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Director / Star transition

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#1 rubixcub



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Posted 29 July 2015 - 09:17 PM

Would you rather see the same director handle the transition between Bond actors (i.e. direct Craig's last & Bond #7's first) or a clean break (i.e. the new Bond starts with a new director)?


If Mendes can be convinced to direct Bond 25 -- likely Craig's Bond swansong -- then we'd be more likely to have a new director start with the new Bond for #26, and a new direction (whatever that may be).  If Mendes is really done after this one, then getting a director who'd be up for two back-to-back (and I keep thinking Morten Tyldum will get the next gig but it'll be who it'll be) to oversee the transition might not be a bad idea.


Going back, Guy Hamilton oversaw the transition from Connery to Moore, and John Glen oversaw the transition from Moore to Dalton.  Martin Campbell returned to usher in Daniel Craig.


Reply with your thoughts.  Advise if this needs to be merged with the "Ideal Bond Directors" thread.



#2 Blofeld's Cat

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 12:13 AM

Campbell introduced Brosnan as Bond as well, and as far as I'm concerned he's two for two because GoldenEye and Casino Royale are really good Bond movies.


Would Campbell do another Bond movie to intro a new actor in the role? Considering his track record in that respect, certainly I hope so.

#3 tdalton



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Posted 30 July 2015 - 01:47 AM

I'd rather see the new Bond start with a new director.  I think that the approach, in terms of the style and tone of the films, should be similar to what they're doing now, but I'd like to see a different director take the reigns when it's time to introduce Craig's successor.​​

#4 Guy Haines

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 07:01 AM

It's happened twice in the series - George Lazenby and Peter Hunt and Pierce Brosnan and Martin Campbell. The other two occasions the directors were carry overs from the previous films and I wonder if, at the time, it was more to do with the direction the series was taking which, it was felt, a new actor wouldn't greatly change. The humour aspect of Bond had already gone up a gear with DAF, and I think the producers were still hopeful that Sean Connery would be around for LALD - he wasn't, but the change of tone in DAF made it easier to replace Connery with Roger Moore (Who, oddly enough at times over compensated a bit the other way, as if trying to prove he was tough enough to be Bond - his first two films sometimes show his Bond at its most serious.)

The move to a "down to Earth" Bond had started in 1981 when John Glen helmed FYEO and while it had its ups and downs - OP was a bit of a comic book romp for example - the direction was already there when Timothy Dalton became Bond. Actually, that's when a change of director and screenwriters would have made sense, imho, in view of Dalton's rather different approach to Bond compared with Moore.

I think the first film with Daniel Craig's successor will see a new director in by default, unless Sam Mendes finds a compelling reason to return to the series, and you should never say never with him! I can't see Marc Forster wanting another go after the reactions to QoS and if the first "Bond 7" film isn't until, say, the early 2020s, won't any other previous director be a bit advanced in age?

#5 Dustin



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Posted 30 July 2015 - 07:37 AM

It really depends what Eon wants in terms of how the new actor is going to be introduced, Guy already pointed it out. All previous Bonds were introduced with a strong emphasis on business-as-usual, the audience - in spite of Lazenby's remark about 'the other guy' - was always supposed to see the same Bond in the same timeline from DN through DAD. Brosnan's first assured us 'you know the name - you know the number'.

There's a high probability that would still be the case to this very day - had Casino Royale not toyed with the origin angle. After all, tonal shifts were already a staple of the series, they happened with nearly each new entry. But apparently it was felt the series needed a greater distance from a - financially most profitable - run, so we got a change in the lead role, a shift in direction, a break in timeline, and on top of it all a flexible-reality moment in Skyfall with the Aston.

It's entirely possible that after Craig the producers will once more want to change gears, perhaps even with entirely new personal in front of the camera. In that case a newcomer may be their director of choice, somebody who won't even pretend the new Bond is the old one. I think ultimately it will depend on who they choose as next Bond, what kind of emphasis the future of the series is supposed to have. That will decide whether a 'new' or 'old with a new twist' direction will be needed.

#6 David_M


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Posted 30 July 2015 - 01:37 PM

From an artistic standpoint, I'd think you'd want a new director to go with a new actor, to emphasize that it's a fresh start, a clean break, "not your father's Bond" etc.  As evidence of how this can work, we have OHMSS, which still stands out as a very unique entry in the series not only because it's Laz's only outing but also because it's Hunt's only time in the director's chair, and his style is very different to what went before and came after.  If EON had gone for "business as usual" by returning to Hamilton, Young or Gilbert, I'm sure it would have been a very different film.  Possibly we'd be a lot less willing to overlook the rough edges, like Lazenby's inexperience, if the film overall had been a cookie-cutter Bond flick; I think it would've added to the feeling that George was just a "stand-in" for the "real" Bond, instead of creating the more favorable impression that they were going for something boldly different and special.  Even if it's not 100% successful (and some would argue it IS), you just have more admiration for them when they're wiling to go outside the comfort zone and take risks.


Then again, it's worth asking whether the producers really went into it knowing what Hunt was going to give them.  After all, he was new to directing and it's possible they just expected him to follow the template set by the predecessors he'd worked under.  Maybe the fact that he was never asked back suggests they weren't as crazy about his style as some of the rest of us are.


From a producer's point of view, It is a business after all, and sometimes continuity is comforting.  After 12 years (!) of Moore, EON was going out on a limb with whomever they chose to replace him (even if half the world did think Roger should've left a film or two earlier), so it kind of made sense to put Glen in charge of Dalton's debut.  By that point, Glen was pretty much a Bond-making machine, so even if Dalton had proven to be troublesome, everything else was a known quantity.


The interesting one, for me, is LALD.  After the great success of GF, I really found Hamilton's DAF to be limp, lazy and uninspired, but somehow when Moore shows up, Hamilton's got his "A" game on again.  Everything's a little tighter, more lively, more energized, adding to the feeling that youth and freshness has been injected (in spite of Roger actually being older than Sean).  


Regardless of what we might want, I suspect the next Bond will be introduced with a new director and a new "spin."  The Craig Bond, for me, is almost entirely different from the "Classic" model Bond (or Fleming Bond, but I'm not getting into that argument), so making the next actor follow his lead would mean asking him to do a Craig impression, and that would be as big a mistake as, in the old days, asking an actor to imitate Connery.  The next guy should be allowed to go his own way, and part of that should be getting a director who's sympatico with his approach.  


Plus, given that Mendes is the first director to do consecutive Bonds in 26 years (!) I think it's pretty obvious what the odds favor.