When Danny Boyle exited MGM and Eon’s Bond 25, it didn’t just stir up the production process, it might have shaken up the release date schedule, too. Boyle wasn’t just set to direct the picture, which was aiming to start rolling cameras on December 8th for a November 8, 2019 release, he was also a co-writer alongside Oscar-nominated screenwriting partner John Hodge (Trainspotting). Producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, and producer/star Daniel Craig recently parted with Boyle and Hodge over creative differences, suggesting that neither the latest script, nor the previous one turned in by Skyfall writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had passed muster.
As Variety reports, the producers are supposedly looking for either a writer-director or a writer to come onboard the project, meaning it’s likely back to the drawing board for Bond 25. The idea that the producers want to see treatments and pitches from a new writer or writing team probably mean major rewrites if not an altogether scrapped script; the picture didn’t even have an official title or confirmed shooting locations yet, so it’s hard to judge just how much of either story is being used for the next picture. But because of the Bond film series’ use of exotic, far-flung locales, the pre-production process is a rigorous one that starts months ahead of the actual film start date; any changes here could prove disastrous.
If the producers are simply tweaking the existing story and keeping the bulk of the production schedule intact, there’s a possibility that they could still get things started later this year or January 2019 at the latest. And they’ll have to if they want to keep their early November 2019 release date. The next few weeks will actually give us a good clue as to just where Bond 25 may ultimately fall, because if MGM and Eon settle on a new writer/writer-director relatively soon, things may stay on track. Unfortunately the likes of Denis Villeneuve, Yann Demange and David Mackenzie, directors who were previously in contention for the chair, are currently busy with their own projects. More rumors are putting Mission: Impossible franchise helmer Christopher McQuarrie in MGM’s sites since he’s an accomplished commercial and critical writer/director, but whether he’ll sign onto another action franchise or do an original movie, like he’s previously intimated, remains to be seen. Stay tuned!