Why Denis Vileneuve Turned Down Directing James Bond 25

Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve has been talking about turning the James Bond job down...

In the next couple of months, we expect to learn the identity as to who will be directing the next James Bond film. James Bond 25, as it won’t be called, already has Daniel Craig confirmed to return. But Sam Mendes, who has directed the last two 007 adventures, has already said he won’t be back.

What’s more, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 helmer Denis Villeneuve has also confirmed that he had conversations with the Bond team about taking on the next movie. But also, that he turned the job down.

In conversation with Screen Crush, he’s reiterated the reason why, too. And it remains his commitment to directing a new take on Dune that’s the stumbling block.

“I said to Barbara [Broccoli], I would love to work with you and with Daniel, but I’m engaged,” he laughed. “I will love to do it, honestly. I’m a spoiled filmmaker right now. I think Daniel Craig is a fantastic actor and I would like to, but several months ago I came into do Dune and I engaged myself. I committed myself and I’m someone that doesn’t step back.”

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It’s not the first time he’s had a scheduling clash, either. “I remember I committed to do Enemy, they came with Prisoners I said, I need to do Enemy first, and I had to break to bend the schedule. I did the same with Arrival and Blade Runner. I did Blade Runner, one of my conditions was that I would have time to do Arrival first. Once I commit, I commit”.

As such, his commitment to Dune – “my dream project – is taking precedence for the moment. And while he’s keeping the door open for a James Bond project, Villeneuve is clearly determined to get Dune off the ground.

Filming is set to begin on James Bond 25 in the back end of this year.