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Sam Mendes: ‘Spectre’ Wasn’t as Good as ‘Skyfall’ Because Extra Time ‘Was Not Afforded to Me’

The Oscar winner seems to agree with popular fan sentiment about his two James Bond movies.

"Spectre"

“Spectre”

Courtesy Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

Sam Mendes made what many consider to be the best James Bond movie of the Daniel Craig era, “Skyfall.” But, because the film industry is an endlessly cruel one, he also made “Spectre,” which many see as the worst modern Bond film.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sam Mendes reflected on “Skyfall” and “Spectre.” His assessment of the two movies appears to align quite closely with popular fan sentiment. The director understands that “Spectre” was not received nearly as well as “Skyfall,” and he attributes the difference in quality to the films’ differing production timelines. The success of “Skyfall” incentivized producers to quickly turn around another movie, and he believes the lack of prep time ultimately hurt the story.

“These movies are very difficult to write. Those 10 months of downtime, that’s when the script really turned around, because we had the time to go down blind alleys and try things like the [Bond/Silva team-up]. And that time was not afforded to me when we made ‘Spectre.’ And you can see the difference in the script,” Mendes said. “[With ‘Spectre’], I felt there was some pressure. Certainly [producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson] exerted some pressure on me and Daniel to make the next one, so that makes a big difference. People saying: ‘We want you to do it,’ and passionately wooing me to do it, was a big thing.”

Mendes wasn’t the only one who felt the pressure on the “Spectre” set. Dave Bautista recently spoke about how tense Daniel Craig was while filming the movie, and how much more relaxed he was during “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

“He was really put through it on Bond,” Bautista said. “You could feel that he was under a lot of pressure. He didn’t seem like the happiest person on Bond, but on ‘Glass Onion,’ it was the complete opposite.”

Bautista continued: “He was just so much fun, and he was always smiling and happy and interacted a lot more. On ‘Spectre,’ there wasn’t a whole lot of interaction with the whole cast. But ‘Glass Onion’ was the complete opposite. We were always together. So I got to know him better as a person and actually see him do his thing.”

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