For someone who has practically perfected the art of the blockbuster action movie - from The Bourne Identity to Mr. and Mr. Smith to Edge of Tomorrow - it seems strange that no major studio has managed to land Doug Liman for one of their tentpole franchises. Despite being (at times) connected to movies like Gambit and Justice League Dark, Liman continues to carve his own path in Hollywood, tackling projects seem to challenge him more than draw on his strengths. To hear the director say it, though, he would sign on the dotted line for one particular Hollywood blockbuster should producers come a-knockin’.

In a recent interview with Den of Geek (via Heroic Hollywood), Liman was asked how he felt when he saw other movies adapt his The Bourne Identity action aesthetic. The question, of course, was a pointed reference to MGM’s Bond franchise; from Casino Royale on, Liman’s fingerprints are all over the latest adventures of 007, a fact that has not been lost on the director himself:

I always wanted to make a James Bond movie my whole life. I didn’t grow up like Quentin Tarantino, watching esoteric art films at the video store. I’d go to the multiplex and see big, mainstream movies, and I’d go, “I want to make one of those one day.” I always wanted to make a James Bond film, and they only seemed to hire British directors, and I’d made Swingers - they were never going to hire me for a James Bond film off Swingers.

So it was really surreal [after The Bourne Identity] to go and see the next James Bond film, and be like, “Oh, I did make a James Bond film, because now the James Bond film looks like The Bourne Identity.“ So given the emotional insecurity I bring to my craft, that was really surreal. I would still love to direct a James Bond film, but I’m not sure if I have or haven’t.

There are comedians who probably go their entire career without landing on a joke as good as Liman’s last line in that interview, but he’s absolutely correct: he may not have stood behind the camera for a James Bond movie, but it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t left his mark on the movies. Liman’s aforementioned experimentation with the genre means the director has evolved in interesting ways over the past few years; if the Bond franchise does indeed look to reboot itself after the next (and final) Daniel Craig movie, Liman should absolutely be on their shortlist for whatever they do next.

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