Bond 24

Daniel Craig James Bond

Things have been pretty dour for James Bond lately. He faced a tragic origin story, seethed with revenge, faced an internal struggle that led back to his roots and then faced that serial lady killer in Sweden (unless you believe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo wasn’t a James Bond movie (even the title feels right, people)). With all that glowering and angst from a character that used to smarm his way through hotel rooms and laser shark battles, this is a natural reaction from Daniel Craig regarding Bond 24: “Hopefully we’ll reclaim some of the old irony and make sure it doesn’t become pastiche. I can’t do shtick, I’m not very good at it. Unless it kind of suddenly makes sense. Does that make sense? I sometimes wish I hammed it up more, but I just can’t do it very well, so I don’t do it.” [The Guardian] So maybe 007 won’t be saying, “Remember when I said I’d kill you last?…” but a little bit of levity will definitely be welcome. Shooting bad guys with facial scars and sipping weak martinis doesn’t have to be so heavy. We’ll see how much grinning Bond does in November 2015.

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Sam Mendes directing Bond

Despite Sam Mendes’ protestations in March that he had made “the very difficult decision” not to return to the Bond franchise, the director and the studios themselves announced today that he is on board to helm Bond 24. Daniel Craig is also set to don his tuxedo once more and play the legendary secret agent.

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Daniel Craig

Ever since Sam Mendes announced that he wasn’t going to be able to direct whatever the 24th movie about secret agent James Bond is going to be, there has been a tidal wave of speculation concerning who’s going to take his place. Everyone from Nicolas Winding Refn, to Kathryn Bigelow, to Martin Campbell, to Morten Tyldum have become the subject of Bond 24 rumors, with no one’s involvement ever developing into anything more solid than whispers. But Showbiz 411 feels that they’ve now got something solid, a piece of news that they’ve said has been “as confirmed as it can be,” and they’re reporting that the director of Bond 24 is going to be none other than—Sam Mendes.

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Sam Mendes Directing Skyfall

There’s been big speculation surrounding Sam Mendes‘ potential return to the James Bond business because his blend of character beats and surprising action acumen is rightly noted as the main reason Skyfall worked so well. Unfortunately, his particular balance won’t be back. According to Empire, Mendes will not be returning for Bond 24: Whatever It Gets Titled. Citing other professional commitments, the director said, “It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael [G. Wilson] and Barbara [Broccoli]’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie. Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theatre and other commitments, including productions of ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’ and ‘King Lear,’ that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond.” So it’s bad news topped with bad news for anyone who doesn’t plan on buying a play ticket anytime soon. Mendes is still attached to produce several movies — most of which have been stalled out for a while — but this statement makes it seem likely that we won’t see him direct again for a while. He’s attached to direct Netherland, based off the Joseph O’Neill novel, and it’s still at Focus Features, but it’s unclear whether or when it will move forward. Thus, it looks like the filmmaker is going to wear some different hats for a while, and the next installment of the 007 franchise will have to find a suitable replacement. Isn’t J.J. Abrams available?

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John Logan

We’ve been anxiously counting down to the release of Skyfall, and luckily for Brian and Kevin, they’ll only need to come up with 104 more entries as we keep the feature going as a countdown to Bond 24. According to MI6, the next Bond will fall back into the two-year release cycle (that was thwarted by legal hijinks after Die Another Day). Filming on the new outing is set for next year with a release sometime in late 2014. That’s pretty good, but the earliest Bonds came out only a year apart. Just sayin’. The site is also reporting that writer John Logan (Gladiator, Rango, Noah) will be returning after crafting the script for Skyfall with Robert Wade and Neal Purvis to take a stab at Bond 24 while flying solo. He’s apparently already completed an outline, and star Daniel Craig is ready to roll as soon as the story is in place, so the momentum is in their favor. Great news. Logan is a talented writer, and Skyfall is being praised from here to eternity. Granted, this also seems to signal that the happy-go-lucky cheese of Bonds past may be dead completely. The updated secret agent has seen some tonal changes that exceed simply sipping a broad market beer, and they’re apparently here to stay. I also wonder how the Brits feel about Americans taking over their longest-standing iconic movie character. Hopefully he’ll be driving on the correct side of the road and calling it “soccer” soon enough.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that assembles the heroes of movie and entertainment news every night. Marvel has only assembled its team once. Take that, Marvel. We begin tonight with several items on The Avengers. First — embargo be damned — it’s so much fun. There is also a new image of the team completely assembled amidst the rubble of the film’s massive third act war scene. And then there’s the disappointing news of the day. Matt Singer reports on CriticWire about angry nerds attacking a female critic over a negative review of The Avengers. Not only did the lash out at the otherwise lovely Amy Nicholson of Boxoffice Magazine, they did so in a terrible, misogynistic way. If this was you, be very ashamed of yourself. Every critic gets their say, and just because she didn’t like the movie, that doesn’t mean you get to be a shit about it. It’s truly sad. Please grow up.

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