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In what way was The Dark Knight a direct inspiration for Skyfall? Sam Mendes tells all

10.22.2012

Skyfall quad trimmed

I know, I know, you're probably tired of hearing how THE DARK KNIGHT influenced this or influences that and inspired some property that didn't need it to be more gritty and dark and disturbing or realistic or what have you.  But don't worry - this isn't in quite the same vein. More or less.

Batman is Bond's secret ally in SKYFALL.  Spoilers.  Sorry.

No, but seriously: when director Sam Mendes was asked if he was ever interested in doing a Bond film, he flat out replied "No, not at all."  It just wasn't what sparked his personal passion insofar as filmmaking went, even though he loved the series in and of itself.  But it was a combination of Daniel Craig's personal pitch and the overall reinvigoration of the franchise with CASINO ROYALE that turned Mendes' opinion around, a reinvorgation that is not very far removed from what Nolan did with Batman.  And when asked, Mendes went on to reveal that he "was 'directly inspired' by what those films achieved."

"In terms of what [Nolan] achieved, specifically THE DARK KNIGHT, second movie, what it achieved, which is something exceptional. It was a game changer for everybody.  We’re now in an industry where movies are very small or very big and there’s almost nothing in the middle," he continued. "And it would be a tragedy if all the serious movies were very small and all the popcorn movies were very big and have nothing to say. And what Nolan proved was that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with ‘The Dark Knight,’ it’s not even set in our world. If felt like a movie that was about our world post-9/11 and played on our fears and discussed our fears and why they existed and I thought that was incredibly brave and interesting. That did help give me the confidence to take this movie in directions that, without ‘The Dark Knight,’ might not have been possible. Because also, people go, ‘Wow, that’s pretty dark,’ but then you can point to ‘Dark Knight’ and go ‘Look at that – that’s a darker movie, and it took in a gazillion dollars!’ That’s very helpful. There’s also that thing – it’s clearly possible to make a dark movie that people want to see."

So... I guess it kind of was about being dark.  But I like to think of it more in terms of: making the emotionally complex/thematically challenging/sometimes morally questionable commerical.  And for someone like Bond, while humor and snark and charm are essential ingredients? Well, it doesn't hurt to have access to the other either.

Mendes and Craig on the set of Skyfall

Caption time.

Extra Tidbit: Mendes and Craig were friends prior to his casting as Bond. And once cast, Mendes went on record saying that he didn't think Craig was right for the part. He changed his tune upon seeing CASINO ROYALE.
Source: The Playlist

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