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Topic: John Landis directing LTK?

I'm listening to the JBR interview with the author of the "Lost adventures" book about unmade or little known Bond adventures. The author mentions that John Landis was offered the directing job on LTK. He said no because he didn't get final cut rights, but later he regretted turning it down.
Landis is almost exclusively known for comedies such as Blues Brothers and "Spies like us". Would he have made a very different LTK with a much lighter tone, and could that have worked at all? Could he have made a movie in the same tone as the one we got, or maybe Landis' LTK would have been largely the same only with some more humor?

I don't think a jokey Bond would have worked with that plot, but sometimes I wished they're given Pam more jokes. That way the movie would have been funny without destroying Bond's and the plot' s arch.
What do you think?

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

Landis also directed An American Werewolf In London, which while not being a comedy, has some brilliant moments of incredibly dark
macabre humor which would have translated well to the plotline of LTK.
While being a comedy (and also a musical), The Blues Brothers is also an action film with some great action scenes including car chases and crashes. So I would say that Landis is also a very good action director.
Also judging by the look of many of Landis' movies, I would venture to say that LTK would have had much less of a "TV Movie" look to it with Landis directing.

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

I disagree with the "TV movie" part. In my opinion that idea came to be because LTK shares the subject matter with Miami Vice. But if you look at what's actually on the screen I think TMWTGG has much more of a TV movie feel.
But I agree with everything else in your post. Landis is a comedy director, but he has proven that he's able to make darker stuff. But he was also considered for TSWLM, and I think he would have been a better fit for that one. If I could have chosen a director for LTK I would have picked Ridley Scott.

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

Number24 wrote:

I disagree with the "TV movie" part. In my opinion that idea came to be because LTK shares the subject matter with Miami Vice. But if you look at what's actually on the screen I think TMWTGG has much more of a TV movie feel.
But I agree with everything else in your post. Landis is a comedy director, but he has proven that he's able to make darker stuff. But he was also considered for TSWLM, and I think he would have been a better fit for that one. If I could have chosen a director for LTK I would have picked Ridley Scott.

That's a really interesting prospect, though I don't know how much Scott's visual style would have been tolerated by Cubby. Scott's lighting setups are often complex and time-consuming, and that (and lens choices) are why his movies don't look like LTK   ajb007/lol

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

I would have chosen John McTiernan to direct LTK. Somehow squeeze it in between Die hard and The Hunt For Red October.

John Landis can do serious, but the Twilight Zone incident in 1982 has soured me on his subsequent work. Best that EON avoided that controversy with LTK.

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

Yes, that's a large part of the reason I think Scott would have been perfect for LTK. The movie's content and script is dark, edgy and different. It would have been great if the cinematography, editing, lighting etc. had shared those qualities.

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

I kinda thought the ending of Thelma and Louise had a LTK feel to it.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

Westward_Drift wrote:

I would have chosen John McTiernan to direct LTK. Somehow squeeze it in between Die hard and The Hunt For Red October.

Yes that's what I was thinking too. I think he would have made it feel a bit grander and more cinematic.

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

emtiem wrote:
Westward_Drift wrote:

I would have chosen John McTiernan to direct LTK. Somehow squeeze it in between Die hard and The Hunt For Red October.

Yes that's what I was thinking too. I think he would have made it feel a bit grander and more cinematic.

McTiernan was definitely the hot name director for action films at that time. McTiernan also directed Predator.
Interestingly, I read an interview some years back with Sean Connery and Connery did not particularly care for McTiernan's directorial style. Connery did not like that McTiernan's communication with the actors was minimal and he gave them almost no feedback or direction regarding their performances.
I always find the topic of what different directors would do with a Bond film interesting.
I always thought as both a director and script writer John Milius would have been a good choice.

Last edited by HowardB (14th Dec 2020 20:59)

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

HowardB wrote:
emtiem wrote:
Westward_Drift wrote:

I would have chosen John McTiernan to direct LTK. Somehow squeeze it in between Die hard and The Hunt For Red October.

Yes that's what I was thinking too. I think he would have made it feel a bit grander and more cinematic.

McTiernan was definitely the hot name director for action films at that time. McTiernan also directed Predator.
Interestingly, I read an interview some years back with Sean Connery and Connery did not particularly care for McTiernan's directorial style. Connery did not like that McTiernan's communication with the actors was minimal and he gave them almost no feedback or direction regarding their performances.
I always find the topic of what different directors would do with a Bond film interesting.
I always thought as both a director and script writer John Milius would have been a good choice.

Interesting about McTierman, esp as one of my fav 'comeback period' Connery performances is in Hunt for Red October. A very good, suspenseful action drama, I thought.

Last edited by chrisno1 (14th Dec 2020 22:56)

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

While McTiernan is/was a very competent action director, I find his style to generic for LTK. The reason I favour Scott for LTK is that he had a style and a fingerprint. If I wanted generic I'd stay with John Glenn.

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Re: John Landis directing LTK?

HowardB wrote:
emtiem wrote:
Westward_Drift wrote:

I would have chosen John McTiernan to direct LTK. Somehow squeeze it in between Die hard and The Hunt For Red October.

Yes that's what I was thinking too. I think he would have made it feel a bit grander and more cinematic.

McTiernan was definitely the hot name director for action films at that time. McTiernan also directed Predator.
Interestingly, I read an interview some years back with Sean Connery and Connery did not particularly care for McTiernan's directorial style. Connery did not like that McTiernan's communication with the actors was minimal and he gave them almost no feedback or direction regarding their performances.

And I kind of wonder whether that's true or not, because I watched The Presidio for the first time the other day- I'd never got around to it before. Turns out it's a deeply ordinary film, and although Connery gives a Connery performance and is never bad, it's a role not hugely dissimilar to the one he has in Red October but he makes nowhere near the same amount of impact. I can't believe that had nothing to do with the director.

There is a fun bit in the (rubbish) action climax to the Presidio though where Sean is running along with a little pistol in his hand, and he's doing that sort of skipping run he used to do as Bond, with the gun held down low ready to shoot from the hip just like he'd do in FRWL or Goldfinger or the like, and suddenly you can see Bond again ajb007/smile