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It’s understandable why his name is in the hat to replace Danny Boyle, but he deserves so much better than a franchise that has too many influencers.
The biggest story to emerge from the entertainment world this week was the news that Danny Boyle had parted ways with Bond 25. If reports are to believed, the 28 Days Later director left the project due to “creative differences”, but what happened behind the scenes is still unclear.
The Daily Telegraph believes that there was disagreements over whom should be cast as the main villain. Apparently, Boyle wanted to cast Tomasz Kot (Cold War), but the producers had other ideas in mind.
Additionally, it is believed that Boyle wanting to work with screenwriter John Hodge to create a new story inspired by the current incarnation of the Cold War, which the producers weren’t on board with. If this went ahead, Bond 25 would have been the first movie without franchise mainstays Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.
Boyle’s unexpected departure is a headache for sure. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson have been forced to delay the planned 2019 release date until “late 2020.” However, they’ll still be looking to bring in a new director as soon as possible.
Boyle is certainly big shoes to fill, but a lot of talented filmmakers are undoubtedly ready to jump at the opportunity. According to Deadline, however, the powers that be have their eye on four specific candidates.
Up first is Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club), who’s quite a leftfield candidate. The French director’s career has focused on drama films for the most part, but now that he’s hot off the back of the acclaimed murder-mystery series Sharp Objects, his stock is at an all-time high. I’m all for seeing talented filmmakers try new things, and the fact that I have no idea what a Vallee Bond movie would look like is what makes me interested in seeing it.
Up next is David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water), who’d be my number one choice. Like Vallee, a big blockbuster action movie would be something different for the filmmaker that would continue his Hollywood ascension even further. Up until now, he’s been known for crime dramas, so a franchise movie of this magnitude would make for an intriguing change of pace.
Yann Demange (White Boy Rick) is also an exciting prospect. Despite having only directed two feature-length movies thus far, he’s going places. His debut, ‘71, is a nail-biting thriller that’s capable of delivering some thrills. The upcoming crime caper White Boy Rick boasts an outstanding cast with the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh. When you factor in previous television work like the underrated zombie series Dead Set , it’s pretty clear that he knows how to deliver a spectacle. A big action movie seems like a natural step for him eventually.
And finally — the subject of this piece. Edgar Wright (Baby Driver) is also believed to be on the shortlist. In many ways Wright is the most exciting name here. He’s one of the most beloved filmmakers in the world today, a god to geeks who’s been by the mainstream as well. Plus, as his career has proven, his movies are a box office draw. On paper he’s a great fit and a Bond movie would elevate him further into the stratosphere where he deserves to be.
But do we want Wright as a clog in the Hollywood machine?
Wright’s tried to work within the franchise system before and it didn’t quite go accordingly to plan. The story of him leaving Marvel over creative differences while working on Ant-Man is well-documented and not too dissimilar to the Boyle situation. Wright is also the type of filmmaker whose sensibilities are too strong and unique to waste on a franchise that wouldn’t allow him to make the movie he wants to make.
That’s not to say that Wright himself might not want to change his approach for Bond and make something in that vein. He’s definitely interested in telling a variety of stories and incorporating various styles into his wheelhouse after all. Baby Driver was a much different beast from his Cornetto Trilogy comedies. Yet it’s also one of the most original Hollywood releases in recent memory that further proved that he’s a modern auteur. If he took the reins to Bond 25, he would need control over the story and casting decisions. Would he be given that much freedom, though?
Boyle’s departure has shown that when it comes to a franchise like Bond, there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Edgar Wright is his own chef; if you let him make a meal he wants to make then he’s going to cook up a tasty hit. If you try to compromise his vision, it’s just not worth his time — or talent.