Why I Want… Matt Reeves to Direct a Bond Film

In this last week, Daniel Craig has backtracked and decided to indeed reprise his role as James Bond for the mega-franchise’s 25th feature. While I had been hoping to see Idris Elba take on the famous role sooner, I’m happy enough to see Craig’s mumbling Bond back and am hoping that they can recapture the form of Skyfall or Casino Royale. I’m unsure if any director has been lined up to helm Bond 25, but there appears to be a growing trend of people asking for Christopher Nolan to try his hand.

Nolan makes perfect sense to helm a Bond film to be fair. His sense of scale could be fantastic in the world of Bond. Skyfall essentially felt like someone taking the core essence of The Dark Knight and transporting it into a Bond movie and boy did it work. Nolan, too, is British. It would be nice to see Bond directed by a Brit again. Time will tell if Nolan’s Dunkirk will prove as popular or as good as his other films, but the odds seem on for him to have another hit with it. While Nolan moving onto James Bond for film number 25 seems like a sure-fire bet for a return to form after the okay Spectre, I’d personally prefer someone else to tackle a Bond feature.

Spectre image one

I’d love to see Matt Reeves helm a Bond film at some point. I’m already tremendously excited at the prospect of him taking over from Ben Affleck for the first Batman film of the DC Extended Universe. He’s spoken of his desire to create a noir-inspired Batman that shares a lot in common with the Arkham trilogy of games and trust me when I say this can only be a good thing. Batman and noir are like peas and sweetcorn – they absolutely deserve to be together. Just look at the Batman animated series, or have a flick through The Long Halloween if you don’t believe me. Before this, however, Mr. Reeves has just seen his latest blockbuster released to outstanding reviews. War For the Planet of the Apes has been on the receiving end of rave reviews, which is no surprise considering it is the direct follow-up to Reeves’ own Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Matt Reeves directorial style is full of outstanding spectacle and stellar use of CGI, but he never lets the visuals get in the way of emotion. He will linger on a close up of a face before he will show a full on battle. Back in 2014, I spoke of the smart filmmaking Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was full of in my review:

Next to the rest of the Summer Blockbusters that were on offer earlier this year, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a masterpiece, it’s not often we get a Blockbuster that is as smart as it is visceral.

I stand by this and I find myself strongly anticipating the film’s sequel. Mr. Reeves knows how to make a blockbuster that can stand above most of the competition. His films are dark in tone and content and certain scenes can stick in your memory for years. Just as this one has stuck in mine:

It is this kind of dark filmmaking that Spectre tried so hard to pull off, but never managed to succeed. What we were left with was a film that didn’t quite know what it wanted to be – stuck somewhere ugly between the classic Bonds and Skyfall. It felt, at times, like it wanted to go into full-on dark mode, but didn’t want to offend any longtime Bond fans. A Reeves helmed Bond should do away with all the gimmicks you may expect from a Bond flick. We need to see a power struggle that Bond is stuck in the middle of. A more grounded, darker film closer in scope to Casino Royale than even Skyfall. Daniel Craig’s Bond is at his best when he isn’t strapped to a table with a laser moving towards  his junk.

I feel like Reeves would do away with most of the camp cliches of Bond, and for the better. I’d love for a more noir-inspired Bond, so it will be interesting to see how Reeves does with his noir Batman set to release within the next couple of years. A Nolan helmed bond will be bigger and grander, but Reeves will give it a darkness that Bond needs after the disappointing Spectre that straddled somewhere between the gothic and the camp. If Nolan or Reeves directs the next Bond, we’d be sure of a better film than that – perhaps one of the best Bond features of all time.

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