For a long time, Steven Spielberg has expressed interest in making a James Bond picture. From the start of his career and even until after he hit it big time, Spielberg has wanted to bring his Spielbergyness to Bond. Unfortunately for both Spielberg and Bond fans, that dream hasn’t come to fruition. The idea of the mega director and Bond coming together sounds like a perfect match, both artistically and financially. With an idea this good, it’s a little baffling Spielberg hasn’t gotten a crack at Bond yet. Now, we sort of have an answer why.
Speaking with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli at the press day for Skyfall – which completely lives up to the hype – we had the chance to ask them if there’s ever been serious discussions of bringing Spielberg in. In response, Broccoli did share a story regarding conversations between Spielberg and her father, Albert R. Broccoli, over the matter:
“Well, early on it was very sweet, because when he was a young filmmaker he approached my father. My dad said, ‘Yeah, kid, ya gotta get some more [films] under your belt. Years later, when he did Schindler’s List, my father wrote to him about how much he loved it. Spielberg then sent a really sweet note saying, ‘Now will you let me direct a Bond movie?’ [Laughs] My father said, ‘Now I can’t afford you!’ That’s the way of the world.”
That seems like a pretty good reason. The Bond films have cost a boatload to make lately, and bringing in Spielberg definitely would raise costs. Not only that, with a director of that caliber, they wouldn’t exactly be hiring a filmmaker who would bow to certain creative requests. That’s not say Sam Mendes is some kind of work-for-hire slouch – and no one can say that after Skyfall - but he, along with previous Bond directors, don’t have half the clout Spielberg’s had for years.