Ever hungry for the next big film rumour, The Sun reported this week that Danny Boyle was being lined up to direct the next James Bond film.
Now, however, Boyle has gone on record to confirm what we suspected all along – it’s not true. “I enjoy the Bond movies, always have and always will, but I have no plans to direct one," Boyle told MTV. "I don't know who came up with the story, but please tell them I'm very flattered to be thought of!"
With Slumdog Millionaire scooping gold at the Oscars and Boyle’s proven ability to hop between genres, it’s only natural he’d be considered, but we doubt he’d even so much as taken a meeting on the idea.
That, of course means that the director’s chair for the next Bond movie is still – until the EON team says otherwise – wide open.
We decided to compile our own wish list of offbeat directing choices that could make 007’s next mission something different…
Past form: Children Of Men, Yu Tu Mama Tambien
Why he could be great: Did you see Children Of Men? That movie’s epic, shattering steadicam shot through a city-ruining battle proved that Cuaron could easily step up to Bond’s action level.
Plus, he’s got a firm grip on character and drama, so he’d be able to blend the two to better effect than Marc Forster managed.
Sample Bondage: A five-minute-long foot chase through narrow, winding streets in the middle of London as Bond tracks down one of the villains’ henchmen.
It ends with Bond and his target enjoying a steamy yet awkward three-way with an older woman. Which in Bond’s case is likely M. Okay, maybe not the last bit.[page-break]
Past form: Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn
Why he could be great: He’s an expert in his craft and while he’s usually to be found directing documentaries, he has proved he can make strong fictional drama to boot.
Rescue Dawn was a solid, harrowing film which ratcheted up both the tension and the action.
Sample Bondage: Daniel Craig versus bears. VERSUS BEARS. Come on, tell us you wouldn’t watch that, filmed cinema verite style.
We just hope the Bond team’s insurance is up to date.
Past form: Miami Vice, Heat
Why he could be great: It’s Michael Mann, for crying out loud. His work is sleek, intelligent and massively entertaining.
And he’s been pushing the envelope on digital filmmaking, producing interestingly shot pics like Collateral.
Sample Bondage: Mainlining the malaise that has crept into the franchise since Casino Royale, Mann goes for neon noir Bond.
And Daniel Day Lewis as the villain. Because Mann could convince him to do it. [page-break]
Past form: Zodiac, Panic Room
Why he could be great: While he toned down some of his CG-fuelled tics and tricks for Zodiac, we’d kill to see a Bond that displays the full-on, Panic Room-style bugnuttery that an unleashed Fincher could deliver.
Sample Bondage: Bond crashes and smashes through several stories of a skyscraper as the camera flies around, across, behind and – in one virtuoso moment – inside our hero for the full throat-to-colon shot.
Plus, think about it: Fincher getting to bring his own chosen creative team to design the credits sequence. The mind boggles.
Past form: Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky
Why he could be great: Since he’s never tried his hand at anything like a Bond film, this would be something to see.
And you’ve got to wonder just what the man who has made a career from socio-political, character-based dramas would do with 007.
Sample Bondage: Ditching the carefully crafted script, Leigh workshops every scene – including the set pieces with Craig and the rest of the cast.
The snootiest newspaper critics in the land delight in a 15-minute scene in which Bond shops for the right gun, managing to touch on the ethical concerns with quiet subtlety. [page-break]
Past form: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation
Why he could be great: Jonze not only has an incredibly inventive brain and eye for visuals, he can also make sure that the film’s pace is taught thanks to his music video experience.
And fingers crossed he could convince Charlie Kaufman to write the thing.
Sample Bondage: A car chase through the streets of Monaco suddenly pauses as Craig steps out of the scene to comment on what’s happening.
Oh, and the cars can talk. In Swedish.
Past form: Oldboy, Sympathy For Mr Vengeance
Why he could be great: Forget trying to get John Woo to bring his two-guns-15-doves-no-waiting Hollywood level work to the table. Hire Park to shake things up.
His horror/thriller sensibilities might not seem the most obvious choice, but his take on Bond would deliver something truly different.
Sample Bondage: Remember the torture scene in Die Another Day? That. But much, much more brutal.
And then a rousing bout of bloody violence as Bond gets revenge. With a hammer.
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