lost james bond movie

Any movie franchise with a 53-year history is going to have some stories of things that never happened and what could have been. Fans of the James Bond films always like to play the “What If?” game. What if George Lazenby had hung around for more movies after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? What if The Spy Who Loved Me could have actually seen the return of Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E., as originally intended? And now we have a new one to ponder: What if Peter Morgan‘s concept for the film that would eventually become Skyfall was filmed?

Morgan, a two-time Oscar nominee for penning The Queen and Frost/Nixon, contributed a treatment titled Once Upon a Spy, which was ultimately rejected by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson. And we can see why – this lost James Bond movie would have taken 007 into territory that would’ve been a little too dark, even for Daniel Craig‘s morally gray run with the character.

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Sam Mendes Ranking

Director Sam Mendes had plenty of experience in theater before directing his first film. The skills he acquired from the stage, like his eye for performances, was evident even in his debut feature American Beauty, which won him his first Oscar. Even when a film from the director doesn’t fully come together, the performances are still worth talking about.

After the jump, read our ranking of Sam Mendes’ films.

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Kan Bonfils

Kan Bonfils, an actor who appeared in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins and Skyfall, died earlier this week while rehearsing for his latest play. He was prepping a show called Dante’s Inferno in London when he collapsed and was unable to be revived. The cause of death was unknown.

Bonfils appeared as Jedi Master Saesee Tiin in The Phantom Menace, as well as a member of the League of Shadows in Batman Begins (above) and a henchman in Skyfall. He was 42 years old. [BBC]

Skyfall - Bond and Silava

While imperfect, the Bechdel Test has proven a handy tool for surveying the general shape for women in cinema. It’s been surprising and disappointing to see how few titles pass the three criteria, that a film have 1) more than two female characters, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something other than a man.

But women aren’t the only underrepresented group in Hollywood, and GLAAD has devised an analogue for LGBT characters called the Russo Test, named after The Celluloid Closet author Vito Russo. The organization applied the test to the 101 films released by major studios in 2012, and have now published their findings in their first-ever Studio Responsibility Index. Hit the jump to read the results.

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after earth

Dave, Devindra, and Laremy (author of Film Critic) discuss some great new films screening at SIFF, muse on the greatness of Linklater’s Before franchise, and wonder which timeline Community season 4 came from. Be sure to check out Rachel Sklar’s piece on Afternoon Delight, Nick Schager’s take on M. Night’s absence, and Laremy Legel’s review of After Earth.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Sam Mendes and Judi Dench on Skyfall set

After all that chatter about Sam Mendes‘ hesitation to return for the next James Bond pic, and all that fanfare about which other filmmakers might land the job, the latest word is that Mendes is looking likely to helm the next installment after all. And possibly even the one after that. Hit the jump to get the details. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Craig Drake - Akira

Every great hero needs a signature mode of transportation. A huge muscle car, a distinctive motorcycle, or maybe a spaceship that looks like a hamburger. Whatever their pleasure, the latest art exhibit by the Hero Complex Gallery has got it covered. The show is called Righteous Rides…And the Dudes Who Drive Them and it will open May 3 in Los Angeles, CA.

Artists have made posters and paintings based on the “righteous rides” in films such as Flight of the Navigator, Akira, Star Wars, My Neighbor Totoro, Skyfall, Bullitt, Up, Spaceballs, District 9, Easy Rider, the Dukes of Hazzard and so much more. Check out a small sample of the show below. Read More »

Skyfall (2)

Well before the unprecedented international success of James Bond’s 23rd adventure, Skyfall, MGM was looking ahead to his 24th film and beyond. Sam Mendes then delivered a tour-de-force entry into the franchise which almost doubled the gross of the series’ previous highest grossing film. Even before its release, screenwriter John Logan began working on the sequel. MGM slated the film for a tentative 2014 release, but the next chapter was dealt a blow when Mendes said he wasn’t returning to direct.

That news has changed MGM’s thinking in regards to Bond 24. In a new conference call, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MGM Gary Barber said they hope to announce the new director soon and have the film “within the next three years.”  Read More »

Anyone in the mood for a few chuckles should find them in one of the three videos embedded after the jump. We’ve got the ending of Return of the Jedi, if the film had been directed by Star Wars Episode VII director J.J. Abrams; Bane causing the black out at the Super Bowl; and an Honest Trailer for the latest James Bond blockbuster, Skyfall. Read More »