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After Comparing Making Blockbuters To Prostitution, Is Nicolas Winding Refn Really Going To Make A Bond Movie?

by Kevin Jagernauth
May 28, 2013 4:22 PM
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PHOTO Nicolas Winding Refn Says He's Listening To Thai Country & Western Music For 'Only God Forgives'

There's rumors and then there's James Bond rumors, and lately they've been even more frenzied than usual. Mostly that's down to the news that "informal talks" have taken place between Christopher Nolan and producers to helm an upcoming entry in the franchise, and today brings more speculation from a couple different sources.

First up, and the most tenuous of the bunch, FirstShowing essentially ran an "exclusive reaction" piece featuring a segment from their Cannes interview with Nicolas Winding Refn, where they asked him about directing Bond and he gave a non-answer facial expression (see the video below.) They took at as possible confirmation he's been approached, but is Refn really going to jump a major, established, long running series? Especially in light of his recent comments that essentially compared blockbuster moviemaking to prostitution?

“Hollywood is like going into a hotel room and seeing the most gorgeous escort girl,” he said to Variety (also see video below). “She will say to you 'You are the greatest filmmaker in the world, I will do whatever you want’ and you’re so tempted, but you’re also like ‘Am I gonna catch something?’”

Cheeky? Yes, but he has a bigger point to make: “Creative control doesn’t mean a whole lot if what’s at stake is tremendous,” he explained. “If you make a movie that costs $100 million, you may have as much control as you want but if that movie doesn’t make half a billion, you’re going to have an issue.” So does he really want to make a movie that's definitely going to cost more than $100 million, if it comes with an unbelievable degree of expectation to hit it big? Something tells us that Refn would be more comfortable doing something that he can at least put his vision and brand on, without being compromised or risking his credibility or even his career.

But big name helmers are undoubtedly being looked at. According to the tradeAng Lee, Tom Hooper, David Yates and Shane Black are being "considered" with Eon having apparently met with some of them. The common link between them? They are also massively successful helmers with either box office success and awards season honors (or both) between them, so duh, of course, they will be considered. Why not aim high? Bond producers definitely stepped up the game by ensnaring Sam Mendes, at Daniel Craig's suggestion, for "Skyfall." It of course became the most successful ever entry in the long-running franchise, and with negotiations still ongoing to get Craig back in the tuxedo, we'd guess that some of these folks are dudes he wants to work with.

So who will it be? It might not be any of these guys. As Refn suggested, you sorta have to work within an established format with the Bond movies (as well as various product placements, franchise signifiers and more) and while Eon would love a big name, that person won't be able to shake things up too much -- more like gently stir. No matter the name, we wouldn't expect a dramatic reinvention of what is already working just fine.

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  • Bella Robinson | May 29, 2013 8:56 AMReply

    Statements like "you’re so tempted, but you’re also like ‘Am I gonna catch something?’” to be the way stigma + hysteria is created. Wake up call, our health dept studies show sex workers have less std's then the general public. Perhaps the producers should have researched the subject a bit.

  • wdew | May 29, 2013 10:30 AM

    The producers of what?

  • bohmer | May 28, 2013 7:36 PMReply

    It's like being propose by a gorgeous women who'll do everything you want (not sure Hollywood would really do that tough), but being paid a shit load of money for doing so. So what if you catch something.

  • Joyce | May 29, 2013 2:54 AM

    Is it worth your life?????? HIV kills, what an idiot. No wonder pussy is worth THOUSANDS of dollars.
    Amazing that men will lose their job, income, family and LIFE over sex....It is a CURSE on most men..........................SICK AND SAD!!!!

  • DG | May 28, 2013 6:47 PMReply

    I think I'm going to be this guy for Halloween. Also PLEASE no Kathryn Bigelow for Bond!

  • bohmer | May 28, 2013 7:31 PM


  • Bradley | May 28, 2013 6:19 PMReply

    It should be Kathryn Bigelow. She can do action, she's prestigious enough, she'd be groundbreaking for the franchise while fitting comfortably with the Craig era bond and it would allow her to break from controversy for a film while still retaining her credibility at the big leagues.

  • bohmer | May 28, 2013 7:30 PM

    That would be very interesting...A Bond movie directed with the eye of a woman. She's the only one who could achieve at that.

  • tristan eldritch | May 28, 2013 5:36 PMReply

    If he could tone himself down JUST enough, a Refn Bond would be awesome.

  • bohmer | May 28, 2013 7:28 PM

    I agree.

  • Hmmmm | May 28, 2013 5:04 PMReply

    Please not Shane Black. It's probably just me but I can't stand the idea of an 80's soaked Bond film. Why not Joe Wright or Cary Fukunaga. Hell why not Ralph Finnes. Coriolanus wasn't bad at all and he's worked with John Logan on it.

  • Niko | May 28, 2013 4:59 PMReply

    True, but Skyfall did that sincerely and not in air quotations. Like I said, I love Shane Black, but that might be too close to the Roger Moore-era (which I really dislike).

  • nightgoat72 | May 28, 2013 4:59 PMReply

    "I really wanna fuck, but I'm not sure I'm ready to cum yet." Goddammit I love NWR.

  • Niko | May 28, 2013 4:29 PMReply

    If Hollywood hack par excellence Tom Hooper gets his awful hands on the Bond franchise, I'll never eat broccoli again.

  • Chris | May 28, 2013 4:56 PM

    Not sure if you remember, Niko, but "Skyfall" was LOADED with meta self-referentialism.

  • Niko | May 28, 2013 4:55 PM

    He does sometimes stumble on a pretty shot and then it gets edited to near-incomprehensibility.

    What the Bond-franchise needs isn't necessarily an auteur, but a solid, workmanlike professional. Like Martin Campbell or Sam Mendes (if you think he's an auteur, check his filmography better). I'd say Ang Lee or David Yates are good choices. I love Shane Black, but I don't know if meta self-referantialism is what this franchise needs.

  • Chris | May 28, 2013 4:53 PM

    Cribbster, I'm not sure if your response makes sense. (Please tell me if I just mis-read it, which is entirely possible.) How exactly would a Bond film play to Hooper's strengths? Beautiful images aside (and I'd put a few asterisks on that, but that's a different discussion), what I was talking about was the action requirement of helming a Bond film. There are a few key action-centric scenes in "Les Miserables" and Hooper handles them with absolute incompetence. My first thought was, "Please don't ever let Tom Hooper direct an action movie."

  • Cribbster | May 28, 2013 4:43 PM

    Actually, I'd hesitate before you say that. I'm not a fan of Tom Hooper either, but no one can deny his technical abilities. He shoots beautiful images (even if, arguably, that's all he does). But an action movie – and a Bond movie is particular – is a somewhat confining genre to work in. A film like that might actually play to his strengths.

  • Chris | May 28, 2013 4:33 PM

    Yeah, especially since - judging from the actiony scenes in the second half of "Les Miz" - he's an absolutely awful director of action. (Besides his other flaws.)

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