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Settlers of Catan rights for film and TV acquired

Hopefully it's just not three hours of sheep trading
Feb 20
// John-Charles Holmes
If there's one thing The LEGO Movie has proven to audiences and, most importantly, producers, is that there's a good movie hidden inside every property, including toys.  Which is why I'm not really sure how to react when...
Seesaw photo

Saw producers are ready for more Saw

Oct 21
// Nick Valdez
How many Saw films were there? It seems like twenty were crammed into the franchise's six year run (2004-2010), but now producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules feel like a four-six year break is long enough for people to want mor...

Lauren Shuler Donner talks Deadpool script

You should be scared by this.
Mar 11
// Michael Jordan
So it turns out that our favorite merc with a mouth (who had his mouth surgically shut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) has a script out there and Producer Lauren Shuler Donner says its "really good." Here is why you sh...

Bruckheimer producing Beverly Hi... BAD BOYS 3!?

Way to bury the lead Variety
Sep 13
// Matthew Razak
In some kind of boring news Variety is reporting that Jerry Bruckheimer will be returning to the Beverly Hills Cop franchise that got new legs earlier this year. The mega-blockbuster producer actually produced the first ...

Flixclusive Interview: Jason Blum (producer of The Purge)

Jun 05 // Sean Walsh
Sean - So how are you doing today? Jason Blum - Very good, very good, lot's of chatting. Yes, I imagine so, hopefully I'll ask you some questions you haven't heard a dozen, two dozen times today. Oh good, I'm ready for that. Alright, so, we'll get right to it. What was it that drew you to The Purge? We really, you know Paranormal Activity, Sinister, Insidious, if you're a director sitting in my office, you're saying what are we looking for? We're looking for movies that can be told inexpensively so we hold on to creative control and that are high concept movies. So The Purge is the perfect, you know, the perfect Blum House movie in my mind because it's a big huge concept that's made up of this idea of this going on only 12 hours out of the year. And it's told, instead of trying to tell a lot of stories that are out in the world, it's told from one family’s very specific perspective so it's very intimate. That allows you to do it for a price. So it really, it's my dream movie. They don't happen often, but when I heard it I was like 'Oh my God we have to make that movie.' So having, you know obviously spent a lot of time with The Purge, have you given any thought to what you would do during the Purge, given the chance? I would lock my door and put my head under my pillow. (laughs) That's a fair answer. So what led to you becoming a Producer? You know, producers are one of those kind of amorphous blobs when people think about roles in film-making and obviously you've produced a lot of stuff, so could you give us some insight into kind of that whole process of becoming a producer and what a Producer  does besides throw money at things? I've always kind of grew up with creative people and in college my friends were mostly actors so I've always liked them. What a Producer does really is takes ideas and tries to convert them into whatever you're producing, you know in my case being movies and TV shows. And so in the case of The Purge, we identified the script and put the budget and schedule together, worked on getting the right actors, work on giving  our story advice along the way and then, obviously raising the money first and then spending the money second. Making sure that with each movie we spend the amount that we've raised and then that's kind of the first half of the job. And the second half of the job is what I'm doing with you now, kind of getting the finished movie out there in the world. That's what a producer does. And I got into it because I've always wanted to do it, I majored in film and economics in school and I've always loved movies and TV shows and never had any desire to write or direct so this was a way I could get involved with the medium I loved using the skill set that I think I have as opposed to what I don't which would be directing. So, looking at your IMDb page, you've worked with Ethan Hawke on a small handful of movies now, is he as awesome in real life as I imagine he is? He really is, he's one of my best friends and he's great actor. It's so fun to work with someone, you know, we've had a twenty year friendship and it's so fun to work with someone who I'm so close to. We have such a short hand and we have great you know, creative conversations about the movies and what we're doing and what we're doing with our lives and the decisions we make career wise and everything else. It's just really fun to have a collaborator like that. I can definitely see the perks to that. Yeah. Now, Insidious and Sinister. To me, Insidious was kind of the rebirth of true horror films and, you know, its a PG-13 movie that scared the bejesus out of me and you know, and then Sinister came along and it was a very hard R and it got right under my skin. Out of all of these movies you've produced, out of all of these horror films, does any one particularly stand above the others as your favorite? Oh my God, I can never pick favorites. They're like my children! You know, you never think of it that way. I remember different things, different aspects, and Sinister was so fun because Ethan did it, Insidious was fun because it was like 'What are you going to do after Paranormal Activity?'