Who Should Direct Bond 25?
The sky has fallen on Danny Boyle. The acclaimed British director seemed like a perfect fit when announced to direct the next Bond film, but he’ll be forced to live and let die as star Daniel Craig and powerful Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson said (Dr.) “no.” There’s no time to spare, as Twitter already has their GoldenEye on who will helm the fifth (and likely final) Craig Bond film, set to start shooting in December. Spectre-ulation is rampant, as many advocate for the likes of Christopher Nolan or Ryan Coogler. Those choices seem a little busy for Bond and will certainly die another day. Luckily, I’ve got a thunderball of a shortlist that the producers should find handy. Because I can’t reach them directly, I’ve decided to post this list on Backroom Bingo, but know Bond producers, this list is for your eyes only.
10. Guy Ritchie
Danny Boyle’s out, but some British guy’s gotta do it, right? Sure, he’s busy making the likely lackluster Disney live-action Aladdin, but he has an English duty to take over this franchise from a similarly sturdy English director. This Guy brought pep and action to boring mystery man Sherlock Holmes, I bet he could bring even more bombast to the second-most bombasty franchise (first is Mission: Impossible). Unfortunately, Richie wrote and directed King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, a movie that somehow makes Jude Law chewing scenery boring. This knocks the “sure, he’d be fine, I guess” director to last on my list.
9. Guillermo Del Toro
Guillermo Del Toro is a visionary director, finally getting his full recognition for last year’s Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. I talked to him earlier, and he’s very excited to give the Bond series his unique flavor, probably having the British spy battle some immaculately designed monster that’s surprisingly sympathetic to the audience. I know there might be some concerns, that’s why I had Guillermo promise that James Bond will not fuck a fish. I think his sly smile and fingers crossed behind his back betrayed this as a lie, so unless you want 007 hardcore going at it with a fish, Del Toro isn’t a sure thing.
8. Lynne Ramsay
Another Brit! This time it’s the indie director of We Need to Talk About Kevin and this year’s critically acclaimed You Were Never Really Here. Her films are low on dialogue, focusing on action and plot to move the story along, a perfect fit for the Bond franchise. While the hyper-violence of You Were Never Really Here can’t be described as “fun,” Ramsay definitely has a knack for it. Considering Casino Royale (2006) shows Bond getting tortured while naked and tied to a chair, Ramsay’s aesthetic wouldn’t be as off-brand as you think.
7. Ryan Coogler
The Black Panther director is on everyone’s shortlist, so no surprise here. He’s 3 for 3 with Fruitvale Station, Creed, and one of the best Marvel films ever. Black Panther has a whole casino sequence that feels ripped straight from a Bond film (besides all the black people, notoriously rare in the Bond franchise). He’d be ranked higher if I wouldn’t rather just see him sign on for Black Panther 2. He’s obviously a great choice to direct any movie, though. If it means Michael B. Jordan gets to be in a Bond movie, I’m all in.
6. Kenneth Branagh
If there weren’t at least 3 British people on this list the Broccoli family would be disappointed. I’m not stoked about this acclaimed Shakespearean actor being 6th on my list, but the Broccoli family wouldn’t be stoked if a solid amount of British white men weren’t seriously considered. Branagh is very fine and would make a very fine Bond movie where he would play the very extra villain. He still shouldn’t be on this list. My journalistic integrity is worth far, far less than a potential click from the people who make James Bond though, so here he is.
5. Denis Villeneuve
Remember how cool it was when Daniel Craig brought in a new era of dark, brooding, realistic Bond? Imagine a new film even darker and brooding-er, with the added bonus of heart-ripping existential themes. Between Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve is a master at making you weep during a movie you only 70% understand. Considering most Bond plots are already only 70% understandable, it’d be pretty cool to also weep during one. Villeneuve was previously considered for the Bond job, but turned it down because he’s already committed to Dune. If the producers push back Bond and wait, he’ll prove you only live twice.
4. Christopher Nolan
Here’s a guy who would have been an inspired choice to direct a Bond film 10 years ago, though Twitter insists on presenting him as a viable option now. He already made a great Bond film called Inception where a slick handsome man engages in super cool action and has a tragic, underwritten love interest. Nolan is one of the most exciting working filmmakers right now, and one of the select few who can still get big budgets for original ideas. He’d make a great Bond movie, but I’m hoping he’ll keep his focus on his next hyper-ambitious idea.
3. Spike Lee
Inside Man is so good. Have you seen Inside Man? It’s fucking Hollywood and awesome and directed by master filmmaker Spike Lee. On the heels of one of his biggest hits in recent memory, BlacKkKlansman, I think Spike deserves a big, fat franchise paycheck. Always one to mix things up while never losing the entertainment factor, he’d make an interesting, and — hopefully great — Bond. Can’t you just see Bond in Lee’s signature double dolly shot?
2. Kathryn Bigelow
Despite Spectre being a good time, it lacked tension. No director trades in tension better than Kathryn Bigelow. There are issues with her most recent directorial outing, Detroit, but it undeniably makes you grip your seat. Same goes for The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. She also made Point Break (1991) so don’t worry, she can handle dumb guy action too. I know we’re really set on this white British dude thing, but Bond suits Bigelow more than almost anyone on this list.
1. Alfonso Cuarón
Almost anyone. Alfonso Cuarón is a director who elevates everything he does. Imagine a Bond movie with the tone of Children of Men, the charm of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the wow of Gravity. Holy crap, that sounds like the best Bond movie ever, right? Cuarón’s next film, Roma, is Netflix’s big awards play this year. It’s poised to be nominated, and possibly win Cuarón more Oscars. Whatever he does next will be great. He doesn’t need Bond, but if Bond got him, it’d be a view to kill.