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The Next James Bond Movie of Our Mind

We imagine a future in which Edgar Wright, David Mackenzie, Alex Garland, and others direct 007.
By  · Published on August 24th, 2018

We imagine a future in which Edgar Wright, David Mackenzie, Alex Garland, and others direct 007.

News of Danny Boyle’s departure from the untitled Bond 25 has sent every corner of the internet into rampant speculation. Deadline reports that producers Babara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson are eager to make their November 8, 2019 release date, but to make that happen a new director will have to be named fast. The current state of the James Bond franchise is in flux, and we want to take advantage of its mysterious future.

A lot of names have been tossed about as possible replacement directors. Each one has the potential to alter the 007 formula radically, and while some are more appealing/curious than others, the opportunity to consider each possible vision is too tantalizing to pass. From Casino Royale to Spectre, Daniel Craig saw his fair share of auteur-driven adventure. Boyle suggested this cinematic strategy would continue, and the names being whispered around town solidify Bond’s artistic ground.

There are two scripts already in development for Bond 25: one from John Hodge based on an idea by Boyle, and one from 007 regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Assuming that Broccoli and Wilson stick to either of them, one of the directors listed below could easily swoop into the rescue. That eventuality requires a filmmaker willing to shoot a script not fostered under their guidance, and probably knocks most of them out of the running since they don’t usually play ball in that manner.

Hey, that’s no fun. We’re here to have fun. Let’s open our arms to the Ghost of James Bond’s Christmas Future, and take a gander at what these different directors could bring to the franchise. What buddies of theirs would they cast alongside Craig (again, if they’re going to make November 8, Daniel remains in the tux)? Who will be their DP? What kind of villain would their Bond square off against?

Edgar Wright Baby Driver

Edgar Wright

He’s the director that has us the most atwitter. No doubt that if he were to bring his trusty Baby Driver editing team of Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss to the proceedings his Bond 25 would have a snappy, infectious beat. While he’s porting them over, Wright might as well put Bill Pope behind the camera. Utilizing the eye that shot DarkmanThe Matrix Trilogy, Jungle Book, as well as Wright’s previous three films guarantees an aesthetic steeped in genre.

The desire to find a spot for Simon Pegg is strong, but I think we have to leave him by the wayside. Sorry, mate. Pegg already has his Q part in the Mission: Impossible franchise, and we don’t need to muddy those waters. On the other hand, Nick Frost might have a place in this universe if cast against type. Imagine a scuzzy, hard Nick Frost. Think of the wretched nature of Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd in Diamonds are Forever mixed with the comedic sneer of Goldeneye’s Alan Cumming.

Christopher Mcquarrie

Christopher McQuarrie

Guys, this one is never going to happen. Nor do we want it too. We’ve already gotten his James Bond as Ethan Hunt in Mission: ImpossiblesRogue Nation and Fallout. He could easily make a kickass film, but we’d rather see him finish out an M: I Ilsa Faust trilogy. Still, the idea of Tom Cruise as a pussycat-patting maniacal nemesis is appealing.

Jean Marc Vallee

Jean-Marc Vallée

Deadline claims that Vallée has already been approached by the Bond 25 producers, and he seems more like a sure-fire bet than Wright or McQuarrie. There is nothing in his filmography that obviously says, “Yes, this is the guy for Bond.” However, the same could have been said about Sam Mendes. What Vallée brings is an ability to wrench truthful emotional devastation from melodrama. Vallée would drag his James Bond to the absolute depths of his morality as he did for his characters in Big Little Lies, Demolition, Wild, and Dallas Buyers Club.

Who would he cast opposite Craig? Bond villainy is too much of a boy’s club. With the exception of the occasional henchwoman for 007 to cure through sex, the ladies have yet to rise to evil supremacy. Vallée should cast Nicole Kidman across from Bond at the baccarat table. We might actually even be okay with her finally ending Bond’s MI-6 membership.

David Mackenzie

David Mackenzie

Yes. Done. Let’s wrap this up. We need Mackenzie for Bond 25 because that has to mean Chris Pine as the next big bad. I know I just said that we’d be totally cool with Nicole Kidman destroying James in the next film, but gosh, who doesn’t want to see Daniel Craig go mano a mano with the very personification of American charm?

Just think of it. Pine as an even more nefarious Mark Zuckerberg-type, jet-setting and colluding with Russians. Ben Foster is his trusty slab of beef. Sure, we’re working from the script by Hodge, Wade, or Purvis, but Mackenzie would also bring Hell or High Water screenwriter Taylor Sheridan to set to punch up some of the more hateful dialogue.

Yann Demange

Yann Demange

Yann along with his DP Tat Radcliffe could easily make the grittiest and shakiest Bond since Quantum of Solace. In Top Boy and ’71, the duo explored the hell of the urban environment. Their upcoming White Boy Rick seems to follow suit. Bond has had a good dose of street warfare, but it might be fun to strip the budget to its bare essentials and see what 007 could do without his usual Hollywood theatrics.

Demange should revoke Bond’s license to kill (again), and retain his passport. Skyfall saw 007 shotgunning through the moors, but I’m still waiting for a Bond film to exist exclusively within the United Kingdom. Outside Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Alex Garland

Alex Garland

This is pure fantasy. No chance in hell. Priscilla Page was the first person I saw to tweet out this possibility and once heard it could not be unheard.

Babara Broccoli would most likely watch five minutes of Ex Machina or Annihilation and turn it off. They do not scream Casino Royale, Spectre, or any of the previous 24 films in the franchise. They whisper. They hum. They grumble.

Alex Garland’s James Bond would take the doubt-of-self ruminated on in Skyfall and stretch it into a melancholic character exploration. Yes, there would be bad guys to extinguish (most likely in the form of Oscar Isaac and Karl Urban), but their deaths would come at a deliberate and methodical pace. All the while, a score from Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury would pulsate.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)