In 2016, after abandoning the project to adapt It, by Stephen King, by creative differences, Cary Fukunaga (Oakland, 44 years) learned that Danny Boyle he was leaving the new Bond in his turn: he had collided with producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. If the British advocated a talkative and funny secret agent, the guardians of the essences of 007 preferred something more serious for the end of Daniel Craig within the saga. And I decided to email Barbara. I said if we could talk about Bond. Two years later, we signed, and today … It has been a privilege for me to be the director of Daniel’s last appearance in the series. ”
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The video call interview with Fukunaga it is made without having previously seen the film, which opens this Friday around the world. After the initial greeting in Spanish, he warns: “If you don’t mind, even though I can chat in Spanish, I am more fluent and elegant in English.” And he begins by remembering something about his career: “It seems to me that it was yesterday when I presented in San Sebastián Sin nombre, and along the way I have made bigger and smaller films, although all with themes that I care”. That happened in 2009. And now he is the new defender of 007, who at the beginning of the footage has lost until that license number, carried by the secret agent played by Lashana Lynch. How much has Fukunaga changed from James Bond? And how much has the world around you changed? “There’s something very interesting about James Bond movies, and it’s how they reflect the era in which they were made. When Daniel entered the series, he brought a humanity that took him tremendously away from the character that Pierce Brosnan played. I have not changed much, because he is already emotionally touched by the previous films, he lives retired from active service. But the world has continued to advance and the film reflects on its place in this new world. ”
For this reason, Fukunaga did not hesitate to underline in an interview in The Hollywood Reporter than in a couple of movies, and mentions them, James Bond vs. Goldfinger and Operation Thunder, the character played by Sean Connery rapes a woman. “In 60 years everything has changed so much … Then he did not stop at the refusal of a woman . Flirting will always be in Bond’s DNA, and don’t forget that he is a ruthless murderer, a spy with no moral qualms, but now he’s hurt, humanized … That’s where my exploration goes ”, he points out.
With this reflection, and after having obtained the approval of the Chinese censorship for the premiere in that market, won’t it have built a lighter Bond, more for all audiences? “Let me recall Casino Royale , which impressed me a lot at 2006. There was already all the humanity of the character as we had never seen it. He was violent, of course, but at the same time vulnerable. And I was interested in continuing on that path, such as how far he could show himself to a woman he falls in love with, how far would he lower his guard. I hope I got closer to Casino Royale ”. He was not alone on the trip, and in the writing team was Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator of the series Fleabag , the second writer who has collaborated in the Bond saga. “I was the one who proposed her name, and I want to clarify that I did it because she is a great screenwriter who would contribute her talent.” He says it because of the different voices that qualified that movement as a move to have the Me Too movement in their favor.
“I only signed for one delivery. Luckily, I don’t have to decide who will be the new Bond, or if an actress will be. I have not thought about it nor will I be present in that debate ”
Fukunaga is not an upstart without a curriculum. After Jane Eyre (2011), she directed the first —and unsurpassed— season by True Detective and Beast of No Nation (2015), Netflix’s first effort to enter the awards race. With the platform he repeated in the series Maniac (2018). When he finished No time to die, with the water around his neck, thinking about the first release date, April 2, 2020, did not stay hand over hand. While the 25 th film about Bond became the first blockbuster to postpone its release for fault of the pandemic, Fukunaga went back in his confinement Good Joe Bell, with Mark Wahlberg; has collaborated on the scripts of the series A Soldier of the Great War and has finished filming the series Masters of the Air, a sequel to Apple TV of Blood Brothers . Meanwhile, No time to die suffering several moratoriums on its premiere. “Except for a couple of shot adjustments, we haven’t touched it,” he recalls. “There were times when I got impatient, but hey, the world had more serious problems to deal with than the premiere of an entertainment movie, no matter how important it was for me and the fans.”
Without time to die ran the possible danger of being released on the internet. “Fortunately, the producers defended the theatrical release,” says the filmmaker, the first American to direct a film in the series. The film was shot on Panavision for IMAX theatrical release; However, in May Amazon bought for 8. 400 million dollars (6. 910 million euros) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, holder of the distribution rights. “I can’t imagine a Bond movie made just for platforms. And less with the producers who safeguard it ”, the brothers Broccoli and Wilson. “They have supported me. Even in details like sending a political or social message through the plot ”. For instance? “I prefer that the public discover them. It is not an activist film, although it does contain comments about the world in which I shot it three years ago. ”
The filmmaker was only hired for one film:“ Barbara doesn’t want to know anything more about the following films, neither who will play Bond, nor who will direct him, he just wants to celebrate Daniel’s farewell with a big party ”. So he laughs when asked: is there a future for a black or female James Bond? “I only signed for one delivery. Luckily, I don’t have to make that decision. I have neither thought about it nor will I be present in that debate. ”