Box Office – 007 continues his winning streak

The collection began in 2002 when US superagent Ari Emanuel went to London for lunch with John Lasseter, then president of Walt Disney Studios, and met up again with the director Sam Mendes to…

Box Office - 007 continues his winning streak

The collection began in 2002 when US superagent Ari Emanuel went to London for lunch with John Lasseter, then president of Walt Disney Studios, and met up again with the director Sam Mendes to discuss a collaboration on a live-action Skyfall. Bond 007: Blood Stone was eventually shot in 2008 with Mendes returning in 2014, but there was a desperate need for a reboot after Craig made the first two Craig outings a critical and commercial hit. That reboot would prove to be not just a difficult ride to get off the ground – according to Mel Gibson’s snide ‘it’s boring to hate Bond,’ Bond didn’t go anywhere – but a challenging period to produce. From a 2009 shoot in London’s Whitehall to the union strike and the financial crisis, there was plenty of the mighty D on London to overcome. BOTTOM LINE: Still a joy. Bond is an ageless character that grows and changes with each new outing. But Skyfall put the Sony-Eon stable of producers back on its feet. Here’s a look back at what went wrong…SKYFALL – 2010-11 Make no mistake about it – Bond is still a carapace for the British establishment, a British man in a British man’s body. Sam Mendes wanted to bring in an American sensibility to the working class ward he wrote and directed. The most powerful studio figure in the world, in the form of Sony’s Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, stepped in to oversee the production. A cut, including Bond’s iconic goodbye to M that literally broke Mendes’ heart, went to the bosses. The story of Bond’s last mission with M was rewritten. The opening shot of Bond stopping the Q facility was flattened because it was seen as trying to overcompensate for being heretical. In Sandton, South Africa, the landscape was changed to play up the stereotype of Mandela as a republican. It was one of the worst decisions Bond had gone through.It looks like its trying to write itself into the DNA of a fictional character – it must never do that. In America he’s a super-wealthy elitist, but a Bond is fundamentally the same. A New Yorker now, but equally as ‘appalling’ as a Daily Mail columnist, though most would argue that no one could ever compare James Bond to a Daily Mail columnist. He’s called Bond the Wall Street of cinema, but that’s a name that requires adding the ultimate adjustment. 007 is a universal concept, that absolutely is a character you can refer to, but as far as 007 as a name is concerned, it’s a meaningless thing, someone you know as a character and you know when you meet him because you have seen a million Bonds, but you have never seen him. And if I don’t call you by the name I know you are, because you know everything about me and you’re already a Bond fan, by that name, what can I say about you? Or maybe I can say nothing. That’s not being rude. If I could think of a new word, a word that would really resonate with the art of Bond, what would it be? Is that a Bond word? Half a Bond word.Maybe the problem isn’t that nobody likes 007… is it? Probably, when there are some thirty other extraordinary films being made in Bond’s name and he gets three tries and everyone gets a week each at being Bond? We love we need those three, in the fullness of time, in the gaps of the gaps of time. So as Dan Williams, the publicist at Eon who then became a spokesperson for MGM, kept saying, “Danny is leaving, but Daniel still has to film 007 5”. On the money, he does. The problem is that film producers don’t do what Daniel Craig does. Daniel is one of a few men who ever walk in the world of 007. One other movie star is also one of a handful who can pull his hair out every morning to lay the spy. Daniel’s the one other Bond movie is locked into being for ten years of the past, 50 years of the future and two horse years of the future. He’s the only Bond movie, and he’s the only one who can get a man to walk in the outside world on a hot day, a world that has no veins, no arteries, nothing to nourish his soul. He is Bond, so those movies happen…But Dan again, in private, I think he’s starting to concede that it’s one man and it just has to be him. So it seems, even if his thinking is that the universe has found another leader.

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