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Taking Up So Much Air

22nd April 2020

Cary Fukunaga has given a meandering interview about No Time To Die

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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Interview Magazine paired up 'No Time To Die' director Cary Fukunaga with his friend and fellow film helmer Miranda July to discuss his work on the James Bond franchise. The discussion takes some irrelevant turns, especially as July admits she has never seen a Bond film, but there were some interesting nuggets about the next 007 adventure buried within (Fukunaga admits he did not put himself in the film). It is not disclosed when the interview took place, but it may be assumed it was done before the Coronavirus delay pushed the film to November, as no mention is made of it.

It's felt like hard work and the process has been a bit isolating:

The visual parts of the movie are locked, and we start sound on Monday. It’s great to finally hear what the movie is supposed to sound like after so many conversations about it. But I was talking to someone recently about how there’s this anticlimactic part of finishing a film where there are just fewer and fewer people in the room, until it’s just two people doing the quality-control check, and then that’s it. No confetti or champagne. It’s like, “Someone tell me this isn’t a complete disaster.” The fun bits will probably come about more in hindsight. It’s felt like climbing up a mountain every day without ever seeing the summit. 

He didn't have a long-term relationship with the Bond series prior to getting the call:

I don’t think I’d seen every single James Bond film, but I was pretty well-versed on it. I don’t think I became a fan of the franchise until Casino Royale. Prior to that, my only in-depth James Bond experience was at my cousin’s house playing GoldenEye.

And de Armas had fun with her role:

Ana told me before we started shooting that she never exercises. But then they had her out there getting prepped for military training, like how to operate weapons and move tactically. Watching her fire guns while still being 100 percent herself was magical, because she somehow could be tough but still look like she was having the time of her life. She liked the firepower.

The inclusion of a female 00-agent in the film was not his idea:

Well, first of all, Barbara Broccoli, one of the main producers, is either the first or second most successful female producer. Feminism is something she has slowly been turning up the dial on for decades. The inclusion of a new female 00 agent had come from Barbara. I only found out through working with her that she had wanted to do a spin-off of Jinx, which is Halle Berry’s character in Die Another Day. The female characters in the film, who they are and what they stand for, was definitely something Barbara had already had in mind. And Phoebe—who is a brilliant writer regardless of her gender, but is writing really fun and more fully fleshed-out female characters than anyone else right now—brought a lot of ideas about how to make the characters we already had that much more interesting.

He didn't think he would have enough time to finish the film, even with the pre-Coronavirus delay:

We were originally going to release the film in November, but when Danny Boyle left the project and I came onboard, there was a whole reset. So we pushed it back to March, and then I was fighting to push it back even further, because I just didn’t think we had enough time to finish it. Something I hadn’t realized, even until now, is how far in advance studios swoop up these windows for their films to come out, in order to give them the best chance of having a good box office.

He considered a fan theory about Bond's torture in SPECTRE as a possible continuity explanation:

I swear to god, I had an idea that this movie could all be taking place inside the villain’s lair from the last film. There’s this scene where a needle goes into James Bond’s head, which is supposed to make him forget everything, and then he miraculously escapes by a watch bomb. And then he and Léa blow up the place, and go on to save the day. I was like, “What if everything up until the end of act two is all inside his head?”

His personal relationships made an impact on the story:

It’s so hard to separate the project from a chapter in my life. Everything that’s happening—relationship issues, family issues—is in there. Especially being a writer on this one, it’s impossible that there’s not that contamination between the two worlds. It was interesting putting my relationships into this movie. Not that I consider Bond an equivalent of my life or my romantic life at all, but what I was able to process this year definitely is part of what goes into this story. Complicated, paranoid relationships.

Click here to read the complete discussion at Interview Magazine.

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