Producer Michael G. Wilson talks about 007's legacy, the series so far, and gives a status update on Bond 23...

Producer Debrief
16th April 2009

James Bond producer Michael G. Wilson spoke to the Yorkshire Post ahead his masterclass at the Bradford International Film Festival last month to talk about 007's legacy, his role in the series so far, and an update on the 23rd film.

On the subject of Bond's enduring appeal, Wilson said: "There are a lot of other characters like Tarzan, Superman and Batman who have been reinvented over the years, but in terms of a single production entity then yes I guess James Bond is unique. But you know there has never been a moment when we've sat back and thought that's it, this will run and run. I don't even believe that now."

"Every time we recast Bond the character ends up being reinvented. It comes with the territory. They are all leading men who are appropriate to a specific time and place and their interpretation inevitably takes the film in a different direction."

"Roger Moore was certainly a change from Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton was a departure from Roger. There was a sense when we cast Pierce Brosnan that we were going back to the original vision and not everyone was happy about that. He may be a fictitious character, but 007 has become a matter of public property and the public don't like people messing with their vision of what Bond should be. I sympathise with them. They are our public and we don't want to let them down.


Above: Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson with their award for Contribution to British Cinema at the National Movie Awards in 2007.

With Daniel Craig he was pretty much an unknown in the role and I think people couldn't visualise how he was going to play it. He silenced the critics with his performance and now many think he's one of the best, if not the best Bond ever."

When asked what his favourite Bond outing is, Wilson said: "For each of the actors who have played 007 I do have a favourite film. In From Russia With Love and Goldfinger Sean really established the whole spy genre. George Lazenby may have only done one film, but On Her Majesty's Secret Service was the best Fleming story. The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger was the first one I properly worked on and I think it showed him at his best. Then there's The Living Daylights for Timothy and GoldenEye was Pierce's best. Daniel has yet to complete his time as Bond, but at the moment Casino Royale is my favourite of his so far."


When Wilson joined the legal department at EON Productions in 1972, he quickly found himself immersed in the creative side and became a trusted assistant to his stepfather Albert R. Broccoli. He collaborated with screenwriter Richard Maibaum to pen five films from For Your Eyes Only through Licence To Kill. When it was time to usher in the fifth Bond, Wilson paired up with his half-sister Barbara Broccoli to produce GoldenEye and all of the subsequent outings to date.

"You can only write for so long and I knew my time would probably be better spent on other things," he said.

"It's just about impossible to find someone who can take on a whole script individually so instead we have a team of writers which Barbara and I supervise."

"At the moment the third Daniel Craig movie is not even a glimmer in its mother's eye. Filming Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace back to back took a lot out of time and energy so at the moment we are all just recharging our batteries."

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