— May 31, 2021
Time and time again, Christopher Nolan does not fail to impress cinema audiences and long-time fans with his genre-redefining movies. Opening new avenues in comic book movies with his Batman trilogy, ﻿or simply rewriting the rule book when it comes to intriguing concepts and the spy trope with ﻿Inception﻿, ﻿he is, without doubt, one of, if not the best directors of modern-era cinema. But, despite all that, his recent falling out with Warner Media suggests he is a free agent. A free agent legendary director, and an iconic franchise looking for a revamp, it almost feels too good to be true, but the question is, is it? Here are 5 reasons why Nolan should surely be the next director to helm the James Bond movies, and 5 reasons he should do anything but.
He Should: Past glory with spy movies such as Tenet and Inception
While Tenet debuted to mixed reactions, and fan outcry related to sound and story, it was clear that it was different. Crashing real life planes, inverse punches, combined with a globe trotting spy movie, omit the inverse punch part, it almost feels just like a James Bond film. About ﻿Inception, ﻿well, is there anything left to be said. It flies up there into discussions of one of the ﻿best heist and spy films. The ending and the iconic score still tantalizing audiences, and debates on whether the ending being a dream or reality puzzling viewers, it is rare to see discussions about a film so long after its release. One thing is for sure, Nolan has proven himself to be up for the task of a spy movie. Thus, effortlessly proving himself the man for the job, Nolan should be a shoo-in.
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He Shouldn’t: Tenet, his most recent film’s﻿ performance
His most recent film, Tenet, was﻿ controversial, divisive and had supposedly underwhelming ﻿box office ﻿performance. James Bond films tend to pull in a lot of cash, and while it did redefine stunts and time, one thing Tenet ﻿failed to do, was amass an ungodly amount of box office, which was common for Nolan films to do. While many major countries were not at maximum capacity, and many cinemas left gathering dust, it was expected, but still a punch to the gut. While the true box office losses of it can only be known when WB reports them, it is widely believed that ﻿Tenet ﻿﻿did not pull enough cash to break even and justify the huge budget. Pressure will be on Nolan to prove himself again, and justify the budget he is given, but if there is a man for the job, who else?
He Should: It’s a personal dream
﻿Time and time again, Christopher Nolan has stated James Bond is a personal dream, and as iconic as it is, who can blame him? Directing a James Bond series, and offering his own take on it, would be a personal dream of the director come true, not to mention the dream of many of his fans. He seems up to it, and with Daniel Craig stating ﻿No Time To Die is ﻿his last Bond film, the future is out in the open, and thankfully, so is Nolan’s after his falling out with Warner Brothers, a long time studio he made many movies with. ﻿Fans regularly dream and speculate on what such a film would look like, and with Bond casting rumors appearing almost on a daily basis, a dominant figure is Tom Hardy, someone who is a long-time collaborator of Nolan, and the prospect is already tantalizing.
He Shouldn’t: Limited material to work with
James Bond is widely associated with its iconic actors, cars and fight sequences. Christopher Nolan, however, is more known for his sci-fi, comic book, and mystery trope more than a spy movie. While it does seem like a bright prospect, Nolan would have little to no room to introduce his mind-bending scientific takes, on matters such as time and gravity, as he did in ﻿Inception﻿ and ﻿Interstellar﻿ just to name two. He would also have to rely on Ian Fleming’s original works, which may restrict him a little too much. ﻿Nolan would thus have little to no room to add a personal touch, something without which the film may not sit well.
He Should: It’s the perfect opportunity to redeem himself
Unfortunately, despite past glory, Christopher Nolan has once again been asked questions of, as many perceived the ﻿Tenet﻿ box office performance as poor. But, one good movie can change everything. James Bond, begging for a completely, new, fresh take, and Nolan looking for a new beginning. The two seem to go together as a match made in heaven. Nolan could have a blank canvas to work his magic upon, and do wonders at the box office. An iconic director such as Nolan, with an iconic series such as James Bond, is bound to rack up tickets upon tickets, silencing all his doubters once and for all.
He Shouldn’t: It may be too big a risk
James Bond is a series for the ages. Introducing iconic characters and catchphrases, leaving immortal marks on not only cinema history, but British culture itself, the stakes for any director who introduces a new version of the character, are very high. For Nolan, encouraged to redeem himself, the stakes are even higher. It may just be too big a task for him to succeed, for expectations of his success are very different from others, and the bar is higher.
He Should: It would give him a new studio to work with
One of the greatest aftermaths of Warner Media’s fallout with Christopher Nolan is that he is now up for grabs. It is no secret he is widely coveted and many studios would be more than happy to have him attached to their productions. With streaming services now becoming a new dominating force in the business, Nolan would receive a new partner to work with, in MGM. Fresh faces, fresh take, and a bright new future.
He Shouldn’t: Possibly less creative control
While Nolan has proved himself the master of the art of combining action with story, the grounded, non-sci fi and realistic dynamic surrounding James Bond may be a little too out of his league. With ﻿No Time To Die﻿ having gone through multiple story and director changes, and Nolan’s knack to work best given major creative control, studio involvement may turn out to be a thorn in his foot, while stepping in to take control of James Bond.
He Should: James Bond needs a massive restructure
It’s no secret that future Bond films need to take a dramatically different direction, as does the structure of the film itself, with recent Bond movies following largely a similar structure. Nolan with his complex flick, ﻿Tenet,﻿﻿ where the main antagonist is a proxy antagonist and an unnamed, did break traditional un-written rules about the spy movie industry. Something which Bond could massively use, and what better visionary, than one of the best there is.
He Shouldn’t: His global distribution demand
It is rumored that one of the reasons behind the ﻿Tenet ﻿underwhelming results was Nolan insisting it be released in theaters, rather than on a streaming site, ﻿which is an avenue many major studios adopted to take. With uncertainty facing the whole world now, and many theaters gathering dust, global distribution might just be a deal-breaker for the studio as they look to debut movies either exclusively on, or simultaneously on streaming sites. However, the good news is, the world seems to be going back to normal, and the resurgence of theaters seems not that far away.
While James Bond seems like an interesting avenue for Nolan to approach, given his past history with successful films such as ﻿Inception﻿ which served as a sci fi centered take on heist and spy movies, he seems like the perfect candidate to reboot the series. Meanwhile Bond movies themselves, are practically crying out for a revamp, a new original take. With ﻿No Time To Die﻿ expected to be the last movie of the Craig era, starting from ﻿Casino Royale,﻿ it is clear that Bond movies can and should get better. Not to distract from the fact that these Bond movies, weren’t bad, or terrible, but on many occasions actually quite good, but they seemed to follow a formula, similar for all Bond movies. A formula which could use some alteration, but only by a genius, which Nolan proved himself to be.
While the future of Nolan, himself is out in the open after a falling-out with WB, the situation seems to be too good to be true. Maybe it is. The other side of the argument suggests that Bond films, iconic and historic as they come, unlike many of Nolan’s past works which were mostly originals, excluding The Prestige, Insomnia, and The Batman movies﻿, it just does not seem to be his style. While both sides of the argument are fully plausible and equally as backed up, the true outcome cannot be published on pen and paper, but can only be seen on the big screen, something which many fans are hoping to achieve.
5 Reasons Christopher Nolan Is Perfect for the James Bond Franchise (And 5 Reasons He’s Not)