SPECTRE HAUNTS MENDES
Sounding just a little bit like a central character from the film he has just directed, Sam Mendes throws his head back, laughs and says “never say never”.
Almost three years to the day in October 2012 after the release of his blockbuster James Bond adventure Skyfall, Mendes was adamant it would be his first and last directing of an instalment of the franchise.
“Oh no, you are one of the ones I told ‘I am definitely not doing the next movie’,’’ he says with a laugh.
He now says never say never as Spectre, the 24th movie in the franchise and the second one he has directed, is released in Australia.
The 50-year-old British-born filmmaker says six months after the vow he had a few ideas of where the Bond character could go and the sort of stunts and sequences he could do. Then lead actor Daniel Craig began ringing him and pestering him to get involved and long-time producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson agreed with his script ideas.
“When you get offered a script and you are not sure whether to do it or not, you ask yourself the question ‘what if someone else was doing this, would I feel jealous?’,” he says.
“And I thought ‘yes’ because I felt possessive about the new M (Ralph Fiennes), the new Q (Ben Whishaw) and the new Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), all of whom had only really begun their journey.
“I felt I wanted to tell the next part of their journey.’’
Mendes credits some of the positive Spectre reviews to his team of film cutters, four Australians led by 55-year-old Sydney editor Lee Smith.
“They (the cutters) were absolutely brilliant. Lee Smith is one of the greatest Australian exports, he is a fantastic cutter.’’
Mendes however says he is bitterly disappointed they knew nothing of cricket and wouldn’t be baited into an argument over the Ashes.
Spectre is in cinemas now
Spectre director Sam Mendes.