The recently rumored buzz that connected director Danny Boyle to the developing 25thJames Bond film appeared ready to live and let die. That’s because Boyle, the prolific, genre-jumping, visionary of Trainspotting, The Beach, Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later and 127 Hours fame, signed up with Universal to direct a musical comedy. Yet, despite the musical gig, Boyle asserts that he’s still in the running for the Bond 25 gig.
In the latest development in the Bond 25 pre-production saga, star Daniel Craig has just confirmed to Associated Press that a return as James Bond will be his next project; a claim reiterated by his wife, actress Rachel Weisz. The comments seem to indicate that the wheels are finally moving, despite the nebulous nature of the director situation with would-be appointee Danny Boyle. Indeed, Craig, when asked to confirm if Boyle was directing the movie, only answered, “we’ll see.”
Interestingly, this news directly affects Craig’s starring role in the developing Showtime TV series, Purity, which, as announced at last summer’s TCAs, would not air until after Bond 25 was released. Thus, as Craig waits for production of Bond 25 to get underway, likely after a director is confirmed, it presumably sets that show for a release in 2020.
Back in early March, it was presumed that Danny Boyle’s Bond brass ring opportunity had passed, since he was confirmed to team with screenwriter Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral) for a “music themed comedy” movie set against the time backdrop of the 1960s or 1970s, which was subsequently revealed as All You Need is Love, a musical based on the epochal 1967 song by The Beatles. However, a tweet from a London-based Daily Mail reporter claimed that Boyle intended to tackle Bond 25 after the musical wraps “late this year,” pending the approval of a screenplay by (repertory Boyle collaborator) John Hodge. Boyle himself would subsequently confirm this in an interview with Metro, explaining:
“We are working on a script right now. And it all depends on that really. I am working on a Richard Curtis script at the moment. We hope to start shooting that in 6 or 7 weeks. Then Bond would be right at the end of the year. But we are working on them both right now.”
Boyle also confirms the narrative that his Bond 25 directorial prospects depend solely on the studio’s reception to what his screenwriting collaborator, John Hodge, submits, stating:
“We’ve got an idea, John Hodge, the screenwriter, and I have got this idea, and John is writing it at the moment. And it all depends on how it turns out. It would be foolish of me to give any of it away.”
So… that’s where the Danny Boyle/Bond drama currently rests. While the idea of Boyle tackling Bond 25 later this year is hardly impossible, his latest comments confirm that it would be a tight schedule, since it depends on a smooth tenure with All You Need is Love. Of course, Boyle happens to be juggling other projects such as FX’s currently-running Getty kidnapping TV drama, Trust. Thus, the embattled search for the Bond franchise’s next shaken-not-stirred cinematic skipper continues to be fodder for the news cycle, especially with the spotlight recently shifting away from the previously-rumored Christopher Nolan to Boyle.
Universal’s musical comedy – revealed as All You Need is Love – will be Boyle’s next movie, according to THR, which, in the very least, would still put the production of Bond 25 into a bind if Boyle is MGM’s director of choice. That’s because Bond 25 is currently penciled in for a November 8, 2019 release date, which would make for an untenably tight shoot, even if – as Boyle claims – production commences “right at the end of the year.” Plus, with Craig now confirming Bond 25 as his next gig, he might end up having to awkwardly wait for Boyle to wrap the musical.
Consequently, the Bond 25 director search is still up in the air. However, even if Boyle doesn’t take the gig, that may not be a hopeless place, since last summer, it was reported that the directorial candidates had been narrowed down to Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival), Yann Demange (Top Boy, Criminal Justice) and David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water, Starred Up). With Villeneuve recently confirming that he passed on the gig, a prospective Boyle bow-out could still prove fortuitous for the latter two.
The untitled Bond 25, which will see Daniel Craig return to don another tux, is currently scheduled to be released on November 8, 2019. However, that could easily change.
This article was originally published on March 1, 2018 and updated with new information.