If there’s one thing about Hollywood we should know by now, you shouldn’t believe everything you read. When director Danny Boyle exited from the upcoming still-untitled 25th James Bond film last month due to creative differences (those creative differences reportedly being rather ridiculous!), we got several reports of who the producers were looking as replacements. White Boy Rick’s Yann Demange, who had been the favourite before losing to Boyle initially, was seemingly the favourite again, but everybody from Edgar Wright to Star Trek 4’s SJ Clarkson was also attached to an alleged shortlist. They were all wrong.
Earlier today, Bond franchise producers Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and titular star Daniel Craig announced via Twitter that Cary Fukunaga has now been tapped to helm the upcoming film. He was not on anybody’s list, short or long, so this is one hugely pleasant surprise.
Fukunaga drew critical, award-winning acclaim with his early works like Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre (the latter of which he shot a lot of via candlelight!), but it was in 2014 where really shot to fame when he directed all 8-episodes of True Detective. HBO’s moody anthology crime drama was nominated for and won several awards including an Emmy for Fukunaga’s incredibly stylish direction on the episode “Who Goes There” which boasts a jaw-dropping single-take tracking shot.
He followed up True Detective with Netflix war drama Beasts of No Nation in 2015, which once again saw his name on the roll for a myriad of industry awards. Fukunaga opted to not return for the second season of True Detective – a wise move seeing as how iffy it turned out – and was originally going to write/direct the box office record-breaking 2017 reboot of Stephen King’s IT before exiting the project (many of his ideas were still used though).
Basically, what I’m saying with all this preamble is that Fukunaga is one hell of a pick to direct the next Bond film. Although he’s never really helmed a feature film on the scale of a James Bond production, he has shown off every skill needed to make this an incredible and fresh entry in the franchise.
“We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure," said Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. (2/2)
— James Bond (@007) September 20, 2018
As you may have noticed though, although Fukunaga is known for working relatively fast and and production is actually starting today, Bond 25 now has a new release date. Originally scheduled for 8 November 2019, it will now be hitting cinemas on 14 February 2020. Because nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like a mass-murdering secret agent who sleeps with every attractive woman he sees.
With Boyle’s exit, the script that he and frequent collaborator John Hodge also got tossed out and it was revealed last week that longtime franchise writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have been brought back to script again. The duo have penned all six Bond films released since the 1999 Pierce Bronson starrer The World is Not Enough, and has built up quite a relationship with Daniel Craig and co. This is supposed to be Craig’s final film in the role of Bond, so he clearly wants to go out with people he is comfortable with.
Last Updated: September 20, 2018
September 20, 2018 at 15:01
I want Bond to return to its more entertaining and fun roots. All the last Bonds became too serious for me. I loved all the over-the-top shenanigans of the old Bond movies. The newer iterations had their wow moments, but they were serious wow moments, not fun wow moments!