Director Sam Mendes Talks SKYFALL, Deleted Scenes, Creating His Own JAMES BOND Story, Roger Deakins, Comic Book Movies, PREACHER, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 302 days ago

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At the recent Los Angeles press day for Skyfall, I was able to speak with director Sam Mendes.  During our extended conversation we talked about fan reaction to Skyfall, whether it was tough to land cinematographer Roger Deakins, deleted scenes, what will be on the eventual Blu-ray, whether he will direct another James Bond film, Javier Bardem’s character’s sexuality, crafting his own version of a Bond story rather than being beholden to the Bond mythos, and a lot more.  In addition, we talked about his Preacher adaptation, whether he would direct a comic book movie like Justice League (and his thoughts on the comic book movie genre), his vampire hunter TV series featuring Van Helsing with John Logan (which he will produce and possibly direct the pilot), and more.

I absolutely loved SkyfallSam Mendes has crafted one of the best James Bond movies ever made.  While the Bond franchise is now 50 years old, Mendes has shown the best might be yet to come.  I really can’t recommend this film enough.  For all our Skyfall coverage including our review, clips, posters, my set visit and more, click hereSkyfall also stars Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Helen McCrory, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe and Ben Whishaw.  Hit the jump to watch the interview.

sam-mendes-skyfallHere’s the time index of the interview so you can watch the parts that interest you.  If you missed my video interviews with Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench and Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe, just click the links.

Finally, towards the very end of the interview spoilers are discussed.  You’ve been warned.

Sam Mendes Time Index:

  • 0:15 – Sam Mendes comments on fan reactions to Skyfall.
  • 1:10 – Mendes talks about the time between his films, his work in theater and when we can expect another movie.
  • 2:00 – Mendes reacts to the overwhelmingly positive response to Skyfall.
  • 3:00 – Mendes was happy to have the studio’s full support in marketing Skyfall and contrasts it to his previous works.
  • 3:55 – Mendes talks about his collaboration with cinematographer Roger Deakins on Skyfall.
  • 6:15 – Regarding the eventual Blu-ray, Mendes talks about the possibility of an extended cut and/or deleted scenes.
  • 6:40 – Mendes talks specifically about deleted scenes from Skyfall.
  • 8:00 – Mendes comments on the possibility of returning for another Bond installment and reveals how close he came to the deadline in post-production.
  • 10:10 – Mendes talks about the progress of adapting the graphic novel Preacher.
  • 11:40 – Mendes clarifies that he never quite found the right formula for bringing Preacher to the screen, but comments on how well it would work for television.
  • 12:30 – Mendes talks about a vampire hunter TV series featuring Van Helsing, an original idea of John Logan’s which he will produce and possibly direct the pilot.
  • 13:25 – Could Mendes direct Justice League? The director answers the question here.
  • 14:25 – Mendes talks about the possibility of directing a “comic book movie” in the future.
  • 15:15 – Mendes addresses the significant changes to the Bond franchise in Skyfall and where the ideas came from and the process of getting them approved.
  • 19:00 – Mendes comments on Javier Bardem’s character and how he was introduced in the film.

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  • DREDD

    Great interview Frosty! Am wondering though, when you squeezed in the extra questions, who is it in these interviews that limit your interview time?

    Mendes was a great bloke to interview, level headed and interesting. I’d have liked to see him do a Dark Knight sequel in Nolans world, but I think he’s make it look better and the action and dialogue would look less clunky. Those scenes in Bond with the sniper in that Shanghai building were stunning, with the reflections in the glass doors.

    I guess he answered the “would he direct Star Wars question too by saying he’s out of his depth with fx heavy films.

    Skyfall, whilst not my fave Bond flick was great, but its even better as a set up movie for future Bonds. I’d love to see more classic Bond return, ie gadgets, Blofeld and a villains secret lair.

    Also, does anyone know if in Casino Royale, the guy in the car park, with the landrover and golf clubs was meant to be Goldfinger? Sure as hell looked like him but never seen it discussed.

  • DDGmike

    I am simply at a complete loss as to how people can call Skyfall “the best Bond film ever.” It had all been done before, and even worse, it was incredibly boring. At one hour into the film I was fighting to stay awake. Nothing happened! Casino Royale is the best Bond film ever made. Skyfall isn’t even close.

