As someone whose only firsthand experience with the Star Trek franchise comes by virtue of J.J. Abrams‘ two Trek films, I know I’m in over my head when the topic presents itself. When you mention Trek, you’re referencing (either directly or indirectly) a rich legacy filled with peaks and valleys, genre-defining characters and moments, and an international fanbase that rivals any of pop-culture’s most enduring titles. And yet here I am, with two films under my belt (both of which I enjoyed), talking about it. Obviously, I have nothing at stake with regards to Star Trek Into Darkness. Whether you like it or dislike it is of no consequence to me. My only aim today is to extend a humble word of caution to the Trek fans who have years of equity built-up in their beloved franchise: be careful not to dismiss or begrudge it solely because it’s trying to appeal to the largest possible audience. Abrams’ Trek films aren’t above reproach, but they also aren’t void of redeeming qualities. Try to at least acknowledge some of those qualities when tearing into them or risk coming off as someone whose real issue is that a bunch of people now enjoy this thing that you once considered yourself unique for liking.
All preachiness aside, this week’s Top 5 includes several interviews from Star Trek Into Darkness, rumors surrounding Christopher Nolan being approached to direct James Bond 24, the first trailers for Marvel’s new ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a new trailer for Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim, and new photos and a video from the set of director Jose Padilha‘s RoboCop remake. If I haven’t lost you yet, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
In the past, Christopher Nolan has expressed interest in directing a James Bond film. Last summer, Nolan, a long-time fan of the series, said he was serious about the prospect, but added “It would have to be the right situation and the right time in their cycle of things.” Although it is absolutely not the right time in their cycle of things, Daily Mail reports that there have been informal talks about directing James Bond 24 between Nolan and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G .Wilson. As you may recall, Broccoli and Wilson tried to get Skyfall director Sam Mendes to return, but he passed on the gig. In March, we learned that MGM wanted a new Bond movie within 3 years, so the clock is ticking to get someone in the director’s chair.
The assumption that Nolan would direct Bond 24 is preposterous because Nolan is at work on Interstellar. Pre-production is underway, roles have been cast, and a November 7, 2014 release date has been set. Unless Nolan wants to piss off everyone at Paramount and Warner Bros (the studios behind Interstellar), he’s not doing Bond 24. If there have been any informal talks, I believe they would be for James Bond 25. That would be the smart, pro-active move, but right now the focus should be (and will be) on who’s doing the 24th film.
Fifty years later, the Bond franchise is astoundingly stronger than ever, as Skyfall joined the $1 billion worldwide club in December. MGM understandably wants to jump back into the series sooner than later. On a conference call with investors, MGM CEO Gary Barber promised:
“We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next 3 years it will be released.” [Reuters]
Skyfall director Sam Mendes will not return, but Barber says they “look forward to announcing a director soon.” Mendes hatched a story idea with John Logan before he left, and Logan will stay on to write Bond 24. Daniel Craig is signed for at least two more films, so the immediate future of the Bond series is bright.
Last year’s Skyfall was a massive hit in every single sense of the word. The film was met with universal praise from critics, with many hailing it as one of the greatest Bond films of all time, and enjoyed an equally enthusiastic response from audiences as the film has thus far grossed over $1 billion worldwide. Much of the film’s success is due to director Sam Mendes, who crafted a take on the character that was at once familiar and exciting as the filmmaker was able to call back to the Bond films of old while also exploring the question of where a spy like James Bond fits into our modern society. It’s a wholly thrilling moviegoing experience, and it’s a testament to Skyfall’s quality that it stands as one of the best films of the very crowded 2012.
Soon after Skyfall’s success, the question began to turn to whether Mendes might consider returning to the franchise for the next film. The director went so far as to come up with another story idea for Bond 24, but it appears that he ultimately won’t be getting back into the director’s chair this time around. Hit the jump to read on.
Longtime James Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have confirmed today that they will be departing the franchise. The duo is responsible for penning the screenplays for all the Daniel Craig Bond films as well as The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. They penned the latest entry, Skyfall, alongside John Logan, and in announcing their departure they revealed that Logan and director Sam Mendes have already dreamed up a scenario for Bond 24:
“We’re very happy to have done five Bond movies, I think we’ve gotten it to a good place. I know that John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with a plot for another one, which takes the pressure off because these films take up a lot of time.”
Mendes has yet to commit to returning for a further Bond entry, but it’s reassuring to know that he and Logan have an idea of where the story could pick up following the killer ending to Skyfall. Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to watch Steve’s recent interview with Mendes about the film.
We can now confirm what we reported yesterday, that Daniel Craig will return for the next two James Bond films. Craig will star in the 24th and 25th installments, making him the third-longest tenured actor to play Bond (after Sean Connery and Roger Moore). Deadline also confirms that Sony Pictures will also return to co-finance those two films, as it has with Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and the upcoming Sam Mendes picture, Skyfall. Speaking of Skyfall, we’ve got new word on just how long the film will run along with a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the opening sequence. Hit the jump for all of that and more!
Skyfall, also starring Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe and Ola Rapace opens October 26th in the UK and November 9th in the US.
The latest James Bond film, Skyfall, hits theaters this November, but fans are already wondering about the future of the franchise. Daniel Craig provided a jolt to the series with the swell Casino Royale, and now it appears that the actor may intend to stick with the character for quite some time. The fansite MI6 reports that Craig is contracted to appear in at least two more Bond films after Skyfall. This would be for Bond 24 and Bond 25, putting Craig at five James Bond films total and the third longest-serving Bond just behind Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Hit the jump for more. [Update: More on Craig's fate going forward as Bond after the jump.]
Back in February it was reported that MGM was close to settling a deal with Sony to distribute some of their films. Well, now Sony and MGM have officially reached an agreement for Bond 23 as well as Bond 24. Sony will co-finance and theatrically market and distribute Bond 23 worldwide, and the press release announces that Sony and MGM “look forward to Sony Pictures co-financing and distributing Bond 24 on a similar basis.” All-in-all, good news for James Bond fans.
Bond 23 is set to be directed by Sam Mendes, with Daniel Craig returning as Bond. Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes have both been in talks with producers about taking on two separate roles, with Bardem being offered the villain. The press release also mentions that Sony and MGM will be partnering up on other films besides the Bond series for the next five years. Hopefully this includes the Joss Whedon-scripted Cabin in the Woods and the Red Dawn remake, both of which were filmed over a year ago. Hit the jump to read the full press release.