I don’t know that Sam Mendes was specifically going out of his way to shit on all the previous Bonds as he complemented Daniel Craig’s ability for thoughtful, emotionally complex performance in an interview on the set of Skyfall. That said, Brosnan, Connery, Nelson, Moore, Niven, Lazenby, Dalton…
You see, Mendes was simply confirming that his film would indeed follow the path charted by the previous two Bond films that’s taken the character down a road of more internal turmoil and self-reflection. So far the addition of moodiness to Bond has been relatively light, but accentuated by a more punishingly sharp-edge to the violence as well. Now we’ve got the moody director of such films as American Beauty, Road To Perdition, Jarhead, and Revolutionary Road tackling Bond, so most of us already expected a heightening of some of those headier themes. And in confirming that direction, Mendes said the following to Yahoo!.
In Fleming’s last novels, Mendes said, Bond suffered from a “combination of lassitude, boredom, depression, difficulty with what he’s chosen to do for a living, which is to kill. That makes him a much more interesting character, and some of those things are explored in this movie, because Daniel as an actor is capable of exploring them.”
Cue me running around like Cartman on the playground yelling about burns, meanwhile cut to Sean Connery who grunts and rolls back over on the couch.
“You always go back to the Fleming because the character Fleming created over a number of novels was incredibly complex… Some people sometimes forget in the cliche of Bond, which is the international playboy, and someone who’s always untroubled, and almost never breaks a sweat, that actually what he created was a very conflicted character.’
Immaturity aside, it’s true that Craig is uniquely up to the challenge of hitting that slight edge of darkness without losing credibility in the action scenes or stripping the fun out of the proceedings entirely. Mendes himself hasn’t often demonstrated those same skills, even if I happen to like his brand of melodrama in many cases, and appreciate his abilities at creating iconic imagery. The reaction to the first batch of footage from his film was positive, if measured by the fact that not much could be seen. The production diaries and stills have been fun though.
Expect a full trailer for the November 9th release soon.