| Pierce Brosnan (top) and Quentin Tarantino
London, Aug. 16: Film-maker Quentin Tarantino revealed his ambition to direct a James Bond film. Tarantino, who is best known for his darkly humorous and extremely violent films, has offered to make a film based on Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first book, with Pierce Brosnan.
Tarantino mooted the idea at the Cannes Film Festival. Preparations for the 21st Bond film have already begun, though its director, or whether Brosnan continues as the star, are yet to be announced.
The maker of Pulp Fiction, speaking on the American television chat show, Jay Leno’s Tonight, said that he had “bumped into” Brosnan “and we talked about it”. He said: “I don’t know if they’re going to go for it or not, but I’m letting them know I’m interested.”
The director said that while the last three films were “great”, they really were “spoofs” of the true James Bond character. His notion was to set the picture in the Sixties after the events of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, when Bond’s wife was gunned down by Irma Bundt, Blofeld’s sinister henchwoman, minutes after their wedding.
He wanted Bond to be “in mourning” when he falls for Vesper Lynd, the woman in Casino Royale.
The only film based on Casino Royale was made in 1967 as a farce with David Niven as the ageing Sir James Bond, Orson Welles as Le Chiffre, Ursula Andress as Vesper Lynd, Woody Allen as Bond’s neurotic nephew, Jimmy, and Peter Sellers playing a baccarat player, Evelyn Tremble.
Tarantino thinks the producers, Barbara Broccoli and her step-brother Michael G. Wilson, who own Eon Productions, have nothing to lose by hiring him. “They’ve got this gigantic franchise, they can’t do anything wrong with it.”
If Brosnan was going to do a last Bond movie “let’s just this one year go my way and do it a little differently. I won’t do anything to ruin the series”.
The new Bond is scheduled for release in November next year, timed both for the Christmas market and the Oscars.
Whether Tarantino is too much of a maverick, or too synonymous with wild films — Casino Royale has a notorious torture scene — remains to be seen. But, in Hollywood, where the money counts, his track record for profits is impressive. His two Kill Bill films, made for £34 million, grossed £183 million. Pulp Fiction, budgeted at £6 million, took £152 million at the box office.
Apart from being a fervent fan of Bond, he made a point in Cannes of saying that all blockbusters need to be star-driven these days to attract young audiences.
Intriguingly, the writers of the new Bond film, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, are said to be basing their story on Casino Royale after Eon finally secured the rights from Sony.