- Sam Mendes recently discussed working on both “Skyfall” and ‘Spectre.”
- The director said “Skyfall” is the better film because he had more time to work on the script.
- Mendes also said he felt pressured into returning to direct “Spectre.”
It’s been just over a decade since Sam Mendes’ beloved James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” arrived in theaters and cleaned up at the box office, making $1.108 billion worldwide.
The film saw Bond (Daniel Craig) go up against a devastatingly efficient terrorist, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), who was set on burning MI5 to the ground.
“Skyfall” was a huge hit with audiences and critics, earning itself a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to a disappointing 63% score for its 2015 follow-up, “Spectre.”
Although Mendes directed both movies, he said there are a few reasons why “Skyfall” is the better of the two.
The director spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about why a delay in production on “Skyfall” helped it in the end, explaining that he had more time to work on the script.
Mendes said: “These movies are very difficult to write. Those 10 months of downtime, that’s when the script really turned around, because we had the time to go down blind alleys and try things like the [scrapped Bond/Silva team-up].”
However, Mendes didn’t have that luxury the second time around, and it really affected the script.
He added: “And that time was not afforded to me when we made ‘Spectre.’ And you can see the difference in the script.”
The 2015 movie followed Bond as he investigated the mysterious Spectre organization, which funded a new intelligence program for the UK that let them conduct their illegal operations without scrutiny. And let’s not forget the plot twist that saw Bond’s family history tied to the film’s villain, Blofeld (Christoph Waltz).
Mendes went on to say that both he and Daniel Craig felt pressured to return by producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who oversee the Bond franchise.
“[With Spectre], I felt there was some pressure. Certainly, Barbara and Michael exerted some pressure on me and Daniel to make the next one, so that makes a big difference.”
The director added: “People saying: ‘We want you to do it,’ and passionately wooing me to do it, was a big thing.”
Never mind villainous organizations and monologue-delivering villains, it seems studio pressure and a lack of production time was Bond’s real downfall in “Spectre.”