James Bond

March 06, 2013 | 9:41 a.m.

James Bond jilted: Sam Mendes says no to directing ‘Skyfall’ follow-up

Daniel Craig stars as James Bond on the set of "Skyfall." (Credit: Columbia Pictures)
Who can resist James Bond? Sam Mendes, that’s who. Mendes directed “Skyfall” — the latest in the lucrative James Bond series, and one of the most financially successful movies of all time — but he’s said no to directing the next installment in the long-running franchise. Empire scored the exclusive interview in which Mendes explained why he declined the offer by producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson to direct the next film. Iron Man 3: New trailer released “It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” Mendes told the British film magazine. He said directing “Skyfall” was one of the best experiences of his career, but added: “I have theater and other commitments, including productions of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘King Lear’, that need my complete focus […]
Jan. 16, 2013 | 2:41 p.m.

‘Halo 4,’ ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ up for WGA video game award

'Halo 4' (featured image)
Master Chief and Mickey Mouse just snagged an invitation to one of Hollywood’s glitzy awards season soirees. “Assassin’s Creed III” and “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two” joined “Halo 4,” “007 Legends” and “Uncharted: Golden Abyss,” along with “Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation,” as the nominees for outstanding achievement in video game writing at the Writers Guild Awards, which will be held Feb. 17. The award will be presented by the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East during simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York. Other award categories include writing for film, television, radio, promotional writing, graphic animation and new media. The video game writing award, in its sixth year, honors a script from a video game published between Dec. 1, 2011, and Nov. 30, 2012. The complete 2013 WGA nominations list […]
Jan. 10, 2013 | 7:05 a.m.

Oscars 2013: ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Skyfall’ nab noms, no ‘Dark Knight Rises’

The 85th Academy Award nominations managed to offer some surprises Thursday morning — industry pundits were buzzing about the omission from the best director competition of Ben Affleck for “Argo” and Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” — but fans of fantastic entertainment had reason to cheer. Unless, of course, you were rooting for an Oscar for “The Dark Knight Rises.” While “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Skyfall” and “Django Unchained” all earned multiple nominations in a variety of categories, the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was not recognized, despite the critical acclaim that met the film when it was released in July. OSCARS 2013: Full coverage Happier news greeted Tim Burton today, with the filmmaker’s black-and-white 3D stop-motion love letter to childhood and Universal monster movies, “Frankenweenie,” leading the pack in the animated feature category. The movie, […]
Nov. 10, 2012 | 9:00 a.m.

James Bond: Four writers carry forward Ian Fleming’s spy legacy

Daniel Craig as James Bond in "Skyfall." (Sony)
“You Only Live Twice” isn’t just the name of one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels (and the movie it spawned). It’s also turned out to be a fitting description of Fleming’s legacy. Not only does Fleming’s most famous creation live on nearly 50 years after his death — the latest Bond flick, “Skyfall,” hit theaters Friday — but Fleming’s unique brand of international intrigue continues to influence today’s thriller writers. While the Fleming estate recently announced that William Boyd would write the next official Bond novel (due next fall), a slew of other authors have been keeping the 007 spirit alive with their own series. They don’t all write about spies or diabolical plots to take over the world, but they do acknowledge their debt to Fleming and his sexy, high-stakes take on the thriller. Hero Complex has compiled […]
Nov. 08, 2012 | 5:15 p.m.

James Bond: 007′s top 10 villains of all time

Dr. No, Jaws and Xenia Onatopp are a few of James Bond's nemeses. (United Artists; MGM)
They’re the strivers, the overachievers, the dreamers. They’re the people not content with the status quo, not afraid of big ambitions or seemingly insurmountable challenges. They’re the people who dared to “Think Different,” as Apple would have said. They are the villains of the James Bond universe. And if it weren’t for a womanizing British spy with a weakness for customized personal technology, their names would be written in the stars. Literally written in the stars. With the aid of some kind of powerful laser housed in an underwater base and guarded by half-naked female assassins with semiautomatic weapons. They may have failed in their efforts, but with “Skyfall” opening in theaters Friday, it seems a good time to remember the best of the Bond villains and honor their dastardly deeds. And with 23 Eon Productions 007 films, there are […]
Nov. 02, 2012 | 11:44 a.m.

