Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Oscar-nominated performance in 12 Years a Slave earned him quite a bit of attention, but he’s about to get even more of a spotlight if his next deal goes through. Ejiofor is reported as being the frontrunner for the villainous role in Sam Mendes’ Skyfall follow-up; Mendes will direct the untitled 24th and 25th installments of the James Bond franchise. While no official offer has been extended and the parties in question are not in formal talks, Ejiofor is considered the man to beat by other actors vying for the role. Hit the jump for more.
Earlier this month, we reported that Skyfall director Sam Mendes was not only locked for James Bond 24, but was also looking likely for James Bond 25. This was a welcome change from his previous stand of opting out of the sequels to focus on other projects. Unfortunately, you may want to hold off on that celebratory martini. At the premiere of his stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mendes spoke with HeyUGuys, and said, “In answer to the question you’re going to ask, I don’t know yet. I’m in discussion over the ‘B’ word and I won’t make any decision until this is open. It’s taken a long time to get this open and this has been my focus.”
That doesn’t mean he’s out of the running, but he’s definitely not locked down. I assume this must be a little frustrating to Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Skyfall was the biggest hit in the franchise, and it would be nice to quickly follow up on that success. Audiences won’t lose interest in Bond, but after Skyfall, we want to see 007 sooner rather than later.
Skyfall set high expectations for James Bond 24, but the right pieces are falling into place in order to meet the challenge. Last week, we learned that Sam Mendes would likely return to direct Bond 24 (and possibly James Bond 25), and now Bond has his girl. According to Yahoo! Movies UK, Oscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz will play the Bond girl in Bond 24. Yahoo!’s story notes that when she turns 40 next year, Cruz will be the oldest Bond girl to date (and therefore charmingly age appropriate to the 45-year-old Daniel Craig). Her age is a fun bit of a trivia, but getting to the actual casting, Cruz is a fantastic choice. She’s sharp, she’s sexy, and she can easily hold her own against Craig. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson reportedly tried to get Cruz in the past, but were unable to do so due to scheduling conflicts.
Filming on Bond 24 is set to begin next summer. While a 2016 release had been mentioned, if the film shoots in summer 2014, then a 2015 release could be a serious possibility.
Well here’s a development that’s surprising for a couple of reasons. Though he outright turned down the offer to return and direct the next James Bond film following last year’s Skyfall, it appears that Sam Mendes has had a change of heart as he is now in negotiations to direct Bond 24. This comes just hours after a report from Variety, which claimed that an impressive lineup of directors—including Nicolas Winding Refn and Ang Lee—had met with EON Productions and Sony about taking on the Bond 24 directing gig. Hit the jump for more.
After Sam Mendes opted not to return to helm the upcoming 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, Eon and Sony Pictures have been on the hunt for a new director with an eye towards getting the next film out by 2016. While rumors swirled recently that Christopher Nolan was considering the job, the notion seemed highly unlikely because A.) he’s busy prepping to shoot Interstellar this summer and B.) he has already stated in the past that he’d like to direct a Bond film when he can reboot the franchise with a new actor.
Following Mendes’ Skyfall will be no small task, but it appears that Eon and Sony are aiming for the cream of the filmmaking crop as directors such as Ang Lee, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Iron Man 3 helmer Shane Black have reportedly been considered for the director’s chair. Hit the jump for more. [Update: Now Deadline reports that Sam Mendes has changed his mind and is in talks to return to helm Bond 24. Read the full story here.]
As someone whose only firsthand experience with the Star Trek franchise comes by virtue of J.J. Abrams‘ two Trek films, I know I’m in over my head when the topic presents itself. When you mention Trek, you’re referencing (either directly or indirectly) a rich legacy filled with peaks and valleys, genre-defining characters and moments, and an international fanbase that rivals any of pop-culture’s most enduring titles. And yet here I am, with two films under my belt (both of which I enjoyed), talking about it. Obviously, I have nothing at stake with regards to Star Trek Into Darkness. Whether you like it or dislike it is of no consequence to me. My only aim today is to extend a humble word of caution to the Trek fans who have years of equity built-up in their beloved franchise: be careful not to dismiss or begrudge it solely because it’s trying to appeal to the largest possible audience. Abrams’ Trek films aren’t above reproach, but they also aren’t void of redeeming qualities. Try to at least acknowledge some of those qualities when tearing into them or risk coming off as someone whose real issue is that a bunch of people now enjoy this thing that you once considered yourself unique for liking.
All preachiness aside, this week’s Top 5 includes several interviews from Star Trek Into Darkness, rumors surrounding Christopher Nolan being approached to direct James Bond 24, the first trailers for Marvel’s new ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a new trailer for Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim, and new photos and a video from the set of director Jose Padilha‘s RoboCop remake. If I haven’t lost you yet, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
In the past, Christopher Nolan has expressed interest in directing a James Bond film. Last summer, Nolan, a long-time fan of the series, said he was serious about the prospect, but added “It would have to be the right situation and the right time in their cycle of things.” Although it is absolutely not the right time in their cycle of things, Daily Mail reports that there have been informal talks about directing James Bond 24 between Nolan and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G .Wilson. As you may recall, Broccoli and Wilson tried to get Skyfall director Sam Mendes to return, but he passed on the gig. In March, we learned that MGM wanted a new Bond movie within 3 years, so the clock is ticking to get someone in the director’s chair.
