Three Frontrunners Emerge to Direct ’Bond 25’
For a secret agent, James Bond’s not doing a great job of keeping his comings and goings private at the moment. We just found out 007’s next film, the 25th in the long-running franchise, will open in November of 2019, and according to The New York Times, Daniel Craig is expected to reprise his role as James Bond. Now Deadline got word of the frontrunners to direct the still-untitled film.
The trade’s Michael Fleming says three men are currently in the running for the coveted gig: Yann Demange, Denis Villeneuve and David Mackenzie. The first name is the least-well-known; Demange recently directed ’71, a political thriller, and he’s now working on a film called White Boy Rick starring Matthew McConaughey. Mackenzie directed Hell or High Water, last summer’s surprise hit and Oscar nominee; before that he made the excellent prison drama Starred Up. (In a weird bit of synchronicity, Starred Up starred Jack O’Connell, who then went on to star in ... Yann Demange’s ’71. Weird.) Villeneuve you probably know, after films like Sicario, Prisoners, Enemy, and last year’s powerful sci-fi film Arrival. He’s currently finishing up Blade Runner 2049, the biggest movie that any of these candidates has been involved with.
Deadline also dismisses old speculation that Christopher Nolan or Edgar Wright might want the job. Those names don’t make a ton of sense, given the history of the franchise, which has typically favored journeymen directors and filmmakers with less bombastic personal styles who are willing to work with the series’ longtime producers. For that same reason, I’d be surprised if Villeneuve is chosen; a few years ago, before these huge projects, sure, but now? He doesn’t really fit the Bond director template. Demange and (my personal guess) Mackenzie seem like much more natural fits.