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The 47-year-old director admits his work on the latest James Bond movie – which sees Daniel Craig reprise his role as the secret agent – was a “game changer” for the film industry.
He said: “In terms of what [Nolan] achieved, specifically ‘The Dark Knight,’ the second movie, what it achieved, which is something exceptional. It was a game changer for everybody.
“We’re now in an industry where movies are very small or very big and there’s almost nothing in the middle. And it would be a tragedy if all the serious movies were very small and all the popcorn movies were very big and have nothing to say.
“And what Nolan proved was that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with ‘The Dark Knight,’ it’s not even set in our world.”
Mendes has also admitted he was never previously interested in helming a Bond movie until Craig made his 007 debut in 2006′s Casino Royale, and while he initially thought the 44-year-old star was wrong for the role, he was “blown away” by his performance in the film.
He added to The Playlist: ”I was never interested and I don’t think I saw most of the Pierce Brosnan films. I was not into them at the time and then when Daniel got cast I was interested because he was a friend and I had worked with him.
“I was on record as saying that I didn’t think he was good casting. Then I saw it and was blown away and was suddenly interested again, as a character, and eager to see the next one. I was slightly disappointed with Quantum of Solace although I think it’s got a bit of a short shrift, there’s a lot in it that’s interesting.
“But when I met with Daniel and he asked whether or not I was interested in doing it, I found myself saying yes very quickly. It was just good timing.”