Director Jon Favreau had fun chatting with his Cowboys & Aliens star Daniel Craig about Bond 23, which begins production in November (with India confirmed as a primary location) and opens Nov. 9, 2012. Craig was naturally coy about details, but admitted that it would contain some classic Bond elements (Naomie Harris is supposed to introduce Moneypenny) and had high praise for director Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition).
“It’s a great choice because Sam has a fervor and energy to really direct a Bond movie with a capital B,” Craig enthused. “He’s read every book and just soaked up everything about it. I read the script the other day and I’m more excited about this than I was about Casino.”
Favreau admitted that he filled the gadget void with Iron Man given Craig’s grittier, more realistic reboot. Craig said that gadgets pose a challenge for Bond because they’re so ubiquitous today and that it’s harder to find something unique unless you have access to classified military hardware and equipment.
In terms of humor, Craig also suggested that less is definitely more with his Bond. In my first interview with Craig, he professed an affinity for gallows humor, which served him well as a defense mechanism in Casino Royale, so we can probably expect a continuation of this dry wit.
In fact, the highlight of the conversation was a discussion about how Austin Powers has helped kill the self-reverential Bond in this post-modern era. “It’s been killed because now you can’t wink at it — he’s double-winked,” Craig offered. “It’s like a bird that flies in smaller and smaller circles until it flies up its own ass,” Favreau quipped. It just makes it all the more challenging to layer in humor that’s organic to the character and situation.
Indeed, Bond has always been a delicate balancing act between danger and humor, trying something new and going to extremes and then switching gears and repeating the cycle. I’m smack in the middle of this right now with the chapter on Moonraker in my Bond book. So it’ll be fascinating to see how Craig continues to bring Bond full-circle back to Fleming, while at the same time being true to the franchise.
Meanwhile, Peter Caranicas of Variety reports that Steve Begg (Casino Royale) has signed on to Bond 23 as visual effects supervisor.