. But I definitely can't pick favorites. That's fair, I'm sure you get that question a lot. Now, speaking of Paranormal Activity, can  you give us any insight into the fifth installment of this franchise? The fifth, no that's top secret but it's going to be fun and different for sure but that is very top secret you know that's in a vault underneath Paramount. You gotta ask. Of course, of course! Of course, I appreciate the question. Now as far as the other, hopefully, less top-secret films like Ghosts [now known as Jessabelle - ed] and Not Safe for Work, are there any of the other movies coming out, and you've got a slew coming out in the next year or two, that you can talk about? Well we have Insidious 2 next and then Paranormal 5 and then Ghosts, those are the next kind of big releases coming up and you know, I'm psyched. I'm psyched about all of these movies for different reasons. I mean, I really feel like The Purge, I mean obviously I'm excited because it's the next one but also because it's like, it's original and it's based on an original idea by James and kind of like I said before it really kind of fits. Like, it's exactly the kind of movie we're looking for so you know I'm really proud of it. Awesome. I work at a movie theater so I've seen all the trailers and the poster came in for The Purge and I said, 'What is this?'. And since I work at the theater, I try not to see the trailers on the small screen, I like to see them for the first time on the big screen and Evil Dead had The Purge… I can't tell you how excited I am to see this. You know that's why my Editor and Chief said, 'Sean you've got to do this phone interview'. Oh good! You've produced a lot of movies over a lot of different genres but is there anything in particular about horror that really draws you to it? You know, it's so fun to see people, to see an actual reaction to a movie. When you make horror movies, you really know when they work and you really know when they don't work. You don't have to wonder and ask people what they thought after the screening and that's like a big thrill to actually get a physical reaction when the movie's working. I suppose that happens in comedies too. We don't do comedies, but that's really fun. And I think there's a real art to scaring people. I've learned a lot from the directors I've worked with. I've learned a lot from James and the actual scare is kind of the easier part and the hard part is kind of what happens in between the scare and that's really what makes the scares work or not. And I think there's a real craft to getting that right as opposed to making them, you know, just gratuitous in which case they don't work, and that's a real thrill too. It's fun to watch. I've had a great time working with directors who really know the genre better then I do and watch them do it and learn from them and that's been cool. I would imagine, especially in a producer’s stand point, seeing these films come to life must be a real treat for you. Yeah, it's really fun. We kind of make them off the grid, you know we make them outside the system. We work in the system to get them out, to get them released and for me that's the ideal way to make movies. No one can make movies better then the studios. But it's very hard to make lower budget movies with the studios, but we have a great arrangement with Universal where they allow us to do what we want and then they, as soon as there's something to look at, they really kind of get behind it and that's very cool. As far as the Paranormal Activity series goes, I love the third one because I was like, 'How are they going to pull this off in the 80s?' you know, things were so bulky and expensive, and they did, they pulled it off and it was amazing. And, the forth one, I had a few issues with the forth one but as far as- The forth one went off the rails a little bit, we're trying to get it back for the fifth. Well, that I'm looking forward to! Do you know anything about the Hispanic-centric spin-off? Yeah I'm producing that too. Is it going to be good? Yeah, well, it's very different and I think it's going to be really cool. Chris [Landon] directed it and he was a writer on the second, third and fourth movies so he really knows the franchise really well. I think he really did some cool stuff with it. That's awesome, because I saw the after credit scene of the fourth one numerous times because I had to usher around the weekend it came out, so we'd always walk in and catch it and I'd always tell people 'Make sure you sit through and watch until the end!' and people would always ask me, 'What the heck is this?' and I'd tell them, 'Hey, there's gonna be a spin off!' so I've been pounding the pavement for you. Nice, nice I like it, I like it. Now, I'm looking at your IMDB page, and there's so many awesome movies coming out now. And I asked some of my friends if they had any questions for you and one friend wanted to know, what could you tell us about Area 51? Area 51…we're still working on it. That was Oren's second effort  as a director and it's a found footage movie. And, you know, Paranormal