‘Casino Royale’ Director Martin Campbell Addresses James Bond Movie Franchise’s Future (Exclusive)

Martin Campbell holds an honor that no other filmmaker can claim: he is the only director to launch two separate eras of James Bond movies. In 1995, he helmed Goldeneye, the first film in Pierce Brosnan’s run as 007 and followed up more than a decade later with Casino Royale (2006) — Daniel Craig’s Bond debut. Now, ahead of the release of No Time to Die, which will be Craig’s final outing as the British super-spy, Campbell has offered some thoughts on what he’d like to see in the franchise’s future as the iconic character’s trajectory remains a mystery.

“It all changed with [Casino Royale] because it got much grittier and tougher,” Campbell exclusively told PopCulture.com. “I had his feet on the ground.” The director went on to say that he misses “the humor” just “a little bit.” Those “old Bond elements, just a few of those I slightly miss,” he added. “Daniel’s done a wonderful job, but now Bond, I think has become much more serious and internalized. […] In a way that I do miss some of those moments, I have to say.”

When asked if he has any thoughts on who could take over the 007 role from Craig, Campbell confessed that he hasn’t “got a clue.” He explained that he’s been busy “doing other stuff,” and has not had a chance to really consider any actors who might be right for the role. “There’s people that have been in successful TV shows and this, that, and the next thing,” Campbell said, adding that “unless you’ve got your ear to the ground on that stuff” it’s hard to have any idea who may be in consideration.

One of the things that has kept Campbell busy lately is his intense new action-thriller, The Protege, which stars Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson. In the film, Maggie Q plays Anna Dutton, an assassin who was rescued by Jackson’s Moody Dutton when she was just a child. Dutton, an assassin himself, raised Anna to be an effective and emotionless killer. But when he winds up dead, things turn personal — naturally.

Anna is forced down a path that eventually pits her against Keaton’s Michael Rembrandt, a formidable foe who won’t be an easy target. The Protege also stars Robert Patrick, Patrick Malahide, David Rintoul, Ori Pfeffer, Ray Fearon, and Caroline Loncq. It is now playing in theaters everywhere. Check your local listings for showtimes.

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