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‘Bond 24’ Gets a Start Date: Hoytema Replaces Deakins

'Bond 24' Gets a Start Date: Hoytema Replaces Deakins

Now, with Roger Deakins declining to return to “Bond 24” (not enough left in the Bond universe to satisfy him creatively), director Sam Mendes has brought on cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema (“Interstellar,” “Her,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) to shoot the sequel to “Skyfall.”  Considering how Hoytema is such a thinking person’s DP and has created such distinctive visual palettes for directors Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar”), Spike Jonze (“Her”), and Tomas Alfredson (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “Let the Right One In”), he should be the perfect match for Sam Mendes (who’s worked with two of the best in the late Conrad Hall and Deakins). Who knows: “Bond 24” might see a return to shooting film as well.

Meanwhile, there’s another connection to the iconic “Goldfinger” for Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as 007 (which opens October 23rd, 2015 in the UK and November 6th domestically). A recent casting call described a classic, physically-imposing henchman in the mold of “Goldfinger’s” Oddjob (Harold Sakata) or Jaws (the late Richard Kiel, who passed away last week) from Roger Moore’s more lighthearted “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.”

So it seems that Mendes and scribes John Logan, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade are continuing to ramp up the combination of creator Ian Fleming’s grittiness with Sean Connery’s suave fun, now that the mid-life crisis of “Skyfall” has been overcome. But as Mendes indicated to me, Craig will always be the dramatic focal point with the priority to find new conflicts for Bond to grapple with.

And there’s still the matter of reintroducing arch-villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld and either updating his SPECTRE organization or returning to the Quantum terrorist group introduced in “Quantum of Solace.”

Meanwhile, MI6 reports that location shooting will take place in Austria, with a car chase in Rome, and possibly a sequence in Morocco. Pinewood Studios in England will once again be home to 007 for studio filming. While Norwegian actress Synnove Macody Lund (“Headhunters”) confirmed that she screentested for a minor role, it is believed that the leading Bond Girl will be British.

Craig will be joined once again by Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, and Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner.

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