Despite the fact that Danny Boyle dropped out of the director’s chair over “creative differences,” MGM and Eon are still eyeing a Fall 2019 release date for Bond 25, which means somebody is going to have to direct this thing. According to Variety, the studio has been hard at work setting meetings with possible Boyle replacements, with three names emerging as frontrunners for the position: American Animals director Bart Layton, Star Trek 4 helmer S.J. Clarkson, and Yann Demange, whose crack-cocaine noir White Boy Rick opened to serious critical buzz at the Telluride Film Festival. Reports stress that more meetings can and probably will happen, and it’s also worth noting that Deadline claimed last week that approaches were made toward Baby Driver director Edgar Wright and Sharp Objects filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée.
These are definitely some intriguing names being bandied about. When Clarkson nabbed the Star Trek 4 job back in April, the filmmaker became the first woman to sit in the director’s seat for the galaxy-hopping franchise. Should she also land the Bond 25 role, Clarkson would make the same historic move for the spy franchise, which might also help quell some of the questions surrounding James Bond’s place in 2018. Clarkson is a veteran of the small-screen, helping to build Netflix’s Marvel Universe by directing multiple episodes of Jessica Jones and The Defenders.
Demange, on the other hand, has been a top choice to direct Bond 25 since before Boyle signed on to the project. Variety reports that MGM and Eon officials have set a screening of White Boy Rick—the director’s second feature after 2014’s ‘71—while Demange himself stays busy working on HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
Meanwhile, Bond himself, Daniel Craig, is keeping his options wide open. The actor recently signed on to star in The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson‘s next film, a murder mystery titled Knives Out.