I love the latest series of films in the Bond franchise. Daniel Craig has been playing the iconic spy since I was 8 years old, and it was through films like Skyfall and Spectre that I was introduced to the other classic takes on the character. Martin Campbell brought Bond back from the dead with Casino Royale, Marc Forster nearly killed the whole thing with Quantum of Solace, and then Sam Mendes created something magnificent with the last two films on Craig's Bond resume. But there's one thing that I don't love about the current state of the Bond franchise- how long we have to wait for each new film. Now, I'll admit that more Bond films does not equal better Bond films, as the rushed production of Quantum resulted in an absolute fiasco of a movie. However, you used to be able to rely on a new 007 film at least every two or three years, something that you just can't say anymore. Everything about the 25th James Bond film is a total mystery at the moment. We don't know if Daniel Craig is starring in the film, we don't know who's directing the project, and we don't even have the slightest idea of when it will be coming out.
Hell, even the distribution is an enigma, as Sony, Warner Bros., Universal, Fox, and the unlikely AnnaPurna pictures are vying for the rights. But Eon Productions and the Broccoli Family will need the film to come together at some point, and today, we received a small tidbit of news about the potential direction of the next chapter in the saga of James Bond. According to Bill Desowitz at Indiewire, producer Barbara Broccoli has turned her attention to director Paul McGuigan in the hopes that he'll direct the next installment of the Bond franchise. Broccoli and Eon producer Michael Wilson are reportedly pleased by McGuigan's work on Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool that they want him to tackle a much bigger project for the studio. Indiewire's report implies that if all goes well, the producers will be locking in Daniel Craig for a final appearance as Bond with a possible target release date of 2018, which would be quite the turnaround. McGuigan is best known for his work on BBC's Sherlock and Lucky Number Slevin, which means that he doesn't have quite the same pedigree as someone like Sam Mendes.
Let's be honest here, most fans were hoping to hear a name like Christopher Nolan for the next Bond film, as an auteur like that is the only filmmaker who can realistically top what Mendes did with the character. But if this really is Craig's Bond swan song, then I think that McGuigan would be a fine choice. Bond 25 should be about the actor who defined a character for a generation of fans, and the inclusion of a filmmaker like Nolan would overshadow Craig's incredible performance as the superspy. If Bond reboots in a few years with Tom Hardy or another actor, then I would welcome Nolan's take on the character. But if this really is the end for Craig, he deserves a proper exit. In that case, the man behind the camera is a moot point to me.
Look for more news on Bond 25 in the near future. As a massive fan of the character, you know I'll be trying to keep everyone in the loop with the latest updates.
Sources: NY Times, Indiewire