With the Bond 50 Blu-ray boxset hitting shelves on Monday, Total Film had a chat with producer Michael G Wilson, who spoke about 007, Blu-ray and the late Tony Scott’s suitability for the franchise.
Read our full interview below:
Why has it taken so long to put every Bond on Blu-ray?
"I think that a lot of it has to do with getting the definitive good copy. Sometimes the negatives are not in great shape. It’s amazing when you start looking at all the material how time can damage these things.
"They have to be reconstructed and sometimes there are scratches from the handling, problems with the negatives, damage and all of that has to be repaired and then scanned so it takes time. You can’t just take an old print, you have to go back to the negative and reconstruct the film."
How do you think the old films hold up, from a technical standpoint?
"I think when you see them after they’ve been scanned and repaired they look very good - amazingly good."
How important is this anniversary? Is it a time to take stock or look ahead?
"Right now we’re in the middle of making a movie [laughs] so everything’s focused on that. I think when 5 October rolls around we’ll have a moment to sit down and think, jeez – the first showing of the first Bond film was 50 years ago. That’s quite an accomplishment for a series.
"And of course it has a lot of fathers: this series has a lot of people who made it all possible, a lot of creative people who gave the best of their talent."
Did the success of the Bourne series have any influence on the series’ direction?
"I think if you live in a contemporary world you’re inspired by contemporary filmmakers as well as what’s happening in the world. The Bonds inspire other people and they inspire us.
A lot of people look at Bourne and all that quick fighting and stuff, but when you look back at the fight in the train in From Russia With Love you’ll see it’s been around for a long time.
You’ve made a series of cameos in the films…
That’s no good reason to buy them! [laughs] I think we did it for a lark and it became kind of a tradition.
You played a police chief in Casino Royale…
That was a bit ambitious. I think I’m much better at being James Bond’s hand like I was in Licence To Kill, cutting tape.
How did the James Bond Olympic Games short come about?
"Well we were asked if would do it and Daniel was asked. The Queen was enthusiastic about the idea so it all happened that way. I was amazed by the result; we’d seen the film parts but when it all came together it was exciting, where it fit in the programme and how it played out."
Was the late Tony Scott ever in the frame to direct a Bond movie?
"Well he was the type of director who would always be in the frame. Whether he was available or whether it was a project that was suitable for him, that would have been the issue. But he was always a good solid director."
How about Christopher Nolan, Paul Greengrass, people like that?
"It’s not appropriate to discuss all the people we might have approached or who might have approached us; I think it’s better if we just talk to the people who actually did it. But you know, in one sense, all the people you mentioned are great directors and they certainly could easily do a film for us."
Are you happy with Skyfall?
"Oh yes, I’m delighted. We’re interested in making a successful film that has a chance to be seen and doesn’t get overwhelmed by the competition. You want to give the film a fair shot and the audience a chance to see it.
"There’s a lot of thought that goes into that and how the publicity goes, the product placement and things like that. It’s all part of the process. Financially if it all works you get the chance to go back to the drawing board and do it all over again."
Bond 50 is available from Monday 24 September 2012. Read our Bond 50 review.
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