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

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?

Find more posts: Discuss, Editorial, James Bond



I don't want Christopher Nolan to do James Bond. I want Christopher Nolan to do new and original films.

Sean Kelly on Mar 6, 2013


Yea, Batman was a real dud.

Matt Peloquin on Mar 6, 2013


Yeah a 2 billion dollar dud with great reviews and loved by everyone except for haters and trolls.

Manny on Mar 6, 2013


Lol Spot on!

kolajo on Mar 7, 2013


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.

Abel Villa on Mar 7, 2013


Fanboys are going to complain anyway

Norbert Korzus on Mar 7, 2013


I disagree completely , to each his own, I suppose.

Manny on Mar 7, 2013


It was sarcasm my friend...

Matt Peloquin on Mar 7, 2013


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.

IamSlave on Mar 7, 2013


Great choices, Matthew Vaughn would be great as well.

Nielsen700 on Mar 6, 2013


Danny Boyle should be on that list, i would love to see a bond with his gritty style.

Nuno Lopes on Mar 6, 2013


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.

Sycophantic Sockdrawer on Mar 6, 2013


James Bond by Ed Wright would prefer his cornetto shaken not stirred.

capitandelespacio on Mar 7, 2013


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.

AySpergs362 on Mar 6, 2013


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!

andy on Mar 6, 2013


I like Tom Hardy but Nolan working with Daniel Craig would be wonderful, and frankly too good an opportunity to miss.

ShahidAziz on Mar 9, 2013


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.

JP on Mar 6, 2013


Danny Boyle is the only one.

Linkfx on Mar 6, 2013


Oh, I am all over Soderbergh.

OfficialJab on Mar 6, 2013


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.

JL on Mar 7, 2013


my top 5 would be : 5. Steve Mc Queen 4. Ben Affleck 3. Brad Bird 2.Christopher Nolan 1. The Coen Brothers

sherlon gerard on Mar 6, 2013


no love for ben affleck

me on Mar 6, 2013


and ang lee

me on Mar 6, 2013


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.

mmmmmmmm on Mar 6, 2013



TheHey on Mar 6, 2013


Somebody make TheHey the Decider.

Chris on Mar 7, 2013


Read my mind.

Cody W on Mar 7, 2013


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.

Zero on Mar 6, 2013


Why not put JJ Abrams on this too 0.o

MovieNerd on Mar 6, 2013


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.

sbsb on Mar 6, 2013


These are all great picks, I'd be very interested in seeing a Wright, Bond film. Loved Hanna.

IamSlave on Mar 7, 2013


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.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Mar 7, 2013


If I could pick anyone it would have to be Robert Rodriguez.

Davide Coppola on Mar 7, 2013


That would be awesome.

capitandelespacio on Mar 7, 2013


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.

Davide Coppola on Mar 7, 2013


Why because of Spy Kids? I'll take a pass on that.

RealMarlinsFan on Mar 9, 2013


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....

Greg dinskisk on Mar 7, 2013


Can't believe nobody has mentioned Bigelow

Exeter on Mar 7, 2013


Good pick.

castingcouch on Mar 8, 2013


why not Luc Besson

DJROBL on Mar 7, 2013


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.

Akirakorn on Mar 7, 2013


If they hire a dinamic coreographer ofr action sequences mi vote is on Steven Soderbergh

TOONFED on Mar 7, 2013


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.

Akirakorn on Mar 7, 2013


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.

quazimoto on Mar 7, 2013


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.

ShahidAziz on Mar 9, 2013


How about somebody with a respect for the character and a fucking sense of humor?

nightgoat72 on Mar 8, 2013


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).

Samuel Inglis on Mar 8, 2013


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!

CJ on Mar 9, 2013


David Yates or Mathew Vaughn

negropolitan on Mar 9, 2013


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.

RealMarlinsFan on Mar 9, 2013


Martin campbell

Andrew on Apr 5, 2013

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed -or- daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main account on twitter:
For the latest posts only - follow this one:

Add our updates to your Feedly - click here

Get the latest posts sent in Telegram Telegram