John_Logan_2The scriptwriter John Logan, who is penning the storylines for the next two James Bond movies, spoke about Bond 24 while helping to promote his upcoming TV series Penny Dreadful at the Television Critics Association press event on January 17.

Quizzed by IGN about whether he could say anything about the next 007 adventure, Logan responded cautiously: ‘All I can say about Bond is that I’m happily writing it. Sam Mendes would rappel through the window and kill me’.

He added that his goal is ‘to write a movie that’s appropriate, to build on what we did on Skyfall, but make it its own unique animal’. He explained that the ‘themes, ideas and the characters from Skyfall can obviously continue on, because it is a franchise, and it is an ongoing story. So I think there’s resonance from Skyfall in the new movie’.

Logan’s enthusiasm for Bond was also very much on display again. He said: ‘I grew up on the Bond movies. The first one I saw was Diamonds Are Forever, when I was a kid. I just loved them to pieces. I love all the elements from the books… going back to Ian Fleming is where I started with Skyfall – and there’s certainly elements of the movies and the novels that we’ve brought in the new movie, as they did into Skyfall‘.

Perhaps inevitably, IGN also tackled Logan about the recent restoration to EON/MGM of the legal rights to the character of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and whether Bond’s arch-rival would return to the 007 series at any point. Unsurprisingly, Logan would not be drawn on the topic: ‘You know, I think our villain’s appropriate to the story we’re telling’.

Logan’s new gothic horror TV series Penny Dreadful, upon which he has worked closely with Skyfall director Sam Mendes, will run to eight episodes, and has the backing of the ‘Showtime’ network in the USA and also the ‘Sky Atlantic’ satellite and cable channel.

The plotline to the new series will blend supernatural and classic horror elements with a ‘re-imagining’ of some of the key characters from three iconic Victorian gothic novels: Frankenstein (1818; 1823); Dracula (1897); and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890; 1891). Logan commented recently: ‘What we want the series to be is disturbing and honest’.

Meanwhile, Sam Mendes is about to direct the actor Simon Russell Beale in a new stage production of King Lear at the National Theatre in central London.