Bond 25 has hit a major road block. Months before filming was about to begin, and after a lengthy search to find the right director, filmmaker Danny Boyle has now exited the director’s chair, leaving Bond 25 in a bit of a pickle. The announcement was made by longtime producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, and producer/star Daniel Craig, explaining that “due to creative differences, Danny Boyle has decided to no longer direct Bond 25.” Note that they put the onus on Boyle, as it appears it was his decision to walk away.
Boyle directing Bond 25 was always a risky prospect. Broccoli and Wilson had been developing a script by veteran Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Spectre, Casino Royale, Skyfall) and Yann Demange (’71) surfaced as the top choice to take the helm. But then Boyle and his Trainspotting writer John Hodge pitched a new take on a Bond film to the producers, Hodge wrote a screenplay, and suddenly the Purvis/Wade script was set aside to make way for Danny Boyle’s Bond.
Boyle was a mighty exciting choice. He won the Best Director Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, and even when his films don’t entirely work like Trance, they’re always interesting. Moreover, he was coming off the exciting Steve Jobs and T2: Trainspotting, so Boyle seemed fired up. He’s currently in post-production on a Working Title musical that he shot this summer, so at least there’s something coming down the pike.
So what happens now with Bond 25? There’s no official word, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Broccoli and Wilson simply return to the Purvis and Wade script and set more of a journeyman filmmaker to take the helm. Demange is currently directing the Jordan Peele-produced Lovecraft Country HBO series, so he may be unavailable. Other names on the producers’ shortlist for Bond 25 were Denis Villeneuve, who is currently preparing to start shooting Dune with Timothee Chalamet next year, and Hell or High Water filmmaker David Mackenzie, who’s about to release his Netflix film Outlaw King.
Bond 25 had been set for release on November 8, 2019, but unless the producers already have a new filmmaker in their back pocket, hitting that date seems unlikely. This is very unfortunate news—I was really looking forward to seeing Boyle’s Bond. But it’ll be interesting to see who now steps in to direct what is likely Craig’s final go-around with the character. Stay tuned.