- Heart of Stone cinematographer George Steel found inspiration for the movie’s visual style in the maligned James Bond movie Octopussy.
- Steel wanted to create a rougher aesthetic for Gal Gadot’s character in Heart of Stone, rather than a glossy portrayal like Wonder Woman.
- Octopussy, despite its lackluster reception, still had elements that Steel admired, such as Roger Moore’s wardrobe and the movie’s unique blend of elegance and roughness.
Heart of Stone cinematographer George Steel reveals the maligned James Bond movie that inspired the Gal Gadot spy thriller. Now available on Netflix, Heart of Stone stars Wonder Woman’s Gadot as Rachel Stone, an international agent tasked with keeping safe a mysterious object called “The Heart.” Directed by Tom Harper, Heart of Stone also stars Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Sophie Okonedo, Jing Lusi, Paul Ready, B.D. Wong and Glenn Close.
With the Heart of Stone release date having now arrived, the movie’s James Bond influence is on view for all to see, and in fact there is one specific, rather unlikely, Bond movie that served as inspiration for the Gadot-led thriller. Speaking to IndieWire, cinematographer Steel talked about his love for the less-than-popular Bond movie Octopussy, and how its look informed the visual style of Heart of Stone. Check out what he had to say below:
I love Octopussy,’and I would joke with [director] Tom [Harper], ‘I want this film to look like Octopussy.’ He would always look at me slightly terrified, but when Roger Moore comes out of the jungle in that great jacket, I think it’s so beautiful. … We didn’t want [Gadot] to be a glossy Wonder Woman. The idea was that it would be interesting to take someone as beautiful as Gal and put her in a slightly rougher aesthetic.
Octopussy Is Mostly Remembered For Its Title (And Moore’s Clown Outfit)
The second-to-last film in Roger Moore’s long tenure as James Bond, Octopussy was released in 1983 to mostly bad reviews, as reflected in its 42 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, but a strong box office, with $187 million grossed worldwide against a budget of $27.5 million. Though audiences still got a kick out of watching Moore play Bond, the star was rapidly aging out of the role, and would play 007 only one more time before being replaced by Timothy Dalton.
Octopussy is indeed a lackluster entry in the Bond saga, with its tired story and less-than-memorable villain. If the movie is remembered for anything in after 40 years, it’s that very strange title, which references the film’s main Bond Girl, but seems like nothing so much as a dirty joke that somehow slipped past the studio. The only other noteworthy thing about Octopussy is the sight of Moore’s Bond dressed up in full clown regalia as he seeks to defuse a bomb.
Though Octopussy may not be among the most well-regarded Bond movie, it clearly has a fan in Heart of Stone cinematographer Steel, who drew inspiration from Moore’s wardrobe, and from its juxtaposition of elegance and roughness. Comparing any modern-day spy movie to Bond is slightly perilous, but such comparisons are also inevitable. It remains to be seen if Gadot’s turn as Rachel Stone leads to an ongoing spy thriller gig, or winds up being a one-off.