Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Finding Neverland Director to Helm Bond 22

Coming on the heels of Martin Campbell's redefinition of the Bond character in Casino Royale, Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Stranger than Fiction) will be directing the next Bond film. The 22nd installment of the franchise will also see the return of Daniel Craig in the starring role.

Initially, the choice of Forster to direct the new film may seem an odd one, but I think it might be a further step in the right direction. While Campbell's Casino Royale was one of my favorite Bond films in years, I think that had more to do with the inclusion of Alexander Witt as the Second Unit Director than it did with any input Campbell had as Director. Casino's strengths were in the action and Craig's acting, and not in the subtle direction of small scenes.

Let us ask the question the following way. Please allow for the underlying assumptions (the "given" statements) for the sake of the argument, even if you disagree.

  1. GIVEN: That Casino Royale was one of the best James Bond films ever made.

  2. GIVEN: The Bourne Identity was a key film in the redefinition of the spy film genre.

  3. GIVEN: One of the things that made Casino Royale so entertaining was the way the action sequences awed the audience.

  4. GIVEN: Martin Campbell directed Goldeneye, Vertical Limit, and No Escape in addition to two Zorro films without Alexander Witt as Second Unit Director.

  5. GIVEN: The above films had wide range of quality, from good to bad.

  6. GIVEN: Goldeneye has a very different "feel" than Casino Royale

  7. GIVEN: Alexander Witt was Second Unit Director on Black Hawk Down, The Bourne Identity, Gladiator, Black Rain, and Speed.

  8. GIVEN: The action sequences in the listed Alexander Witt films have certain stylistic similarities that contributed to the entertainment value of those films.

  9. GIVEN: Casino Royale had a "Bournesque" feel to a lot of the action.

  10. THUS: Alexander Witt had a lot to do with what was entertaining about Casino Royale



With all of the above in mind, I think that bringing in a director who has directed some very entertaining (non-action based) films in the past is a way that the Bond films could improve. But only if they hire the right Second Unit Director.
Post a Comment