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Since the recent surprise departure of Danny Boyle as director due to ‘creative differences’, the producers of Bond movie no. 25 have been busy searching for a replacement, somebody who is prepared to step in at short notice.

According to the latest reports, including in the respected industry journal Variety, three candidates in particular have apparently been placed on the short-list as possible contenders for the director’s chair: Yann Demange, S.J. Clarkson, and Bart Layton.

French-born British producer and director Yann Demange, of course, as many James Bond fans are aware, was considered for the director’s role some time ago, and even held discussions with the EON producers before they decided to go for Danny Boyle.

Demange was reported to have been disappointed at missing out on the prestigious job when Boyle was chosen instead, but now the hard-working director, whose latest film is White Boy Rick (2018), is thought to be a strong contender again.

Demange (see Pic. 1 below), who was raised in West London and trained in his craft at film school in England, received critical acclaim and various award nominations for his gritty Belfast-set thriller ’71 (2014), and has expressed a desire to re-engage with British themes and culture again on the big screen. Interestingly, in a recent profile in the UK’s Observer newspaper, Demange said he was ‘longing’ to get back to his roots and work in the UK again (he has been very busy working in the USA on a big-budget HBO series). 

Award-winning British director and TV documentary-maker Bart Layton (see Pic. 2 below), who directed The Imposter (2012) to wide acclaim, and whose latest production has been the crime drama American Animals (2018), is also said to have caught the eye of the Bond producers.

Similarly S.J. Clarkson (see Pic. 3 below), a former theatre producer who cut her directorial teeth working on a wide variety of TV productions, including Dexter, Life on Mars and Ugly Betty, has also become a director of interest to the Bond team. This is undoubtedly due to her recent well-received work on the Marvel action series Jessica Jones, which was backed by Netflix, and also the British drama Collateral. Clarkson, who has recently been working on the troubled Star Trek 4 movie, would, of course – if chosen – be the first female director of a Bond movie, and it is well-known that EON producer Barbara Broccoli is keen to promote more women in the film industry.

Whoever wins the top job, whether it is one of the three possible candidates mentioned above, or somebody else, we can be sure that they will have a formidably experienced support team to back them up and ensure things go smoothly.

Keeping the British End Up

Meanwhile, as the JBIFC reported previously on August 28th, we can again confirm that pre-production on Bond 25 has been taking place at Pinewood Studios in line with the original planned schedule, despite the uncertainty that was suddenly created by Boyle and his script-writer John Hodge leaving the production. Four days prior to our August report, a special meeting was held with crew-members and other contractors who had been hired for the movie (many of them loyal Bond film regulars) and, as far as we understand it, they were given reassurances that they would remain on the books, and that pre-production work on the new movie would continue in the reserved studio space at Pinewood.

The producers let it be known that they were keen to keep the movie on track as far as possible. This is very good to hear. Watch this site for further Bond 25 news in the near future. You know the name, and you know the number.