The development process of Bond 25 has been more tumultuous than usual, but those familiar with the Bond franchise certainly know it’s been no stranger to drama over the decades. Initially for the Spectre sequel, the Bond producers were looking at hiring a fresh-faced talent to direct, with filmmakers like Yann Demange (’71) and David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water) reportedly making the shortlist. But a last-minute pitch by Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle spurred the producers to change direction and hire Boyle to take the helm of Bond 25, using an original story he hatched with writer John Hodge (Trainspotting).
Boyle and Hodge got to work as Boyle shot his musical Yesterday, but last August Boyle left the film abruptly over creative differences. The producers subsequently hired Cary Joji Fukunaga to take over and the script is reportedly being overhauled by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion), but now Boyle is speaking out about the experience for the first time.
Talking to Empire, Boyle was characteristically diplomatic about the situation while still expressing regret that his version of Bond 25 won’t see the light of day:
“What John [Hodge] and I were doing, I thought, was really good,” Boyle responded. “It wasn’t finished, but it could have been really good.” The filmmaker added that he ‘learned quite a lot about himself’ from the experience, and has no ill feeling towards Fukunaga or the project’s current iteration. “We were working very, very well, but they didn’t want to go down that route with us.”
Boyle declined to go into specifics for fear of ruining what Fukunaga is doing, and even went on to say that the True Detective director sent Boyle a nice note when he was hired:
“So we decided to part company, and it would be unfair to say what it was because I don’t know what Cary [Joji Fukunaga] is going to do. I got a very nice message from him and I gave him my best wishes… It is just a great shame.”
I’m sure somehow, someway we’ll learn what Boyle had planned—rumor has it that Boyle wanted to kill Bond at the end of the film, as Bond 25 marks the final film on Daniel Craig’s contract. But those rumors are so far unfounded, so we’ll just have to wait and see what Fukunaga cooks up when the currently untitled sequel hits theaters on April 8, 2020.