Tradecraft: McG Running, Bond Reviewed
Dawn of a New Spy Franchise
Charlie's Angels director and Chuck producer McG has signed on to direct Dead Spy Running for Warner Bros., based on the forthcoming novel by Jon Stock. The studio is hoping to launch a spy franchise of their own to compete with MGM's Bond and Universal's Bourne. "While story details are under wraps," The Hollywood Reporter reports, "the book, the first of a trilogy, aims to reinvent the spy genre. It tells the origin story of newly trained spy in a tone that mixes The Bourne Identity with the works of John Le Carré." The book will be published in 2009 by HarperCollins, who won it in a bidding war.
Ludlum and Le Carré would seem odd bedfellows at first–given the former's trademark action sequences and the latter's trademark lack thereof–but both share a generally bleak outlook on the business of spying, and that might give us a clue as to the tone of this book and film. It's a tone that seems at odds with McG's over-over-the-top style on the Charlie's Angels pictures, but he's shown himself capable of more restrained direction as well. Either way, I think the guy's talented, and I look forward to seeing what he does with a spy franchise.
Both major trades have published their Quantum of Solace reviews, and it's an even split: The Hollywood Reporter is quite positive (and spoiler-free) while Variety is fairly negative (and leaden with spoilers in the second half, at which point I only skimmed). Both can agree, however, that Craig is again impressive.