Michael G. Wilson, co-producer of the James Bond movies, spoke to the BBC recently in London about the nature of his job and the challenges that arise from being a producer on a highly successful film franchise.
In a short clip recently made available by the BBC news service, Wilson was interviewed briefly at the Jameson Empire Awards, where Skyfall and its director, Sam Mendes, had just picked up more well-deserved awards.
The veteran James Bond producer made it very clear that he still thoroughly enjoys his role as producer on the 007 movies. Wilson said his job was ‘thrilling, it’s a great job’ and ‘wonderful’. He continued: ‘The crews are great, the writers, directors, everyone, the cast’, and he added that ‘everyone who works on the films is a joy to work with’.
When the BBC interviewer also asked Wilson whether he thought Bond will ‘continue forever’, he responded: ‘Well, it’ll continue in some form, maybe not with us, but it’ll always be around’.
Quizzed about current 007 Daniel Craig, the Bond producer was asked whether he could imagine anyone else in the role of James Bond, and he responded: ‘I can’t imagine anyone else right now, that’s for sure – he’s just fantastic’.
At another point in the interview, Wilson was also asked about the difficulties of maintaining the 007 franchise’s appeal to a younger audience. The EON producer said it had always been ‘a challenge’ and, ‘for 50 years’, they had been trying to keep it ‘current and exciting’.
Meanwhile, as many Bond fans know, the EON producers still have the major challenge of finding a new director for Bond 24, after the surprise decision of Sam Mendes not to take up their recent offer, which (we understand) was a major financial offer plus a delay on the start of Bond 24 to meet Mendes’s upcoming theatre commitments.
Interestingly, when Wilson and Barbara Broccoli attended the recent special press evening for John Logan’s new play Peter and Alice in London, the journalist Richard Brooks, of the ‘Culture’ section of the Sunday Times, was able to ask Wilson about this situation.
According to Brooks, Wilson said that half a dozen directors have already turned him down. ‘I think we’ll end up with a comparative unknown’, said Wilson.
As Brooks noted in the Sunday Times, perhaps one of the reasons why some big names have turned down the opportunity to direct the next instalment of the world’s most successful movie franchise is because Skyfall has been such a critical and commercial success – and Bond 24 is very likely to be compared unfavourably to its predecessor.
According to reports, John Logan, who is writing Bonds 24 and 25, has already shown the EON producers a basic outline treatment for Bond 24.