The assumption that Nolan would direct Bond 24 is preposterous because Nolan is at work on Interstellar. Pre-production is underway, roles have been cast, and a November 7, 2014 release date has been set. Unless Nolan wants to piss off everyone at Paramount and Warner Bros (the studios behind Interstellar), he’s not doing Bond 24. If there have been any informal talks, I believe they would be for James Bond 25. That would be the smart, pro-active move, but right now the focus should be (and will be) on who’s doing the 24th film.
Fifty years later, the Bond franchise is astoundingly stronger than ever, as Skyfall joined the $1 billion worldwide club in December. MGM understandably wants to jump back into the series sooner than later. On a conference call with investors, MGM CEO Gary Barber promised:
“We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next 3 years it will be released.” [Reuters]
Skyfall director Sam Mendes will not return, but Barber says they “look forward to announcing a director soon.” Mendes hatched a story idea with John Logan before he left, and Logan will stay on to write Bond 24. Daniel Craig is signed for at least two more films, so the immediate future of the Bond series is bright.
Sam Mendes has never done a sequel, but he had never done an action movie before Skyfall, and that turned out pretty well. Today, the Daily Mail is reporting that Mendes is “’75 per cent’ of the way towards” returning for James Bond 24. In November, we reported that Mendes has reportedly dreamed up a new scenario with Skyfall screenwriter John Logan, so the director was already looking ahead even though he hadn’t officially signed on. However, in his interview with Steve, Mendes said he already did everything he wanted to do with a Bond movie in Skyfall.
Hit the jump for more on Mendes’ hesitation, if the next Bond will be a two-parter, and when we can expect to see 007′s next adventure.
Longtime James Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have confirmed today that they will be departing the franchise. The duo is responsible for penning the screenplays for all the Daniel Craig Bond films as well as The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. They penned the latest entry, Skyfall, alongside John Logan, and in announcing their departure they revealed that Logan and director Sam Mendes have already dreamed up a scenario for Bond 24:
“We’re very happy to have done five Bond movies, I think we’ve gotten it to a good place. I know that John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with a plot for another one, which takes the pressure off because these films take up a lot of time.”
Mendes has yet to commit to returning for a further Bond entry, but it’s reassuring to know that he and Logan have an idea of where the story could pick up following the killer ending to Skyfall. Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to watch Steve’s recent interview with Mendes about the film.
After Skyfall opens next week, everyone is going to want more James Bond and want it quickly. Several days ago, we reported that producers had hired Skyfall screenwriter John Logan to write not one, but a Bond duology, and he had set to work for scripts for both movies. It would be a rare occurrence where the Bond films were linked as one big story rather than a loose connection like S.P.E.C.T.R.E. or Casino Royale to Quantum of Solace. However, star Daniel Craig, who is contracted for Bond 24 and 25, has denied rumors of linked Bond sequels.
Hit the jump for more.
Due to MGM’s financial meltdown, there was a four year wait since the last James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. The franchise’s producers aren’t going to let that happen again, especially since the new entry, Skyfall, is garnering ridiculously positive buzz. It also looks like they’re sticking to one of that film’s successful contributors. According to the Daily Mail, Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator) will return to write the next movie. The key difference is that Logan will write the script solo. The past five movies—Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale, Die Another Day, The World Is Not Enough—were partially written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, but Logan was called in to re-write Skyfall. If Logan has helped to deliver what some are calling one of the series’ best films, then I’m glad to see that he’ll be back to write the next movie.
As for when we’ll see that movie, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are hoping to shoot at Pinewood Studios (and I’m sure at various exotic locales) next year for a fall 2014 release, which confirms a report from earlier this year. Considering that the every Bond film since The World Is Not Enough has opened in November, I would expect to see Bond 24 land in November 2014. Hit the jump for more on Logan’s suspected two-part Bond treatment.
James Bond had to stay off-duty for four years due to the financial meltdown of MGM, but the franchise found at home at Sony, and then kicked into production on the spy’s next adventure, Skyfall. The studio has no intention of giving 007 another extended vacation, and at CinemaCon yesterday, Rory Bruer, the company’s President of Worldwide Distribution, said the studio is aiming to have Bond 24 hit theaters in late 2014. I would be willing to go a step further and assume the studio would like the film in November 2014 since November has been home to all of the Daniel Craig Bond movies.
Speaking of Craig, his contract will allow him to refuse returning for the next movie. He’s given no indication that he has any plans to leave the franchise, but we’ll have to wait for confirmation, which probably won’t come until after Skyfall is released. Skyfall is due out on November 9th, and the first trailer will be attached to Men in Black 3, which opens on May 25th. Hit the jump for a description of the trailer.