  • Darkhorse2099

    Fantastic interview Steve, and I’m glad he was generous with the answers and his time.
    He was spot on about Preacher and has crafted an exquisite film with a very talented team.

  • Mark Tornits

    It had parts that were very entertaining, but Craig’s Bond was being influence by precious Bond’s way to much. None of the one liners worked. The homages were way too in your face (gadget filled Astin Martin).

    Certainly not the best Bond “movie” (shot digitally, no film). Just remember… people liked Die Another Day when it came out… yes. Skyfall will be panned in time.

  • zachrifice

    Give me a break. The unsatisfiable fanboy bullsh*t is really getting old at this point. Nothing is good enough for anyone these days.

    Skyfall was a solid entry in the Bond Franchise. Probably one of the best since Connery’s days.

    Whats hilarious is if the credits read Nolan as the director instead of Mendes all the fanboys would be proclaiming it as the best Bond film ever made.

    • Mark Tornits

      Well I am certainly not a fanboy-

      I’m like a good Nolan film. The dark knight rises is not a good nolan film though.

      I call them like I see them. I would take a before sunrise or before sunset any day over a skyfall, tdkr, or mediocre avengers.

      Casino Royale will be seen as a classic someday. Skyfall will not.

  • zachrifice

    Give me a break. The unsatisfiable fanboy bullsh*t is really getting old at this point. Nothing is good enough for anyone these days.

    Skyfall was a solid entry in the Bond Franchise. Probably one of the best since Connery\’s days.

    Whats hilarious is if the credits read Nolan as the director instead of Mendes all the fanboys would be proclaiming it as the best Bond film ever made.

    • Alan

      “Whats hilarious is if the credits read Nolan as the director instead of Mendes all the fanboys would be proclaiming it as the best Bond film ever made” Nah, you’d just hear a lot of ‘he doesn’t understand the material’ nonsense from people who probably haven’t read the source material themselves.

      • zachrifice

        Haha! Well played, Sir.

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  • Chris

    I always get bored by Daniel Craig’s performances, he is just not a great actor, Maybe that’s why they surround him with acting heavyweights like Judi Dench and Javier Bardem, who made the movie come alive and interesting. Bardem’s character only comes in after an hour, which is stupid. They should have used him a lot earlier.

  • Mark Tornits

    Well I am certainly not a fanboy-

    I\’m like a good Nolan film. The dark knight rises is not a good nolan film though.

    I call them like I see them. I would take a before sunrise or before sunset any day over a skyfall, tdkr, or mediocre avengers.

    Casino Royale will be seen as a classic someday. Skyfall will not.

  • loki

    stop saying fuck dude. for fucks sake.

  • easternlethal

    The problem with James Bond movies is that they are really never as good as people remember them to be. Is Skyfall the best in the franchse? Probably up there with the top 5. Is it as good as it should be? No. Will it have the same effect as earlier bond movies did on people in its generation? No.

    Why? Because the villain is not the egotistical world destroying sociopath James Bond needs. He is an ex-employee who had issues with his boss and wanted to get even, and James Bond is doing not much other than playing bodyguard.

    I personally found this plotline to be the most boring of all the bond movies and kept asking myself: Why didn’t Raoul just sneak into M’s home the same way James Bond did and kill her there? Also the setting for the ending is so uneventful and low key that it seems Mendes ran out of budget. No saving the world, no glamorous chick, no gadgets, not even luxury kleenex to wipe his face with.

    Some people may like this new take on Bond but I don’t think it will survive in people’s memory of what a Bond movie is about.

    • diles1

      because Silva’s vendetta is not just against M. it is against MI6 and England, and humiliating the two is icing on the cake.

      • easternlethal

        I find it hard to believe that M isn’t his main target given he spends the entire last part of the film in Scotland just trying to kill her. If he had other plans, whether for England or MI6 or anything else, I don’t think they were even explained.

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  • Me

    Really tired of all of the hate praised movies are getting. Skyfall is a good movie. The best Bond film ever? No. But its a darn good one. I wish that people would just enjoy life and be thankful for the entertainment they are able to experience. Trust me, life’s much more easier when you stop looking at all bad.

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  • easternlethal

    I find it hard to believe M wasn’t his main target given he spends the entire last part of the film in Scotland just trying to kill her. If he had other plans, whether for England or MI6 or anything else, I don’t think they were even explained.

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