What’s with all the iconoclast directors talking about almost directing Bond movies? They know it was never gonna happen, we know it was never gonna happen. Why take the meeting? And why tell us about it afterward like some kind of sour grapes humblebrag? Mysteries. But the list of directors with stories about meeting with the Bond producers grows bit by bit every month, it seems.
Last week bold, visionary, not-team-player Nicolas Winding Refn claimed to have been eyed for the director’s chair on Spectre. In fairness to Refn, he merely told the Telegraph he'd met with Eon before Sam Mendes agreed to return; by the time the story got to Variety, Refn had “turned down” the gig. While it’s fun to imagine what a Refn-helmed Bond film would look like, it’s also tough to believe that Eon made a legitimate offer to the fiercely independent director, whose latest film had a $752 per-screen average on its opening weekend.
Now we have Steven Soderbergh, maybe one of the defining filmmaking talents of his generation, saying this:
“Over the years, I’ve been in conversations…I’ve been approached twice about doing a Bond film. And it never quite got anywhere. And (Haywire) in some ways, was my opportunity to do what I would do with a Bond movie.”
I thought Haywire was more like a sexy, MMA af take on his own The Limey, but fair enough.
It's a fun game, picturing what these guys would do with the keys to the 007 franchise. A Soderbergh/Fassbender Bond film would certainly be one distinctive entry, no doubt about it! A Refn/Tom Hardy Bond flick would weird as hell, and I bet I would love every second of it.
But Eon meets with so many directors who are, in my mind and probably theirs, "above" doing a Bond movie, and I wonder if it's just some kind of creative wool-gathering. (Don't forget - Quentin Tarantino asserts that Eon got the idea to adapt Casino Royale from him.) But if you’re Nicolas Winding Refn or Steven Soderbergh, what on earth are you even doing meeting with the Bond producers? Why you wasting everyone’s time? And the kiss-and-tell angle is also kind of odd. I mean, I guess I'd tell everyone too, but I'm just some schlub. I know of other high-profile directors who’ve met with Eon and have the tact to keep quiet about it.
That said, if Soderbergh and Daniel Craig happen to get to talking 007 on the set of the upcoming Lucky Logan and come up with a reason for Craig to return for Bond 25, I ain’t gonna complain.