No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga believes Bond movies should use less CGI to maintain greater authenticity in a new interview about the film.
No Time To Die director Cary Joji Fukunaga thinks Bond movies should use less CGI. Fukunaga, who also co-wrote 2017 Stephen King adaptation IT, first rose to prominence as director and executive producer for the first season of HBO anthology show True Detective, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award. Following the departure of Danny Boyle from the directing position for No Time to Die, Fukunaga’s involvement was announced in September 2018, and his appointment saw some changes to the creative direction the movie would take.
After several delays, caused by creative differences and the global pandemic, the 25th Bond movie was released in the United States on October 8 to widespread critical acclaim and is largely credited with rejuvenating a struggling post-pandemic box office, grossing more than $775 million worldwide, and becoming the third-highest grossing movie of all time in the United Kingdom. The film, which showcased Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond, was praised for its wit, action sequences, and emotional weight, with many viewing it as a satisfying conclusion to the Craig era, which began with 2005’s Casino Royale.
Speaking in a recent interview with Variety, Fukunaga, who also directed Netflix miniseries Maniac, spoke about the rich and storied history of the Bond franchise, as well as his belief that the reliance on natural stunts should always take precedence over CGI. Read the 44-year-old Californian’s comments below when speaking about his approach to the visual and special effects in the movie:
“As I’ve progressed through my projects, I have come to know the moments when we can do visual effects and have it be seamless because the last thing you want is for a sequence to feel like it’s coming from a different kind of film.
In a Bond film, where stunts are being done for real, where so much of it is tangible and on-screen, you’re much more vulnerable to VFX that somehow undermine that sense of reality that you’re trying to create. So you have to be much more, judicious in the use of it.”
As blockbusters have more and more money riding on their successes these days, studios are turning to technology and CGI to get the effects they want in ways that are perceived to be cheaper and less time-consuming. There is no doubt that CGI and green screen usage is starting to become more common in modern movies with good reason. However, as Fukunaga’s comments allude to, a franchise like Bond should have a degree of grit and authenticity to it, which is why so many of the stunts and action sequences are filmed practically and without the use of CGI.
Of course, the future of the Bond franchise is unclear moving forward, and it will be a transitional period for the production team now as they seek to cast Craig’s replacement as Bond. This could lead to a new creative direction with the character, which may well lend itself more to stories that require greater use of CGI and VFX. The franchise is no stranger to this technology, as was showcased by Die Another Day‘s infamous invisible car. However, for the most part, Bond has always been a franchise that always tried to remain grounded in reality, at least visually, so it seems unlikely that CGI would take precedence over natural stunts, even in future installments. It’s clear that Fukunaga was determined to make No Time To Die in the vein of classic Bond movies and retain that sense of realism, and long-time fans will no doubt be hoping this continues in the future.
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