Monday brought us a release date for the next James Bond film. Tuesday brought us a credible rumor that Daniel Craig has indeed signed on to reprise his role as 007. Today brings a list of contenders to direct Bond 25. Deadline is reporting that three names currently sit at the top of EON’s list of choices: Denis Villeneuve, Yann Demange, and David Mackenzie. Will one of these three gents land the gig? It’s hard to say, but all seem to be prime choices.
Denis Villeneuve is the biggest name in the bunch. The critically-acclaimed director of Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 has even expressed interest in the franchise in the past…
“I was raised with James Bond. I love James Bond movies. I would love to do a James Bond movie one day. Action is very cinematic. I’m not someone that loves dialogue – I am someone that loves movement. Action, if it’s well done, can be very poetic and meaningful.”
Villeneuve would be a great get for the franchise and his aesthetic is not too far off base from the style of the last two films in the series. The only roadblocks here could be time and money. Villeneuve is currently attached to helm a new adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. While that film is presumably a ways off, it’s likely-intricate development could prevent him from diving deep into Bond. The director also has a few other potential projects in the works, any of which could stop his momentum here. Furthermore, there’s the simple fact that he might cost a bit more than EON might be willing to spend.
Yann Demange is a French-Algerian filmmaker who has been working within the British film industry for over a decade now. EON normally hires British directors, but they have ventured outside of the UK for filmmakers in the past, plus he’s already familiar with their industry. Initially beginning on television programs such as “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” and “Dead Set“, Demange made the jump to feature-filmmaking with the 2014 historical thriller, ’71. His follow-up, the American film White Boy Rick, is currently in production. At this time, it is scheduled for a January 2018 release.
David Mackenzie recently turned heads with his stellar stripped-down crime thriller, Hell or High Water. The Scottish filmmaker is also behind critically-acclaimed films such as Young Adam and Starred Up. Mackenzie recently signed on to write and direct Outlaw King for Netflix. The project is a biopic about Scottish hero Robert the Bruce, with Hell or High Water lead Chris Pine and Starred Up actor Ben Mendelsohn attached to star, although no production timeline is currently in place.
Other contenders are likely to be in the mix, of course. Christopher Nolan’s name has been coming up for years in regards to the Bond franchise and he’s never denied his interest. His recent comments on the matter, however, have made it clear that he really has no interest is being the man to close out the Daniel Craig era. He seems to only be interested in launching a new run, as opposed to directing a random installment. As a result, I wouldn’t bet on him toying with the idea of directing Bond 25. For now he seems content to wait until the role is being recast before tossing his hat into the ring.
As previously reported, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will produce Bond 25, from a screenplay by franchise veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The film is currently scheduled for release on November 8th, 2019. Will Craig be back? Will one of these contender land the director’s chair? More as it comes.
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