Daniel Craig’s Drunk Business Deal Led To Unexpected Outcome For Skyfall Director

Too many shaken, not stirred, martinis.

Imagine you’re at Hugh Jackman’s Christmas party – which is already a certified ‘pinch me’ moment – and then James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, drunkenly asks you to direct the next Bond film. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Well, for Sam Mendes, it was reality. That’s according to the latest episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s podcast, Awards Chatter, anyway, where Craig revealed that a few years ago he offered Mendes a directing job, that of the next James Bond film, after having one too many drinks.

“I was definitely a little drunk… and I just basically went, ‘I’m probably not supposed to say this, but do you want to direct the next Bond movie?’”

Daniel Craig

Of course, Mendes, who won a ‘Best Director’ Academy Award in 2000 for American Beauty, jumped at the chance to direct a 007 flick. But it was then that Craig realised he – like many of us have – may have made a drunken mistake. After Mendes accepted the offer, Craig recalled saying:

“I’m in the shit now!”

Daniel Craig
Mendes & Craig on the Bond set. Image Credit: Danjaq/Eon Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock

Craig and Mendes previously worked together on the film, Road To Perdition, as an actor and director respectively, before this encounter at Jackman’s party which would have roughly taken place in 2008. While sitting and having a drink together at the party, it dawned on Craig that Mendes’ directing style, which he had first-hand experience of, would be perfect for James Bond’s next movie: Skyfall.

“It just became glaringly obvious to me, sitting opposite him.”

Daniel Craig

Luckily, the studio, MGM, and producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, agreed with Craig’s inebriated decision and officially offered Mendes the directing gig.

Perhaps, Craig should trust his drunken instincts more often, as Skyfall received glowing reviews upon its release and is still considered one of the best Bond films of all time. The film has a 7.8 IMDb rating and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92%, with The Times UK calling it “007’s best” and highly praising Mendes for his excellent direction.

“Sam Mendes, the director, deftly balances 007 tradition with sophisticated film-making.”

Kate Muir for The Times UK

Who knows what brilliant film idea an intoxicated Craig may come up with next? We can only hope it happens soon.

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