Exclusive: Nicolas Winding Refn Could Be Directing the Next Bond
by Alex Billington
May 28, 2013
"I love Bond... I love him." I might have landed a pretty big scoop, if a big smile is any kind of confirmation. At the end of the Cannes Film Festival, I was invited to interview Danish writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Valhalla Rising, Drive), who was there with his divisive new film Only God Forgives. At the end of the interview (being posted soon), I asked him about a project I heard he might be involved in - the next James Bond movie. His reaction is very interesting to watch, as his body language and big smile seem to indicate he might be a top contender, however he doesn't actually say yes at all. View the clip below.
I had been tipped from a trustworthy source that Refn has been connected to the new Bond, as it sounds like EON is meeting with quite a few unique directors (including Chris Nolan, Danny Boyle, J.A. Bayona). So I asked him if he's considering doing Bond coming up. "Where did you hear that?" was his immediate response. I pushed him a bit more and tried to get confirmation, but alas "I love Bond... I love him," is all he said. Check out the smile when I hint that perhaps we have to wait for an announcement coming up. Watch:
Watch his response and make what you will of it. On one hand, I think he could be messing with me, totally playing along. On the other, I think there was something behind his responses, with the way he replied. It may not mean he is set, and could just be one of the many directors they're talking to, but I'm sure we'll find out more soon. I would be intrigued in seeing a Nicolas Winding Refn James Bond, especially after Skyfall and how much Mendes pushed and rejuvenated the Daniel Craig Bond again in such a dark way. But could he even make a PG-13 Bond? Refn's violence is so brutal, though they could cut it in the right places. Either way, I'm curious, and hopefully not the only one who now thinks he's very interested in making this move.
My full 22-minute interview with Nicolas Winding Refn will be posted later this week. Oddly enough, the topic we had discussed just before this Bond question involved Hollywood and how he "wasn't willing to give up [his] creative freedom" for the studios. I was intrigued to hear him jump from saying those things to possibly being interested in making Bond 24, but we'll have to see what happens. Refn's Only God Forgives arrives in theaters starting July 19th this summer. Stay tuned for the full video. So what do you think?
Update! As expected, the Hollywood trades have chimed in. Variety wrote a post mentioning our scoop and followed up adding three more big names into the Bond 24 director mix: Shane Black, Ang Lee and Tom Hooper. In addition, Jeff Sneider of The Wrap confirmed in a tweet at least this much: "Nicolas Winding Refn makes moves about men of action & few words. James Bond is cut from that mold. Refn may not get it but he's in the mix." Only time will tell, but Refn is in contention with others. We will be watching closely.