James Bond’s cars: Thrilling rides from ‘Goldfinger’ to ‘Skyfall’

James Bond (featured image)
James Bond may be a secret agent, but he’s hardly inconspicuous on the road. Luxury cars have figured into Agent 007’s wish-fulfillment appeal since the character’s debut in Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel “Casino Royale.” In the early going, readers are introduced to the spy’s “only personal hobby,” a gray Bentley convertible coupe he bought in 1933, keeps meticulously maintained (including annual service by a mechanic who takes “jealous care” of it), and drives “hard and well and with an almost sensual pleasure.” The cinematic Bond gets off to a rougher start on the road in “Dr. No” (1962). Sean Connery’s 007 is picked up in a dashing Chevrolet Bel-Air convertible at the Kingston, Jamaica, airport, but there’s no time to enjoy the ride. The chauffeur, as these things go, is an enemy operative. When Bond confronts him, things end badly […]
Oct. 04, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.

James Bond: A tuneful 50-year overview from the movie academy

Sean Connery as James bond in"Goldfinger." (MGM)
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. Over the last half-century, the actors who have played James Bond have come and gone, and so have the type of villains that the sexy, martini-drinking 007 thwarts before the final credits. But there’s been one constant in the Bond films: “The James Bond Theme,” penned by British songwriter Monty Norman and arranged by composer John Barry for the first Bond film, 1962′s “Dr. No.” And during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “The Music of Bond: The First 50 Years” celebration Friday evening — which also will mark the 50th anniversary of “Dr. No” opening in England — at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, guitarist Vic Flick, who supplied the famous guitar lick for the jazzy theme, will be playing that music on […]
June 28, 2012 | 5:14 a.m.

James Bond at 50: The sadist who loved me?

Sean Connery in Jamacia during "Dr. No" production. (MGM)
This is the golden anniversary of “Dr. No,” the film that introduced moviegoers to the most famous spy of them all: James Bond of her majesty’s secret service. To mark the anniversary, we’ll be running edited excerpts from Bill Desowitz’s just-released ”James Bond Unmasked,” which features interviews with all six Bond actors. If you missed it, here’s Part One . “There are moments of great luxury in the life of a secret agent.” That’s the opening line in Ian Fleming’s second novel, “Live and Let Die” (1954), and one of the hallmarks of the Bond franchise has been taking us vicariously to the most exotic places in the world. Jamaica was the first with its tropical eye candy, easy fishing, calypso music, plentiful beer and rum, and Caribbean cuisine. No wonder Fleming adored it (Goldeneye, his retreat, inspired the title of […]
June 06, 2012 | 9:27 a.m.

‘Bond, James Bond’ at 50: A man who needs ‘Dr. No’ introduction

bond james bond
This is the golden anniversary of “Dr. No,” the film that introduced moviegoers to the most famous spy of them all: James Bond of her majesty’s secret service. To mark the anniversary we’ll be running excerpts from Bill Desowitz’s just-released “James Bond Unmasked,” which features interviews with all six Bond actors. Desowitz will be signing copies of his book at the American Cinematheque’s “007: The Complete James Bond Retrospective,” Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood and June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. “Bond. James Bond.” It’s the most famous introduction in movies, of course, establishing Sean Connery as Bond and his special mixture of danger and sex. Yet our first real intro to 007 is the more iconic gun barrel teaser by title designer Maurice Binder, which has become an indispensable part of […]
Nov. 03, 2011 | 8:26 a.m.

James Bond (and Daniel Craig) back on the job with ‘Skyfall’

James Bond actor Daniel Craig poses during a press conference announcing the new film's title -- "Skyfall" -- in London on Nov. 3. (Andy Rain / EPA)
James Bond will be back in U.S. theaters in November 2012 with “Skyfall,” the 23rd film in the venerable spy franchise and the third installment starring Daniel Craig as 007. Shooting began Thursday for the film that will mark the film franchise’s 50th anniversary, although the fans who made “Dr. No” a hit back in 1962 might barely recognize the hero in his current taciturn mode. Still, at a news conference in London, director Sam Mendes assured reporters and fans that he will keep the adrenaline pumping in an aging brand that was revitalized with Martin Campbell’s “Casino Royale” in 2006. “It, I think, has all the elements of a classic Bond movie, including, to quell any rumors, a lot of action,”  said the filmmaker, whose credits include “American Beauty,” “Jarhead” and “Road to Perdition.” The new film will also star Javier Bardem as the villain and brings back Judi Dench as Bond’s […]
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