EDITORIALS

Top 5 Directors Perfect to Replace Sam Mendes on James Bond 24

by
March 6, 2013

James Bond

Earlier today we learned that Skyfall director Sam Mendes would not be returning for James Bond 24 to continue the British secret agent franchise. While that leaves the sequel without a director, we're also still wondering whether or not this means the proposed two-part back-to-back story, written by John Logan (Skyfall), might come back into play with Mendes stepping away from what he would have wanted to be a standalone film. More importantly, we're wondering who will step up to sit in the director's chair for 007's next venture. Daniel Craig is already slated to return, so who is the best director be to keep him in action?

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan

Yes, it's the most obvious choice, but the director of The Dark Knight saga, Inception and more has expressed more than a fleeting interest in directing a James Bond film. Personally, I think Mendes came pretty close to directing what a Christopher Nolan version of 007 would look like, but there's likely fans who will disagree. The only issue here is that Nolan is now slated to direct Interstellar, the sci-fi script from his brother Jonathan Nolan which has both Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. behind it. Of course, Nolan is producing through is Syncopy banner so he does have a certain amount of control and might be able to delay the project if James Bond should come his way.

Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso Cuaron

By the time producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are ready to get James Bond 24 off the ground, Cuarón should be finished with his sci-fi film Gravity, leaving him with plenty of time to take on James Bond's next mission. The Mexican filmmaker has already shown promise by picking up a franchise and being respectful of its mythology and characters while still adding his own style with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, so this should be a piece of cake for the visionary director. Plus, maybe Cuarón can take Bond to Mexico to get in trouble with some of the locals.

Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh

Sure, this guy is supposed to be retiring after he's done with the HBO film Behind the Candelabra with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, but something as tempting as James Bond might be able to coax the Ocean's Eleven and Contagion director into taking on one more film. Some his films like Haywire, Out of Sight and The Limey all act as proof that Soderbergh would be great behind the camera for 007, and his visual style would certainly fit in with what Mendes, Martin Campbell and Marc Forster accomplished with the earlier films featuring Daniel Craig.

Rupert Wyatt

Rupert Wyatt

Though we were waiting on a new director to board the project before talking about this news, Rupert Wyatt is no longer attached to direct The Equalizer with Denzel Washington. While one would think that would leave him wide open to take on James Bond sometime in the near future, the reason Wyatt can't take on the film is due to his World War I drama Birdsong. That film might make scheduling difficult, but we're not sure when Columbia & MGM are looking to get the project off the ground. Wyatt has proven to be a surprisingly great filmmaker after Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and James Bond would be the perfect follow-up to a lower key drama like Birdsong. After all, Wyatt made a film that paid tribute to an old franchise, had its own style, heart and some great blockbuster action as well. It's a pretty good fit.

Joe Wright

Joe Wright

You might not be thinking that the director of Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Anna Karenina would be fit for a James Bond film, but let's not forget Hanna, the alternative, action-packed fairytale. If that's what Wright can do with action when his protagonist is a trained teenage girl, imagine when he can do with Britain's most decorated secret agent. Plus, you have to wonder what a director like Wright, who delivered this stunning sequence in Atonement (with the help of The Avengers cinematographer Seamus McGarvey), could do with the thrills and danger that come with 007.

So those are my picks for the next James Bond director. But of course, there are likely plenty of other worthy names out there. Others that I considered included Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Steve McQueen (Shame) and David Yates (Harry Potter franchise), but these five names seemed to be the best of the bunch. But some hardcore James Bond fans and cinephiles out there might have more to say on the subject of a new director. So we'll toss it up to you. Who do you think should direct James Bond 24?

