While Danny Boyle’s departure will leave some fans wondering “What might have been if he stayed?”, it comes as no surprise that Eon Productions has already found a new director to take over. After being spoiled with Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes in the previous two installments (Which went on to gross just shy of $2 billion combined at the box office), it was announced that acclaimed director Cary Fukunaga will helm Bond 25 in place of Boyle.
Fukunaga will be working off a new draft of the story, currently being written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Having co-written the last 6 James Bond films since The World is Not Enough, Purvis and Wade were brought back on to write Bond 25 after Boyle and his original planned co-writer John Hodge (Who wrote the Trainspotting films that Boyle directed) left the project last month. On the hiring of Fukunaga, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli had this to say in a lauding statement:
We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure.
Fukunaga is perhaps most known for, film-wise anyway, directing the acclaimed Netflix movie Beasts of No Nation which famously got snubbed at the Oscars (Particularly the performance of actor Idris Elba). For fans more of the small-screen variety, Fukunaga is perhaps best known as the director of the entire first season of True Detective which was highly acclaimed. Fukunaga was set to write and direct the It adaptation, but left due to creative differences over his original vision for the story, resigning himself to a co-writing credit instead. Fukunaga’s next project to be released is the Netflix show Maniac which will actually hit the streaming service tomorrow, September 21st.
This choice of director is a double-edged sword. On one hand, Fukunaga is without a doubt a talented director with a definitive vision in the projects he chooses. His choice of past projects (Crime dramas and war films) makes him ideal to handle the modern, gritty feeling that has been instilled in the James Bond franchise since Daniel Craig took over the role. On the other hand, Fukunaga is just as creatively independent as Boyle, if not more. If Fukunaga works well with the studio, I have no doubt we’ll get a great film. But it’s best to be cautiously optimistic given his history of disagreeing on directions on big budget films. Time will tell.
Originally, when Boyle was at the helm, filming was to begin on December 3rd of this year with a planned release date of October 25, 2019. With a new script being worked on by Purvis and Wade (Going under the working title of Shatterhand), MGM has also announced that filming will now begin on March 4, 2019 at at Pinewood Studios with a new release date announced for February 14, 2020. A month once considered a death sentence for big budget films, February has become a time for several massive hits in the last few years, particularly with 2016’s Deadpool and Black Panther earlier this year.
Expected to be the final film to star Craig, with all these elements lined up, it’s a hope that Craig’s standout version of the role concludes with a brilliant and visceral story worth of Bond…James Bond. Stay tuned!