The recent news about director Sam Mendes dropping out of directing the next James Bond has sparked up the question of who will take his place in the directors chair. Helmed by Mendes, Skyfall managed to perform far better then anyone could ever have imagined, quickly becoming the most successful British film ever. Well done Mendes. Of course, Mendes may not have been the director you would typically associate with the Bond franchise. Yet, with the help of cinematographer Roger Deakins, Mendes managed to create arguably the best, defiantly the most visually rewarding, Bond film ever. So after Mendes' immense success, who is brave enough to take Bond in a new direction?
Yes? Nolan has expressed his desire to make his own Bond film and his previous film have never shied away from Bond inspiration on the director. The best example is his mind bending, science fiction flick, Inception. Nolan's 2010 film really exhibited the director's ability to handle large, expensive set pieces while still being able to stamp his unique visual style. The Dark Knight director also knows how to breath new life in a dead franchise, Batman was remembered as tacky, spandex cape douche but Nolan managed to recreate Batman into an intelligent summer blockbuster that sits comfortably in most people's top ten list.
No? Nolan's post-Dark Knight directing career starts with time-travelling, mind bending science fiction, Intersteallar. As well as producing Zack Snyder's summer blockbuster Man of Steel, which if successful will spawn into a trilogy. Nolan has also recently been linked to a producing role in DC's attempt at getting the Justice League of America off the comic book shelves and into the cinemas. Depending on whether DC can pull it off, Nolan's diary looks pretty full for the next few years, leaving him no time to make his own mark on the Bond franchise.
Yes? Tarantino is another director that has never kept his love of Bond a secret. His name seems to feature in most people's list to direct most films, even Star Wars. But Tarantino has always had a knack for action set pieces, the diamond heist in Reservoir Dogs is a subtle example of the director's ability. His also always exhibited a talent for storytelling, a director who can handle a script as well as he can handle a camera is essential. And that is just what is needed to take Bond in to a new direction.
No? Probably not, Tarantino's real Bond dream was to direct Casino Royale. Not in the same way Martin Campbell did but instead as a period piece set in the 1960s in which James is still played by Pierce Brosnan alongside Tarantino regular, Uma Thurman. It's unlikely an auteur like Tarantino would take on the role, especially after where Skyfall left off. Unless you want a Bond filled to the brim with Tarantino's typical violent style and pastiche style story telling, then leave Tarantino on the list and not in the director's chair.
Yes? Bigelow has all the credentials to take on the next Bond film. Bigelow made a name of herself with action thriller, Point Break. Bigelow continued to perform with Oscar-winning war drama The Hurt Locker. Much like Mendes managed to balance action and drama,Bigelow's award favourite managed to balance explosive action scenes as well as maintaining a hold over the emotional. Bigelow could really be a strong contender for the job.
No? In 50 years of the franchise exsistance, 11 people have directed Bond yet none have been female. It's not only her sex that would hold Bigelow back but after taking on Bin Laden based drama, Zero Dark Thirty, which accumulated so much controversy in the awards season. Could make her sick of spy/espionage theme and want her to take on something a little different .
Yes? Son of David Bowie, Jones would be high on anyone's list and there is good reason. Jones' debut, Moon. Although Moon didn't exhibit the director's knack for handling action set pieces but Jones' follow up, Source Code, in 2010 made up for Moon's lack of action. With a Ian Fleming Biopic on the way, Jones' love of Bond is no secret and if he could continue his great streak a Bond helmed by Jones could be the perfect follow-up to Mendes' Skyfall.
No? Jones has just been signed up to direct the film adaptation of World of Warcraft and if successful would no doubt expand into a franchise. So Jones would no doubt be tied up for the next few years trying to tie down the massively popular franchise. Warcraft isnt all Jones has got in the pipeline, he is set to direct a Ian Fleming biopic, it would seem unachievable for such a young director to oscillate between three rather demanding projects.
Yes? Vaughn is not a director that is limited by genre and seems to be fearless when taking on new projects. After cutting his teeth producing Guy Ritchie films, Vaughn went on to direct the likes of Layer Cake, Stardust and Kick-Ass, three brilliant examples of Vaughn's wide spread directorial abilities. So Vaughn has more then enough talent and experience, having already directed Craig in Layer Cake and revitalizing a dormant franchise in X-Men: First Class, to create a post-Skyfall Bond.
