After approximately 97 years of waffling, the 25th Bond movie is a go. It’s slated for November 2019, Daniel Craig is returning—presumably with his own Scrooge McDuck vault of gold since he said if he did another Bond it would “only be for the money”— and now Danny Boyle confirms he is “working on a script right now”, which is not the same as having the gig in the bag, but it is closer than any other director has gotten to Bond 25. Everyone is jumping on Danny Boyle like it’s a done deal, but Boyle’s comments are more than a little hedging.
What Boyle says is that his Trainspotting collaborator, John Hodge, is working on a script:
“We’ve got an idea, John Hodge—the screenwriter—and I have got this idea, and John is writing it at the moment. […] And it all depends on how it turns out. […] We are working on a script which we hope they’ll like.”
He goes on to say he doesn’t know when or where Bond 25 will shoot. So is Danny Boyle confirmed to direct Bond 25, or is he working on an idea that may or may not come to fruition? Like what happens if they—MGM and Eon Productions, the stewards of 007—don’t like the script John Hodge writes? Does Boyle walk away?
Hey here’s a question—does anyone actually want to make this movie? Why are we forcing this to happen? All this angst over Daniel Craig or Not Daniel Craig, the director carousel, and now the “confirmed” director is basically saying, I’ve got an idea and I hope they like it. At this point, the director probably will be Danny Boyle because he has an idea and they need a director to meet that 2019 release date. (The internet tried to make Christopher Nolan happen, but despite being an admitted fan of the franchise, Nolan never seemed like a real candidate.) But everything about Bond 25 feels like limping across the finish line.
In the IP era of filmmaking, I suppose it’s anathema to leave good IP sitting on the shelf, but maybe what Bond needs is a break. Casino Royale rebooted Bond for the gritty reboot era, so maybe now Bond needs a vacation before rebooting for a new era just beginning. The call to recast Bond as a woman, or Idris Elba, isn’t just about alleviating decades of sameness in storytelling, it’s also about repositioning Bond to reflect a new world. Once, Bond reflected the last vestiges of imperial power, now people want 007 to reflect the face of a modern, changing Britain. But instead of doing something interesting like that, we’re going back to the Daniel Craig well and hoping Danny Boyle’s kinetic style is enough to make it feel fresh. I have generally liked Craig’s run as Bond, and I am curious what a Danny Boyle Bond film looks like. I’m just not inspired by the “we will make this happen whether you want it or not” approach to Bond 25.