concept in recent
interviews, but added, "I
can tell you it starts right
where 'Casino' left off. Yes,
Bond will be going after the organization that we hinted at.
It will be the same Bond you saw in 'Casino,' a
very human and flawed assassin, a man who has to navigate a
morally complex and often cynical world while attempting to
hold onto his deep beliefs of what is right and wrong."
Craig, speaking recently to the Chicago Sun-Times, echoed
Haggis: "He also has to deal with revenge because he has
lost the girl. Bond is still maybe too headstrong, and he doesn't
make all of the right decisions."
Without Me, You'd Have Been Dead Long Ago
With the 'reboot' out of the way, many fans expected to see
some moves to return to the regular elements of the series,
such as Moneypenny and Q. Broccoli calmed excitement at that
prospect by saying, "Certainly, there may come a point where
those beloved characters return, but, at
the moment, they're not in 22."
On the topic of source Ian
Fleming material, which is running
a little thin after 21 films, producer Michael G. Wilson explained
that the story for Bond 22 will have Fleming elements, but
will not be based on anything specific. "You're always looking
back at Fleming for inspiration," notes Wilson, "all
the writers do. Without
getting specific, maybe there will be references to certain
episodes. The approach to it is that Fleming is very much in
the fabric of it."
Variety notes that the relationship between
Eon Productions and Sony has started out on a firm footing."What's
great about Sony is that they are truly with you through thick
and thin," Broccoli observes. "They
really want to be partners and are a valuable part of the whole
enterprise. They have the passion for it, but will also spend
the time when it's needed and do whatever needs to be done.
They are very committed to the partnership. We couldn't ask
for anything better."
Directing A Double-O
Although Casino Royale director Martin Campbell flirted with on-again off-again
rumours of his potential return for Bond 22, eventually Swiss-born helmer Marc
Forster was hired to lead up Daniel Craig's second outing as 007.
films such as "Monster's Ball," "Finding Neverland" and
the upcoming "The Kite Runner" under his belt, Forster was an interesting
choice. "I've always been a fan of Bond," Forster said, "so
this has been a childhood dream of mine. Daniel Craig is a fantastic actor,
and it becomes more character-driven just because of him. That inspired me
to be part of this. It's important that the action is good, because I want
it to be exciting, but it's important to me to never lose that connection
to Bond and the emotional arc he goes on. "
"We have always believed that great filmmakers
can always work in multiple genres," Broccoli said. "(Forster)
is certainly a great filmmaker and a great storyteller.
... It will not only pack a dramatic punch, but also
deliver on the action."
Adds Pascal: "Marc
is an incredibly sophisticated filmmaker with great visual
style and a lot of energy. The pairing of Marc and Daniel
is very exciting, and it was in keeping with the new
direction of the franchise to bring in a fresh and original
talent like Marc."
Above: Director Marc Forster