Activity took three years from the time the first cut of it was finished when I got involved, it was three years from that point to getting it out. So when you work on found footage movies they, you know they really cause more problems then they solve, I generally think that's true. People come to me and say 'Should I do this found footage or regular?' and I say to them, if you can tell it traditionally I always encourage people to do that because I think, it's easier production-wise but it's harder story-telling wise. So that's a really long winded way of saying we're still working on the movie. But one of these days we'll get it out there into the big bad world. That's awesome. A lot of these are just kind of little bullets on the page on IMDB, and I didn't even know it (Area 51) was found footage. I'm a sucker for found footage and a lot of people were critical for The Devil Inside for not having an ending, it just ends suddenly and it's like, ‘It's found footage! Didn't you guys see The Blair Witch? Didn't you see Cannibal Holocaust?” These movies, you know they're going to end abruptly. It's found footage for a reason, it's not 'Hey we produced this film, watch it' footage! That's right, you're right about that and people don't like that. They usually end up  in a bad place by the end of the movie, and I'm sure Area 51 is not going to end with a bunch of shiny, happy people singing Kumbaya. But, I looked at Ghosts and I thought, “Hmm, that writer’s name sounds really familiar…” and it's Robert Ben Garant of The State and Reno 911! What was it like working with a comedy writer on a horror film? It was funny, it was weird…we're developing something else with him. He loves horror movies, he writes great scary movies, I think he's got a long career of it. And when that movie comes out, I think we have a great date on that movie and I think Ben's going to do a lot more. It's funny, there's actually a lot more similarities between horror and comedy than most people think. You know, a scare and a joke are both about timing and set up and being emotionally invested in the characters. There's more similarities than one would imagine between the two genres. I think that's one of the reasons why he's probably good at it, and he loves horror movies too. He directed a kind of horror/comedy that was at Sundance this year, I don't know if you saw it, called Ghost Town [listed on IMDb as Hell Baby - ed]? I have not heard of that one but I'll have to track it down. So, outside of the movies you've produced, are there any movies you've seen recently that you really thought 'Wow, that was an awesome movie!'? I just saw a documentary called Buck about a horse whisperer and it was amazing. It's so offbeat and bizarre. I saw it a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was a spectacular documentary. I liked Oblivion a lot, I thought Oblivion was cool. Did you see it in IMAX? I did not see it in IMAX, I did see it in the theater where they have the Academy Awards and the sound was amazing, so that was really cool. That's cool! Yeah, really! We got the IMAX in our theater just as the Prometheus run came to an end and I didn't see that in IMAX (having seen it twice before the IMAX opened) but seeing Oblivion in IMAX with that IMAX sound, is just really cool. That's cool, where is your theater? In Danbury. Oh, Danbury! I went to school in Watertown. Really? Yeah. How about that?! Yeah, very close. Small world. So I guess we'll wrap it up with one last question. Sure. What would you like our readers to take away from this interview about The Purge? I'd like them to take away two things. That I'm really proud of it, I stand behind it, you know we're showing it well in advance of it's release because I'm proud of the work that James did on the movie so I think that's really important and that's why I'm having these conversations now and everything else. I just think that James pulled off the second thing, which I think they should know is, a great, scary, entertaining movie with a lot more to it than what you know. There's some politics smuggled into the movie as well which I think is also kind of cool. Awesome. I'll sneak one more question in, I meant to ask it earlier: Since you said it's obviously very contained, it's one family's story in this world, is there a possibility of there being other installments, expanded universe stories, set in the Purge universe? I'd never say never but my mind is very focused on this current movie right now. Fair enough! I'm sure it'll be a hit, we're all looking forward to it! Cool, cool, cool. Well, are you seeing the movie soon? Oh, I'll be seeing it as soon as humanly possible. I'm on pins and needles. Good, good, good. I'm psyched, it's a good one. Well, thank you for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to talk with me. It was an absolute pleasure and hopefully we'll be talking again soon. My pleasure, I look forward to it. Alright, thanks a lot! Thanks a lot, bye. ------------------- The Purge comes out this Friday, June 7th.
Jason Blum Interview photo
Things get spooky in my interview with the Blumhouse founder
This job has a lot of perks. One of those perks is getting to interview some really awesome people. Case in point, I had the privledge of getting to talk with founder of Blumhouse Productions; producer of the Paranormal Activ...

