A couple weeks ago, it was reported that Danny Boyle was in the running to direct Bond 25, edging out other contenders like Yann DeMange and David Mackenzie. We also learned that Boyle was reteaming with his Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge to work on the script. But now it looks like Boyle’s turning his attention away from 007.
According to THR, Boyle is now looking to team up with Love Actually writer Richard Curtis for an untitled comedy for Universal. Per THR, “Details are being kept under lock and key but it is known to be musically themed and have a setting of the 1960s or 1970s.” Universal would want to start filming as soon as this summer provided they can get a cast together.
So where does this leave Bond? THR says negotiations have stalled and that the comedy will now be Boyle’s next picture. If EON wants the Oscar-winning director for their Bond movie, they’ll have to wait, which would mean pushing back the current release date of November 8, 2019.
But all of this smacks of negotiating in the press. Boyle is showing he’s an in-demand director who doesn’t really need Bond (and he really doesn’t; it’s not going to help or hinder his career), so he can go elsewhere. But having a prestigious name like Boyle could help send Daniel Craig’s Bond out on a high note. But to be fair, EON is in a similar boat where most audience members really don’t care who directs the Bond movie as long as it’s good.
And personally, the biggest hurdle to a good Bond movie isn’t the director; it’s the script. Look no further than the gulf in quality between Skyfall and Spectre. They were both directed by Sam Mendes, but whereas Skyfall had John Logan taking the script from Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, Spectre went from Logan to Purvis & Wade (and Jez Butterworth) because Logan was busy on Penny Dreadful.
It will be interesting to see where Boyle lands, and I’ll be excited if his Bond 25 works from the John Hodge script. If he doesn’t get the gig, then I suspect EON will choose someone soon so they can make their November 2019 release date.