Christopher Nolan says directing a James Bond movie would be “an amazing privilege”

The prolific auteur who is a 007 superfan doesn’t shy away from inspiration and homages in his other films but would love to direct an official entry.

It’s been known for a long time that director Christopher Nolan is a massive James Bond fan. For one reason or another, it just never came about for him to direct a movie based on the famed Ian Fleming agent. Nolan has said that his favorite Bond movie growing up was the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which is often considered the black sheep due to the change in leading man at the height of Sean Connery’s run, as well as it being George Lazenby’s sole outing before being let go. Nolan has stated that he feels it’s the most personal of the Bond movies (prior to Daniel Craig’s character study incarnations).

While the 007 influence can be seen in some of his films, such as The Dark Knight and, most notably, Inception, Nolan hasn’t ruled out the dream of finally being able to direct an official entry. Deadline reports on an interview Nolan gave on the Happy Sad Confused podcast where the auteur said, “The influence of those movies in my filmography is embarrassingly apparent. It would be an amazing privilege to do one. At the same time, when you take on a character like that you’re working with a particular set of constraints.” Nolan feels that any filmmaker who takes on the responsibility of the character must approach the legacy with the right attitude. “It has to be the right moment in your creative life where you can express what you want to express and really burrow into something within the appropriate constraints because you would never want to take on something like that and do it wrong.”

While Inception sports the more obvious homages, Nolan felt the same kind of responsibility when first signing on to do Batman. However, the filmmaker explains that should he find himself in that position, he would want a free creative range despite adhering to the brand’s traditions. “You wouldn’t want to take on a film without being fully committed to what you bring to the table creatively. So as a writer, casting, everything — it’s a full package. You’d have to be really needed and wanted in terms of bringing the totality of what you bring to a character. Otherwise, I’m very happy to be first in line to see whatever they do.”

Nolan would additionally reveal in a Playboy interview that he remains in contact with the Bond film producers.“I’ve spoken to the producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson over the years. I deeply love the character, and I’m always excited to see what they do with it. Maybe one day that would work out. You’d have to be needed, if you know what I mean. It has to need reinvention; it has to need you. And they’re getting along very well.”

Meanwhile, Nolan is getting the reviews of his career with Oppenheimer. That film opens on July 21.

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SBS editor