The reason that I'm a writer today is because of Shakespeare and falling in love with Shakespeare when I was 8. That was through the movies, actually - through Olivier's 'Hamlet.' That was the first thing that got me to fall in love with Shakespeare and movies and everything in one big preadolescent rush.
Cinema is a visual language, and you're always looking for visual metaphors for things. You know, if I was writing a play about Howard Hughes, I could have him give a monologue about how he's terrified to touch a doorknob. But on screen, you know, working with Marty Scorsese in 'The Aviator,' that became the series of images that told a story.
Honestly, not being evasive, but the great thing about Bond is that I have fifty years of movies - 23 movies and all the Ian Fleming novels and short stories, all of which are fodder. And when I'm working on the new Bond, I'm constantly going back to Fleming and the other movies - what are the bits and pieces, what are the resonances?
Young screenwriters are always very frustrated when they talk to me. They say, 'How do we get to be a screenwriter?' I say, 'You know what you do? I'll tell you the secret, it's easy: Read 'Hamlet.' You know? Then read it again, and read it again, and read it until you understand it. Read 'King Lear,' and then read 'Othello.'