So too Martin Scorsese with our Howard Hughes biopic, “The Aviator.” A topic like Mr. Hughes naturally invitations controversy and excessive emotion. The push from outdoors the inventive circle was for the lurid and sensational, however Marty stared down each problem that threatened our extra humane model of the story. He generally stated, “Sure, that might make an fascinating Howard Hughes film, but it surely’s not our Howard Hughes film.” Considerably, within the case of each “Gladiator” and “The Aviator,” we have been working with courageous producers who defended our selections. They cared extra concerning the artwork than concerning the backside line.
While you’re making a film, you want a champion to battle battles like these. Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson are the champions of James Bond. They maintain the company and industrial pressures outdoors the door. Nor are they motivated by them. That’s why we don’t have a mammoth Bond Cinematic Universe, with infinite anemic variations of 007 sprouting up on TV or streaming or in spinoff motion pictures. The Bond motion pictures are actually essentially the most bespoke and handmade movies I’ve ever labored on. That’s why they’re unique, thorny, eccentric and particular. They have been by no means created with legal professionals and accountants and e-commerce mass advertising pollsters hovering within the background.
That is additionally why they’ll afford to be daring. Right here’s an instance from “Skyfall” — my favourite day engaged on the film, in actual fact.
Sam Mendes, the director, and I marched into Barbara and Michael’s workplace, sat on the household desk and pitched the primary scene between Bond and the villain, Raoul Silva. Now, the second 007 first encounters his archnemesis is usually the long-lasting second in a Bond film, the scene round which you construct plenty of the narrative and cinematic rhythms. (Take into consideration Bond first assembly Dr. No or Goldfinger or Blofeld, all traditional scenes within the franchise.) Nicely, Sam and I boldly introduced we needed to do that pivotal scene as a homoerotic seduction. Barbara and Michael didn’t must ballot a spotlight group. They didn’t must vet this radical thought with any studio or company — they liked it immediately. They knew it was contemporary and new, provocative in a manner that retains the franchise modern. They weren’t afraid of controversy. In my expertise, not many large motion pictures can work with such freedom and dangerous pleasure. However with the Broccoli/Wilson household on the helm, Bond is allowed to impress, develop and be idiosyncratic. Lengthy might that proceed.
James Bond has survived the Chilly Warfare, Goldfinger, Jaws, disco and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a number of instances. And I can solely hope that the powers that be at Amazon acknowledge the distinctiveness of what they only acquired and permit and encourage this particular household enterprise to proceed unobstructed.
Bond’s not “content material,” and he’s not a mere commodity. He has been part of our lives for many years now. From Sean Connery to George Lazenby to Roger Moore to Timothy Dalton to Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig, all of us grew up with our model of 007, so we care deeply about him.
Please let 007 drink his martinis in peace. Don’t shake him, don’t stir him.
John Logan co-wrote the screenplays for the James Bond movies “Skyfall” and “Spectre.” He was nominated for Academy Awards for finest unique screenplay for “The Aviator” and “Gladiator” and for finest tailored screenplay for “Hugo.” He received the Tony Award for finest play for “Purple.”
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