No? It really is difficult to cite any reasons why Vaughn would not be picked for the job, it's not like J.J. Abrams is running for it. There is a possbility that he could get pit to the post by a more established director such as Bigelow or Nolan who would have more experience, especially Nolan's experience with a franchise. But Vaughn exhibits all the signs of taking on the role, after all he did manage to get Daniel Craig the role of Bond.
Yes? Despite Wright's more literary credentials, he helmed the action flick Hanna with some brilliant action scenes, that would be enough to swing most people's opinion of the director. Also Wright regular, Keira Knightley could be persuaded, from starring in Kenneth Brannagh's Jack Ryan, to be Bond's love interest in Bond 24th. Wright may not be your first go to guy to take Bond in a new direction but who'd have thought Mendes could have made Skyfall?
No? Despite Hanna, Wright isnt the first director that would spring to mind when thinking of an action film. The director made his name directing period pieces in the form of Pride and Prejudice and Anna Keriana. Due to his little experience handling big, expensive set pieces it may not be Wright's time to take on the project.
Yes? French director, Jacques Audiard, made a name for himself in 2009 with the gritty, gangster film A Prophet, which went onto be nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA.You might know him from last year's drama Rust and Bone starring the likes of Marion Cotillard. Much like Mendes, Audiard has an impressive stylistic talent that would make his Bond a beauty to be hold. Also with the cast undecided, Audiard could bring in Cotillard as Bond's new love interest. She more then held her own in Inception, it would really be an artistic take on Bond.
No? A foreign director has never, officially, directed a Bond film. So this would do Audiard no favors if he wanted to get the job in the first place. Also he is a very little known director. Although Mendes may not have been at the top of everyone's lists for directing Bond but he was an established and well known director. On the back of such a successful film, the producers may want to choose a more popular director.
Yes? Boyle is one of the few handful of directors working in the business that is working at the top of his game. Much like Vaughn as well, Boyle has never been limited by genre. Boyle is the same director who adapted Irvine Welsh's drug filled Edinburgh drama, Trainspotting, and also the same director who made science fiction film Sunshine. Boyle's new feature, Trance, exhibits his talent for more action based drama.
No? In a recent interview with Radio 4, Boyle said "Don't trust me with huge amounts of money anybody". Pretty much a no then. It would seem that the big budget that Bond would have to have would be out of Boyle's comfort zone. Baring in mind, Boyle has taken on Hollywood projects with big budgets such as The Beach, which wasnt a terrible film but sits rather uncomfrtably in the director's collection. As well as 90s comedy A Life Less Ordianry, starring then Boyle favourite Ewan McGregor alongside Cameron Diaz, the less said the better.
Yes? You might of heard Nicolas Winding Refn's name from his critically acclaimed action-noir, Drive. Refn has the action credentials that could get him the gig, with is early Pusher trilogy, his Nordic silent drama Valhalla Rising and ultra violent British Bronson. The director has never hidden his strong visual talent that would really give Bond 24 an edge over it's predecessors, just the ten minute car chase in Drive is enough to visualize Refn's Bond.With a killer soundtrack, no doubt some 80s snyth-pop, Refn could really be what Broccoli is looking for.
No? Refn's calendar seems pretty booked up in the next few years. He has completed his next film with Gosling, Only God Forgives set for release this Spring. As well as a remake of 1980s science fiction film, Logan's Run. Despite Gosling dropping out of Refn's remake, the director is still going ahead with the film. The film's unknown release date and the original film's premise should have Refn tied to the project for a long time to come. Also Refn has also been rumored to be attached to a whole bunch of other films such as sequel to Drive, Driven. Although the idea of seeing a Bond film where his Prada or Armani shoes just demolished a henchman's skull in a lift would be interesting and unforgettable. What a pity.
Yes? With the likes of Let the right one in and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Alfredson has established himself as an original director with a strong directing style. Tinker, Tailor especially exhibits the director's strong style that could make Bond 24 a real masterpiece. His adaptation of John Le Carre's novel displays his ability to adapt a spy novel, just the write credentials for the next Bond director.
No? Alfredson could suffer the same fate as Audiard and Refn due to his nationality. Despite directing the brilliant Tinker, Tailor, Alfredson has never exhibited a talent for action set pieces so the idea of him handling Bond seems a bit out of reach.