"We even discussed doing it as a period piece."
Edge of Darkness, Martin Campbell’s first film since revitalising the James Bond franchise for a second time with Casino Royale, is just around the corner.
Despite the three-year gap between Casino and Darkness, the director is readying his next film, an origin story based on the Green Lantern comics.
On the eve of Edge of Darkness‘ premiere, The Guardian spoke to Campbell about his two Bond successes: GoldenEye and Casino Royale.
“To be honest, I get too much credit for that,” Campbell told the paper. “Timing was more important on both movies. With GoldenEye, the franchise got locked into this legal fight. They couldn’t make new Bond movies for about seven years. It was my first huge production. I figured if I did at least a yeoman-like job, it would be greeted as a complete revival of the series.”
Campbell continued, “The producers felt it had gone off the rails a bit after Die Another Day, with invisible cars and all that. I told them, we have to go back to the books. We even discussed doing it as a period piece. We settled on a more f***ed-up character with a dark streak in him, drinking too much, dodgy liver – all that’s in the book. In Casino, he also had a real relationship with a woman. He doesn’t just have a dozen for king and country.”
In a separate interview, the director told ReelzChannel, “Casino Royale of course was an opportunity to go back to the tone of the books which they never were in the original movies. They never have been. Even the Connery movies are not in the same tone as the book. Again, I was lucky enough to have an origin story.”
“Bond really doesn’t become Bond until the last frame of the movie. He’s a f***ed up guy. He’s a guy who smokes too much. He doesn’t smoke in the movie but in the books he certainly smokes too much, he drinks too much, he abhors a certain kind of violence when it’s very messy and ugly. It’s something he hates. He finally shoots someone in the forehead with a bullet, but the bathroom scene is very distasteful and ugly and clumsy and messy.”
“So there are elements to Bond, and of course a great relationship with the girl which allowed you the one meaningful relationship in his life apart from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service where he marries the girl. So that was a really great opportunity to get into the tone of the books and make him a much darker, more f***ed up character which was way more interesting in my opinion.”
Edge of Darkness is a remake of the acclaimed 1985 BBC miniseries of the same name, which was also directed by Campbell. The thriller stars Mel Gibson and opens around the world this week.
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