Following the sudden departure of director Danny Boyle earlier this week, Bond 25 is now in crisis as is looks for a new filmmaker to take on the project. As a consequence of Boyle's abrupt exit, the as yet untitled Bond sequel is unlikely to meet the previously set October 2019 release date. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bond 25 might not see the light of day before the end of 2020.
The exact details of what caused Boyle to quit remain a mystery (I'm sure the facts will emerge over the next few months), but The Telegraph claims that it was a casting decision that forced Boyle to draw his line in the sand. Boyle wanted Tomasz Kot (Cold War) to play the main villain, but allegedly Daniel Craig was less than enthusiastic and exercised his clout to veto Kot as a contender. The Telegraph also reports that the script by regular Boyle collaborator John Hodge was a point of contention with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.
While it seemed evident that a new writer would be brought in, less than 48 hours after Boyle's exit, John Hodge also handed in his notice and quit the film. The previous version was written by Bond regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, and it's believed that their version will be used as the building blocks for the new draft.
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are currently putting together a shortlist of directors to replace Boyle, so indulge me a moment of speculation as to whom might be stepping into the role. Let's get this out the way now, Christopher Nolan might be top of their producers' list, and I'm sure he'd make a great Bond movie. However, earlier this year he ruled himself out once again;
“I won’t be the man. No, categorically. I think every time they hire a new director I’m rumored to be doing it.”
Nolan did fuel the fires that he could direct a Bond film one day no sooner than he stated he wasn't the man for the job.
“I’d love to make a Bond film at some point, and I think those producers – Barbara [Broccoli] and Michael [Wilson] – they do a tremendous job and Sam Mendes has done a terrific job the last couple of films, so they don't particularly need me. But I've always been inspired by the films and would love to do one someday.”
Unless Nolan has had a change of heart (and presuming Sam Mendes can't be coaxed back), there are some exciting names on the producers' radar. Joe Wright (Hanna, Pan), Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin), Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and just a whisper of Ben Wheatley have all been mentioned. The latter might be wishful thinking, but I am inherently excited by even the idea that the guy who made Kill List, Sightseers, A Field In England, High-Rise, and Free Fire directing James Bond.
Spectre marked the final Bond movie to be released under Sony's deal that started with Casino Royale. MGM will release Bond 25 in the US (for the first time since Die Another Day) while Universal will handle the international distribution. More on Bond 25 as it comes in.