May 28, 2013

Who Will Direct the Next Bond Movie?

There have been a lot of rumors swirling around who will direct Bond 24 over the past week or so. Last week, The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye got the ball rolling by reporting that producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson were meeting with Christopher Nolan. While any rumors originating from UK tabloids can (and should) usually be taken with an enormous grain of salt, Mr. Bamigboye seems to be the exception. He's got an excellent track record when it comes to spy movies in particular, and has in the past scooped the trades with items that proved to be true on productions like Skyfall, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Page 8. Personally, I've got faith in him. But furthermore, what he's reporting in this case is basically a no-brainer: simply that the producers are meeting with Nolan. That seems natural. Frankly, they'd be crazy not to! Nolan, one of the most successful directors working, wears his Bond fandom on his sleeve (many of his movies, including The Dark Knight and Inception, contain direct allusions to 007), and has stated his desire to direct a Bond on many occasions. But his dance card is also full for the immediate future, directing the sci-fi adventure Interstellar.

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.

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