James Bond will be back on the big screen in just matter of days (as if you didn’t know). And director Marc Forster is really feeling the pressure.
In a recent interview which has just been published by The Times, the Quantum of Solace director spoke about his current predicament: how to top Daniel Craig’s debut 007 film while still leaving his own mark on the 22nd instalment to the Bond series?
Director Marc Forster
‘There’s really no upside,’ says Forster, referring to the task of following up the commercially successful and critically adored Casino Royale, helmed by Martin Campbell. ‘If I make a film that isn’t as good as Casino Royale, it’s going to be a failure. If it doesn’t make as much money, it’s going to be a failure. Casino Royale was so beloved, people now expect more. The film has to be better.’
Thankfully, Forster seems up to the job (the Swiss director was busily editing away the film while this interview took place).
Quantum of Solace Directed By… Marc Forster?
If one judge solely by Forster’s previous films, which include the brooding Monster’s Ball, the magical Finding Neverland and the zany Stranger Than Fiction, then the announcement of him helming James Bond #22 may have come as a bit of a surprise to some movie fans.
According to Forster, producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were taking a slightly different approach to this Bond entry. They wanted ‘an art-house movie’, he said.
Quantum of Solace
‘My agent called me and said, “They want to offer you Bond. Are you interested?”,’ Forster recalls. ‘I said, “Not really.” He said, “They’d like to meet you.” And I said, ‘Look, I’m not going to do it, there’s no point.”‘
Forster’s outlook on Bond changed after meeting with the producers and discussing how they wanted him to continue the serious journey for 007 which began in Casino Royale. He said: ‘It was a pleasant meeting, and I liked them. They were much more open than I ever would have thought, because you hear these stories of them being protective of the franchise–there’s a sort of machine in place, and you become a manager, and I wasn’t interested in doing that.’ After being assurred of creative control within the Bond framework as well as the option to choose his own crew, Forster ‘still wasn’t convinced.’
Enter Daniel Craig.
‘So I met with him,’ Forster said. ‘I thought, “He’s really real. There’s no bullshit. I felt like I wanted to work with this guy.” The next thing I knew, I was on a plane.’
‘The whole journey of this film is very different than anything I have ever experienced.’ – Marc Forster
After that, the Bond machine kicked into full gear. The film’s key cast, including Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Gemma Arterton and Dame Judi Dench were announced in January of this year (as was the film’s Ian Fleming-inspired title) and shooting began around the world. Speaking specifically about the exhaustive effort in locating Kurylenko as the right actress for the role of Camille, Forster commented: ‘It was an amazing thing to find a beautiful woman who could act and speak English.’
As for the title song, Forster wouldn’t comment much on Amy Winehouse as the favourite for the job until it went to Jack White and Alicia Keys. ‘I thought with Amy it was going to work out, then it didn’t.’
Forster could now apply his understanding of the 007 character in creating his take on a Bond film: ‘That’s why he always sleeps with women, but can’t find a relationship, because he doesn’t love himself. And you can’t love yourself, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to kill without a conscience.’
‘In Casino Royale, Bond lost someone he loves, but at the same time he kills people,’ Forster continues. ‘That’s very interesting psychologically, because someone like that can’t be at ease with themselves. They must constantly be haunted.’
Quantum of Solace
Just don’t mention that other action film icon with the same initials to Forster or the Bond crew.
‘It always comes up, this comparison [between James Bond and Jason Bourne],’ he says. ‘I feel there’s a huge difference–it’s like apples and oranges. Stylistically alone, Bond should never be in the Bourne vein. Bond has a different kind of quality. He can still transport you.’
So get ready to be transported. Quantum of Solace will be here before you know it.
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