Today two trades owned by the same company are reporting conflicting stories about a Bond 24 director. Variety insists that Skyfall director Sam Mendes has officially passed on the project, which he himself reiterated frequently a few months ago. That trade reports that the Bond producers have been in talks with (or at least considering) Nicholas Wending Refn (Drive), Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables, The King's Speech), David Yates (State of Play, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Shane Black (Iron Man Three, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). Yates feels like the most traditional Bondian fit of that batch (and his miniseries State of Play remains among the best television of this century), but any of them would be interesting. Les Miserables was my second favorite movie of last year after Skyfall, but I'm not sure I can picture Hooper directing 007 though. My own top choice remains Tom Tykwer, but his name isn't coming up on these lists despite his frequent collaborations with the current Q!
Deadline, meanwhile, reports that Mendes is back in the mix. In fact, the trade blog makes him sound like the frontrunner. He seems to have gotten over his post-Skyfall exhaustion (when he claimed he couldn't even think about plunging into another all-consuming Bond production), so the main remaining hurdles were his theater commitments (to a musical version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and a new production of "King Lear") and, according to Deadline, Broccoli and Wilson have "decided to wait for him to work through those other commitments, and he’s now making a deal to start production probably next year." Well, I'm okay with waiting until early next year. But I don't know if I can take another 4-year gap between Bond films! So hopefully they get things moving quickly. As previously reported, Skyfall co-writer John Logan is penning the script for Bond 24.