Interview: Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert (Evil Dead)

Apr 03 // Geoff Henao
That’s a nice little pocket square. Bruce Campbell: My wife is always tweaking it. That’s awesome. BC: I iron my own clothes. I press my own clothes. My first wife taught me how to iron. Oh really? BC: Yup. You start with the collar, iron it flat, and then you flip it over and iron that. Then you do the back, then you end with the sides and the sleeves. I’ve watched so many YouTube videos. I can’t figure it out. BC: Oh, ironing is key. Ironing is important… depending on what you’re going for. That’s true, and if you mess up, you could cover it up with a jacket anyways. BC: Well, here we are… How often were you guys on set? BC: Rob was there. Rob Tapert: I was there... They made it seem like you were on the set a lot. BC: No, I was working on my day job, on Burn Notice, the TV show. Rob was the man in the trenches there. But you know, as Rob explained it, if you’re doing your job right as a producer, you don’t have to be there looking over the guy’s shoulder. Nobody wants that. RT: I had an office there, and there would be days where I would go there, spend all day in the office, kind of doing stuff related to another thing I was doing, Spartacus, in the Evil Dead office in case anything came up. Saw Fede [Alvarez] and the guys at lunch, talked about [stuff], then go afterwards and talk to the actors, go back to my office, and that’s [all]. I wouldn’t actually hang around on set because I think [being] on set’s really boring. If I’m there, something’s wrong. BC: It’s true, it’s true. It’s a good way of looking at it. RT: Or I will have watched dailies, then I would go out and say, “Oh that was really great,” or “You know, we should keep our eyes on this.” But otherwise, it ran pretty smoothly. Now Bruce, I know you were the most resistant, reluctant to do the remake. BC: Well, not necessarily. I wouldn’t characterize it like that. Well, the things you were letting go… It’s kind of like letting go of Ash… BC: I didn’t really have an issue. Look, to us, it was if Sam was on board, we’re on board. We were surprised at how on board he was. Rob and I came up afterwards, after the fact. RT: We didn’t want to do a bad version. I had seen a lot of remakes that were a bad version, so until there was a proper filmmaker… and it all worked out right. We needed somebody who was going to write the script and direct it, and kind of take ownership of… take the hand off the franchise into their own hands, and that’s what happened. There were many missteps we could have made. BC: And we were happy to relinquish Ash. We didn’t want to put that on some actor, “Blah blah blah, you’re going to play the part. You’re going to imitate me.” Because that would have been a direct remake as opposed to its own thing. BC: Yeah, yeah. This gives it a lot more space, and this way the series can operate independently in different universes. We can still make Evil Dead 4. There’s nothing to do with this movie. This [Evil Dead] gives it a lot of space, and the series can operate independently in different universes. We can still make Evil Dead 4. [It] has nothing to do with this movie, whatsoever. Nothing, just a creepy book, that's the only thing they have in common. If you guys do go forward with an Evil Dead 4, would you still be considering continuing in this more modern universe? BC: Sam's been talking about it. Rob and I are like, 'Show us a script.' [...] If we did another, Army of Darkness 2, which is really what it would be, it wouldn't be Evil Dead 4 because Army of Darkness changed its name a bit. So really, it would be Army of Darkness 2. RT: Nowhere was it called Evil Dead 3. It was Army of Darkness everywhere. Fans knew it as that, and in foreign countries, they called it whatever… La Casa 3 or something. What were things that Fede did that you saw in dailies [where] you were like, “No, we don’t want this.” Anything you kind of objected to? RT: No. There were things… Bruce, Sam, and I watched the movie when it was about 80% shot, and we went, “Oh, this is really good. This is great. He’s done a great job,” and we said, “These are areas where we want you to think about. We think you should beef up something. BC: Just to punch it up a little. RT: Punch it, make it bigger. BC: Go a little crazier. RT: He took that opportunity in a couple of extra days, and we made some of the things bigger. We were happy with that. Was the raining blood, was that your guys’ thing? RT: No, that was Fede. He fought