It seemed like a match made in heaven. Danny Boyle, long since anointed as the Patron Saint of 21st Century British Cinema between his Oscar win for Slumdog Millionaire and spell as creative director for the 2012 London Olympics, was going to make a Bond film. Daniel Craig even seemed excited to put the tux back on for the first time since, well, Casino Royale. Naturally, it wasn’t to last.
Earlier this week, in a tweeted statement released by Craig and franchise gatekeepers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, it was announced that Boyle had left the project — a scant few months before shooting was due to begin — thanks to that pesky and eternally-vague issue of “creative differences.”
Creative differences is perhaps an even more efficient, silent killer than a Double-0 agent. Its exact identity is rarely disclosed, and yet it is responsible for breaking up more potentially exciting creative endeavours than Thora Birch’s creepy dad. Which is to say we may never know exactly what it was that caused Boyle to leave the director’s chair for Bond 25…
…But of course, that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from churning out some compelling intelligence. As reported by The Daily Telegraph (so take this with a pinch of salt), the follow-up to Spectre was meant to resurrect the Cold War tensions of the classic Bond era — basically everything pre-Craig — with a Russian baddie. Which would make sense, since real-life governmental powers seem just as set on reviving the conflict IRL.
Tomasz Kot, star of Pawel Pawlikowski’s forthcoming Cold War, was even slated to take on the role of the villainous Ruskie. That casting decision appears to have been the sticking point, and somehow lead to Boyle throwing up his hands and sacking off the job completely. So it goes.
This is a massive about-turn by Craig, Broccoli and Wilson, who were previously so stoked to have Danny Boyle on board they binned a finished script by franchise regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade so the director could pen his own with regular collaborator John Hodge (Trainspotting).
As it stands, the untitled 25th Bond film is now down both a director and both screenwriters, throwing the announced release date of 8 November 2019 somewhat up in the air. At least we still have that bit from the Olympics Opening Ceremony with the Queen jumping out of a plane, eh?