LAS VEGAS – Even James Bond made it to CES — at least three of the directors that gave him orders did as 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment used the tech confab to promote the release of all of the 007 films on Blu-ray for the first time.
The Bond franchise is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and to kick off Fox’s planned festivities, the studio brought Martin Campbell, John Glen and Michael Apted to Las Vegas to discuss their work on the series. Altogether, the trio have helmed eight of the 22 films.
Fox is releasing the films on homevid this fall for MGM as part of a longterm distribution deal.
The Blu-ray set will retail for $199 this fall.
Bond girls Olga Kurylenko (“Quantum of Solace”) and Caterina Murino (“Casino Royale”) introduced the directors at the Panasonic booth on Tuesday.
Each helmer touched on their experiences directing a Bond actioner for the first time after clips from their films were shown on Panasonic’s massive wall of screens.
“It was easier for me in a sense because I was an editor and second unit director” on previous Bond pics before making his debut on “For Your Eyes Only,” said Glen (“Octopussy, “A View to a Kill,” “The Living Daylights,” “License to Kill”). “I was eased into it. I knew Bond pretty well.”
Glen also had his own ideas of what he wanted to do with his first film — to show an edgier side of Bond, even though “there is a formula to them.”
With “Casino Royale,” Campbell also brought back a tougher Bond with Daniel Craig.
“It’s not the Bond we all knew and loved,” he said. “It’s a prequel and based on the books, so tonally it had to be more real.”
The parkour-based chase sequence from the beginning of “Casino Royale” was screened to show “Bond as clumsy and thinking from his heart, not his head,” said Campbell, who also launched Pierce Brosnan as 007 in “GoldenEye.” “It was a sequence that set Bond up to have all of these raw elements that make him great.”
Apted was surprised to land the offer for “The World is Not Enough,” after establishing himself with dramas and documentaries.
“For me it was scary as hell,” he said. “I thought it was a joke. I had never done anything like this.” As for helming one, “it’s exciting to know there are a lot of people who are waiting for your film but scary because there a lot of people ready to rip it apart.”
After an action sequence from “World,” where Bond’s BMW Z8 is cut in half, “I got a chance to rip up a Bond car,” Apted said. “It doesn’t happen very often.” The scene was designed as a way to deliver what fans expect.
“I just knew certain things had to be delivered — the girls, the one liners, the action,” Apted said. “I was very much aware of the heightened expectations. You ignore those things at your own peril.”
The now famous mini-jet sequence from “Octopussy” wasn’t in the original script, Glen admitted.
“It had nothing to do with the rest of the movie,” he said, “and was something I created as a second feature (within the film). It’s a tradition we kept up.”
The discussion follows last year’s directors panel from Fox that featured Baz Luhrman, Oliver Stone and Michael Mann discussing their views of Blu-ray and how technology and entertainment are intertwined.