Cary Fukunaga has been announced as the new director of Bond movie no. 25, which will now commence principal photography a few weeks later than originally planned.

As the JBIFC revealed on 28th August, despite the departure of Danny Boyle, the movie remained on track and EON hoped to be able to make an announcement about a replacement director ‘very soon’. That announcement came today (20th September), via a short but very welcome message placed on the official 007 website, with only a slight change to the start and release dates.

The announcement stated: ‘Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig announced today that Bond 25 will begin filming at Pinewood Studios on 4th March, 2019, under the helm of director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, with a worldwide release date of 14th February, 2020’.

The EON producers also commented: ‘We are delighted to be working with Cary. His versatility and innovation make him an excellent choice for our next James Bond adventure’.

Interestingly, Cary was in London just last week to promote his latest series Maniac, and gave a number of interviews, including one given to Alex Godfrey of the UK’s Guardian newspaper, which has just been released online to tie in with the 007 news. The 41-year old Californian director is a fascinating choice to helm Bond 25, and rose to fame after helming the gritty and highly-praised HBO series True Detective (2014).

More recently, Fukunaga received critical acclaim for his very moving and realistic child-soldier drama Beasts of No Nation (2015). He is already seen as a director who enjoys challenges. According to the Guardian’s Alex Godfrey, Fukunaga was hired a short while ago to adapt the late director Stanley Kubrick’s unmade epic movie Napoleon, which will now be a TV mini-series produced by Steven Spielberg. It is understood that Fukunaga will soon be given access to the Kubrick archive still held by his widow, which contains an extensive collection of Napoleon-related biographical research material built up by Kubrick when he was alive and still planning the biopic, which had become something of an obsession for Kubrick. Fukunaga is said to be relishing the prospect of delving into the collection.

The film critic Jason Solomons, interviewed by Sky News at the James Bond exhibition in the Film Museum in central London, said he believed that, with the choice of Fukunaga, we are ‘not going to see a huge change in the franchise we know and love’. This will be music to the ears of many 007 fans.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Fukunaga. We’ve been expecting you.

Daniel Craig with EON producer Barbara Broccoli