for that forever. He had to have it. BC: It’s pretty unique, though! Not many movies have a blood rain sequence. How does it feel to come out to [the premiere] and to have fans out there cheering? BC: It feels great! It’s kind of like we’re being provided for now 30 years later. We’re sort of getting paid now for what we did a long time ago. None of us really made legitimate money off of [them], especially the first one. It was just the fact that we wanted to get into the film business, that’s what it represented. This is sort of odd that it’s nationally released, it looks good, real photography, good visual effects, the music is over the top, and it’s just great to see this movie all spit polished and looking nice where people can’t tell how you did the effects. That’s all you want, we just didn’t have money to hide our effects. Was there any question it was going to be practical effects vs. CGI? RT: There was a little discussion over what we were going to do and how. There were shortcuts you could make in production that save you a day, a couple of days of shooting at the end of a schedule if you opted to say, “Oh, we’re just going to split that tongue in CGI.” Fede fought against that, and he was right to fight against it, and [we] ultimately said, “Okay, you know what? We’re going to go down that [path]…” BC: As a result, the film also has a retro look, a pre-CGI look because there’s no ghostly image going around. Even though it’s a very different film, it’s going back to that 80s genre of horror films where now, it’s kind of more like that hostile, very violent [film] where there’s no point, but this is more gore because it’s scary as opposed to gore for the sake of gore. RT: And found footage. Do you have a favorite sequence in the new film? RT: I like the nail gun sequence, the nail gun and crowbar sequence [where] Natalie ends up armless [and] crawling across the floor [saying], “My face hurts!” BC: I like Jane Levy’s never-ending scream where she just stands there and she just screams and shit is blowing around the room. You’re like, “What? What?!” And she just keeps screaming and keeps screaming. That was really cool. They said [at the post-screening Q&A] that your scream was mixed. BC: Yeah, it’s in there a couple of times. RT: But Jane’s a real screamer. You get actresses who can scream and some who can’t, and Jane was a real screamer. BC: Yeah, she could scream. There are a few homages and allusions to the first film. Was that all on Fede, or was that you guys kind of encouraging it? BC: We didn’t discourage it. I mean, look: It should be Michigan state, so it’s [in] Flint, Michigan we’re talking about, you see the car, you’ve got the book. There were things to give people the basics. Fede had a lot of wiggle room to go around that. RT: And I hassled him about the car all the time, not that I was against having it in, but I wanted him to explain why it was there. At the end of Evil Dead, it gets sucked down a hole. BC: Sucked into a vortex. It’s in 1300 right now. RT: Yeah, so what is that car… No, it traveled with you into the future… depending on the ending. BC: We don’t know where the car is. RT: “Why’s the car there?” [Mimicking Fede] “Oh, the fans are going to love it.” That’s not good enough. You’ve got to tell me why that car’s there. To his credit, he just kept saying, “The fans are going to love it. We have to have it.” BC: He used that line on me, too. We were mixing the sound, and there’s one part where we just wanted to keep pushing the music while the possessed chick is kissing… the blood kiss underneath the stairs, and she’s just barfing in her mouth. Fede just wanted the music louder and louder. I said, “Fede, you’re crazy. The music’s too loud,” and he goes, “No, the fans would insist on it.” I was like, “Okay… fine,” so we left it. In his soul of souls, he was like, “They need it.” Going forward, you guys [talking about a sequel], if you make Evil Dead 4, [would it be] separate, so this Evil Dead [sequel] would be its own thread, its own world? BC: Yeah, connected to the first movie, not to any of the original movies. So if you made Evil Dead 4, it would be its own separate [film]? BC: It would matter not. RT: Evil Dead 4’s the one with the guys in the walkers.
Evil Dead Producers photo
Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert walk into a bar...
[This interview was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of Evil Dead.] Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert: Two of the three masterminds be...


