Photo Credit: Susie Allnutt/MGM
Variety has heard from its sources that MGM and Eon are going “back to the drawing board” after the departure of Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle. Insiders say the producers are looking to hire a new writer or a writer-director, which might mean that the scripts delivered by Boyle and his Trainspotting co-writer John Hodge, and the one from Neal Purvis and Robert Wade – whose 007 credits include Skyfall, Spectre, and Casino Royale – are headed to the bin.
Bond 25, as the next film is informally called, was scheduled to begin filming in the first week of December but a major rewrite at this stage could make hitting that target tough, according to rival studio executives who spoke to Variety. They believe the movie must be on the floor by January 2019 at the latest to make its October-November 2019 release date.
James Bond isn’t an easy franchise to film exactly, given its usual requirement for locations around the world and heavy stunt sequences, which requires several months of pre-production. And if filming doesn’t begin as planned, the producers will also have to deal with the moving schedules of its cast and the locations they have already scouted.
Before Boyle was hired, the Bond 25 director hunt included Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049), David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water), and Yann Demange (‘71). Villeneuve is busy with his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, while Mackenzie who was reportedly free is in pre-production of a TV series called Gemstone.
The last eight Bond movies, going back to Pierce Brosnan’s first GoldenEye in 1995, have debuted in theatres between October-December. If filming is delayed on Bond 25, we might be looking at a late 2020 release date unless the studios opt for a summer bow.
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