James Bond Director Credits Christopher Nolan’s 1 Movie That Inspired Skyfall to Break All Records


  • Sam Mendes directed 2012's Skyfall, which is the highest-grossing Bond film of all time.
  • Mendes credits Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight as the game-changer that made darker blockbusters possible, including Skyfall.
  • Christopher Nolan himself drew inspiration from James Bond while making his Dark Knight trilogy.

Sam Mendes is an acclaimed filmmaker who rose to prominence with the critically acclaimed 1999 drama movie American Beauty. However, Mendes is also fondly remembered for his tenure at the helm of affairs in the James Bond franchise, starting with 2012’s Skyfall. Mendes directed two Bond flicks featuring Daniel Craig in the titular role.

Sam MendesSam Mendes

Mendes first tackled the Agent 007 character with 2012’s Skyfall, which not only revitalized the franchise but also broke several records. Following the movie’s record-breaking success Mendes revealed that a movie directed by Christopher Nolan inspired his take on Bond. Here is what Mendes has said about being inspired by one particular film of Nolan.

Also read: “It’s by far the most emotional”: Christopher Nolan’s Favorite James Bond Movie Doesn’t Even Feature Daniel Craig or Sean Connery That Became a Cult-Classic Years Later

Sam Mendes Revealed the Christopher Nolan Movie that Inspired Skyfall

Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig, was released in 2012. The film received critical acclaim and earned five Academy Award nominations. It grossed $1.109 billion at the global box office, becoming the highest-earning James Bond movie of all time. Following the film’s success, Mendes spoke with Indie Wire about the movie.

Daniel CraigDaniel Craig as James Bond in the Sam Mendes film, Skyfall

In the 2012 interview, Mendes revealed that he was initially skeptical of making a film featuring Agent 007 despite being a lover of the character. However, when close friend Daniel Craig approached him to direct the franchise’s next installment, he quickly agreed. Moreover, Mendes stated that he was partially inspired by Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

“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.”

Mendes further explained that with The Dark Knight, Nolan proved that you could make a thrilling and entertaining movie that has a lot to say about the world we live in. As a result, the film inspired Mendes’ approach to the character of Bond and the gritty and realistic direction he took with Skyfall.

“That did help give me the confidence to take this movie in directions that, without The Dark Knight, might not have been possible.”

Ultimately, Mendes concluded that The Dark Knight proved that dark and gritty movies could make a billion dollars at the box office. As a result, the film also proved to studios that people want to watch dark and mature movies, paving the way for Mendes’ Skyfall to be a gritty take on James Bond.

Also read: “The director has to evolve”: Not Christopher Nolan, James Bond Director Sam Mendes Makes Surprising Pick for Next 007 Movie That Will Divide Fans

Nolan’s Take on Batman Was Itself Inspired By James Bond


According to Sam Mendes, Skyfall might not have been possible without Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman. However, as Nolan himself revealed in an interview with Female.com, some aspects of his Dark Knight trilogy were inspired by the character of James Bond and the films featuring the super spy.

We started it in Batman Begins, and I think the Bond films are a big influence tonally. In terms of trying to explain to the studio, you know, if you look at the early Bond films you’ve got extraordinary things happening

Nolan further elaborated on his comment by stating that the James Bond movies provided the template for action movies that did not completely step outside the bounds of reality. Hence, the tonality of Nolan’s take on Batman was largely inspired by the James Bond franchise.

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Pratik Handore

Written by Pratik Handore

Pratik is a writer at FandomWire, with a content writing experience of five years. Although he has a Bachelors in Hospitality, his fascination with all things pop culture led him to writing articles on a variety of topics ranging from latest streaming releases to unheard movie trivia. When not writing, you can find him reading manga, or watching classic TV shows.