ABCs of Death directors answer YOUR questions on Reddit

15 out of 26 ain't bad
Feb 20
// Sean Walsh
Did you see The ABCs of Death? Do you have burning questions that you'd like answers? Do you go on Reddit? Well, then do I have news for you! Starting today at 11:00 PST - 2:00 PST, fifteen of the twenty-six directors and two of the producers of The ABCs of Death will be doing an AMA on Reddit! Check out the list of directors and producers below!

A game of tag to turn into a movie

Feb 14
// Logan Otremba
Have you and your friends ever played a game of tag? Have you and those same friends been playing it for 23 years? There is this group of friends from the state of Washington that have kept up a game of tag for that long. Bas...

Del Toro to produce Secret Garden adaptation

Feb 05
// Matthew Razak
Deadline is reporting that Guillermo Del Toro is set up to produce a version of The Secret Garden by Beasts of the Southern Wild writer Lucy Alibar. Universal snapped up the pitch amiss a battle of four studios...

Trey Parker and Matt Stone found studio

Creators of South Park do non-South Park stuff
Jan 15
// Matthew Razak
Those wacky guys from South Park are at it again. Well, they've really just be at it for a while now, but now all of Trey Parker and Matt Stones work will be made under their new studio, Important Studios. One assumes th...

Casey Affleck starring in Boston Strangler thriller

The younger of the Super Affleck Bros.
Dec 06
// Thor Latham
It looks like Casey Affleck and screenwriter Chuck Maclean have sold Warner Bros. on a pitch about making a thriller based on the infamous Boston Strangler murders that took place during the 1960's. Affleck is looking to star...

Plans for expansion of the Star Wars universe hinted at

Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg working on the mythos
Nov 28
// Thor Latham
Although details are a little hazy at the moment, sources for THR have purportedly shed a little more light on Lawrence Kasdan's and Simon Kinberg's involvement with the Star Wars universe. It turns out they may not be tied t...

Justin Lin to helm sci-fi comedy Subdivision

Oct 30
// Matthew Razak
Justin Lin actually made a Fast & Furious movie enjoyable so he is clearly a miracle worker and needs to be given  more awesome projects. Universal agrees and has greenlit his next project Subdivision, a sci-fi ...

Warner Bros. picks up Somacell, produced by David Goyer

He sure looks snazzy in that sweater
Oct 30
// Thor Latham
In what can be described as just barely news, Warner Bros. has just picked up a spec script from first time screenwriter Ashleigh Powell titled Somacell. The story "chronicles a female prison guard in the near ...

