Producer Michael G. Wilson talks about 007's legacy,
the series so far, and gives a status update on Bond
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
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."
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
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
"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."
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."
23 - January 2009 Report
23 - December 2008 Report
23 - October 2008 Report
23 - September 2008 Report