Just yesterday, assorted outlets reported that the next James Bond film was on hold due to the pending sale of MGM. Today the big rumor is that the film is still on track for a late 2011 release and that Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) is being lined up to direct the script currently being written by Peter Morgan (The Queen).

My first response is one of horror. I mean this is the guy who took a giant dump called Away We Go in 2009 and who has a curious knack for making movies that ultimately bug the shit out of me.

On the other hand, James Bond movies tend to be producer driven vehicles and not director driven. It’s not like Mendes will replace the gun barrel opening with a plastic bag blowing in the breeze. I’d argue that the 2nd unit guy who handles the action is more important than the actual director.

Source: Heat Vision

9 Responses to “Sam Mendes in talks for next Bond flick”

  1. I thought Mendes was an overrated filmmaker, but judging from the response to this story on the net, NO ONE likes him.

    I’ve yet to like a Mendes movie, and I intensely disliked his last 2-3 pictures, but something about this sounds like it might click. Call me crazy. A. it takes Mendes out of America, B. this might loosen him up a bit.

    I hope so, because I loved Casino Royale and am still disappointed with the non-entity that was Quantum of Solace.

  2. I’m sure he’ll find some way to set the script at some point in America and have Bond interact with unhappy middle class folks who are trapped under the insufferable weight and misery of their horrid lives. It’s what he does.

  3. Chuck, I agree with your last sentence. To be fair, most of Mendes’ films have received their fair share of critical acclaim. I make the point as a fan of his work. I loved Revolutionary Road (perhaps my number one film of 2008), and greatly enjoyed Road to Perdition. At the time I also rated his subsequently much maligned American Beauty – though I’ve never felt the urge to revisit it.

    Joel’s supporting quip was very funny.

  4. Hahah Joel.

    I didn’t really dislike Mendez until Away We Go which if it was a person I’d want to punch it in the balls, and then I went back and started rethinking his other films.

    Rev Road was half of a brilliant film, but turned sour in the end for me.

    I also liked Am Beauty back in the day.

    Like him or no, as I said above I don’t think it much matters who the get to call “action” and “cut”. For better or for worse, there’s no way in hell anyone is going to make a creative decision on this film without the producer’s ok.

    It’s a paycheck gig for Mendes and a chance to prove after his last two box office fizzlers that he can bring in audiences.

    For Bond….I don’t know what it is. Artistic credibility maybe?

  5. Don’t forget Mendes directed Daniel Craig just fine in ROAD TO PERDITION. Hopefully he’ll be interested in the action scenes.

  6. Xan Brooks gets it exactly right. Bond is director-proof.


  7. Hmm. Since my two “favorite” Mendes films are Road to Perdition and Jarhead, this doesn’t sound so bad. It doesn’t sound good either.

  8. I kid, but the one Mendes film I really like is Road to Perdition and while it doesn’t have a ton of action, there are a couple great scenes in that. On second thought, I’m not sure whether to credit that to Mendes’s choices or the late Conrad Hall’s cinematography. The camera work in Away We Go implied that Mendes doesn’t necessarily have a singular visual style.

    But good point, Christian. Craig was good in RTP.

  9. Thanks for reminding me of Jarhead, Paul. I thought it was lazily dismissed and underrated by many critics.

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