Velvet Roper popped by SoHo House last night for a Tribeca Film Festival treat—a bit of one-on-one with Paul Haggis, with a side of Bond flick screening. Haggis, who penned Daniel Craig’s first role as a “Double O” agent stood confidently at the front of the theater as we sipped our Vesper martini (Named after the female lead, Haggis made sure the drink snuck into the film):
“So my agent calls me while I’m on vacation with friends and family, and he tells me that [the Bond producers] would like me to write Casino Royale. They have a script, it’s not really working for them, good writers already on it…but they really want you to take a swing at the thing.”
Haggis pauses, glancing towards the ceiling as if pondering the offer to write Bond in real time, before continuing:
“So I say to my agent, “Do they know who they’re talking to?”
The agent replies: “I think they do Paul…”
Paul continues: “Have they even seen any of my movies? Do they know that if I write Bond I will ruin it for everyone…forever?
The agent echoes: “I think they know what they want Paul…”
“Well in that case, I’d love to do it!” he replied.
Velvet Roper: “Paul, how do you feel about the growing commercialization of Bond?”
Paul: “I think it’s fair to say that bond has always been commercial, showcasing the latest and greatest. Who’s to say that this isn’t just the natural progression of it?”
VR: “We don’t disagree necessarily, but when you have Daniel Craig lamenting a $45mm placement deal with Heineken knocking out the vodka martini as 007 drink of choice, something might be up.”
Paul: “I’m not sure that change is a bad thing, for instance I’m a huge fan of electric sports cars—I own a Tesla—and very much wanted to work one into the script, it’s the epitome of Bond technology, but certainly isn’t an Aston Martin. I think the point is that Bond embraces change and evolution, but sometimes he’s forced to face the dichotomy between old and new—that’s where things can get fun.”
Our chat lingered on as we geeked out over Bond gadgets we’ve loved, and future Bond gadgets we’re sure to love…unfortunately those can’t be revealed to the public just yet.
And for those who might be thirsty:
2.5 oz Bombay Sapphire
.75 oz cocchi americano
dash of orange bitters
lemon peel garnish
martini glass or coupe
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