It sounds like James Bond 25 is very much heating up. While there have been a number of variables up in the air for the Spectre follow-up, namely if Daniel Craig will actually return, EON Productions set a November 2019 release date the other day, signaling that they’re moving forward. Indeed, Deadline now has the list of the three frontrunners in line to direct Bond 25, and they are fantastic. The three names in Deadline’s report are Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival), Yann Demange (’71), and David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water).
All three of these filmmakers are great, and I’d be happy with any one of them. Villeneuve is probably the “biggest” name of the bunch, having helmed terrific thrillers like Sicario and Arrival before making the big leap with this fall’s Blade Runner 2049. He can handle action, character, and story in equal measure, and he would likely bring DP Roger Deakins back into the fold after Deakins shot Skyfall.
Mackenzie is a “hot” name at the moment, coming off Best Picture nominee Hell or High Water. He also directed the 2013 film Starred Up and his name surfaced recently as a possibility to step into Universal’s Scarface remake. And Demange broke out in a big way with his thriller ’71, and he most recently wrapped White Boy Rick with Matthew McConaughey. Variety is separately reporting that Demange is actually the main frontrunner here, and it’s worth noting that Villeneuve has already lined up Dune as his next project, so if he directed Bond 25 he’d have to push that back.
While Christopher Nolan and Edgar Wright have surfaced as possibilities recently as well, these two filmmakers likely wouldn’t take on Bond until the franchise needs a reboot, so they can start from scratch and enact their own unique vision. We learned this week that Craig is expected to reprise his role as Bond for Bond 25, so whether this is a closing chapter or just another new entry will determine the likelihood of us seeing a Nolan Bond movie in the next decade.
Sam Mendes reinvigorated the franchise with the stunning Skyfall and returned to helm Spectre to…disappointing results. That film introduced Christoph Waltz as franchise villain Blofeld, so it’ll be interesting to see if Bond 25 continues that thread or leaves it be. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have scripted almost all of the recent Bond movies, are back to pen the screenplay for 25.
The distribution rights to Bond are still up in the air, as studios like Sony, Warner Bros., Annapurna, Fox, and Universal are all vying for the opportunity to produce and distribute the next few Bond movies after EON’s contract with Sony ended on Spectre. That will likely be secured up shortly as EON is looking to put the pieces into place, and Deadline notes we should hear who’s directing this thing by the end of the summer.
Who’s your pick, folks? Sound off in the comments below.