Offering a major film to a director typically isn’t something done on a whim, particularly when it comes to a series as big as the James Bond franchise, but that’s exactly what Daniel Craig did when he ran into Sam Mendes at a party. While speaking on Variety’s Awards Chatter podcast (via The Playlist), Daniel Craig revealed that he drunkenly asked Sam Mendes to direct Skyfall, all without telling anyone.
Daniel Craig was attending Hugh Jackman’s Christmas party when he spotted Sam Mendes. “I was definitely a little drunk, Sam turned up late and I hadn’t seen him for years, I hadn’t seen him since ‘Road To Perdition,’” Craig explained. “Sam sat down and we were having a drink together and it just dawned on me, it was just like one of those [moments]. We were [already] having conversations about directors…and it just became glaringly obvious to me sitting opposite him. I thought, ‘Of course.’ And so I just basically went, ‘I’m probably not supposed to say this, but do you want to direct the next Bond movie?’” When Sam Mendes immediately agreed to direct Skyfall, Daniel Craig knew he that was in shit, even in his drunken state.
And he just did this thing, he kinda just looked at me [and squinted] and said, ‘Yes.’ And then I went, ‘I’m in shit now.’ I’m sure there is someone I have to talk to about that before I go offering directors jobs. It’s not my responsibility, but I was drunk!
The next day, Daniel Craig called Bond franchise producer Barbara Broccoli to explain what had happened. “I phoned up Barbara the following moment thinking, ‘Oh god, here we go, I’m going to be in shit now,” Craig recalled. “I said, ‘I think I offered Sam Mendes the directing job last night.” Thankfully, Barbara Broccoli thought it was an amazing idea. After helming Skyfall, Sam Mendes returned to direct Daniel Craig in Spectre, but that film wasn’t received quite as well. Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond has come to an end with No Time to Die and Barbara Broccoli has said that the search for a new Bond will begin this year.