Feb 20, 2018

Tradecraft: Danny Boyle in Contention to Direct Bond 25

Variety reports that Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) is now high on MGM's wish list for directing the next James Bond movie. Boyle, known for his fast-moving, visually stunning films, is no stranger to James Bond. He's actually already directed Daniel Craig as the character in an appearance with the Queen in the opening ceremony to the 2012 London Olympic Games. (I had so hoped the segment would be included on the Skyfall Blu-ray, but alas, it wasn't. This essential part of any complete James Bond film collection is, however, available on the UK BBC DVD London 2012 Olympic Games, but not the American equivalent.) Additionally, the movie that shot Boyle to international fame, Trainspotting (1996) featured characters who loved to talk about James Bond, especially their Edinburgh hometown hero Sean Connery. Much of the Bond discussion came from the character Sick Boy, who was played by Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary), the grandson of original M actor Bernard Lee. The bestselling Trainspotting soundtrack even featured a song by Blur frontman Damon Albarn, "Closet Romantic," whose lyrics consisted solely of Albarn reciting the titles of Sean Connery James Bond movies. So Boyle has quite an arms' length history with Agent 007. He's also been rumored as up for the plum Bond directing gig several times in the past.

According to the trade, "Boyle has keen interest in the project and has always wanted to direct a Bond film. He is currently developing a project for Working Title, but with no cast currently attached, there is always the possibility of pushing that movie back to direct the 25th installment in the series." No formal offer has yet been made, however, and 71 and White Boy Rick director Yann Demange (said to be a favorite of producer Barbara Broccoli) is still in the running as well. Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Blade Runner 2049) previously turned down the Bond 25 assignment in favor of his Dune passion project, and both Skyfall and SPECTRE director Sam Mendes and tabloid favorite Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) have ruled themselves out from helming Daniel Craig's final Bond outing.

As previously reported, the still untitled Bond 25 is set to open November 8, 2019. No distribution partner has yet been named after Sony's co-production deal expired following SPECTRE, but MGM recently struck a wide-ranging distribution deal with Annapurna which could ultimately include Bond 25, but doesn't as of yet.


Mark Zutkoff said...

Someone needs to point the producers to Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther. The middle section of the film has a casino sequence followed by a car chase that screamed Bond. And it's preceded by a riff on Q that was spot on. I think Coogler would be a better choice than Boyle. Do they really not want to consider an American? They've had British, German, and New Zealand directors so far.

Tanner said...

I also loved the Q scene in BLACK PANTHER and the SKYFALL-inspired casino fight and especially the ensuing car chase, which I thought was the best gadget car chase in forever. (Maybe since THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS?) It was TND's remote-controlled car taken to DAD extremes, and in the context of a Marvel superhero movie it totally worked. I don't think I'd prefer Coogler to Boyle for Bond though. Even though they messed things up with a Swiss (or was he German?) director not from the British Commenwealth, I still find the idea of an American directing 007 just sort of wrong--like an American Bond actor. I guess I could be convinced though.