The New York Times had an interesting profile the other day of Marc Forster, the German-born Swiss director of The Kite Runner and the next James Bond movie, among others. An excerpt:
The ability to generate suspense from some of the more aberrant emotional states may serve him well in his new assignment, because Bond, as played in his most recent incarnation by Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale” (2006), seems, Mr. Forster said, “very isolated, a man who’s damaged in some way.” Mr. Craig’s Bond felt to him like “a completely new interpretation of the character,” he said. “This James Bond is darker, more tormented. He’s humanized, in a sense.”
And that, he said, is the quality that will allow the franchise to go on. “In the ’60s and ’70s, when Sean Connery and Roger Moore were playing the role, a large part of the appeal of the James Bond movies was the travel to exotic locations, but that’s not such an attraction anymore,” Mr. Forster said. “People travel a lot more now, and with the Internet they’re more aware of what the rest of the world is like. In a way the most interesting place for a James Bond movie to go is inward — deeper into Bond himself.”
His mention of the ’60s and Mr. Connery was an abrupt reminder that, even more than Mr. Forster’s “non-Commonwealth” status, what really sets him apart from every previous Bond-movie director is that he is the first to have been born after the swingin’ heyday of the series. The canonical Connery Bonds — “Dr. No,” “From Russia With Love,” “Goldfinger,” “Thunderball” and “You Only Live Twice”— were all history by the time Mr. Forster entered the world in 1969. . . .
That he is the first director of a Bond movie who’s too young to remember the originals hadn’t dawned on him, either, until it was pointed out to him. That may be the most interesting thing about this not intuitively obvious marriage of filmmaker and film: After 45 years or so of 007 we’ll finally get to see what this dinner-jacketed warrior looks like through the eyes of a director whose points of reference are not “The 39 Steps” and “North by Northwest” but “Aliens” and “Die Hard.” (Those are the pictures Mr. Forster names as some favorite action movies.) How does James Bond strike somebody for whom the character is not merely mythic, but remotely mythic, like Beowulf?
But Marc Forster has another idea about why he’s the right choice for “Bond 22,” and why it’s the right movie for him. “You know, James Bond’s mother is Swiss,” he said. “That will make it all worthwhile.”
Obscure snarky soundtrack-buff quip of the day: If Forster cites Aliens and Die Hard as his two main influences, will his James Bond movie climax with the same piece of James Horner music that was used in the final scenes of both of those films?