By Johnathan Bonham.
Soooo, I’m a bit of a James Bond freak. I mean, it’s really bad. Do I own all of the movies? Sure. Have I read (and own) all of the Ian Fleming novels? Maybe. Do I have multiple posters framed and hanging throughout my apartment? DON’T JUDGE ME! Yeah, I know, it probably isn’t healthy for a 28 year-old male to have an undying passion towards a British spy who goes through women like a rock star…but I can’t help it.
The big thing that had kept me awake at night a little while back was the whole “who is going to replace Daniel Craig?” question. Now let me just say this, I LOVE Daniel Craig. I wouldn’t say he saved the franchise, but he certainly gave it a much needed revitalization. The movies were starting to get way out of hand, and Pierce, as much as I love him, honestly only gave us one good Bond movie in Goldeneye. Then this chiseled, blonde haired, not Bond-looking chap came in and just blew our minds. To be fair, only two of his movies I would say are really good, but MY GOD are those movies good. Casino Royale and Skyfall are quite possibly top 5 movies in the franchise. Sean Connery is my all-time favorite Bond. He was the original. He brought the franchise to life and I will never forget that. But I’d be lying to myself if I said that Daniel Craig didn’t give him a serious run for his money.
I’m sure that most millennials, and even non-millennials, have Dan marked as the best, because they don’t have an appreciation for old movies and can get hung up on poor effects or cheesy action sequences. I can’t fault people for that, but fortunately for me I can see past that and it’s probably why Sean is still my number 1. Any who, back to Dan. As much as I love him and appreciate what he did for the franchise (and try to ignore the slitting his wrists before playing Bond again comment), I was ok with him leaving the franchise. I thought he was starting to look old in Skyfall, and Spectre, despite being a let down, at least gave him a nice send off. What helped me being ready to move on was a few of the people on the list for replacing Bond. Four big ones that come to mind were Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, and Michael Fassbender. Tom Hiddleston I was ok with, the other three I was PUMPED about. Tom Hardy could’ve been your skull crushing badass Bond, Fassbender would’ve been the smooth, cool talker, and Idris would’ve been a combination of both.
Needless to say, I was a bit distraught when Dan said he was coming back for more. I know he’s coming back purely for the money, which hurts because it means his heart isn’t in it, but I’m sure he’ll still deliver. What really baffles me is the fact they’re going to ante up like $100 million for him to do a movie when they could pay any of the others a fraction of the price and still make a billion dollar movie. It’s neither here nor there, Dan is back and all will be fine for now (although it really does suck because those other guys are right in their prime, so they’ll be a bit aged the next time the role is up for grabs).
So we’ve got the actor figured out, now the big question that I keep mulling over is who is going to direct the damn thing?! For me, it’s a no-brainer between two directors. They are two of the biggest names in movies right now, and everything they churn out is (or should be) 8.0+ on IMDb. The two men that I’m talking about, of course, are Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan. Four or five years ago it probably would’ve just been Nolan on my list, but dear god has Denis come on strong lately. Sicario, Arrival and Blade Runner?! That is a LIST. Not to mention the movie that put him on the map and is also very solid, Prisoners. What is very apparent to me in these movies is that Denis doesn’t overdo action, but he does it damn well. He builds tension and has realistic but super badass action sequences.
The highway scene in Sicario gets my heart beating so fast I think it’s going to explode, and the fight scenes in Blade Runner were tasteful. Then you have Arrival, a movie that had one of the most jaw-dropping and deep endings I’ve seen in my life. That movie moved me, and I was not expecting it to at all. What Arrival shows me is that the man can tell a story, and develops it to perfection. If you add all of those qualities together you have the makings of an incredible movie. So obviously it absolutely shattered me when I heard that Denis is now out of the running due to his passion project, Dune. He said that he wanted to make a Bond movie, but he had to do this one first as it’s been one he’s pursued for years. I understand that, and hell, I even appreciate that he does movies he’s passionate about, but it hurts all the same.
So that leaves us with Chris Nolan…not bad. Not bad at all. And by the way, I’m not saying by any means that I wanted Denis over Chris, I’m just on a bit of a Denis kick right now. Chris Nolan is quite possibly my favorite director of all time. Outside of Insomnia I’m not sure if the man has made an average movie. As a matter of fact, every other movie he has made might be an 8.0+ on IMDb. So if you pair a possible favorite director with my favorite movie character, things ain’t looking too bad! He is obviously one of the all-time great storytellers. Memento is one of the deepest movies I’ve ever seen, and the Batman trilogy is storytelling at its finest. Not to mention the man has also made Dunkirk, The Prestige, and Inception. The former he will probably win an Oscar for, and the latter two he probably should’ve. The action he incorporates into his movies is big and loud but not too much. Nolan also gets the most out of his actors. He gifted us with the greatest performance we’ll ever see in Heath Ledger’s Joker, Tom Hardy was an amazing Bane, and Guy Pearce was phenomenal as the confused widower.
I truly hope that Nolan gets the nod, especially with Denis out of the picture. I’d heard in the past that Quentin Tarantino had interest in directing a Bond movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tarantino and he gave me arguably my favorite movie, Pulp Fiction, but I think his tone and dialogue would feel out of place. Between Nolan’s knack for storytelling, his character development and the magnitude of his action sequences…ladies and gentlemen, we have our director.
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