With the resurrection of Star Wars, possible lists of directors have shown up all over the ‘Net, yet right now it’s just fanboy wishful thinking.
Even Steven Spielberg’s name was mentioned, but he respectfully declined because Star Wars is totally Lucas’s trip.
As we reported previously on TG, Spielberg did offer to help Lucas out when he was making Star Wars, direct second unit action scenes and give his advice.
But as the big Spiel recalled in the book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, “George wouldn’t let me. He was always more competitive with me than I was with him. I was admiring and jealous of his style, his proximity to audiences. But he did not want my fingerprints anywhere around Star Wars.”
So now with James Bond back bigger than ever with Skyfall, the story of how Spielberg wanted to make a 007 movie has resurfaced. Back in the day, Spielberg lobbied Cubby Broccoli, who produced the Bond series, about directing a 007 film. For the site Film School Rejects, Barbara Broccoli, Cubby’s daughter and the keeper of the Bond flame, recalled her father telling the young director, “Yeah, kid, ya gotta get some more [films] under your belt.”
Then many years later, Cubby wrote Spielberg a letter, telling him how much he loved Schindler’s List. Spielberg wrote back, asking, “Now will you let me direct a Bond movie?,” to which Cubby replied, “Now I can’t afford you!”
The idea of Spielberg helming a Bond film, or a Star Wars film, is definitely an intriguing idea, and there’s little doubt the big Spiel would make something pretty amazing.
But at the same time, the Bond films aren’t really for directors who have such a strong personal stamp as Spielberg. Love him or hate him, you know a Spielberg film when you see one, where Bond went through many directors throughout the years, and the style stayed fairly consistent, even with a lot of cooks in the kitchen.
Spielberg also recalled in DGA Magazine how he went to Hawaii with Lucas when Star Wars opened. Lucas wanted to get out of town, and once Star Wars was a confirmed hit, he and Spielberg thought about what they wanted to do next. Spielberg said he still wanted to direct a Bond film, but Lucas told him, “I’ve got something better than James Bond, it’s called Raiders of the Lost Ark…”