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  • http://www.skonmovies.com/ Sean Kelly
    I don't want Christopher Nolan to do James Bond. I want Christopher Nolan to do new and original films.
    • http://www.facebook.com/matt.peloquin.14 Matt Peloquin
      Yea, Batman was a real dud.
      • Manny
        Yeah a 2 billion dollar dud with great reviews and loved by everyone except for haters and trolls.
        • kolajo
          Lol Spot on!
        • http://www.facebook.com/villa.abel88 Abel Villa
          Christopher Nolan's Batman movies are great movies when you see them as just action movies slightly based on a character by the name of batman but, in the end they are terrible batman movies that don't capture batman's persona at all instead you get some guy gargling marbles who wales punches around like an idiot to take down his foes.
          • http://www.facebook.com/norbert.korzus Norbert Korzus
            Fanboys are going to complain anyway
          • Manny
            I disagree completely , to each his own, I suppose.
        • http://www.facebook.com/matt.peloquin.14 Matt Peloquin
          It was sarcasm my friend...
    • IamSlave
      I wouldn't be mad if Nolan got the Bond film but I completely agree with you. I want more original Nolan films but anything with Nolan attached too I'm in for.
  • Nielsen700
    Great choices, Matthew Vaughn would be great as well.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nuno-Lopes/100001022192304 Nuno Lopes
    Danny Boyle should be on that list, i would love to see a bond with his gritty style.
  • Sycophantic Sockdrawer
    I just hope they don't try to take James Bond as seriously as they did in Skyfall ever again. In my opinion, he's a character in a world that is so ridiculous and silly that taking everything really seriously makes YOU really hard to take seriously.
    • capitandelespacio
      James Bond by Ed Wright would prefer his cornetto shaken not stirred.
  • AySpergs362
    I would love to see a Danny Boyle directed Bond film, but unfortunately he's already dismissed this after he did the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics. Too bad.
  • andy
    Nice article Ethan! I'd like to see Nolan take over the franchise after Craig is done and Nolan has done more original stuff. That way he can handpick his Bond which would probably be Tom Hardy!
    • ShahidAziz
      I like Tom Hardy but Nolan working with Daniel Craig would be wonderful, and frankly too good an opportunity to miss.
  • JP
    Edgar Wright would be awesome, he's already familiar with action and cgi. I know he's got Ant-Man coming up so that could hurt his chances, but I think it could be worth the wait.
  • Linkfx
    Danny Boyle is the only one.
  • OfficialJab
    Oh, I am all over Soderbergh.
    • JL
      I was gonna say, I'd be down for Soderbergh the way this franchise has been going lately. It seems like the new Bond is right up his alley. Thumbs up. And I can't believe Craig's already done three Bond movies. Time flies.
  • sherlon gerard
    my top 5 would be : 5. Steve Mc Queen 4. Ben Affleck 3. Brad Bird 2.Christopher Nolan 1. The Coen Brothers
  • me
    no love for ben affleck
    • me
      and ang lee
  • mmmmmmmm
    1st off Christopher Nolan, if it were even IN THE SLIGHTEST possible, would be perfect. I mean seeing what he did with Batman whether you like him or not, my god I could only imagine a Bond film from him. It would be extraordinary, but...isn`t he wrapped up in "Interstellar" & producing? With that aside, I think Joe Wright would be perfect outside of Nolan. He would make some a hauntingly beautiful Bond film. Shout out to Cuarón, hes one bound to change cinema even further.
  • http://twitter.com/TheHey TheHey
    Fincher!!!
    • Chris
      Somebody make TheHey the Decider.
    • Cody W
      Read my mind.
  • Zero
    I've never understood what makes Nolan such an, "obvious choice" I think I'm the only person who doesn't want to see Nolan do a Bond film. He isn't very good at up close and personal action which is something James Bond gets into quite a lot.
  • MovieNerd
    Why not put JJ Abrams on this too 0.o
  • sbsb
    alan taylor ' kenneth branagh lynn ramsay edward zwick and i dont care what anyone else says... but scorsese would make a bad ass one we need a director who could effectively coordinate a good vs evil story that is full of suspense.
  • IamSlave
    These are all great picks, I'd be very interested in seeing a Wright, Bond film. Loved Hanna.
  • Isildur_of_Numenor
    My choice would be Christopher Nolan (main reason: Inception) but I want to see Interstellar even more, so... Ben Affleck! The Town was tense, action packed but with a heart too. It probably won't happen though.
  • http://twitter.com/davide_coppola Davide Coppola
    If I could pick anyone it would have to be Robert Rodriguez.
    • capitandelespacio
      That would be awesome.
      • http://twitter.com/davide_coppola Davide Coppola
        Yeah, he just has to do everything he usually does, but with a British lead. He's perfect for it. Seriously people: Think about it.
    • http://twitter.com/RealMarlinsFan RealMarlinsFan
      Why because of Spy Kids? I'll take a pass on that.
  • Greg dinskisk
    Writing an article myself, Top 10 Directors, for the website I write for... Only one of these guys (Joe Wright) is on my list. I'm very amused by that fact. Then again, mine is kind of tongue in cheek, so really they're completely different....
  • Exeter
    Can't believe nobody has mentioned Bigelow
    • castingcouch
      Good pick.
  • DJROBL
    why not Luc Besson
    • Akirakorn
      Because he still doesn't get any credit. To be fair, there should be a clause where he couldn't make any decisions regarding dialogue.
  • http://twitter.com/Toonfed TOONFED
    If they hire a dinamic coreographer ofr action sequences mi vote is on Steven Soderbergh
  • Akirakorn
    This list is BS! THE REAL LIST SHOULD BE: George Lucas Paul W.S. Anderson McG Catherine Hardwicke Uwe Boll and the movie should be called S.P.E.C.T.R.E. G.O.T. S.E.R.V.E.D.
  • quazimoto
    I like Noland, my only beef is that he cannot shoot hand-to-hand combat. At all. Brilliant director, just awful when it comes to the choreography, and actual filming, of brawling MMA. And that's a staple of Bond films. I don't think he's a good fit. Just to stir the pot some, I'd like to see Gareth Evans, Chan-Wook Park, or even Edgar Wright get a shot at something like this. I know the Director stable of highly touted Hollywood names is appealing, but those three are more than competent and capable of delivering a fantastic looking film. I'm a little more concerned about who's writing it myself.
    • ShahidAziz
      Easy solution. Nolan directs and Gareth Evans does the fight choreography. And a Hans Zimmer inspired Bond theme would be a thing of beauty. His music from the third trailer for The Dark Knight Rises still has me in tears to this day.
  • nightgoat72
    How about somebody with a respect for the character and a fucking sense of humor?
  • Samuel Inglis
    Steven Soderbergh is one of the flattest directors to have ever lived. He has no concept of visual storytelling. He just points his camera at stuff and edits it together like a slideshow. He's dry, sterile, and dull (I could have tried for alliteration here, but I'm still recovering from the mere suggestion that this talentless creature be given a Bond film).
  • CJ
    Good choices. I like Nolan for it but only because he himself has said it's something he'd do and anything he's passionate about can only be good. However, there are no women on your list!
  • negropolitan
    David Yates or Mathew Vaughn
  • http://twitter.com/RealMarlinsFan RealMarlinsFan
    I love Christopher Nolan but he would be the perfect guy once Craig is done with Bond. It would allow Nolan to start with his view of the story, with a new actor, it would all make sense. Steven Soderbergh or Alfonso Cuaron are fine choices given their previous works. But Danny Boyle would probably be the frontrunner for it If I were to wager.
  • Andrew
    Martin campbell

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