While the cinema-loving world celebrates Daniel Craig’s farewell to the iconic mantle of 007 in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time To Die – and speculates about his potential replacement; which won’t actually begin taking job applications until 2022 (meaning you can stop doing that until then) – visionary director Denis Villeneuve has revealed he’d be more than interested in helming a future James Bond franchise instalment.
The auteur behind Prisoners, Sicario, Blade Runner 2049, as well as the upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune tossed his proverbial hat into the equally proverbial ring during a recent interview on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast; stating in the event he were to be approached by longtime producers / Bond mythology gatekeepers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, “frankly… the answer would be a massive yes.”
“I would deeply love one day to make a James Bond movie,” says Denis Villeneuve.
“It’s a character that I’ve been with since my childhood. I have massive affection for Bond. It would be a big challenge to try and reboot it after what Daniel did.”
“What Daniel Craig brought to Bond was so unique and strong and honestly unmatchable. He’s the ultimate James Bond. I can’t wait to see Cary’s movie. I’m very excited. I’m one of the biggest Bond fans.”
“Just thinking about it, I’m tired [laughs]. One thing at a time,” he adds, in reference to the release of his forthcoming sci-fi epic featuring an all-star cast of Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, and more.
“It’s really a massive privilege. I don’t want to say I’m very arrogant or pretentious right now. It’s true that it would be a dream to do 007.”
“I don’t know if such a thing would happen, but it would be a privilege. That would be pure cinematic joy.”
The mere prospect of a 007 film in the style of Sicario – or indeed Prisoners – is enough to make our mouths water. In the first half of his career as a mainstream Hollywood director and household name, Denis Villeneuve demonstrated his remarkable ability to create slow-burn and tense thrillers rich with claustrophobic psychology; and punctuated by action sequences that served as temporary relief to said claustrophobia.
In the latter half, however, he proved it was possible to successfully apply the same principles of that detail-oriented filmmaking on larger-scale productions like Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, and based on what we’ve heard so far, Dune (without compromising his unique vision). Suffice it to say, more than a few parties would be keen to see this in living colour.
On the subject of Dune, Denis Villeneuve fans will be pleased to hear the highly-anticipated adaptation was met with an eight-minute standing ovation during its official world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Given the Frank Herbert novel’s troubled history of being adequately translated onto screens – earning it a place among the most “impossible” books to adapt, right next to Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and Ulysses by James Joyce – many were (understandably) exercising a good measure of caution. But if anyone was going to meet expectations, it’d be Villeneuve.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Chloe Zhao of Nomadland and Marvel’s Eternals fame was in attendance that evening as a member of the festival’s competition jury. Deadline reports the Zhao “… rushed through the aisles to greet the Dune director with a big hug shouting, ‘Fantastic!’” All the while the aforementioned standing ovation “roared on for a continuous eight minutes.”
While a lucky few have already witnessed Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and some will even be offered to chance to stream it vi HBO Max from October 22nd, Australia won’t see it until December 2nd later this year. As for No Time To Die, mark out November 11th on your calendars.