A mere three months before cameras were set to begin rolling on the next James Bond film, director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later) has decided to exit the project. Boyle had been officially attached to direct the picture since March.
The official statement was a simple one:
Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig today announced that due to creative differences Danny Boyle has decided to no longer direct Bond 25.
The statement heavily suggests that the decision was Boyle’s. Just what the official issues were that couldn’t be resolved between both parties remain undisclosed for now, although the first whispers are beginning to spread.
The Telegraph reports that there may have been disagreements between Boyle and star Daniel Craig, particularly with the casting of 41-year-old Polish actor Tomasz Kot as the lead villain. There have also been rumours that producers weren’t too happy with the screenplay written by longtime Boyle collaborator John Hodge. Apparently the script touched on a “modern-day Cold War” and political tensions with Russia. It remains to be seen if they stick with Hodge’s script now that Boyle is gone or whether they head back to the draft written by longtime Bond franchise scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Casino Royale, Skyfall).
Boyle’s departure leaves the project in a bit of a holding pattern until a new helmer is hired, meaning the planned release date will likely be scrapped. The untitled Bond film had been scheduled to hit UK cinemas on 25 October 2019 and US cinemas on 8 November 2019, but now, according to THR‘s sources, “it’s possible Bond 25 may not hit theaters until late 2020.”
As for who could be chosen to direct next: The director shortlist prior to Boyle’s hiring included Denis Villenueve (Sicario, Blade Runner 2049), David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water) and Yann Demange (’71). While Villeneuve is busy with his planned Dune movie, Mackenzie is now free after completing upcoming Netflix epic Outlaw King, and Demange has wrapped White Boy Rick, starring Matthew McConaughey. We’ll keep you up to date.