Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Martin Campbell returns...

Good news for rewarding talent...

Martin Campbell, the director who got absolutely no credit for revitalizing James Bond (for the second time) with Casino Royale, has now apparently been attached to two high profile projects:

The first project is an untitled modern day spy vehicle for Tom Cruise. Also involved are Joel Surnow and Michael Loceff, two of the main writer/producers of tv's 24 (hopefully it ends up closer to seasons 1 and 5, as opposed to seasons 2 and 6).

The other project is apparently Mel Gibson's return to acting. Mel Gibson of course, four years of controversies aside, hasn't acted in a mainstream film since Signs, back in 2002. This will be a remake of the 1985 British mini-series Edge Of Darkness (which Campbell helmed back in the day). Also on board is William Monaghan, writer of the remake of The Departed (great dialogue, fun movie, but full of plot holes and illogic) and Kingdom Of Heaven (an underrated masterpiece, whichever version you watch).

Martin Campbell has been one of the very best action directors for the last fifteen years. Goldeneye is still the very best non-Connery Bond film (and Casino Royale is the second), and The Mask Of Zorro is one of the best superhero films ever made. I even enjoyed Campbell's lighter, sloppier sequel (2005's The Legend Of Zorro), which substituted knotty questions of family identity and class for the original's classic hero myth making.

Unlike 90% of action directors, Campbell knows how to shoot wide, cut only when necessary and create a complete sense of geography. And, even in B-level fare like Vertical Limit, the action is character driven and the violence has a sense of sorrow. Oh, and back in 1993, he directed one of the very bests episodes of American television ever, the "Three Men And Adena" episode of Homicide: Life On The Street, so he's got that going for him too. These projects are almost certainly a better use of his talents than his next gig, a remake for Platinum Dunes of The Birds (granted, The Birds is one of Hitch's lesser films, so a remake has interesting possibilities). Either way, it's good to know that he'll be cranking out quality product for the foreseeable future.

Scott Mendelson

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails