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Who might be in the running to direct the next James Bond film?


Speculation is always fun. Especially with top tier projects, it’s enjoyable to let your imagination take over. Even more so with the James Bond franchise, who doesn’t love designing your ideal 007 film? Picking the actor (or actress) to take up the mantle, selecting a director, etc. It all is like fantasy sports, and I dig it as well. Producers currently are doing this for real though, as Bond 25 (though it will be called something else by the time it comes out, obviously) is slowly coming into the world. The pieces are beginning to come together, and that’s what we’ll be going over today. Order up a martini (shaken, not stirred) and let us get on with it…

With the official announcement coming recently that Daniel Craig is back, attention can be turned towards the empty director’s chair. Sam Mendes is no longer handling those duties, though longtime franchise scribes Neil Purvis and Robert Wade are returning to pen another installment. The skeleton is forming, so now it just requires a captain for the ship. Historically, producers opt for middle men almost, essentially placeholders for the traditional vision. Mendes was an exception, though it looks like this next time around, that might not be the case. We might be seeing a singular vision again with the 25th James Bond film.

Rumors have the three names in contention for the gig being Yann Demange, David Mackenzie, and Denis Villeneuve. Demange has the top notch ’71 in his back pocket and is currently filming the baity sounding White Boy Rick. Mackenzie has made all sorts of little movies, notably Starred Up, though really hit it big last year with Hell or High Water. Villeneuve needs no introduction, bursting on to the scene with Prisoners and upping his game with Sicario and his Oscar nominated direction of Arrival. He’s currently finishing up Blade Runner 2049 and might be remaking Dune next. None of the three would be bad choices, that much is clear.

This is the original list from a few years ago of 25 names that I had speculated about:

Tomas Alfredson
David Ayer
Kenneth Branagh
Danny Boyle
Gareth Edwards
Gareth Huw Evans
Stephen Frears
Paul Greengrass
Tom Hooper
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Duncan Jones
Steve McQueen
Christopher Nolan
Matt Reeves
Nicholas Winding Refn
Guy Ritchie
Jeremy Saulnier
Ridley Scott
Steven Spielberg
Quentin Tarantino
Morten Tyldum
Denis Villeneuve
Taika Waititi
Ben Wheatley
Joe Wright

Turns out, I sort of called Villeneuve as a potential fit. Pie in the sky A-list options like Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, and Edgar Wright will only ever work if they get the opportunity to reinvent the franchise. If so, look for Nolan to one day give it a shot, as he’s always spoken of his affection for the job. That will come once Craig is done and everything is ready for a full on reboot. That situation lends itself to true auteurs and their one off imprint on a franchise. There’s no reason to assume this is likely, but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind.

Time will tell who is selected for the 007 gig. Whomever gets it will have a responsibility to the fan base and the franchise. Assuming it’s either Demange, Mackenzie, or Villeneuve, the powers that be have some excellent options to sift through. The biggest news boost will be if Villeneuve gets the gig, though he’s in the best position to be able to say no. Regardless, the next Bond film should be an interesting one. It likely will be Craig’s last turn in the tuxedo, so hopefully he goes out on a high note. We shall see the end result eventually, but sit tight and we’ll have more when the announcement is made…

Stay tuned to see who gets the job directing the next Bond movie and how the 25th installment of the franchise shapes up!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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