Monday, 18 May 2015

Trevelyan's Mainframe - FILE: Campbell, Martin / Twenty Years Removed

Well, I must admit, I am impressed. I’m not entirely sure how you managed to get behind the operation of this mainframe’s firewall, but here you are… You may have a future with this organization yet. A rarely accessible file you’ve stumbled on indeed, old boy. The following is what we have within this behind-the-scenes file for your subject, twenty years removed from his work on GOLDENEYE…

Before you undoubtedly get ahead of yourself, allow me to brief you on the very basics of Mr. Campbell’s file. Born in October of 1943 in Hastings (of the Hawkes Bay Region), New Zealand, Martin Campbell started his humble filming career around the early seventies. Becoming the director of the breakthrough English television series, EDGE OF DARKNESS would put Campbell on the radars of James Bond producers to be used as an ace up their sleeve at a later date. That date would be 1995, as Martin Campbell would officially succeed then-current series director John Glen to usher in the legendary vision that would become GOLDENEYE.

Following his creative vision in GOLDENEYE, Martin Campbell would go on to direct a handful of films. Perhaps, the most notable of the lot being his work with on Zorro franchise. His first Zorro film would hit theaters in July of 1998, entitled THE MASK OF ZORRO. Audiences would be introduced to the iconic image of Antonio Banderas donning the black mask and subsequently sharp sword. The film would double its budget money in profit and go one to be a critically acclaimed hit worldwide, much to the credit of Martin Campbell’s artistic blend of action and drama. 

Our file on Campbell dictates that it would be nearly ten years before an official Zorro sequel would grace audiences in 2005. THE LEGEND OF ZORRO would again star Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones and would again dazzle moviegoers and serious fans of the series alike, though film critics would jump ship this time around. Nonetheless, THE LEGEND OF ZORRO would a huge financial success with Campbell’s direction and greatly daring application of stunt work being praised. 

Much like eleven years earlier, during his first time in the chair for the James Bond franchise to present Pierce Brosnan’s as Double-O Seven, 2006 would see Martin Campbell return to oversee Daniel Craig’s transformation into Her Majesty’s loyal terrier. How very appropriate. With the franchise on the verge of a soft rebirth, there’d be no better man to take up the reigns and lead Bond into the next phase of existence. 

As the longest running Bond film of all time and the vastly-important debut of a new Bond, CASINO ROYALE would be quite a task to tackle. Martin Campbell would not only tackle this epic but supersede all creative expectations of arguably the biggest (and most important) James Bond film for this generation of fans. CASINO ROYALE would be nominated for countless awards, win countless accolades, be listed within the top ten films of 2006, and become the new favorite Bond movie of many devoted fans of the franchise. Not a job to shake a mere stick at, to say the very least. Especially for the oldest director to direct a Bond film, just beating out a fifty-nine year old Lewis Gilbert at the age of sixty-two! I commend Campbell for that, as should you friend. 

Intel on Campbell then jumps to 2010, which saw the film adaptation of the wildly popular BBC television series of the same name, EDGE OF DARKNESS. As director of the 1985 television series and the 2010 movie, Martin Campbell had the best grasp on the subject material available and was able to put together the crime thriller on the big screen. Starring Mel Gibson in his first lead role in eight years, EDGE OF DARKNESS met generally mixed reviews but was able to gross over eighty million dollars worldwide. Martin Campbell’s creative efforts did not go unnoticed by fans.

Our file concludes that Martin Campbell’s biggest production to date was four years ago, for 2011’s GREEN LANTERN. Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, this American Superhero film was perhaps Martin’s greatest roll of the dice. Chosen as the replacement of the original director who stepped away from the project, much of the film’s success would be up to Campbell to materialize. Rounding out the stars of the film would be Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. Mainly due to overproduction, over budgeting and a thinly-written screenplay, GREEN LANTERN failed to live up to many expectations financially and critically. Unfortunately, not even an aging Martin Campbell could lead the sinking ship to safety.

Side notes on the subject are rather scarce. It isn’t unlike our subject to appear for James Bond panels or comic conventions around the world today. Otherwise, Campbell seems to keep relatively to himself so late in his career. Awards include several nominations and, perhaps most admirably, a win of the British Academy Television Award for Best Director in 1986.

To correctly wrap up the rest of this file, you need further access, access which I will not allow, as you have been clever enough thus far. Consider what you’ve learned on Campbell through this file sufficient. Keep in mind that our subject is still very much capable of directing and that his return to the director’s chair is very much possible. We will keep our finger on the industry’s pulse in anticipation until then. You are to do just the same. 

That’s it on this subject, old boy. You’ve been briefed on the man behind the camera and the brain behind the vision. If you continue to press deeper behind this mainframe’s firewall, I cannot promise what you may, or may not find. Regardless, anything you do come across is, of course, strictly confidential. Remember that, as you peruse behind the curtain.

- End transmission, Trevelyan.

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