Opinion piece by Eddie on 27/09/2018
After much conjecture and the possibility of Mr. Serious (aka Daniel Craig) departing the 25th James Bond film, things seemed to get back on track when it was announced that Craig (despite many times saying otherwise) would be back to the franchise that was rebirthed when he took over the reins from Pierce Brosnan in 2006’s Casino Royale.
Since Craig has become Bond the series has achieved many highs (forgetting the black sheep of the reinvigorated series Quantum of Solace), whilst still playing it relatively safe to formula, meaning the hype only grew when one of Britain’s favourite sons Danny Boyle was announced as the new film’s director.
Things quickly soured and were shaken not stirred though when Boyle had ideas for the franchise, that didn’t sit well with the money handlers, meaning the 25th Bond outing all of a sudden found itself in a precarious position moving forward.
In a rather unpredictable turn of events however, what seemed like a curse quickly turned into a blessing for Bond and movie fan’s in general when it was announced last week that Cary Joji Fukunaga would be the man charged with delivering Bond’s newest adventure.
The American visionary is an extremely exciting and inspired choice of director especially for a series that in my opinion needs a fresh and exciting voice behind it to truly warrant further instalments, as while many of the recent Bonds are finely made and above average action/thrillers, none of the film’s of recent year’s have bothered to give us anything truly out of the ordinary, something that I believe Fukunaga can quite easily do.
It may seem odd to throw so much clout onto a filmmaker that at the age of 41 has only made three feature film’s (sadly his version of Stephan King’s IT was abandoned before it began) but when those film’s are the memorable debut film Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre and the haunting Beasts of No Nation, you begin to understand the power of a director who is one of the most exciting operating today.
As good as these film’s are though, what brings the excitement to a whole new level is Fukunaga’s work in the TV space.
Responsible for HBO’s masterpiece True Detective season one and the freshly released Netflix oddity Maniac, Fukunaga’s work in this space should be reason to believe that 007’s 25th feature could be quite the trip, both visually and emotionally.
In both these shows Fukunaga has shown great talent in crafting visually outstanding and boundary pushing works and while Maniac is arguably more of a flawed and ambitious piece of work than True Detective’s near faultless execution, it’s a piece of work that showcases a director not happy with merely treading on familiar ground, more-so carving out a whole new way of messing with expectations.
If Fukunaga is allowed to bring these sensibilities to his highest profile feature yet and is given creative freedom to conduct Bond’s adventure his own way, not only will we potentially have one of the greatest action films of the series yet (just watch True Detective episode 4 or Maniac episode 9 for proof of Fukunaga’s action prowess) but a film that isn’t playing to any type of rulebook we’ve yet seen in the Bond franchise.
Put simply, I’ve never been more excited for a James Bond film thanks to this signing, a signing that could well become one of the most inspired of recent times and a rejuvenation for a series that despite recent critical acclaim, was in need of a re-jig and re-energizing that Fukunaga can absolutely provide.