Films

Sam Mendes thought Craig as Bond “would not work”

"Hey Sam. Hope all's well. Just heard your BBC TMS podcast interview - a great listen. If it makes you feel any easier, I also thought you were going to be an awful choice for directing Skyfall. Glad we were both wrong, eh? You prick. Much love, Dan. x"

We like to imagine that the above message popped up on Sam Mendes' phone shortly after his revealing chat on a recent Test Match Special podcast

In between a slice of cake, cricket chitchat and cups of tea, Mendes gave some refreshingly honest insights into his thoughts on all things Bond - including his initial fears over Daniel Craig's casting as 007.

"I had cast Daniel Craig in this film I made in Chicago called Road To Perdition about 15 years ago and it was his first big American film," Mendes told Jonathan Agnew. "The role of Bond came up four or five years later and I was called by Entertainment Weekly, a showbiz publication, and they said ‘your old friend and collaborator Daniel Craig has been suggested as Bond, what do you think?’ and I said ‘terrible idea – he shouldn’t do it’."

To be fair to Mendes, this was a time when Bond was still a gadget-loving, womanising fool, whose latest outing was the underwhelming Die Another Day.

"...for me at the time I thought Bond had become the opposite of what Daniel is – a slightly disengaged, urbane jokey eyebrow raising, you know, a pastiche in a way and I felt Daniel’s reality and his passion and honesty as an actor would not work. But of course the franchise adapted to work with Daniel and when I saw Casino Royale I thought it was a fantastic piece of casting. And it was that that got me re-interested as Bond as a movie."

Mercifully for all involved, Bond's reinvention with Craig at the helm has added some respectable steal to the franchise (excusing the indecipherable blip that was Quantum of Solace). Mendes, fresh from directing SPECTRE, reiterated his opinion that he wouldn't take part in any future Bond titles. 

"I said no to the last one and then ended up doing it, and was pilloried by all my friends - but I do think this is probably it."

We'll have to wait until 26 October to see if SPECTRE was a "good idea" for both misters Craig and Mendes. 

(Images: Rex)

[Via: The Evening Standard]