On 22nd February the JBIFC reported that news had emerged that Danny Boyle was being considered as a possible director for Bond movie number 25 in the iconic series, which is due to hit cinemas in late 2019.
A new report in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper (9th March, 2018) has now provided further interesting context to these rumours, and the balance of probability now seems tilted in favour of the Boyle speculation possibly being ‘fact’, not just wild rumour.
In a piece by the Daily Mail showbiz writer and gossip columnist Baz Bamigboye, under the bold headline ‘Danny Boyle set to direct next 007’, Bond star Daniel Craig is said to be ‘pulling out all the stops’ to ensure that the Oscar-winning director can complete a Richard Curtis Beatles movie musical from Working Title (All You Need Is Love) ‘in time to take charge of the new Bond film by the end of the year’. EON and MGM executives are said to have formed an ‘unusual alliance’ with Working Title to ‘smooth the way’ for this to be an option.
According to Bamigboye, Craig attended a meeting with EON Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, where Boyle also attended along with his Trainspotting writing partner John Hodge, at which the latter pair ‘pitched their vision for Bond 25’. A ‘closely connected source’ in Los Angeles apparently told Bamigboye: ‘They took the idea to Barbara, never believing for a minute she would go for it. But she’s excited by the concept – and so is her producing partner Michael’. The mysterious ‘source’ added: ‘But the most important cheerleader in the meeting was Daniel, and he was pushing for Danny to direct. He loves the fact that it’s something completely different. He has not signed up for more of the same old Bond’.
Bamigboye claimed: ‘Hodge has yet to complete his Bond screenplay. Once it’s finished – and if all parties are happy – then Boyle will hop on the 007 juggernaut’.
Bamigboye also offered another quote, apparently from a separate source in America (‘one of my big-time sources’), who commented: ‘The seed of Danny and John’s Bond was planted when Danny directed that incredible short film – featuring Daniel Craig, the Queen and her corgis – for the opening of the 2012 London Olympics. That’s where the bond, for want of a better word, was formed. I’d be shot if I told you the story idea they’ve come up with, but it’s pure movie gold’.
The un-named ‘source’ explained to Bamigboye: ‘Everybody is rooting for this to happen. I mean, the idea that Danny might be able to shoot the Curtis film and then be shooting Bond by the end of the year is breath-taking. It’s high-stakes British movie producing of the highest order. Your Queen should give them all medals if they pull it off!’
As the JBIFC has previously noted, all this speculation about Boyle (if true – and it’s a big ‘if’) raises the tricky question of what this means for the Bond 25 screenplay that was originally commissioned by EON from 007 screenwriting veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. As even Bamigboye appears to acknowledge, the duo are sitting on a screenplay they were contracted to do for Bond 25 – will they be happy to be placed in ‘reserve’ (so to speak)?
The apparent leaking of this latest news also raises the possibility that certain MGM executives might be placing pressure on EON to come to a firm decision about a director for the new Bond movie, and are seeking to ‘bounce’ the producers into a corner. Whatever the real situation is, the possibility of a Boyle-directed James Bond film would certainly be a radical way to round off Craig’s tenure in the role (given that he has indicated Bond 25 will be his final 007 film). Watch this space.