Flixclusive Interview: Bond producer Barbara Broccoli

Oct 09 // Matthew Razak
Not to start off with an omission, but I noticed the documentary discussed every Bond film, but the Peter Seller's Casino Royale. Do you know why that was omitted? There was the television play with Barry Nelson, which was talked about, but you're talking about the 1968 version. Yes.  You know it's such a long history and they made decisions about what to take out and what to leave in. I guess there wasn't really a lot to say about that film. You know it's there in the canon of Bond films, but we certainly didn't have anything to do with and I'm not sure what the decision was to leave it out. It wasn't as if we said it couldn't be part of the film. I just re-watched it recently and that stuck out a bit. It is a hoot, isn't it? It is. I'm not sure you see too many films falling apart on the screen. It's interesting. It reflects that psychedelic time, definitely. It's a spoof, and I suppose when you look at it now, you know, having had the benefit of the Austin Powers films it's quite funny to look back at it as a spoof. Talk a bit about picking up the Bond mantle after you father passed. Was it a big decision for you? Well, I grew up around Bond my whole life, and it was such an integral part of my life. I had the benefit of working with my father for so many years, and I learned so much from him about how to make movies and James Bond. His passion for it was extraordinary and very contagious. It was hard to go on without him, but I feel like his mark on the series is so indelible, and everything he has imbued on the series and the what he gave to Michael (Wilson, co-producer of the Bond series) and me is so strong that he's reflected in everything we do. I feel like he's with me. You took over back in the early 90s with the relaunch of Bond and GoldenEye. Back then everyone was saying that Bond is dead since the Cold War had ended. How nerve wracking was it for you to be bringing Bond back in a world that might not want him? It was difficult. It was after the lawsuit so there hadn't been a Bond film on screen for six years. We we're introducing a new actor in Brosnan, and everyone was saying that Bond wasn't relevant anymore because the Cold War was over. There was a lot going on at the time. A lot of cause for concern. But, you know, we just did what we were use to doing, which was putting our heads down and trying to make the best film possible. It turned out pretty good. We had a great director Martin Campbell and Pierce was a sensational Bond. I think we proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the world still needs James Bond. One of the aspects that makes Bond endure like he has it that whenever the series seems to get too big you bring it back down to earth. Was that something that your father and you tried to do? Yes. Absolutely. These films very much reflect the times we're in and it also a reflection of the actor that portrays Bond at the time. I think in certain cases -- certainly when it came to Moonraker -- we went pretty far out there. It's a terrific movie and well appreciated, but I think there was then a desire to go back to a more realistic Bond. My father always use to say, "Whenever you get stuck go back to Fleming." That's a pretty good rule of thumb and that's what we do. You know after Die Another Day, an extremely successful film, after 9/11 it seemed inappropriate to make light of Bond's ambition to save the world. So we went back to the books. We got Casino Royale, which had eluded Cubby and Harry (Saltzman) initially, and we went back to tell the original story. I think it was very appropriate for our times and I think Daniel Craig has made an astounding Bond, who is very appropriate for the 21st century. Speaking of Craig, I was one of the naysayers when he was announced as Bond, but you were behind him all the way. What made you believe in him as Bond? He's a great actor. I saw him do a lot of different varied performances, and you can't take your eyes off him when he's on the screen. He just captures you and he invades every character that he takes on, and he made a real commitment to re-finding James Bond and bringing the character humanity that I think is crucial to the Bond of now. Looking back Craig's new Bond really cast Dalton's films in a new light. You see people looking back and saying that they see what was happening there.  Absolutely. Tim very much wanted to go back to the Fleming origins and I think he was right. I think he was ahead of his time. Those films really stand up. He's an extraordinary actor and a very important part to the history of Bond. He gave it another dimension and a new insight.  Obviously the Bond actors are important, but the thing that makes a great Bond film is a great villain. How do you go about casting villains and how important is that? I think the villains are essential because they're the counter point to James Bond. The better the villain, the better the Bond movie as far as we're concerned. I think with Javier Bardem we hit a real home run. He's a spectacular actor and he created such an extraordinary character. The combination of him and Daniel is just extraordinary. To watch them on the set is a real privileged. Have you seen the completed Skyfall? Oh, yes. We've seen it and it's pretty great. I'm really relieved because it was very, very important to us, particularly for the 50th anniversary, that we made a film that would stand up to the high benchmark that was created by all the original filmmakers. I'm very, very proud of it. We just hope that the fans will love it as much as we've enjoyed making it. In Skyfall the evil Quantum organization story line has been pushed to the side. Why was that? Was it tough to do after the last two movies built it up? We thought that after what Bond had been through on Casino Royale we felt we really need to complete that story line. So Quantum is very much about revenge on the Quantum organization for Vesper's death. I think we successfully put that story line to bed and we felt we could start with another story. It's a new chapter with Bond getting back to being Bond.  And Blofeld? Will he ever be returning? [laughs] Blofeld has obviously been an important part of the history of Bond, and as much as we love him we're focusing on trying to create new villains. Certainly when you see Javier Bardem you'll see that he serves up a pretty dangerous cocktail for Bond. I think that he's a new version of the lethal adversary that Blofeld has been in the past. There doesn't seem to be any stopping Bond now. The last hurdle -- the Cold War ending -- was defeated and he seems to have an obvious place in cinema. Is Bond eternal now? I think Bond is a classical hero and I think as long as there is villainy out there there is a place for James Bond. I imagine villainy will continue so... I think there will always be a need for James Bond. In terms of the films we'll keep making them as long as audiences want to go see them. I just hope that Skyfall lives up to what everyone believes it can. We make these movies for the audience and they are the ones that keep us going. I'm not sure how involved you are with the gaming aspect of Bond, but how important are the videogames to the Bond franchise? Well, I think when GoldenEye came out it certainly brought a whole new audience to the Bond films and you can't underestimate its impact. We try to make the games with as much style and panache as the films. All the time I hear people telling me how good they are and how impressed they are with them, so I think they've been very helpful. I'm not really a gamer myself so I can't speak with any great authority other than that we seem to have the best designers in the business creating them, and they're doing very well.  
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