John Logan talks “Skyfall,” “Noah”

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Bond waits for details of his new assignment, like whether we’re really stuck with the title “Skyfall.” 

When a movie has a lousy screenplay, you really know it. Nothing’s worse than sitting through a movie with terrible dialogue and ridiculous lapses in logic and characterization. Despite that, screenwriters are rarely household names, unless they’re also directors. It’s a fact of life, kids: in Hollywood–in fact, every business–if you’re a scribe, you’re on the bottom.

Luckily, ComingSoon thought it would be interesting to talk to John Logan, one of the busiest writers in the business. He’s currently represented in theaters by “Hugo,” his adaptation of Brian Selznick’s “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.” CS got him to talk about two future projects, though: “Skyfall” and “Noah.” Here are a few pertinent quotes:

Despite having a title that sounds like a particularly banal video game, “Skyfall” is indeed the next James Bond movie. It’s not based on any pre-existing Bond title, so how did Logan and director Sam Mendes work with that? It’s not an easy task, to take an iconic, well-known character and come up with a story that is fresh, but also fits into the world of Ian Fleming (meaning psychological world; sadly, for spy lit fans, the Cold War is over).  

“Purvis and Wade who wrote the last several had worked with Sam very closely and written a fantastic, fantastic script. I came into that with Sam in January, so I’ve been on for almost a year now, as a matter of fact. It’s great. It’s so thrilling to work on because like everyone, I grew up on Bond. My first Bond that I remember seeing was ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and ‘Skyfall’ comes out on the 50th anniversary of ‘Dr. No,’ so it’s thrilling to be a part of it, and I’ve rarely had a better time on a movie. All of us worked very closely, and that includes Sam and Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson. It’s very much a family and it’s a very open, honest exchange about everything, which is frankly, one of the reasons it’s so gratifying. We’re all working together to do the best movie we can.”

This is Bond 23–is it the odds or evens that are good in this franchise?

Logan also did a little bit of work on Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”–a very little work, as in “I just dipped in a little.” As for the overall prospects for the film:

“I think Darren’s an auteur and I think he’s a genuine artist,” he responded when asked whether this would be Aronofsky’s return to larger scale films ala the hugely underrated The Fountain. “I think any movie is going to be his sensibility. What excites me about it is the revisionist idea of Darren Aronofsky doing a bible movie. It’s like, when Ridley came to me with ‘Gladiator’ I was like, ‘You’re out of your mind. It’s a sword and sandal movie,’ but we were able, all of us, to sort of to put a new gloss on an old genre. There couldn’t be a more old tired genre that we think we know than the biblical epic. You have those images of Charlton Heston, Cecil B. DeMille, but that’s not what we’re doing. Darren’s sensibility is completely modern and so thrilling because it’s revisionist.”

Ahh, a revisionist take on the Noah story. I guess that means the story will be told from the point of view of one of the pair of hippos.

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